John Brotchie Nursery School

Capable, Confident and Creative Children

Telephone02 9316 8825


outdoor area

Our garden is an extension of the indoor classrooms, with lots of opportunities from our core curriculum areas, as well as encouraging exploration and interaction with our natural environment.


Our outdoor space actively engages and supports children's creativity, imagination, language and social skills. It also provides vast teaching and learning opportunities and we therefore spend long unhurried time outdoors. Research shows that children with significant time outside have greater development in concentration, play, creativity, physical development and social skills.

Our garden

Our garden is alive and unique, it is always evolving and never finished. This makes it an exciting space for the children, because with each new day there are new discoveries. In our garden we delight in finding:

  • caterpillars
  • lady beetles
  • worms
  • fallen leaves
  • flowers
  • tadpoles
  • a visiting bird.

outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

In our garden we have a fully equipped kitchen. We use this space to run our cooking program. The children use produce from our garden - eggs, herbs and vegetables to cook healthy recipes.


This program is a great way to encourage children to eat healthy foods and try new foods they might not try at home. We have parent helpers who come and help with our cooking program - the children love it when their families come in to help.

Environmental sustainability

In our garden, the children are able to make enhanced connections with nature and we promote environmental sustainability:

  • worm farms
  • recycling
  • composting
  • growing our own vegetables
  • caring for our chickens and frog pond.

We must take the opportunities in the early years to foster intimate, meaningful and positive connections with the natural environment, if we want the next generation to create a sustainable future.

veggie patch in our garden

Veggie patch


We have a large vegetable patch that we plant with seasonal herbs, vegetables and strawberries. The children enjoy watering and watching as the vegetables grow and change. When the veggies are ripe and ready the children pick them with great excitement and anticipation.


The vegetable patch is a wonderful hands on experience for the children to learn and observe about the life cycle of a vegetable - seed to maturity.

our pets


Our pets are part of our John Brotchie Family and are a much loved part of our outdoor environment. The chickens in the hen house and the rabbits in their hutch are the first place the children visit in the morning.


Our pets provide us with an opportunity to explore the responsibility of owning a pet. Caring for them, providing food and water and keeping their homes clean and tidy.


Our chickens allow us to experience the chickens laying eggs for us to eat and provides opportunities to discuss the lifecycle of a chicken.

Bush area

We believe that children should have natural places and spaces to play. Our Bush Area provides a "wilder" space that provides opportunities to care for animals, observe native wildlife and insects and have ample natural elements - trees, plants, dirt, sticks.

In our bush area we provide many natural elements; fresh air, water, dirt and fire. In 2014 we introduced our campfire area. After interesting research, careful planning and risk assessment we now have a space were the children can sit and enjoy a campfire with their educators and friends.

We also have a dirt patch in our bush area. This is a popular space for the children to play and dig exploring in the dirt, adding water to make mud and digging to make canals and rivers. 

This is why we always pack spare clothes at John Brotchie.


We believe "there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing", we therefore play outside in all weather, all seasons. All weather has different experieces to provide from the heat of summer and playing in the shade and water, cooler autumn days and playing in the leaves that have fallen and winter with the rain, puddles and cooler days.

We encourage families to dress appropriately for the weather. Staff plan for the weather and provide suitable experiences and time spent outside based on weather reports.

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