Port Macquarie's first Nature School has been approved by the NSW Education Standards Authority

Jumping for joy: Harry Stephens, Samaya Jordan, Jaxon Whitehair and outdoor educators Bernard Smith, Helen Keough and Yvonne Brown. Photo: Ivan Sajko
Jumping for joy: Harry Stephens, Samaya Jordan, Jaxon Whitehair and outdoor educators Bernard Smith, Helen Keough and Yvonne Brown. Photo: Ivan Sajko

IT is all systems go for The Nature School Primary (TNS Primary) in Port Macquarie after receiving certification from NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) on October 19.

Enrolments are now open with the school offering 25 places for kindergarten to year 2 students in 2018.

The school will be located at Innes Lake Community Centre, 166 The Ruins Way, Port Macquarie and focuses on delivering the required curriculum in an earth-built, sustainable community centre with a focus on the farmland and bushland landscape. The classroom is yet to fitted out.

Co-founder of the school, Sybil Juzwiak Doyle, was over the moon with the official approval.

“I am thrilled to have experienced so many people coming together as a community for this important endeavour, and for making it happen,” she said.

“None of this would have been possible without countless volunteer hours from so many dedicated people.

“It is a massive achievement not just for Port Macquarie but for the broader community and the overall educational system.

“The involvement and drive to make The Nature School Primary happen is gigantic and I can’t thank the community enough.”

Matt Whatman sits on the school’s board of directors and confirmed a wait-list of registered families is already full.

The involvement and drive to make The Nature School Primary happen is gigantic and I can’t thank the community enough.

Sybil Juzwiak Doyle

“We are hopeful enrolments will fill up quickly. To get that formal notification is a milestone for the school,” he said.

“It means we can formally engage our head teacher and a teacher, who understand and have multiple years experience in the Australian curriculum.

“They also have an understanding of nature and project learning. It’s very exciting for us.”

Applications for enrolment opened officially on October 30 with families to be interviewed notified progressively from that date.

Applications for enrolment close on Monday, November 20 and offers of enrolment will be sent to families from Monday, November 27.

Mr Whatman said only a few schools in Australia operate as a nature school, and hopes to see many more in the future.

“We are doing a full documentation not only for the NSW Education Standards Authority requirements, but to share and hopefully have it replicated all over the country,” he said.

“There are 66 individuals and organisations working behind the scenes to get this school operational.

“It’s been a very short journey, which shows how passionate we all are to have made this nature school a reality.”

A crowd funding campaign has been set up HERE to raise much-needed funds for the school.

The money will help the school complete building upgrades to meet requirements for bushfire safety standards, outfit the classrooms with appropriate flooring and furniture, purchase books and equipment, buy office hardware and software, provide hats and first aid supplies and give children from families who wouldn't be able to afford the fees, the opportunity to attend TNS.

Families interested in a future at the school and who want to be kept informed of enrolment announcements can download and submit the 'Register of Interest Form' at thenatureschool.org.au

Related Content: