Creating a rich learning environment at Carey Forrestdale

Creating a rich learning environment at Carey Forrestdale

Brought to you by Carey Baptist College Forrestdale

At Carey Forrestdale, we believe in creating rich and dynamic learning environments for our students. One of our key teaching philosophies includes a Nature Pedagogy — a belief that nature is a great teacher and that opportunities to get outside and be immersed in the natural world are incredibly valuable for learning and essential for healthy lives. We use the phrase ‘Going Outside – Growing Inside.’

Our campus is located in generous bush surroundings and this provides a unique opportunity to embrace the bushland and outdoor areas to enhance student learning and provide opportunities for academic, personal, community, and spiritual growth.

Outdoor learning within our Secondary school

Teachers incorporate outdoor learning within their subject area and we offer students a range of outdoor education opportunities including Year Level camps, an Outdoors Club, and hiking and kayaking expeditions for smaller groups of students.

Horticulture program

Our popular Horticulture program is offered as an elective subject. This gives students the opportunity to establish and manage gardens around the school, raise chickens, get involved in local land care projects, and learn how to design practical sustainable living areas.

Bush School in our Primary school

We have established an innovative outdoor learning program, which sees students from Kindergarten to Year 6 engaged in ‘Bush School’.

Bush School is a hands-on, inquiry-based learning experience that takes our students outdoors under the guidance of well-equipped teachers. The program promotes communication, collaboration, self-discipline, research, and deep thinking, as students are encouraged to search, investigate and question the world they see around them.

Bush School lessons are linked to the curriculum and take place during Term 2 and 3 for 2 ½ hours per week.

The origin of Bush School

The concept of ‘Bush School’ branched from the ‘Forest School’ model that originated in the UK. Based on its success, accredited training is now available to school leaders across the globe who wish to develop and implement Forest School in their own settings.

Two of our teaching staff at Carey Forrestdale are qualified as Forrest School Leaders through Forest Schools Learning Initiative UK, and we aim to have more staff trained in Bush School leadership in the future.

Benefits of outdoor learning

The benefits of outdoor learning are well-researched and our own experience has also shown these to be true. Our approach to outdoor learning is instrumental in:
  • Promoting mental health and wellbeing
    Outdoor learning is beneficial to the holistic development and wellbeing of young people. This includes physical, cognitive, and social-emotional benefits such as resilience, independence, confidence, creativity, and community building. In a world that can seem challenging at times for our students, time spent in nature is restorative and calming.

  • Enhancing student learning and engagement
    Outdoor learning offers unique opportunities to create a dynamic learning environment that integrates science and math, history and humanities, languages, and art. We have seen greater engagement with learning as time outside ignites curiosity and excitement within students.

  • Developing stewardship and environmental awareness
    Outdoor learning helps develop a connection with, and appreciation for the natural world which fosters a sense of service and stewardship, and ultimately the development of global citizens who are informed, responsible, and active in caring for the natural environment.

  • Building our college community
    Outdoor learning provides fantastic team-building opportunities where relationships across our College community can be developed and strengthened.

At Carey Forrestdale, we are uniquely placed to provide students with opportunities to learn in nature, providing a rich outward experience for inward growth.

To learn more about the many benefits of Carey Forrestdale, please visit our website.

Become a member

Already a member? LoginForgot password?

Join the conversation