Nature Play

Nature Play and learning through the environment

At St Joseph's we strive to provide a rich learning environment for all our students.

We are currently planning and developing a nature play and learning through the environment space.  We have engaged architects Guymer Bailey (designers of Frew Park, Milton) to assist us in planning a nature play area on the corner of Rosewood Street and Cecil Road. This area of approximately 3000m2 is currently being prepared to create a nature play space for St Joseph's students and our wider community.

Nature play assists students to develop skills and understandings while valuing a positive relationship with natural environments and promoting sustainable use.  It allows students to grow connections with and appreciation of the natural environment.  Nature play significantly improves all aspect of child development – physical, cognitive, social, spiritual and emotional.  Playing outdoors grows resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and more.

Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA)

The outdoor learning connection provides a framework for students to experience guided, integrated learning across the curriculum in natural environments. Students have the opportunity to gain unique and specific benefits from outdoor learning. They develop skills and understandings while valuing a positive relationship with natural environments and promoting the sustainable use of these environments.

The development of positive relationships with others and with the environment through interaction with the natural world can be facilitated through outdoor learning. These relationships are essential for the wellbeing and sustainability of individuals, society and our environment. Outdoor learning engages students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings, and this typically takes place beyond the school classroom. In these environments, students develop the skills and understandings to move safely and competently while valuing a positive relationship with natural environments and promoting the sustainable use of these environments.

Outdoor learning not only addresses content across several learning areas, it is also uniquely placed to address general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum. In particular, these are Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, and Sustainability.

​Outdoor learning can be instrumental in:

  • the teaching and learning of self-reliance, interdependence and leadership
  • the development of an adventurous spirit
  • managing personal risks
  • experiencing safe journeys in nature
  • learning the value of lifelong outdoor recreation for enjoyment, health and wellbeing
  • understanding nature through direct experience; and the development of deeper human–nature relationships.

    Any learning experience that can be undertaken in the outdoors or in a natural setting can contribute positively to a range of learning areas. The unique and specific benefits that outdoor learning can contribute to a student's education include:
  • providing direct personal contact with nature (the outdoors) in ways that promote enjoyment of outdoor activity and the natural world. Such enjoyment can be the basis for ongoing outdoor recreation and nature experiences, supporting personal health and wellbeing and providing the foundations for ecological literacy.
  • enabling perspectives on contemporary living and human-to-nature relationships. Through the provision of outdoor experiences, students have opportunities to reflect on healthy alternatives for everyday living and lay vital foundations for sustainability and stewardship into the future.
  • developing competence and safety management in the Australian outdoors. This includes how outdoor learning can teach students to assess risk and make judgements about their management of it.
  • enhancing wellbeing through guided reflection on involvement in group and individual activities that are challenging and adventurous.
  • developing essential personal and social capabilities such as communication, resilience, self-confidence, leadership, teamwork, goal setting, personal autonomy and initiative.

    ACARA - Curriculum connections - outdoor learning  see this link for further information
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