Preschoolers go bush in pilot program

A group of Millner Preschool students are being treated to an inaugural Bush School — just a short walk from the school.

The Bush School is a seven-week trial to gauge students’ level of engagement and learning through nature-based play.

Preschool teacher-in-charge, Varn (Myfanwy) Baker, said the project caters for children “who predominantly live in flats, and don’t do much outside activity”.

“The Bush School at the Rapid Creek Landcare area can provide a range of nature-based play benefits, including a decrease in behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression, better language and collaboration skills, greater stress-related resilience, and a stage for environmental care education,” she said.

“Through the school, held each Thursday, students learn games and to be in nature, they join in activities, and listen to a range of guest speakers, including those from Crocwise, Wildcare, PAWS, Aboriginal elders and an animal education officer.

“Some of the art activities include leaf window collage, rubbings, the construction of nature mobiles, pet rock painting, splatter leaf painting and papermaking.

“The students develop collection, observation, and sorting skills using the five senses, an environmental vocabulary, learn survival tips and first aid.

“This has been a highly successful initiative of our preschool team, and one we’d like to repeat each year during the cool months.”

Preschoolers go bush

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