Bush Knowing Forest School: connecting with the creek
Each year with a different cohort of children considerations and informed decisions are made to ensure that our interactions and connections with the creek continue in a safe though balanced way -with every child’s need to be challenged and take risks in their learning journey.
To support my learning journey l became a Forest School Leader in 2016 and through this l believe my role in these experiences has changed. Supported by this training and over time taking children into nature l have gained many and varied skills to safely and enthusiastically introduce children and their families to this benefit risk experience.
I have a renewed confidence in my abilities to facilitate transformative leadership – to connect, inspire and empower all participants to create a shared vision for our interactions with the creek environment.
Making it happen involves sharing of information with all stake holders – children, parents and the local council; community groups; benefit risk assessments; site assessments – looking at the ground level, mid and upper canopy; insurance documentation; compiling learning resources such as reference books and magnifying glasses; an emergency first aid kit; permission paperwork; clear expectations of the participants role in this experience; ensuring avenues of feedback and documenting the learning that occurs.
From our interactions and connections with the creek we have learnt to recognise and be aware of the changes in seasons. We have observed where there have been flooding rains that make it too dangerous to enter the water due to the volume or foreign items in it that have washed down stream, or drought – where the lack of water exposes so many other unnatural items.
We know how to negotiate areas where trees have fallen where we had previously been playing, noticed the effects of soil erosion, pollution and, sadly, vandalism.
On each visit we pick up rubbish – adding what we can to the recycle bin. We have repositioned native plants and recognised weeds. We have viewed tiny insects, bird life and reptiles with our magnifying glasses, torches and binoculars.
We know how to ‘drop and plop’ stones safely in front of our bodies and take the opportunity to sit, listen and appreciate natures sounds. Importantly, the children and families are more aware of how to interact with nature without damaging it and doing what we can to protect it.
Over time we have learnt balance and agility, as we fall and slip sometimes – we know that it’s ok and get back up – not worrying about getting wet or dirty. Importantly, we understand and have observed that children need to take risks – it’s how we as educators and parents monitor and view these – with all children gaining a self awareness of their growing skills and abilities.
I always wonder and hope that each child and family will carry with them wonderful memories, positive attitudes and a relationship or ecocentric view of the natural world.
Come and join us in nature each week during the Qld school terms. Feel free to visit Bush Knowing.com for all details and bookings. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.
2020 NATURE PLAY SESSIONS FAQ
Where: Secluded bush space between Leslie Patrick Park oval and the Kedron Brook, Everton Hills (parking via 135 Olearia st West), beside the new all abilities playground.
When: Thursday’s & Friday’s 9.30am until 11.30am for 8 weeks during the Qld school terms. Start date – Thursday February 6th 2020. In term 2 we will offer tool sessions every fortnight on a Wednesday morning.
What: A self paced session with a mix of exploring the creek and local bush surrounds plus focused sensory and early learning experiences with quality resources. The session is facilitated by Jo an experienced Kindy teacher and Forest school leader. We finish the session, packing away together and joining for a music time.
How to pay: In 2020 we will have an upfront term payment option – for the Thursday session and a casual pay as you go for the Friday session via Trybooking..
How to book: For the Thursday session please email email@example.com for payment details. This is capped for 20 families only and is non refundable.
Age: Suitable for children from 18months to 6 years.
Start date: February 6th 2020.
Cost: Price is per session for one child with one adult. Each additional sibling is discounted and siblings under 18 months can join us free of charge.
1 child: $20
2 children: $30
3 children: $40
4 children: $45
For the casual Friday session please use:
Bookings need to be made by Thursday evening at 9.30pm to ensure we can plan for the day and have enough resources for all. Once booked this is nonrefundable or transferable.
Age: Suitable for children from 12 months to 6 years of age.
Start date: February 7th 2020.
Cost: Price is per session for child with adult. Each additional sibling is discounted and siblings under 12 months are free.
1 child: $22
2 children: $32
3 children: $42
4+ children: $47
What to bring/wear: Closed in toe shoes (both adults and children) or gumboots are great for the creek. Dress for the weather -hat, sunscreen or wet weather gear. Snack, water and rug for morning tea. Please be aware of possible allergies and only consume food and drinks in the morning tea area.
Baby wearing and pram friendly! It’s a very inclusive environment and all families and children are welcome.
We hope you can join us soon!