Bush School

Our Bush School is an adaptation of an international Forest Kindergarten movement that encourages play and exploration in learning, whatever the weather, in outdoor environments. Learning is often lead by the children and educators work as facilitators rather than instructors. Self-directed free play connected to nature supports children’s holistic growth, including their social and emotional development.

Research tells us that exploring nature improves children’s confidence, enthusiasm for learning and problem-solving. At NECS we see this first-hand as children climb trees, engage in imaginative play and write and count with natural resources.

Educators love going to Bush School each year to watch the children grow as risk-takers, collaborators and inquirers. Some children feel more comfortable taking measured risks in the natural environment, others find opportunities to lead play, and others develop self-regulation. All children show amazing growth in their gross and fine motor skills as they work out how to navigate difficult terrains and build fitness.

We have found that the shared positive experience of Bush School is reflected back in our classroom learning environments. Children are able to access more complex vocabulary and ideas in their writing and can draw on their Bush School experiences in their inquiry learning.

Bush School at NECS is run as a partnership with families. We value your engagement in the program and support with transport to locations. Parents are encouraged to come along and experience Bush School too – you might even get messy!

We strongly believe that offering the Bush School program to your child provides them with an excellent educational and life opportunity which will excite them as learners, environmentalists and explorers.