Bush school for home school families

bush-school

Home schooling in the bush

Our Bush School program has been created for home school families looking to introduce nature play, outdoor skills, sustainability and environmental awareness into their learning activities. It is open to home-schooled children from Kindergarten to Year 6. We also run a parallel Bush Playgroup on Mondays for younger siblings and their carers.

The Bush School program addresses outcomes primarily from the Living World strand of the new NSW Science & Technology K-6 Syllabus. We occasionally include outcomes from other strands.

Our Bush Playgroup features the same topics as Bush School, targeted at younger children with a focus on learning through play. With circle time, animal encounters, stories, nature crafts and gentle bushwalks, it will achieve a number of Learning Outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework across the term.

Bush School runs every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, 1.30pm-3.30pm, during term time. Bush Playgroup is held alongside the Monday session at the same time. The Wednesday class is a smaller group suitable for children who dislike crowds.

Bookings are now open for Term 2, 2019.

What's involved?

Child-led independent play in the natural environment is a key part of Bush School. We recognise the importance of nature play in promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, self-awareness, risk management, relationship skills and loads of other developmental as well as academic benefits.

As well as nature play, Bush School features an engaging program of nature-based activities linked to the NSW Syllabus. From storytelling or fauna encounters, through to adventures into the bush for bug hunting, exploring the creek, climbing trees or orienteering, each week offers new opportunities for kids with different learning styles to connect with nature and the outdoors. Our rangers are experienced with children diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, anxiety and others who derive particular benefit from the Bush School program.

Cost

Bookings are essential for Bush School and Playgroup. The fee is $15 per child each week. Full term bookings receive a free week.

Click here to book Bush School (Mondays) for Term 2, 2019 (8-week term due to Queen's Birthday public holiday)

Click here to book Bush Playgroup (Mondays) for Term 2, 2019 (8-week term)

Click here to book Bush School (Wednesdays) for Term 2, 2019 (9-week term)

To check availability for a casual session, please call 9424 0353.

Program for Term 2

Further details of the program for each week are available from the ranger, or from the office on 9424 0353 or kwg@kmc.nsw.gov.au.

6 & 8 May: One Planet
13 & 15 May: Maps & Navigation
20 & 22 May: Predators & Prey
27 & 29 May: Fire in the bush
3 & 5 June: Season of Burrugin the echidna
12 June: Mindfulness in creativity (no Monday class this week)
17 & 19 June: Adventure to Ku-ring-gai Creek (Playgroup: Adventure in the Bush)
24 & 26 June: Microscopy
1 & 3 July: Winter Feast

Nature Play Space

The regular venue for Bush School is our Nature Play Space, an enclosed area of natural bush that provides opportunities for independent play in a safe environment. In addition to the natural features such as rocky outcrops, ponds, trees and open grass, our rangers bring plenty of natural items to enable creative play. We encourage both active, gross-motor adventures (such as building cubby houses, indulging in the mud pit, or attempting our Balancing Bushwalk) and quiet, creative activities (such as making fairy gardens, painting with clay or ochre, or observing pond creatures with a magnifying glass).

Adventure and exploration

Each term’s program of activities also features opportunities to head deep into the bush and take time to explore, connect and have adventures in special places known only to our rangers!

Important information

Bush School runs weekly during term time for primary-aged participants and their parents or carers. Younger siblings are welcome at Bush Playgroup. Participants aged five and under or with special needs will require an adult to stay with them for the program (this could be someone else's parent with agreement). Families with children not booked into an activity (aside from small babies) are welcome to use our picnic areas during the session, but are not permitted in the Nature Play Space as it is not a public area.

Please ensure all participants (including accompanying adults) are appropriately dressed for rugged outdoor play: closed shoes for bushwalking, hats and sunscreen if it’s hot, and raincoats and gumboots if it’s wet. The program will continue in most weather conditions. A change of clothes is recommended for younger children. Bushwalks are generally not stroller-friendly.

Participants can bring their own nut-free snacks and a water bottle in a child-sized backpack. We encourage sustainable snacking – food in packets or plastic also creates litter which is a hazard for our wildlife. Please make our rangers aware of any first aid or medical requirements such as allergies or a need for an inhaler or autoinjector.

Wildflower Garden rangers generally adapt their programs to suit the environmental conditions and the characteristics of the group. We cannot guarantee that certain activities will definitely take place on any given day.

If outdoor conditions are deemed unsafe by the rangers, for example in cases of catastrophic fire danger or high winds, Bush School will need to be cancelled or postponed. A full refund will be given if the Wildflower Garden cancels the program.

More info

For more information, please contact the office on 9424 0353 or kwg@kmc.nsw.gov.au.