Why every Child in the world should experience Bush Schools
As part of our research in developing Bush Schools, it has been important to recognise, just as we do in the UK, where these amazing experiences which we are professionally providing for children, contributes to the aims of educational settings.
Just as the Early Learning Framework explains, in Bush Schools play is seen as an opportunity for the expression of personality and uniqueness, encourages curiosity, exploration and creativity, promotes children to review and reflect on previous experiences in order to develop relationships and concepts. Vitally, it is also one of the most important avenues through which to promote and support a sense of wellbeing.
Examining the Early Years Framework, we can clearly identify here Beach Schools can help achieve and promote it`s aims, starting with the Principles.
Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
An integral element of a Bush Schools session and programme, forming one of the key observations to measure success of a programme is the children`s ability to feel physically and psychologically safe with their peers and adults while also having the ability to manage their relationships, understanding and communicating with others. The areas of emotional literacy/intelligence and self-esteem are observed in refined forms and are used to help promote and support the child`s sense of self, both as an individual and as a member of a group. A defining sign of success is the Bush Schools Practitioner’s ability to observe but allow for learner led resolution of problems and queries, with the children being able to be inclusive and respectful of one another`s opinions and emotions
Collaborative work is a foundation for Bush Schools, bringing together family, Practitioners and other significant adults which influence the daily lives and development of the children. Families are an integral part of the holistic approach which Bush School`s follows, allowing the families to understand and to help reflect on their child`s experiences as well as being encouraged to volunteer and support their child at Bush Schools, with an opportunity to gain new insights into their child`s abilities and confidence in a natural space.
High expectations and equity
Every Bush Schools Practitioner will be committed to supporting every child`s understanding that they can be successful in a wide range of ways, regardless of circumstance or ability. They will role model positive attitudes towards learning and success, encouraging the learners to understand and develop better responses to barriers. The learner led nature of Bush Schools allows for the learning to be in the way that the children learn best, enabling and inclusive learning environment with a community approach to challenges.
Respect for diversity
The approach of Bush Schools is to celebrate diversity in all of its forms. Rather than a didactic, outcome based approach, Bush Schools are learner led, learner driven learning communities where the journey and who is on that journey, is the goal. The richness of Australia’s heritage is something which is something which can feature prominently in programmes, allowing the children to experience the land and understand it in new ways. Through experiencing the land in this way and forming a connection with it, children also learn to respect the diversity of nature and our role within in.
Ongoing learning and reflective practice
One of the most important and beneficial practices of Bush Schools is the reflection, both for the Practitioner and for the child. Part of the qualification for becoming a Beach Schools Practitioner is looking at their professional and personal reflections. The observation process that is the backbone to any programme is there to allow the principle planning tool of Beach Schools, reflection, to enable adaption and flexibility in its approach. This is also informed by the child`s own reflections, forming a learner based influence to evaluations and future programme planning.
We look forward to seeing you on the course