Download current program and booking forms (updated 29.11.16)
OPTIONAL EXTRA!! Friday BBQ Dinner and Discussion 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Join the speakers, workshop leaders, colleagues and friends for an informal evening gathering on the beautiful grounds of Lilydale Lakeside campus. A time to reflect and discuss new information, share ideas and plan....or just to relax and have time out from work (if that is possible!)
OPTIONAL EXTRA!! Masterclass on Thursday 9th March 1pm - 5pm
"Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way" with Erin Kenny and Robin Rogers from the USA
A 4 hour participatory outdoor workshop with Erin and Robin. You will explore unstructured flow learning, emergent curriculum documentation and inquiry-based teaching.
OPTIONAL EXTRA!! Purchase
The Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten TEACHER TRAINING packet.
Support your team through a teacher training packet created by Erin Kenny as part of her teacher training resources.
More information follows below Keynote Speakers
Erin K. Kenny, Director, Cedarsong Nature School, USA
Keynote: "Nature Pedagogy: The Cedarsong Way"
This keynote will delve into the pedagogical principles and practices of Cedarsong Nature School in Washington State, USA, including how the program evolved over time and reflections on our rationale and how and why this particular model works. Also included will be information about the current state of the U.S. education system and the cultural demand for early academic schooling contrasting with the rise of nature based programming.
Erin K. Kenny is internationally recognized as a leader in the Forest Kindergarten movement and has been developing programs to connect children with nature for over twenty years. Erin co-founded Cedarsong Nature School in 2007 and developed the first U.S. Forest Kindergarten based on the German waldkindergarten early childhood education model. She is a passionate and eloquent speaker seeking to inspire and empower others to place priority on nature immersion time for children and she frequently speaks at national and international conferences.
Erin created the first U.S. Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training and Certification program and has already certified over 120 teachers from North America, Australia and South Korea. Erin wrote the book Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way and also contributed a chapter to the new David Sobel book “Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens”. She co-authored “Nature Notes: Documenting Your Emergent Curriculum” with Robin Rogers. Erin founded the American Forest Kindergarten Association and is on the national Leadership Council of NAEE’s Natural Start Alliance. Erin’s pioneering work with Cedarsong’s Forest Kindergarten is featured in national media such as PEOPLE magazine, Sierra Club magazine, American Forests magazine and Salon.com, as well as on national and international news programs such as ABC News Nightline, Associated Press, UK-Daybreak and NPR. Erin has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and a Graduate degree in Environmental Law.
John Marsden – author, founder and principal of Candlebark School and Alice Miller School, VIC, Australia
Keynote: “Take risks”: the motto of Candlebark School
John will speak about the influences which shaped his views on education, and which led to the foundation of two highly successful schools in the Macedon Ranges: Candlebark and Alice Miller. The schools, which are on bush properties of 1200 acres and 75 acres respectively, feature a strong emphasis on outdoor education and outdoor activities.
John will also discuss strategies for enabling young people to prepare for successful adult lives, so that they are able to negotiate difficulties, express themselves creatively, find satisfying careers and enjoy long-term relationships
Australian author John Marsden has written more than 40 books, mostly for teenagers and children, including Tomorrow When the War Began, So Much to Tell You, and Letters from the Inside. He has sold around five million books worldwide, and has won every major writing award in Australia for young people's fiction.South of Darkness, John’s recent novel for adults, won the Christina Stead Award for Best Novel of 2015.
John's passionate interest in education led him to start his own P-10 school, Candlebark, on a vast forested estate near Romsey Victoria. The school's motto is "take risks", and every day students are to be found riding bikes and skateboards, climbing trees, rolling down hills and playing stick wars. This year John opened a second school, Alice Miller, at Macedon, a Year 7-12 school with a particular emphasis on the creative arts.
Luke Addison, Early Years Professional, Riverside Cottage Nursery
‘Free Range Kids’, Scotland
Riverside Cottage Nursery is among the growing number of outdoor childcare settings in the UK. It is led by Luke, who has been developing the nursery since it opened in 2011. He is passionate about outdoor and natural learning environments and has, with his team, created a setting which sees children as rights-bearing, social actors and equals with the adults in the nursery. Through progressive pedagogical development, Luke and his team work toward building a service where children can flourish into critical, global citizens through a child- led, play-based, risk-rich environment.
This approach has led to Riverside winning awards and being cited in the press and in national policy documents as an example of best practice. In addition, Riverside has, for the last three consecutive years, welcomed Niki Buchan on her UK study tours, which visits settings considered to be of the highest quality in the UK. Luke is gaining recognition in the sector by making regular contributions to policy making by participating in think tanks; his latest work will see him write the Scottish chapter in: “Understanding Sustainability in Early Childhood Education; Case Studies from the UK.” Film
Barb Jones, Principal, Upper Sturt Primary School - Bush School, SA, Australia
Bush School – where nature, play, learning and children connect with one another.
