Local News

Plans for Nature-Based School in Hills


A group of passionate professionals and parents are working towards establishing a 'nature based' school in the Adelaide Hills.

The Acacia Bush School will offer an approach to education that builds connection, resilience and identity through students' connection with nature.

Principal Barb Jones is registering with the SA Education Standards Board to establish the non-for-profit independent school and is the process of raising funds for the venture with an aim to be up and running by 2021.

"We see the school to be quite different to what we understand of schools in our traditional way of thinking... we will not need a lot of infrastructure because a lot of our learning would be field work outside," Barb Jones, the former principal of Upper Sturt Primary said.

The aim is to utilise various outdoor spaces and buildings within the Adelaide Hills region, including a new education building in the Laratinga Wetlands in Mt Barker.

Acacia Bush School's four page outline explains that 'Deep Nature Connection' is not achieved merely by spending instructional time out-of-doors bur rather by utilising a set of 'core routines' developed by naturalist Jon Young and his team of wilderness awareness professionals.

"Among the ‘core routines’ are: sit spots in nature, expanded sensory awareness, intuitive wandering, tracking, primitive skills, giving thanks, bird language, animal mimicry, and mental mapping, among others. When carried out consistently, these practices engender a range of personal attributes that are consistent with our goals of giving students the skills and capacities to live full and meaningful lives,"reads Acacia Bush School's statement.

To find out more, connect with Acacia Bush School on Facebook or phone Barb Jones on 0421 355 663.