The Port Macquarie Nature School follows the notion that no one is better suited to protect the environment as today’s children because they are tomorrow's policy makers.
The school is planning on opening a primary school in 2018 and will submit an application at the end of March.
Nature School educator Sybil Juzwiak Doyle said it's an exciting change for Port Macquarie, where schools are overflowing with full classrooms and long waiting lists.
The school founders are appealing for people to join them to help carry out the process.
The outcomes of the Nature School’s primary curriculum will be the same as others such as public and independent schools.
“However the interpretation, variety and implementation is progressive and child-led,” Ms Juzwiak Doyle said.
Port Macquarie News was invited to observe the children play, jump, explore and learn through the natural habitat on March 3.
During the morning children made objects using mud from a creek bed, sun clocks out of sticks and shelters from tree branches. They jumped through mud puddles, ran down hills and climbed trees.
The non-profit Nature School relies on donations to run as it is not formally recognised by the state government.
Its programs operate on private and council managed land.
Children aged between three and seven-years-old can participate in the program.
Ms Juzwiak Doyle said children within this age group learn to develop their empathy and understanding on how to play with those younger or older.
The Nature School is based on the notion that there are endless benefits to a child learning through being outdoors.
“Children grow to be more confident, understanding of others and the natural environment,” Ms Juzwiak Doyle said.
“They are children who have a high sense of risk awareness and are used to walking on uneven ground, changing circumstances and all weather situations.”
The children are free to play, eat or rest when they want to.
Ms Juzwiak Doyle said they use their natural milestones to grow without being forced to do anything they are not ready for or don't want to do.
The Nature School is running a school holiday program for children in April.
A community workshop for educators, teachers and those interested in the school is on April 10.
For more information about the holiday program, workshop or to enquire about volunteering or employment email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.thenatureschool.org.au
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