Keynote: ‘Why Bush School?’
Simply put Bush School is for children. Bush school prioritises childhood where nature, play, curiosity, exploration and fun integrates with learning, growing and being.
It has been my privilege to be the Principal at Upper Sturt Primary and lead the development of Bush School. This innovative approach to learning was not my idea – but was born out of the belief that children are given very little opportunity to be children in the school setting, a time when anxiety and depression are overshadowing their young lives.
I am fortunate. I have a wonderful staff, willing to take a chance at trying something different. It is an exciting story – not without its challenges, adventures and wonders but Bush School is definitely worthwhile.
I spent a long time at home raising my five children. I obtained my education degree as a mature student and spent the first years in the field of Aboriginal Education. I long to see children enjoy every school day. I long for families to know that they are valued and to understand that their role of parenting is a most precious and fragile time.
I am awed at the change Bush School has brought to our community and appreciate the people who have shared their knowledge and experience with us. They continue to encourage us. Thank you, Barb
Niki Buchan International Educational Consultant and Nature Pedagogue with Natural Learning Early Childhood Consultancy.
With a biomedical background, Niki is originally from South Africa, lived in Scotland for many years and has been calling Australia home since 2011. She is passionate about the environment, animals and the people of Australia. Niki has a great love for the outdoors and has been working with both adults and young children in very consultative, naturalistic environments for 35 years.
Niki is a qualified Forest School Leader, helped to develop forest Nature Kindergartens in Scotland and was the Head of these until she was offered a position in Australia. She is recognised as one of the most experienced nature pedagogues, promoting natural learning and supporting others in creating and developing their own nature based practice models.
She works internationally as a conference keynote speaker, nature pedagogue, nature kindergarten facilitator, naturalistic playground advisor, international study visit facilitator, mentor, author as well as delivering a large range of professional learning opportunities on all aspects of early childhood education and care.
Niki has developed a reputation in Australia as a strong advocate for children’s right to a high quality childhood, including having regular access to nature, play and having their voices heard. She is considered a leading voice in promoting Nature-based pedagogy and is the author of “Children in Wild Nature” for Australia and “A Practical Approach to Nature- Based Practice” for the UK market.
Thursday 9th March: 1pm - 5pm
OPTIONAL BONUS!!! MASTER CLASS Limited spaces.
"Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way" with Erin Kenny and Robin Rogers:
An outdoor participatory overview of Cedarsong Nature School’s practices and principles in action through interactive nature walks followed by reflection, collaborative journalling and documentation. Participants will learn by experiencing the key foundational principles of Cedarsong, including: unstructured flow learning, emergent curriculum documentation and inquiry-based teaching.
There will be time for questions and discussion is encouraged.
A certificate of completion of this workshop will be included.
Robin Allison Rogers
Robin Allison Rogers is co-founder of Cedarsong Nature School and collaborated with Erin Kenny in designing and implementing its forest kindergarten a decade ago. Robin also is co-author of the book "Nature Notes Journal: Documenting Your Emergent Curriculum” and the Cedarsong Teaching Training and Program Manual. She also provided feedback for “Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way.”
Robin is on the Advisory Council of the newly-formed American Forest Kindergarten Association,
keeping current with ongoing research and trends in the nature and forest school movements. Robin lives now on the Southeast coast of the U.S. promoting, training, designing and instructing nature immersion programs in a variety of settings from her current home base in North Carolina. She is also the parent of 3 now grown free range children.
Robin and Erin will be presenting our masterclass on Thursday afternoon before the conference
Keiraville Community Preschool’s commitment to embedding “Transition to School” in a rich play based curriculum respects children’s rights of “Being” as well as the “Becoming”. Piloting the inclusion of a Bush Preschool experience in our curriculum is an exciting new strategy in our internationally recognised Transition to School program.
A Bush Preschool experience has much to offer children, families and educators and is a unique opportunity to balance the “Being” and “Becoming”. Early childhood as a unique and valuable stage of life. It is important in its own right and not solely a stepping stone to formal education. It is vital that the child’s capacity for joy, curiosity and love of learning today is not compromised by the preparation for tomorrow.
John and Barb, two of our inspiring keynote presenters working with school age children, will be coming together to offer an open discussion workshop on nature- based practice in primary schools. This would be a perfect time to find out more about their unique schools, the challenges and benefits, curriculum and any other questions you may have.
This workshop will only be presented on Saturday 11th at 11.45 - 12.45.
What is the point of having a pile of “stuff” on the ground and a basket of “pretties” on the table? They have to mean something, there has to be a reason why they are there. This workshop will explore what Loose Parts actually are and how to link them back to your curriculum to support Childrens learning and development.
