Professional Development

Nature Education is the New Zealand version or Forest Schools and we have designed this training specifically with the New Zealand educator and our bi-cultural origins in mind. We will help you develop the skills you need to take preschool and primary tamariki outdoors and into nature, AKA the outdoor classroom.


 2 Day Nature Educator Training (AKA NZ Forest School Training)

 This 2 day workshop will give confidence to people who want to educate children through nature either on or off site in single or multi day programmes. This is the New Zealand version of Forest School training and it has been designed specifically with the New Zealand educator in mind. Ideally suited to ECE and primary school teachers and other educators or parents with a keen interest in educating tamariki in nature.

We will cover:  

  • What is nature education and forest schools for New Zealand
  • Purpose and Philosophy
  • Day to day planning – what a day ‘could’ look like
  • The role of the teacher
  • Curriculum in nature
  • Cultural considerations
  • Risk assessment and emergency planning
  • Group management outdoors
  • Practical skills – Fire, Knots, shelter building, Tools including knives

Dates: 7th and 8th March 2020 (Near Masterton, Wairarapa)

                8th and 9th August 2020 (South Island Location TBC)

Cost: $390 per person (Earlybird)

             $450 per person (Standard Registration)

 Nature Education: Linking the Curriculum and the Outdoor Classroom

This workshop will build the confidence of educators who want to use a local space for nature play with their tamariki. It will provide skills, knowledge and ideas to support children’s play in an outdoor environment. Aimed at ECE and Primary teachers there will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and networking.

This 6 hour workshop will cover:

  • Benefits of nature play
  • Schema, loose parts and risky play
  • Recognising learning and linking the curriculum
  • The role of the teacher in the outdoor classroom
  • Risk management and group management outdoors
  • Cultural Considerations
  • Fire and knives

Dates/Times: On request

Cost: $165 per person (includes morning/afternoon tea. BYO lunch)

Nature Education: Practical Skills

This full-day workshop is for anyone wanting to introduce some extra elements including tools and fire to their nature education sessions either as educators or parents. We will cover the risk management and group management as well as the practicalities and a variety of techniques while having a fun day reminiscing about our own childhoods! There will also be conversations on cultural considerations, weaving these into your sessions 

In this full-day practical workshop we will be covering:

  • Fire safety
  • Tool safety including knives
  • Knots
  • Shelter Building
  • Risk Management
  • Group Management
  • Cultural considerations

Dates/Times: TBC or on request

Cost: $165 per person 

 On request workshops are for centres, schools or organisations who want to offer some professional development to their educators with the benefit of being in your local environment. You can choose from one of the above workshops or create something more tailored for your educators needs. 

I can help you with:

  • Setting up a Bush Kindergarten
  • Setting up a Nature School
  • Play Based Learning in the Outdoor Classroom
  • The role of the teacher in the Nature Classroom
  • Risk assessment and group management Outdoors
  • Risky Play
  • Your outdoor classroom challenges
  • Place based education and kaitiakitanga
  • Linking the Curriculum in Nature
  • Schema and Loose parts play
  • Teaching fire with children
  • Teaching tools with children (knives, hammers, saws etc…)
  • Building Huts and Shelters

Rates: Half day rate $900 plus expenses, Full day rate $1750 plus expenses

Inquires: Email me to find out what the best option for you and your team is. Either send me an email ( or give me a call (0221582113) to talk through where you are at, what you are currently doing and what you are wanting to get out of a professional development session.

A great workshop with an excellent balance of theoretical and practical. Inspiring and challenging me to make outdoor, nature play for children in my care happen.

Melanie ECE Teacher

The most valuable part of the workshop was working on our nature school philosophy and analysing play according to schema and key competencies. An interesting and well prepared day.

Gloria, Primary School Teacher

An outstanding presentation of an approach to learning that is desperately needed in these times of mental health fragility among our young people.

Jackie, Primary School Teacher

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