Bush Learning Centre
In 2016, we began an Off The Beaten Track Program which was a big success. This positive learning experience has now become part of our regular curriculum.
The children enthusiastically engage in the bush environment, discovering and exploring everything that is found only in a bush setting. This outdoor learning space offers a wide variety of experiences not available indoors. Some children learn best while having the freedom and time to explore in open spaces and fresh air. As we know with added technology to our everyday living, children are spending more time in front of the ‘small’ screens and while this is an important part of our lives, so much can be learned in a natural setting.
At Glenhaven Private Preschool, we have the perfect place for children to connect with nature and use ‘natural’ open ended resources.
Bush settings are just as exciting in fine weather as well as wet weather! So much learning can take place outdoors. The children notice the change in seasons and the environment, the effect of rain/or no rain on an area, variety of natural vegetation, different birds, the many different colours in the natural environment. Sometimes there are puddles, other times more branches and sticks. Some of the things we find are new shoots and ferns growing, pods, logs to climb on, a waterfall after rain, small bugs and creatures, tadpoles in the small pools as well as learning many new concepts.
Natural open spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature.
Children begin to use and understand so many concepts which can be transferred from one setting to another. Concepts such as language, problem-solving, cooperative play, sustainability, science, patterns and environmental awareness etc.
We would like our children to achieve the following:
- To build confidence and self- esteem necessary for children’s wellbeing and the ability to learn.
- To be provided with natural resources for the children to connect with and explore.
- To be socially responsible and show respect for the natural environment.
- To be physically active and challenged in open spaces, as movement is crucial to their development and learning.
- To make their own choices, follow their interests and become independent, involved learners.
- To learn and use new skills.
- To be guided by educators to further enhance the children’s interests and skills by using a variety of methods such as spontaneous interactions, a range of texts and open-ended questioning.
- To be able to communicate verbally and non-verbally with peers and adults and to share thoughts and ideas.
- To be involved in discussions about what may be found in the bush and how to stay safe.
- To engage confidently in an area that is versatile and stimulating and one which can be explored at the children’s own pace.
- To engage with educators who know when to intervene in each child’s learning in order to carry the children forward.
- To become more confident in taking risks, become more resilient and persevere when faced with challenges.
Our newly acquired fire pit has introduced the children to many new learning opportunities. The children are aware and cautious around the flames. They help to build a fire and cook in a controlled, well supervised, learning environment.
We have now gone beyond just walking in the bush, to really being involved in the area. We are all engaged in this positive learning space where children are encouraged to play, explore, discover and learn.
Our outdoor learning area is unfolding into a wonderful, exciting learning environment.