The rules have changed since your childhood. Children are spending less time outdoors and more time in front of screens.
Research affirms that contact with nature is essential to wellness and good health.
For over 40 years, Moerlina children have excelled at playing outside.
Our children enjoy a natural-terrain schoolyard that features natural habitats, stately gums, abundant fruit trees and vegetable patches. They play freely building stick cubbies, grinding rocks, trading found objects, exploring the frog bog and generally getting dirty. We believe these opportunities are fundamental to creating happy, healthy, strong children.
We also recognise our children’s need to explore beyond. At Moerlina, we understand the concept, “no risk, no reward”. So we take our children out into the world beyond our school to spend time in nature under the guidance of well-trained teachers. Our Bush School and Beach School programs are our way of connecting our children to the wider natural world, and providing them with a genuine opportunity to develop courage and creativity in a play-rich environment.
Our Nature Pedagogy programs are fully supported by AISWA, Nature Play WA, and Claire Warden of Mindstretchers UK.
Moerlina’s innovative Bush School program has been running since 2011. The program was born out of professional learning undertaken by one of our teachers, which looked into establishing an Australian version of the European ‘Forest Schools’ and was further shaped by staff participation in two international study tours.
Fortnightly, for half a day, children from Years 1 – 6 visit a native bush site to explore and enjoy the surrounding natural bushland environment. The children participate in a range of activities including: den building, knot tying, erecting shelters, flora and fauna identification, nature-based art and creative projects and team-building activities. Bush School aims to build self-esteem and resilience, ease in nature and wild environments, and to foster creativity and problem solving.
The program usually runs throughout Terms 2 and 3.
Take a look at the videos to get an idea about what happens at Bush School.
“Bush School is a fantastic way of increasing the kids’ connection with nature. Our son is often surprising us with interesting facts about bugs and plants, and he has become a very capable den builder. We love that he is excited about the natural world and also about the need to preserve it.” - Rob, parent
“When you are at school, you know where everything is. When you are in the bush, you don’t know where anything is so everything is a surprise.” - Felix, student
In 2014 we expanded our Bush School program and added a Beach School program to continue the outdoor learning throughout the warmer months in Terms 1 and 4.
Every other week, children from Years 4 – 6 visit a safe Beach site, where they learn about the coastal and marine environment as well as beach and ocean safety.
Watch our Beach School video for more information.
“When my kids experience nature, lifting their eyes, hearing different sounds, doing stuff in the bush, stretching in new ways, what I see is them learning about themselves, their friends, and peers. It opens imagination, heightens awareness and raises a curiosity about other places in the world and what they may be like in another way.” - Parent