Published on: 24 June 2013

A class of Year 5 boys led their Pre-Primary ‘buddies’ down to the river for a lesson in cubby-building recently. Pre-Primary teacher Didi Caddy said it was wonderful shared activity for the big and little boys, who connected with their natural surroundings and each other.

Mrs Caddy said her class and Andrew Lane’s Year 5 boys met once a fortnight to read together, play and other activities. She said the exercise, to make a cubby using only natural materials, was inspired by the Year 5 boys’ studies on the history of the Swan River and how Aborigines lived along Freshwater Bay.

Mrs Caddy said the Pre-Primary boys loved being led down the ‘secret pathway’ to the boatshed, as many of them had never been down there before. The boys worked in groups to choose their sites, find materials and construct their cubbies.

“It was a beautiful, still Friday afternoon,” she said. “We all walked around and looked at each group’s cubby – some with roofs, some without. The last one was so big that both classes could fit inside!

Mr Lane said the Year 5 boys wrote narratives about the experience with themselves and their buddies as characters. The setting was the boatshed and the boys had to create a complication and resolution. The narratives were later read to their buddies. “I was very impressed with their stories and it is yet again another example of the boys being inspired by our beautiful waterfront,” Mr Lane said.

Mrs Caddy said the river was like another classroom. “They were all so responsible, focused and learning co-operatively. It was wonderful to see all the boys connecting with nature.”