John Brotchie Nursery School

Capable, Confident and Creative Children

Telephone02 9316 8825

Nature Play Philosophy

students standing outside

Nature based learning

"The future will belong to the nature-smart - those who develop a deep understanding of the trans-formative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high tech we become, the more nature we need"  Louv 2014


At John Brotchie we strive to provide a beautiful outdoor space with many natural elements; fresh air, water, dirt and fire. We believe our outdoor space actively engages and supports children's creativity, imagination, language and social skills. It also provides vast teaching and learning opportunities and where they will spend long unhurried periods of time outdoors. Our outdoor space promotes the health and wellbeing of our children and staff. Our philosophy promotes children to assess and take risks and build resilience in a supportive environment.


Elements of our philosophy and everyday practice that influence our approach to outdoor nature play include:

Students studying outside

Unhurried time

We believe our children need and deserve time to 'be' in nature so to develop their knowledge, love and respect for all the wondrous and diverse aspects of our world. Learning is much more meaningful and effective when children have large periods of unhurried time.

Children watering plants


We believe in a holistic approach that combines all aspects of sustainability. Early Childhood is the prime time to involve children in activities to learn to appreciate and promote a sense of respect and knowledge around environmental issues.

Children playing with the pets

Experiencing nature:

We believe children should have natural places and spaces to play in all weather. The natural spaces should provide opportunities to care for animals, observe native wildlife and have ample natural elements - trees, plants, grass and dirt.

children playing in the mud

Valuing and engaging all the senses

We believe children learn about the wold by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing. Sensory play contributes in a crucial way to brain development. Engaging all the senses during both indoor and outdoor play with natural and man-made resources will stimulate the senses and help to strengthen neural pathways in a child's brain.

children learning outside classroom


We believe that "there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing". Therefore we play outside in all weather, all seasons. Weather has different experiences to provide from the heat of summer, finding shade under a tree to rainy days when raindrops can land on your tongue and puddles can be jumped in!

students playing outside

Bush school:

We believe children with significant time outside have greater development in concentration, play, creativity, physical development and social skills.

From an environmental perspective, we believe children who learn outdoors develop a deep understanding of conservation and environmental issues.

There is a growing body of research  that strongly indicates that the benefits of active outdoor play are profound.

Risk and challenge is part of everyday life and if children do not experience risk in a supportive environment there can be a negative consequence.

Risk and challenge can offer a powerful medium for personal growth and development by building resilience, self esteem and self confidence and in a group situation it can foster the development of trust, leadership and judgement.

children playing outside


We believe it is our job and privilege to share the importance of nature play for children. We have opportunity to share our knowledge and passion with the young families we work with and other early childhood educators.