The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Junior School

Mud Day

It rains and the earth turns to mud. It gets everywhere, on your clothes, your shoes, your car. It can be a nuisance. When you think of mud, you think of the outdoors. The outdoors means fresh air and exercise, two of the best things for people.

The creators of International Mud Day wanted to prove that mud can be fun. In 2009, at a world forum event, Gilliam McAuliffe, from Australia, Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal had a talk about ways to encourage feelings, community and appreciation for the world around us. The collaboration that followed inspired educators, children and families across the globe from all over Nepal to Australia to celebrate International Mud Day together each year on 29 June. Regardless of age, race, religion, when covered in mud we all look the same.

On Friday 23 November, the Junior School celebrated their version of International Mud Day with an eight metre square mud pit, which was constructed on the edge of the pirate ship lawn. Several cubic metres of dirt was added along with a slip and slide to welcome the boys into the mud pit. Over the course of the day, each class was able to spend 45 minutes in the mud. While some were apprehensive at first, by the end of the session everyone was covered head to toe in mud, glorious mud. The boys made mud pies, they buried their faces in the mud, they laid back and relaxed, they slid down the slip and slide and splashed away joyously on a beautiful summer's day.

The Junior School has a long history of being committed to allowing the boys many opportunities to engage in play – free unstructured play. Whether it be loose parts play in the playground, an adventure in the local Bush School, travelling around Lake Claremont or wallowing in the mud. All this plays an integral part in providing some of the best memories in their educational experience. The risk taking that occurs on the day, the collaboration, the conversation and the pure joy makes the event worthwhile. The boys will also reflect the opportunity today to wallow in the mud with Dr O'Connell, Headmaster of the College, who joined us for a solid hour of mud play and definitely got into the spirit of the day.

2018 marks the second year that the school has run International Mud Day. In 2019, we will invite parents to join their children in the mud pit and make it a day to remember.

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Mr John Stewart
Head of Junior School