We will discover the STEM all around us in nature in this practical hands on workshop. As STEM Detectives we will explore nearby nature and identify opportunities for STEM thinking and learning. We will actively engage all of our senses, ask great questions that encourage deeper thinking, explore the world around us and see how the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths are all integrated in nature. We will use natural materials and loose parts to question, imagine, design, experiment, create, observe, hypothesise, share thoughts and ideas, evaluate, and innovate.
Clay in the curriculum gives participants the opportunity to explore the use of non-fired and fired clay techniques to enhance learning opportunities in the outdoor learning environment.
Clay in the curriculum shows how clay can be explicitly linked with the Australian Curriculum with a particular focus on Science, Numeracy and Literacy. Lesson plans support authentic learning links.
Hands on examples include Seeds and Seed bombs, seedling and ephemeral sculptures, working with and making moulds, and clay as a sustainable material. Clay in the curriculum also helps educators to navigate the uses of clay and to develop network opportunities to enhance and develop potential outcomes.
Clay in the Curriculum
A workshop that gives a range of projects that teach about:
- seed saving and propagation
- seed bombs, seedling sculptures, mold making
- non-fired and fired clay works
- tools and their application
- observing nature
- thinking about related projects
Participants will be guided through the process of how to make seed bombs, ephemeral small sculptures and what you can do with them.
Below is some of the curriculum links for a rep – Year 2 Seeds and Seed bomb workshop. (highlighting: life cycles, materials, sorting and patterning, explores clay as a material, seed bombs, life cycles).
· Communicating: Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
· Nature and development of Science: Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
At Aurora Southern Highlands Steiner School in NSW, nature-based education is a key theme and is incorporated into many aspects of school life- from wilderness play around our creek, to bush regeneration, kitchen gardening, farm and bush excursions, seasonal learning programs and seasonal celebrations. Over the past year we have established an Aboriginal education program that brings Aboriginal cultural learning to all students- indigenous and non-indigenous. 2017 sees the setting up of a new early childhood space, where we are embedding a whole range of indigenous elements and perspectives into our pedagogy and learning environments- indoor and outdoor. In particular, we’ve begun working with the 8 Ways of Learning framework, developed by the Wirradjurri community. We’re excited by the scope this offers for other educators, in a range of settings, to evolve a uniquely Australian form of ecological learning.
- Introduction to the 8 Ways of Learning Framework and some learning stories on our work at Aurora
- Exercises to practise bringing some of the '8 Ways' to students & colleagues... Including creating a symbol exercise.
- Generating next steps (worksheets)
- Yarning circle- learning together, finding guiding questions for participants to take into their own school setting
- 8 Ways of Learning factsheet
- Community map & implementation ideas (to be filled out as worksheets)
- Sketch/collage- creating our own symbol to guide us in this work
- Gain an experiential taste of the 8 Ways of Learning framework
- Experience language, narrative and metaphor as important dimensions of nature-based pedagogy
- Spend time with an Indigenous education specialist, Aunty Rachel Buckley or Wirradjurri descent
- Take home a range of simple, practical ideas to be incorporated into existing class times
- Generate powerful questions to guide personal practice
We will share our story about how we at Lobethal Kindergarten got our ‘Nature Connect’ bush kindy program up and running. We will show how we got started and explore the reasons why we moved towards adopting a nature based pedagogy at our kindergarten. We will share the steps we took to move towards aiming for continuous improvement and growth. Through this, we will share how we consulted with our children, staff and community to build an exceptional and unique program that is embraced, adored and celebrated by our children, families, staff team and our community.
We will share our staff, parent and child documentations, reflections and other data sources, which were used to assess the program’s effectiveness and inform next steps. We will also share the processes, tools created and resources used to measure children’s engagement, interactions, relationships, pedagogy and wellbeing. This workshop will share the value and worth of reflective practice to move toward continuous improvement and growth.
Lilydale Lakeside Campus, Jarlo Drive, Lilydale, VIC.
map and directions for public transport and own car
Airport Bus Eastside, cost approx $50, more
Airport Bus Door to door, cost approx $70, more
A brand new venue!
Plenty of free parking
10 minutes walk from the Lilydale train station and the supermarkets
ACCOMMODATION ON SITE!
This amazing venue also offers excellent, brand new spacious accommodation!!
16 units each with 4 bedrooms with its own private ensuite.. A shared lounge and kitchen per unit. Come in a group, midnight parties! Book early!
·$90.00 per night room alone
·$110.00 per night including buffet breakfast
For enquiries and booking email Laura Nicola firstname.lastname@example.org
National Pedagogy in Nature
2 day Conference
National Pedagogy in Nature
1 day Conference
Master Class: 9th March
"Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way"
Master Class Optional extra:
The Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training packet
Friday night BBQ dinner and discussion
Please download the Booking and Payment Form