Nature-based programs for Schools

Nature-based Professional Learning Workshops

Educated by Nature’s Professional Learning workshops are designed by Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett.

Their experience teaching in outdoor classrooms at Bold Park Community School and their role as Education Consultants for Nature Play WA, provide a firm foundation for content delivery. This, coupled with their discussions with leading nature pedagogues from around the world and regular connection with children in nature, ensures educators will be equipped with current research and information. 

The following nature-based Professional Learning workshops are designed to consider the whole child in their development through interaction with nature in a school or early learning environment. Trudi and Daniel combine child development theory with storytelling and experiential activities. Their aim is to help educators take the first steps required to commence, reinvigorate or enhance outdoor learning possibilities. The workshops can be combined with an incursion to see the learning possibilities at your location.

The workshops have been designed with reference to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Teaching Standards.

For a more detailed list of what is involved with each workshop listed below, as well as cost, please download the PDF datasheet via the More Info button below.

To book a workshop, please complete a booking form at or by clicking the button below. Please call, email or use the Enquire link button below if you have any questions, or would like to discuss our Professional Learning Workshops.

Educated by Nature is proud to be the delivery partner for Nature Play WA's Professional Learning workshops.

Professional Learning Workshops – You Come to Us

We also run in-house Professional Learning workshops for teachers, parents and students! Held in and around Perth, these workshops run several times a year. Bookings are below, through a secure external booking agent - Humanitix. For more information, please check out our Adult Workshops page.

"I just want to say thank you SO much for inspiring me yesterday with your amazing PD. Your passion and dedication is so obvious and I am so grateful to have experienced that. I've got some great ideas after hearing from you and I can't thank you enough, your presentation was wonderful. The children, parents and educators of WA are very lucky to have you!"

Brooke Healey, Bold Park Community School

More Information

Sensory Risk Taking: More than just the five senses

Multi-Sensory experiences are vital for healthy brain development. Nature provides positive sensory opportunities and creates memorable learning experiences. It engages creativity and problem solving, promotes relaxation and the development of affection for nature. We will discuss the science behind developing multi-sensory integration and facilitate activities that challenge both children and adults. Experiential opportunities allow teachers to reflect on how to design lessons that incorporate sensory materials and experiences to enhance knowledge retention.

Belonging and Being in Nature: Creating identity and learning through cubbies

Using the childhood tradition of building cubbies as a form of play to learn and build community, we investigate how this tradition can be incorporated with the Australian Curriculum to build new classroom culture. Calling on research from David Sobel, and Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett’s experience with Nature Pedagogy, we explore the place of cubby building along a child development continuum and possibilities for projects and investigations.

The Power to Transform: Using tools to develop independence and resilience

The ability to build and create provides opportunities to develop confidence and independence. Developing an 
“I can” attitude and saying “YES” to children encourages self-sufficiency and autonomy which translates to other areas of school and home life. This workshop empowers teachers to confidently use hand tools and other technical equipment in structured and open-ended learning experiences to enhance student creativity and engagement. Practical skills are accompanied by development of risk management techniques and safe practices.

Building Nature Connection in Community: Using connection modelling in an educational setting

Connection to nature is crucial to our personal development and is enhanced when we also practice developing our connection to community. Inspired by the 8 Shields Institute and the work of Jon Young in the USA, this workshop explores ways to tap into the natural cycle of children and create nature connection routines using childhood energy to build a curious and engaged community. We explore some simple ways to start integrating mindfulness, gratitude, wondering, collaborative learning, wilderness and self-awareness games for resilience building using 'Invisible School' techniques. A mini, two-hour retreat for teachers to connect to self, connect to nature and connect to others.

An Educators’ Balancing Act: Addressing fears in Establishing Outdoor Classrooms

Nature helps children come alive with motivation, curiosity and engaged learning. It takes courage and trust
for teachers to break the mould and challenge current pedagogy. Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett encourage teachers to find the balance between connected, engaging student learning opportunities and meeting mandated curriculum policies set by government bodies. Addressing four common fears in establishing an outdoor classroom culture, this workshop highlights some possibilities and ideas for moving forward to provide rich outdoor learning experiences.

