Many adults think back to their childhoods with fond memories of being outdoors, roaming freely, with long periods of time playing on the farm or beach, in the creeks, fields and forests, being out from sunrise to sunset. This freedom and time to connect with nature is so often denied to children today and is to the detriment of their health and our planet.
In response to this, Australia has seen a range of bush schools develop across the country. Also called forest schools, these educational programs are set outdoors, so children can connect with nature through play and exploration. Bush schools encourage children and educators to be in the natural Australian environment on a regular basis as part of their school day.
Most bush schools currently run for one morning a week for two to three hours, although some have increased these sessions to whole days and multiple days every week after experiencing the benefits. You don’t need to live in the bush to go to a bush school. Bush schools are found all over the country, including in urban settings.