Outdoor Kindergarten Mount Nebo State School
Parents of pre-schoolers now have an outdoor, nature-based kindergarten option on Brisbane’s northside.
“Kindy Without Walls” will open in January 2019 with a fully outdoor program within the leafy grounds of Mount Nebo State School.
The kindy’s vision is for children to have a kindergarten based purely in nature and one that “allows them to learn from and on the land, building strong and meaningful connections with the land”. The staff-child ratio will be higher than the recommended number, meaning there will be fewer children compared to most kindergartens.
Sessions will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8.00am – 2:15pm during the Queensland school terms. Kindy Without Walls is a not-for-profit community organisation, affiliated with Lady Gowrie and will offer funded kindy places as well as places for 3-year olds.
The unique kindy will have a close working relationship with Mount Nebo State School and Mount Nebo Out of Hours Care. This means that kindy children aged 4 years and older will be able to access the extended hours care through OSH from 2:15pm – 6pm.
Location of Kindy Without Walls
Mt Nebo State School is located approximately 20 minutes from The Gap and has an established forest learning area and classroom facilities, which will be shared with the staff and children of Kindy Without Walls. This will allow for collaboration between the kindergarten and the primary school, as well as with local community groups.
The area has an abundance of natural shade, and some areas out of direct sunlight. The program will be responsive to the climate and will not operate outside in storms or high wind due to increased risk. However, the kindy’s philosophy is that rainy days are a great opportunity for sensory exploration and to learn about erosion, sediment, soil types and plant adaptations. Children will wear shoes suitable for wet places and raincoats on these days.
Kindy Without Walls Program
Kindy Without Walls co-founder, Emma Nall, said, “Each day at the kindy will bring new discoveries and learning opportunities and will organically unfold. The program is child-led and the educators are there to support, collaborate, and teach skills where required.”
Like a regular kindy, the day will include planning and discussing, with large blocks of time for uninterrupted play, discovery and continuation of projects interspersed with eating times and opportunities for rest and relaxation, according to children’s personal rhythms.
A typical day at Kindy Without Walls
The day will start in the forest with a yarning circle and discussion, which may cover personal reflection, plans for the day, a safety discussion, observations of the weather, and dadirri (deep listening).
Educators will have provocations and focused learning opportunities prepared which may include story building and telling; identification of plants, animals or insects; pattern making, sorting or classifying; or bush craft.
Regular eating times will be an opportunity to share and discuss new discoveries, make plans, reflect and mindfully enjoy food. Space and time will be provided for rest and relaxation, which children can access throughout the day – including hammocks and shade shelters with mats, books, and cushions.
To find out more, or to enrol your child, visit www.kindywithoutwalls.com.