Natural learning spaces

Creating natural areas for children, both within and beyond the school yard, has become integral to healthy childhood development; and issues related to decreased contact with and connection to nature have been well documented.

NRM Education supports sites to utilise their outdoor spaces as unique learning environments, as well as for natural play. When used for learning, outdoor spaces provide an authentic context for addressing multiple curriculum areas and enhancing student engagement. See below for more information and examples of how to link your outdoor learning spaces to the curriculum and into the enduring culture of your school.

Activities

What others have done

  • Flaxmill P-7 School -  Case study on valuing outdoor learning
  • Sheidow Park School - Case study on developing a sensory nature trail
  • Hub Drive Preschool - Case study on being in touch with nature
  • Tanunda Lutheran ELC - Case study outlining how they developed their wild space
  • Banksia Park Kindy - Case study  about sustainability at the kindy
  • Galilee Catholic School - video showcasing how the children interact in their nature play space
  • Brighton Primary School - Case study outlining how they developed their nature play space and the positive outcomes that resulted
  • Clarence Gardens Kindergarten – Sustainability and outdoor playspaces audio clip
  • Seacliff Primary School – Developing a natural playscape
  • Woodend Primary School – Sensory and imaginative play in food gardens: Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program
  • A variety of early learning sites and primary schools - Nature playscape elements

Resources

Information packs

Powerpoint presentations

Fact sheets

Videos

Podcasts

  • Benefits of plants for play audio clip
  • Introduction to 'local' and 'provenance' plants audio clip
  • Sea-berry saltbush (Rhagodia candollena) and Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa) audio clip
  • Pigface (Carpobrotus rossii) audio clip
  • Sticky Hop-bush (Dodonaea viscosa) audio clip
  • Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) audio clip
  • Flax lilies (Dianella sp.) audio clip
  • Cushion bush (Leucophyta brownii) audio clip
  • Native lilac (Hardenbergia violacea) audio clip
  • Finger-rush/common/pale rush (Juncus sp.) audio clip
  • Cut leaf goodenia (Goodenia amplexans) audio clip
  • Coast daisy bush (Olearia axillaris) and twiggy daisy bush (Olearia ramulosa) audio clip

Websites


Related links

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges