Where is it?
1A City View Terrace, Nambour, Queensland
Early Childhood Bush and Beach Kindy and Nature Programs
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Goodstart Early Learning – Nambour caters for children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age, offering five age-appropriate rooms as well as an outside of school hours care program. The centre offers an effective Bush Kindy program for all ages, including an on-site rainforest Bush Kindy facility as well as providing off-site weekly nature walks for the older age groups. The centre embeds a philosophy of kindness and respect of the environment as well as nurturing a love of sustainability. The centre runs indoor/outdoor programs and brings nature into all classrooms.
My name is Laura Knock and I am the Early Childhood Teacher at City View Terrace. I am responsible for running City View Terrace’s Kindy program.
We implemented our Bush Kindy program over two years ago. We did this for a number of reasons, but initially, to help support our children to be able to be calm. We had a high number of children who came from low-socio-economic backgrounds as well as vulnerable circumstances and we could see children’s behaviour escalating. After much research on the benefits of Bush Kindy (and attending many courses about the forest schools in Europe and the UK), we began the process of starting a regular Bush Kindy program. This included much parent communication, open-nights and documentation. This led us to beginning our first Bush Kindy morning with the Kindy-aged children in April 2016. From that first moment onwards, we noticed that our children seemed to “breathe a sigh of relief” as soon as they stepped into the Bush Kindy facility.
Over the next two years, we observed children growing curious, inquisitive and calm with each Monday morning. The Kindy children were slowing down and really engaging in their play. We were utilising the beautiful rainforest (and later, the off-site parklands to take part in weekly nature walks) as a learning tool and teaching the children about respecting their environment and finding the beauty in nature. We used the same teachings and philosophies from Bush Kindy and incorporated it back into our classrooms – really instilling a love of nature into our program.
As the Bush Kindy program emerged and grew, we were simply staggered at how calm the children (and families) were. They simply learnt to slow down and play. We know that research states this to be true, but we were so excited that we were able to see it happening before our own eyes.
I am very happy to say that I have been able to support many Kindy children to learn to regulate their bodies and emotions through the use of Bush Kindy and incorporating this philosophy into our daily program. I truly have a respectful, calm and kind group of children.
This is not limited to just the Kindy children either – our whole service emulates a beautiful calm and respectful vibe and is truly a pleasure to walk into.