What is Bush School?
Bush School is an Australian version of the European 'Forest School', where children are taken out into the bush/forest to learn about a variety of concepts in a natural setting. It first started in the Nordic countries, then gained momentum and popularity once the approach was adopted by the UK.
Bush School benefits the children, community and the environment. It increases children's connection with nature and draws on their natural curiosity. Bush school can be cross-curricular and offers possibilities to embed Aboriginal cultural perspectives and reinforces the importance of environmental sustainability. It lends itself to risk-taking in play and natural loose parts. Recent research makes links between mental health and the amount of time spent in nature. Bush School facilitates mindfulness, allowing students to switch off their prefrontal cortex, reducing stress.
Through participating in the Bush School program, we have developed a strong and valued community relationship with the Council of Nedlands and Friends of Hollywood Reserve, as they assist with Bush School lessons.
The Bush School program at Hollywood Primary School is initiated and led by Justine Foster.