East Derwent Primary School to run Nature Play sessions

Two young Nature Play participants.

You may have fond childhood memories of playing in the great outdoors, and the childlike wonder felt while being fully immersed in nature. According to NaturePlay Australia, outdoor play has proven to be beneficial to children in their cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as in building their creativity and resilience.

That’s why schools such as the East Derwent Primary School in Bridgewater have started to hold nature play sessions as part of their curriculum. Senior staff member Libby Garlick had expressed concern about the school’s limited natural settings and environment, so she, alongside assistant principal Nicole Wilson, decided to collaborate with Kara Spence, the founder of Nature. Be in it. to deliver nature play sessions. “We don’t want kids to see their school as a barrier,” said Libby. “We don’t want children to grow up with only screens. We’re really excited about doing something positive for our students, as well as upskilling ourselves as teachers.”

Libby expressed her belief in the importance of risky play to develop confidence in children, and that the positives outweigh the negatives. “We’re developing confidence in children to have that risky play, and thereby increasing their resilience, and problem solving and communication skills.” East Derwent Primary will hold their nature play sessions off site, close to the school.

Kara Spence from Nature. Be in it. running the East Derwent Primary School Session.