Fremantle’s Foundation Early Learning Centre introduces Bush Kinder program


Olivia Gie, Mikyla Austin, Maria Dose , Aidan Marshallsay, Peta Sharp, Zoe Riley and Millie Joseph. Picture: Jon Hewson d481101
Olivia Gie, Mikyla Austin, Maria Dose , Aidan Marshallsay, Peta Sharp, Zoe Riley and Millie Joseph. Picture: Jon Hewson d481101

FOLLOWING the Scandinavian concept of ‘Forest Schools’ the Foundation Early Learning Centre has introduced a ‘Bush Kinder’ program for two year olds.

Education leader Maria Dose said the program focused on children’s wellbeing and development.

“We have the amazing Booyeembara Park which is so accessible to us,” she said.

“We are offering the project to both kindergarten and pre-kindergarten age groups.

“What makes us different is the fact that nobody else is offering this kind of nature project to the two-year age group.

“It provides the children with the opportunity to connect and participate in nature-based experiences.

“The natural environment is the one that invites experiences, interactions, risk-taking, discovery, connections to nature, conversations, collaboration and play.”

The Bush Kinder project began for kindergarteners in January 2017 and the pre-kindergarten began in early March and will continue on a regular basis.

There are 25 pre-kindergarten children and 30 kindergarten students who participate.

Fremantle resident Ms Dose said the children were immersed in real-life, experiences with nature.

“From the waterfall to stick fishing in the creek, to playing in the music playground; we have seen an increased motivation and concentration to learn, they are developing confidence,” she said.

“We have also seen the children developing explorative and investigative skills, social, physical and language skills.

“We hope to extend the project to include environmental and sustainability issues, exploring Indigenous places of significance and develop an art studio.”

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