Nature schools where children learn by roaming in the wild growing in popularity
At a council reserve on the New South Wales mid-north coast, children attend a school where they spend their entire day in the wild.
- In parts of Europe, nature schools are common and supported by local councils
- Nature school learning is child-led, and students are free to take risks
- A report found a lack of outdoor learning is affecting children’s empathy and creativity
A recent report by Plymouth University found a lack of outdoor learning is creating an urgent social problem in children, affecting their empathy, creativity, and innovation.
To combat this, a growing number of parents in the UK and Europe are sending their children to “nature schools”, but the movement is in its infancy in Australia.
At The Nature School in Port Macquarie there is no set schedule, and the students choose when they eat, play, read and take time out.
The children, aged between three and six, roam through the bush, play music, make bush crafts and put up tents.
They attend once or twice a week and are cared for by three people called “educators”.