Story Garden


“The poetry and prose of the best children’s books enter our minds when we are young and sing back to us all our lives." Vivian Gussin Paley


This year the Trust is working with the children and staff at the Reynella Kindergarten in a literary residency with Sally Heinrich (author/illustrator), Janeen Brian (author) and Elizabeth Hutchins (author).

This wonderful project has been made possible with a Community Education Partnerships – Artists in Residence grant provided by Arts SA, the Department of Education and Children’s Services and the Australia Council for the Arts.

The Reynella Kindergarten community, led by Director Catherine Holdcroft, is passionate about equity for all families, making connections with the broader community and developing an exciting, accessible curriculum. The staff team enjoys following children’s interests and maintains high expectations, seeing the children in their care as competent and capable.

We knew we were in the right place when we first arrived and saw this displayed on a wall:

 "Children want to write. They want to write the first day they attend school. This is no accident. Before they went to school they marked up walls, pavements, newspapers with crayons, chalk, pens or pencils, anything that makes a mark. The child’s marks say “I am.”

Morrow 2009, p 232

 In week 1 of term 3 (July 20 2015) the children wrote:


  • The fruit on a heart tree would taste like pears and make you feel happy
  • A big dragon grew from the alien tree
  •  It would be a spikey-wikey tree - a dingo tree
  • From the bell a tree would grow with frog apples. They would taste like apple but would be slimey.


Story Garden aims:


  • To encourage the children to explore words – the sounds and rhythms of words, combinations of words, spoken words, sung words, illustrated words, words that create worlds and the stories of those worlds
  • To invite the children to create, tell, write, illustrate and share their own stories
  • To be a three-way collaboration of authors/illustrator, early childhood educators and pre-school children
  • To invite the children to become familiar with some of the published work of Sally, Janeen and Elizabeth.


In the longer term the residency aims to document as a model of practice the very nature of a literary residency with pre-school children.


The Early Years Learning Framework, with its three guiding ideas about Belonging, Being and Becoming provides a framework for the way the artists and children are working together:


The children’s individual offers of stories, images, words and ideas will express their being, while the process over time of expanding their descriptive abilities through words and illustrations will contribute to their becoming. Finally, the children’s shared experience of working with the authors/illustrator will create writings and art works which have special meaning to them because they created them. This will contribute to their sense of belonging.




The Children created art works using natural objects and inspired by the mandala