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Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 students take their learning beyond the classroom and out into nature.

Discovery Day - Learning in Nature

Frankston, Australia
Our youngest students spend one day per week learning out in nature. Broadly based on the Danish Forest Schools approach, children play in the outdoors, learn how to protect and sustain the natural environment and interact with the natural environment in authentic and meaningful ways. Children spend time in two bush environments and one beach environment.

Taking the Learning Outdoors

“"The children thought they were just playing but they were learning such an incredible amount. It was tactile learning, learning by trial and error, directed and self-directed learning." ”

Jodie A - Woodleigh School Parent

Woodleigh School introduced an outdoor learning program with its pre-school students several years ago following an action research project conducted by the staff in the Minimbah Campus' Early Childhood Centre.   Following the principles of the Danish Forest Schools, our pre-schoolers spend a day per week in a creek area on the School's property. 

So successful was the experience for our pre-schoolers, we decided to develop the program and introduced 'Discovery Day' to our Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 students.

These children also spend a day per week, taking their learning beyond the classroom and into the outdoors.  They engage with nature in authentic ways and work collectively, collaboratively and in a sustainable way in several environments beyond the school environs.

Several experts are engaged with the children in the outdoors depending on the focus of the student's learning at the time.  An indigenous educator provides the children with indigenous perspectives, storytelling, identifying indigenous practices and providing authentic links to the local environment.  The children work with community groups to protect the fragile environment.  We have had marine biologists and artists provide specific lessons to the children in the bush and marine environments we visit. 

Discovery Day provides a safe environment in which children can take responsible risks.  It helps develop in each child, a sense of responsibility for the environment.  It develops independence and helps them assess risks and with the space required to do so.

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