Hand in hand the children head out the gate of the early years service and into the community to venture into nature spaces. Each local area offers something unique and special and is ready to be explored by the children. Some bush kindies are set amongst the calls of birds hidden amongst the lush rainforest trees along with the lizards and little creatures. Creek programs offer the soothing sound of the trickling water of the creek, places to explore and discover water bugs. Nature programs by the foreshore on dune areas can hear the crashing of waves in the background as they play under the pandanus in the sandy dunes. Other children are nestled at the base of the trees investigating tiny insects in the Eucalypt forest area. Whether it’s the mangroves, the paperbark forest, an open green space or nature nook within the city, they all offer an opportunity for educators to enrich the curriculum and play opportunities for children. Queensland refers to these programs as “Bush Kindy”, many are also named Beach Kindy or even Forest School and are essentially nature based programs – a classroom without walls, extending the learning beyond the building and fences to community nature spaces.
The bare basics are taken, in fact just safety provisions, as nature provides all the resources and stimulation for learning. It’s a place where children use their bodies to balance across logs, scramble up hills, dig into the mud, climb trees and navigate their way over rocks and uneven ground. The programs embrace challenges as children engage in problem solving, critical thinking and build independence, risk intelligence and confidence. The outdoor experiences promote collaboration and team work through peer to peer learning. Imagination and creativity are stimulated through the vast resources available to create, construct and compose in nature freely. And resilience and empathy are nurtured as children connection to nature grows
The Nature Play QLD 3-day Bush Kindy leader course will give you all the tools and knowledge you need to create your own inspiring space for a bush or beach kindy. It will connect the Early Years Framework and My Time our Place to outdoor learning and your own bush kindy program to ensure that your kids are experiencing what they need and when they need it – and in a much more exciting place than inside! This course is for any educator working within the early learning industry who wants to create a much more vibrant and enriching experience for their kids. With so much amazing natural environment available to us here in Australia, why wouldn’t we use it to help shape our kids learning experiences.
Our course has been created with the Australian learning and physical landscape in mind.
- Explore the principles and practice of learning in nature through Nature Pedagogy based on the Forest School model.
- Explore how to implement practices in your service play spaces and in the community in nature, beach, and bush settings.
- Explore a ‘typical’ Bush Kindy session with practical nature based learning experiences.
- Explore Australian curriculum possibilities across all play spaces indoors and outdoors.
- Explore the links to the Early Years Learning Framework and My Time Our Place.
- Explore Indigenous perspectives, sustainability, environmental education, and community connections.
- Explore how to support and document children’s individual learning experiences to meet curriculum requirements.
- Explore barriers to nature programs and discuss strategies to overcome these.
- Explore the requirements of legislation, policies, and procedures.
- Engage in an action plan to take back to your service.
“Nature pedagogy is the practice of teaching and learning with and in nature. It encompasses the importance of culture, community and the sustainability of our natural world. It fosters children’s holistic development and wellbeing through play and hands on authentic and meaningful experiences. The approach fosters a sense of wonder, exploration and discovery through inquiry-based learning that is child led” Nature Play QLD