Nature School Registration
The Nitty Gritty
Where: Battle Hill farm forest park; 610 Paekakariki Hill rd, Pauahatanui, & Kaitawa Reserve, Paraparaumu.
When: Mondays & Fridays 9-2pm, Wednesdays 9-3pm.
Cost: Mondays & Fridays $50/day, Wednesdays $60/day, sibling discounts and scholarships may be available; please enquire. Enrolments are for the whole term, please see Terms and Conditions for more detail. *Monday and Fridays are parent co-op days, so a police checked parent or whānau member signs up to help 1 day per term. If you can’t provide a helper, cost is $60/day and we can provide an extra helper for you.
Bring: (Winter) Gumboots/sturdy shoes, warm (non cotton) clothing layers, 2 full changes of clothing (including 1x spare shoes), waterproof rainwear, a hearty lunch and a water bottle. (Summer) 2 full changes of clothing, sunhat/sunscreen, togs and towel, a hearty lunch and water bottle. Children are expected to carry their own bags and take out their own rubbish.
A day at Nature School
Every day at Nature School will be different, as although we visit the same areas with the same group, nature constantly offers changing seasons, new ideas and new learning.
The small group of ākonga begin each day at 9am, settling in, catching up, continuing projects, then we start our day with a safety hui (meeting), talking about our two keeping safe rules:
*You must always be able to see an adult, and an adult must always be able to see you
*We take care of nature, and of each other
These broad rules allow us to talk about staying within sight of an adult at all times, helping each other, sustainable use of nature (leaves etc), appreciating and investigating discoveries etc.
We will do a brief dynamic risk assessment at the start of each day, and upon entering an area new to anyone in the group. This is a brief conversation about the hazards present in the areas we use, what we need to be aware of and to avoid. This might have children thinking about tree climbing choices, fire safety, knife safety, good choices around water, areas slippery when wet, previous injuries children have that might mean everyone needs to take extra care of them that day, checking pest traps safely (not touching them), and sharing past learning from the area/activity. These conversations will be more in-depth in the beginning, but as children become experienced risk-assessors, they might just consist of reminders where necessary.
Next we hear from everyone what their plans are for the day. Children will sometimes be all together, and sometimes form smaller groups based on their interests at that time. Options will be influenced by the weather, what others are choosing and what they might have been planning from the week before. Some activities that might be chosen are fire lighting, cooking on the fire, making dens, stream studying, make-believe play, missions up or down-stream, bum sliding, running, rope swinging, whittling or creating something out of wood and other materials, climbing up and jumping off things, searching for bugs or eels, feeding the eels, checking pest traps, geocaching, navigational skills, reading, drawing, group games, climbing trees, racing sticks or boats in the stream….the list can go on for ever and we never really know what children will come up with when they have the freedom of choice and no perceived limits!
Please read terms and conditions here
*You will need permission from your child’s School board of trustees for them to attend the Nature School programme weekly. Please talk to your child’s School teacher and Principal, share the information we provide for BOT’s with them and let them know your beliefs on the benefits of your child attending Nature School. We have all the paperwork that they will require, and they will need to mark your child present at School. Nature School NZ will provide the School with attendance details at the end of each School term and we will also endeavour to form a reciprocal relationship with the School; so that School and Nature School can complement each other and ultimately provide the best learning for your child.
Wellington, New Zealand
+27 438 5366