Igniting Primitive Instincts: Using fire to spark fascination, bravery and body awareness

The flicker of the flame and crackle of hot coals is mesmerising to both children and adults alike. Kindling the energy captivated through fascination with fire, we share techniques for teaching: body awareness and safety; the importance of fire; understanding the threat to our Australian environment; plus, the physics of heat and its power for transformation.

Empowering Children: Saying Yes to Risk

Educated by Nature are intentional about creating space and actively supporting children to experience risky play. We model positive, empowering and confidence-building language that supports children to take risks. This is coupled with the provision of time and space for children to experience their environment and make necessary decisions to navigate risk. When we trust in children's abilities and provide opportunities for investigation and engagement with risk, they unlock their innate learning potential. This workshop explores the concept of risk in children's play and  parent perceptions of risk. Ellen Sandseters' six types of risky play are outlined with discussion about the ways in which these can be used in various child-based settings to support deep engagement and authentic play opportunities. The hands-on section of the workshops allows for discussion on benefit-risk assessment preparation and challenges in implementation of risky play.

Outdoor Learning and Nature Connection (on a school campus)

The outdoor environment provides motivation for learning through interactions and discoveries with the natural world. Various types of outdoor classrooms will be discussed that highlight the potential for taking the curriculum outdoors. This workshop explores the benefits and research around learning in nature and its impact upon both students and teachers. Inspirational stories will be shared of outdoor learning in action through simple, single lessons and utilising school spaces. The workshop includes recommendations for starting outdoor learning through observing students, resourcing a space, and developing a culture of learning. Experiential opportunities allow educators to practice nature connection routines of gratitude, wilderness awareness games, wondering and wandering.

Outdoor Learning and Nature Connection (in nearby nature)

Many schools have under-utilised natural spaces on their doorstep! This workshop is for primary schools interested in using natural spaces in their local area. It follows a journey of identifying suitable sites, liaising with local councils and other landholders and risk assessing, as well as designing sessions with a balance of direction and freedom. The workshop explores the role of games, focused exploration, group sharing, nature journaling and mindfulness through Sit Spots to deepen learning opportunities and connection within nature. Through this hands-on experience, educators will learn how to create a program to suit their students' engagement and energy. We will look at the observed impacts on student motivation, how to integrate curriculum areas in outdoor learning and how to extend outdoor learning experiences in an indoor classroom setting.

Nature Connection for Babies and Toddlers

Nature connection in the very early years is vital for developing a sense of belonging in nature. In this workshop, we explore the importance of early learning centres providing access for babies and toddlers to experience nature every day. We look at how to broaden our perspective on the diversity of nature, as well as practical considerations including storage of natural loose parts. The workshop explores the role of 'educators as researchers' that deepens our understanding of how young children interact with nature and how to apply this knowledge when interacting and planning for growing connection and discoveries. Inspired by Reggio-Emilia philosophy, we explore research lenses of sensory exploration and Piaget's schemas as a way to respect the learning journey and play of young children. In the hands-on section we practice these research and interaction skills to develop confidence in our own inner instinct and creativity.

Nature-based Learning and Play: Introduction to nature connection for early childhood

Connection to self, nature and community fits beautifully with Being, Belonging and Becoming in the Early Years Framework. This workshop highlights the mental and physical benefits of exploring nature and the impact of children's reduced access to nature. We explore how intentional teaching can be used to enhance outdoor spaces, provide additional resources and interact with children outdoors to encourage curiosity and engagement. Educators will be equipped with strategies to work with children's energy and to actively supervise whilst engaging with children. The hands-on section of the workshop provides opportunity for educators to practice games and Sit Spots for young children and to participate in a creative challenge to practice asking deeper questions.

Play and Sneaky Teaching

Educated by Nature are strong believers and advocates in children naturally learn through play. There are no PowerPoint presentations in this unique workshop, but an opportunity to be immersed in play! On-entry, participants are provided with a 'play station' to attend and a 'role' to play. Roles include children of different ages with different personality types, educators and observers. Through role play, participants explore materials and have fun being able to act out children they know so well! At the conclusion of the time of play, participants assigned to the 'observer role' are invited to share. As a group, we will discuss how adults encourage or hinder play, examine the depth of learning that has developed in 'sneaky' ways and reflect on this type of learning. The ultimate 'sneaky teacher' is able to encourage play and learning in a single session!