Bush School is an ethos that encourages the development of children’s emotional and physical development through outdoor play, activities and exploration in a bushland environment. The philosophy of Bush School is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive experiences and participation in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities that foster:
Independence, confidence, communication skills,
Originally a concept developed in Denmark, children attending these ‘Forest Schools’ were found to have developed strong social skills, the ability to work effectively in groups, and generally had high esteem and confidence in their own capabilities. These attributes proved to be an effective foundation that consolidated learning in the classroom and raised academic achievement.
At Manning Adventist School, Bush School takes place on the school site each week except in dangerous weather conditions such as high winds and storms. We go bug hunting, mud play, shelter and den building, knot tying and other creative tasks. We respect our students for their capacity to investigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. They are given appropriately challenging and achievable tasks that build their confidence, skills and independence and are given time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This time and reflective practise develops inter and intra-personal skills, which are well documented as being directly linked to learning skills and well-being.
Children who struggle with anxiety and the lack of freedom that classroom walls offer have found that Bush School helps to enhance their learning, increases self-esteem, independence, risk taking, language and much more. The staff, by observing and working with the children when appropriate, will allow them to explore their own preferred learning styles while developing a lifelong love and understanding of the natural environment. Through carefully planned activities, children from all year groups can take part, enabling them to excel in all areas of their personal, academic and spiritual development.