Building a Yarning Circle
Milkwood Steiner's students learning how to make traditional canoe

Age Groups: 7-13

Grant Name: 2023 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants

School: Milkwood Steiner School

Grant Sponsor: Woolworths

Project Overview

Students from Milkwood Steiner School in the Northern Territory have constructed a Yarning Circle. The school are proud recipients of a Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant, and this support has helped them to build a gathering space for students and community to learn from Indigenous Elders about Traditional Knowledge and landcare practices on Larrakia Country.

Educational Outcomes

The school engages with sustainability activities as part of its Strategic Plan. The school community produces its own food, the students learn about Indigenous Knowledge related to seasonal indicators and sustainable land management. Students are outdoors daily and learn about the natural values of other regions, and the new Yarning Circle helps with this outdoor classroom learning experience. 

Made of natural materials sourced from local surrounds, the Yarning Circle provides a gathering space in nature for important First Nations and landcare conversations, lessons, and learning practices The Yarning Circle is a beautiful, functional, educational addition to the garden and enjoyed by everyone in the school community. The impact of setting up a Yarning Circle in the school has meant the students learn about creating human structures in nature that facilitate care of natural surrounds from a First Nations perspective, learn what sustainable resources can be used in the construction phase, and experience how this outdoor space provides a place of learning from Indigenous Elders and the community.

The Yarning Circle project is directly linked to the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework in areas of science (ecosystems, biodiversity, botany), design and technology (measurement), and mathematics (collecting and interpreting data). 


The students' favourite moments from the project included the construction of the Yarning Circle, the lighting of the first fire and reading the sign in Larrakia language. The students learnt how to make a traditional canoe, taught by Traditional Owners from Crocodile Island. The Yarning Circle has generated significant goodwill, with an outpouring of positive feedback and offers of support from both the community and parents. The project unfolded seamlessly as planned, solidifying its position as a central gathering point for Outdoor Classroom learning at the school.