Once upon a time... (Click here for norwegian version)
Rusvik Nature Kindergarten is located in a rural area five minutes south of Kopervik town centre, with Karmsundet sea channel lying just to the east. The kindergarten makes good use of oit location, having easy acsess to natural areas such as the coast, woodland and open fields whilst still being close to the town centre.
The kindergarten was formed by local parents, due to a lack of positions available at Kopervik kindergarten. Through consultation with "Trygge Barnehager A/S", the local council werw able to donate a plot of land and guarantee the financing of the kindergarten. The official opening of the kindergarten was on 30th july 1990.
During the first two years the employees, with the help of the children and parents, formed the educational platform and profile for Rusvik Nature kindergarten, where the experience of nature and care for environment is a primary factor.
The kindergarten is a parent owned co-operative kindergarten. There are three separate units making a total of 45 full day places for children ages from 0 - 7 years. Currently 3 of these positions are part time, 11 are used by Karmøy Kommune, Statoil use 1 position and the balance are private positions.
The three named units are as follows:
- The Pink Elephant with 9 full time places for children aged 0 - 3 years
- The Green Colibri for children between 2 and 6 years, with 18 places totally, of which some can be shared.
- The Blue Seacat for children between 2 and 6 years, with 18 places totally, of which some can be shared.
ADMINISTRATION WITHIN THE KINDERGARTEN
Trough law the kindergarten is run through two committes. A liaison committee and a parent committee.
The parent committee consists of all the parents and guardians of the children within the kindergarten. Some of the parents that are in the kindergarten`s committee are also the representatives for the parent committee. They are selected at the first parent committee meeting, wich is held in September.
The liaison committee is a liaison between the parents, staff and the properitors of the kindergarten. They have the responsibility for the everyday running of the kindergarten in close connection with the director.
The task of the liaison committee is to build the year plan and select the children for the following year of the kindergarten.
The liaison committee is composed of the following:
- Two representative from the employees group
- Two representative from the parents
- Two representative from the proprietors
- One person representing the counsil
- Plus the kindergarten`s director.
THE NATURE PROFILE OF THE KINDERGARTEN
During the first year of the kindergarten many discussions were made as to what profile the kindergarten should select. The team were deliberately looking for a pedagogic platform for the child of today. This should include currant teaching methods, trends and the world around us. It should be a platform that could be built from, and not only designed for one year, but a continuing cycle. A platform that the kindergarten could be identified with.
Through observing and listening to training courses, the media and other literature, the team came to the decision that physical activities outside were a neglected part of kindergartens. This was a good basis for our platform`s profile. We started gradually, having one day per week outside in the local environment. We decided that the children should not be restricted to only going outside for their lunch break. The nature experience and the interest for the environment became the central focal point for our trips. We felt that this was the way forward - literally.
The topic of the environment was not chosen as the platform for the kindergarten through any one person`s particular interest, but from direct feedback from children, the media and discussion groups. "By educating the children of today we model the adults of the future." The kindergarten also has a direct responsibility to society.
This was the beginning. It was here that the fundamental standard of the kindergarten was set. We have since then used time and money to educate ourselves in the nature experience and in taking care of our environment, whist bringing the child to the forefront. We have built up a good library about this topic and we have also purchased equipment that we can use on our walks out in the nature, to maximise impressions and experiences. Through these impressions and experiences we have developed and will continue to develop and improve the whole platform.
First and foremost our aim is not to bring the environment into the kindergarten, but to take the children out to see the nature and the environment, and so become to love , respect and and hopefully protect it.
The main goal is that our children become found of nature and environment by beginning in their own backyards, so that they get positive nature experiences as well as positive attitudes which they may keep for life.
Following are a few ways in which we try to avhieve our goals:
- Days outside the boundaries of the kindergarten, or walks
- Developing a garden and vegetable patch
- Researching subjects, for example COLUMBA
- Source sorting
Source sorting is to sort the garbage by its source, which means that we try to identify where the items are produced. This is a very direct way of showing how packaging and other garbage directly effect our environment. To reiterate this we source sort our own garbage and recycling as many items as possible.
For example we have recycled milk cartons, paper, glass, tins and special garbage to be used as light bulbs. Food scraps are delivered to our compost barrel or the local pig farmer. The list is endless. By doing this we help others recycle and we are more critical of the products that we buy, thus mimimising waste.
Through everyday usage the source becomes a simple routine, we reinforce these ideas through songs, stories, talks and trips out. By doing this we hpoe that we are developing the children`s attitudes and that they gain knowledge as well as learn about the environment.
We hope you enjoyed this brief introduction into Rusvik Nature Kindergarten, and we would be pleasant to answer any further questions.
For further information and application forms for the Rusvik Nature Kindergarten you may contact the kindergarten directly, use the form attached or contact the school office in Karmøy kommune. Alternatively you can contact us on