Two new schools are scheduled to open their collective doors for 2018 in Port Macquarie.
The Nature School Port Macquarie says it is nearing its 25 student capacity for kindergarten to year 2 enrolments while the Steiner School has opted to concentrate on kindergarten for 2018.
It is understood that the Steiner School will build toward a composite year 1 and 2 class in 2019.
The school has hosted several parenting workshops which has helped build relationships within the community.
Head teacher at The Nature School Catherine Oehlman along with teacher Roy Fleissgarten say they are looking forward to getting the school operational.
The school will adhere to NSW Education Standards Authority standards and curriculum as its benchmark.
Ms Oehlman said parents are looking for ‘something different’ to educate their children.
“Parents are starting to look for places where education is a bit more flexible and where the classroom walls are more fluid,” she said.
“Our classroom walls will take in the entire grounds of the school.
“They just want something different.
“I think there are schools doing things because that is the way they have always done them, so it is easy to fall back on these things.
As a professional educator, though, I find myself asking why we do the things we do. I was just asking that question more often.Catherine Oehlman
“As a professional educator, though, I find myself asking why we do the things we do. I was just asking that question more often.”
Ms Oehlman said she also questioned if she had ‘educational justification’ for doing things in a particular method.
And while she accepts that changing the system takes time, The Nature School provided her a perfect platform to stretch the boundaries of education.
“That’s what we want to do here. We want to change the system in how we approach educating our students,” she added.
The school will follow the same curriculum as other schools ‘reading, writing, sciences and technology’.
Roy Fleissgarten will also be teaching full time.
A Port Macquarie local, Roy said he loves using nature as the catalyst for learning.
He says he is excited about teaching and learning in collaboration with the children, their families, and the broader community.
The Nature School will start life at the Innes Lake Community Centre on Ruins Way in 2018.