When you see a child outdoors, engaging with the natural environment, take time to look at their face; it will tell you a story. You will never see boredom; instead, their face may be lit up with excitement, focused with intense concentration, or opened up and full of wonder.
Recent research has shown that children benefit in many ways from getting back into nature. Some of the significant benefits are:
Advanced fitness, agility, coordination and balance
Improved cognitive development, problem-solving and observational skills
Development of imagination, creativity and resourcefulness
Improved social interaction
The ability to assess risk and manage risk safely
We have also noticed, in our own experiences, that when children have had significant times of play in natural environments they are rejuvenated, happy, and excited to challenge themselves in every aspect of their learning, inside and outside the classroom.
As a Christian school, we can recognise another significant benefit:
The opportunity to connect with God, who created all nature for us to care for, and enjoy.
Nature pedagogy, the presentation of a learning programme through nature, is the foundation of our Early Years program at Landsdale Christian School. Children are encouraged to engage with nature inside, outside and beyond. Elements of nature are brought into classroom learning spaces and resources are provided to allow children to explore and discover.
Outside the classroom walls, the playground offers children a variety of natural play spaces in which they can direct their own learning and engage with nature in meaningful ways. These spaces include vegetable gardens and animals that children learn to respect, interact with and care for. Beyond the fence, children are able to enter ‘wilder’ spaces such as our own small bushland area on our school property, bushland reserves close by in our local Landsdale community, or the lake at a local community park.
At our school, the children’s engagement with nature in each of these spaces has enabled them to develop awareness, care, and respect for God's creation as well exposing them to the concepts of sustainable living and earth care.
Our goal at Landsdale Christian School is to continue to extend the opportunities for children to engage with nature throughout their schooling. Our Home and School committee is currently working on a project to develop an additional nature playground for the specific use of all our Primary School students. We look forward to seeing the continuing benefits for each of our students as we move forward in this journey.
If you would like to come and view our nature space and speak with our trained teachers feel free to contact us.