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  • What does a typical Back to the Wild Kids session look like?
    Back to the Wild Kids Bush School sessions take place in various natural settings in the Parramatta Council area. Sessions run for approximately two hours. Children and their parents or caregivers have the chance to immerse themselves in nature by engaging in a balance of unstructured, child-led, wild nature play activities and structured, themed activities run by the Forest School Leader, Karlie. Each session begins with approximately 40 minutes of free play, which may include playing in the mud kitchen, constructing and navigating loose parts obstacle courses, engaging in imaginative play scenarios, paddling in shallow creek water (in warmer seasons), observing flora and fauna or exploring the Bush School site. There is also a garden to plate program at our community garden location and campfire skills in winter. Our unstructured play and exploration time is followed by circle time, which includes time to eat any snacks the children have brought. We sing greeting songs that Karlie has developed which she plays on her ukulele, using words from the local Dharug Aboriginal language with permission from Dharug author, Jasmine Seymour. Children tune in their senses to the natural surroundings and listen to a story which sets the theme for each session. Circle time is followed by various engaging educational activities consolidating learning surrounding the theme of the day. Sessions conclude with additional unstructured nature play or group games, time permitting. Every session is excitingly different and unique. Come and find out for yourself! Check out the @backtothewild_kids Instagram page for regular information about our weekly sessions.
  • What do I need to bring?
    Please bring: *all food and water required for your family *nappies for young children *hats *sunscreen *enclosed shoes (no thongs or open toed sandals as they can be a snake/spider hazard) *wet weather: gumboots, raincoat, umbrella *creek days: waterproof sandals or aqua shoes, towel, change of clothes *cold weather: jackets *campfire days: long hair must be tied back, no loose clothing or jewellery
  • Are there toilets located at all Bush School sites?
    No, there are not always toilets available at all bush school sites. One of the resilience-building aspects of Bush School is that, if you need to go, a bush wee behind a tree is how we roll! In the event that a "number two" should call, the Forest School Leader provides small plastic bags to pick up and wrap your child's poo and tissues, which must be taken with you when you leave and disposed of in a rubbish bin, just as you would when walking a doggie. :)
  • Does the Forest School Leader have a Working with Children Check, a Police Check and First Aid qualifications?
    Yes, the Forest School Leader, Karlie, has a Working with Children Check, a National Police Check, is CPR and First Aid trained, holds a Masters of Teaching (Primary) degree and an internationally-recognised Level 3 Forest School Leader qualification. She has also completed an Introduction to Wild Kindy course with Wildlings Forest School and Introduction to Bush School, Outdoor Education and Nature Play with Centennial Park/NSW Department of Education.
  • If it's raining will the program still run?
    Yes. Back to the Wild operates in rain or shine. As the Scandinavians say, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Being out in all weather enables children to become aware that they are part of nature and builds resilience. However, for everyone's safety, a session will be cancelled in the event of extreme weather, such as heavy rain and flooding, an electrical storm, heatwave or damaging winds.
  • Will I get a refund if myself or the organiser cancels a session?
    A credit note will be issued if you or the organiser cancels within 24hrs of a session due to illness or extreme weather conditions. If you prefer a refund, that can also be arranged. :)
  • Am I able to request a free session or discount if my family is experiencing financial difficulty?
    Absolutely! At Back to the Wild Kids, we would rather children access the benefits of a quality nature play program than have to miss out due to unaffordability. So please do not be too embarrassed to request a discount or free session because full confidentiality will be upheld. If you require a discount or free sessions due to financial hardship, please indicate this on your booking form and email your request and no further questions will be asked, just come and enjoy:
  • Do Back to the Wild Kids sessions have links with the Australian educational curriculum?
    Our sessions meet many of THE EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK FOR AUSTRALIA outcomes, including: 1.1 Children feel safe, secure and supported 1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency 2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment 4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity 4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating 4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials 5.2 Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts
  • What is Forest School?
    Forest School, also known in Australia as Bush Kindy, Bush School, Beach School and a wide range of other terms, is encapsulated as offering children regular and ongoing uninterrupted immersion programs in natural, wild spaces, allowing participants to develop meaningful relationships with nature, others and themselves. It fosters resilience through physical and emotional risk taking, exposure to the elements of weather, dirt, plants, rocks and water sources and support for the natural flow and rhythm of participants' naturally intuitive play. A note on the term “Forest School”: Forest Schooling is an internationally recognised term to describe an educational approach to ongoing outdoor nature play. It does not mean these programs need to take place in a “forest”, nor does it mean it is a “school”, in a similar fashion to those teaching Reggio Emilia not needing to live in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy. We recognise the colonial implications of the term “forest” and we love and respect the way that Australian educators are finding a wide range of alternative terms to use that relate specifically to their programs and environmental contexts. We also respect that some educators choose to keep this term because of its accessibility for others to find and research their approach. -Australian Forest School Association 2022
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