Convent Kids presents: Sapling School
Join an outdoor expedition for curious kids and their adults led by play specialist Catherine Sewell and gardener Matthew Henry. Through singing, storytelling and hands-on activities, kids will learn about the seasons, ecosystems, organic gardening and the custodians of the land and water where the classes take place — the Wurundjeri people.
Explore the Convent’s sprawling heritage gardens, get those hands dirty, and rediscover the great outdoors through play. Children will have the opportunity to go on a guided walk, learn more about the plants and animals that live in the area, and sow seasonal vegetables in seedling trays which will then be rehomed in the Lentil as Anything Edible Garden. The vegetables will be harvested by the Lentils team for use in delicious vegan dishes at their pay-as-you feel restaurant based at the Convent. Children will also make a seedling cup from newspaper and take some planted seeds home.
Tailored for children aged 3 – 5 years, Sapling School is specifically designed to introduce sustainability education at an early age, to encourage environmentally-conscious habits and to support children’s connection to their community and the land.
Cat works in play as an artist, facilitator and educator. Cat currently works as a Play Specialist with local council, primary schools, playgroups and kindergartens, as well as producing theatrical work and installations for children and families.
As a child, Matthew Henry's little fingers planted dahlia tubers, sowed pumpkin seeds and struck pelargonium cuttings with parents and grandparents in gardens in rural Victoria. Since then he has always had a garden to care for, even when he was teaching English in state high schools. A change of career led to the return to his gardening passion. He studied horticulture and garden design at Burnley. Now he is a full time gardener and garden designer in Melbourne and South Gippsland. He also writes a seasonal blog about gardening. He loves to create and maintain gardens that he would have enjoyed as a kid.
Convent Kids is a year-round program developed by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) for children and families to explore and create art together. Delivered in collaboration with leading artists and educators, Convent Kids is designed to foster lifelong engagement with the arts and improve educational outcomes by firmly placing children at the centre of arts and cultural activity.
Sapling School is supported by the Hamer Sprout Fund as part of the Hamer Family Fund: a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation. We would also like to acknowledge the City of Yarra for supporting the Convent Kids program.