Early Years Term Programs


The Nature School Early Years programs are aimed at children 3 years and older. We operate similarly to a pre-school setting, therefore parents are not required to attend the session. Your child must be independent in toileting to attend.

The sessions run in 10 weeks blocks, in line with school terms. At TNS Early Years, children learn through their own and shared exploration of the natural environment. Teachers and educators facilitate the children’s and familiy’s holistic development and aim to meet individual needs. The program fosters the children’s growth as confident and competent young learners by giving them the opportunity to make their own choices, cultivating their curiosity and expanding independent thinking.


Each program has a rhythm of the day which helps guide the flow of the day. The day is based around The Early Years' base camp. The sessions take place rain, hail or shine – we ask that the children bring clothing for all weather. We provide a large tent or tarp for when the children need shelter and rest, which is in the centre of base camp. Within the structured arrival and departure times there are activities which are driven by the children’s own discovery of the environment. Carers are asked to  pack a wholesome and fresh morning tea and lunch (children tend to get very hungry when outdoors).


These activities may include:

   - Construction (stick building, rock stacking)

   - Art and craft (clay sculpting, dirt smearing, drawing with sticks and leaves)

   - Music, Dance and Drama (using what we find to make instruments, dancing to the sounds of leaves, 

      humming songs, making up our own nature school songs)

   - Environmental studies (learning about flora and fauna, understanding why things happen in nature,  

     connecting with natural elements)

   - Outdoor Skills (building/pulling down a tent, doing a site risk assessment, bush cooking, using tools and

     natural resources, bush survival, basic first aid)

   - Imaginative Play (role play, inpersonating stories and songs)

   - Social interactions and Communication (group games, story telling circles, sharing knowledge and space)

   - Physical Movement (bushwalking, climbing, balancing, jumping, skipping, rolling)

You are welcome to join for one or multiple days (however, the commitment is for the term, and for the year). Please note that fees must be paid in full two weeks before the term starts. There is an additional $80 annual administration and insurance fee. This fee includes sunscreen and insect repellent. Please note that we are actively seeking funding to assist in covering part of the fees for families who are on lower incomes. Please let us know via email if this is relevant to you.

Program Fees

The full day programs (9-3) cost $66 per day and the half day programs (9am-1)pm cost $55 a day (inclusive of GST).

Payment Plans & Upfront Term Payments

We recognise that upfront payment of fees can be difficult for some families, so we are currently trialling a fortnightly payment plan for term fees. It is our hope that this will make our program more accessible for all families. For further information on fees and payment, please contact us on info@thenatureschool.org.au. For families who prefer to make upfront  term payments, a 5% discount will be applied to fees the following term.


The Nature School Early Years operates from a variety of bushland settings within 5-20 minutes of Port Macquarie. Locations will be provided once you are in touch with the team. Each weekday will remain in the same location for the duration of the term unless there is an extreme weather warning. Then you will receive a message with the new location for the day your child is attending. The Nature School has permits with a variety of stakeholders such as local landowners, NSW National Parks, Forestry Corporation and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. If you know of any great bush locations, reserve and places to explore which are close to town, we are open for suggestions. The aim is to move locations every term to minimise the environmental impact on the location and for children to learn in different environments as each bush settings has its own treasures and magic to be discovered.  

Please refer to our FAQ page for any other questions before contacting the team.

If you are interested in visiting the program, you are welcome to join us for an hour, however we do charge $30 for the visit due to additional administrative time required in responding to all enquiries.

For all enquiries, please email info@thenatureschool.org.au or call (02) 6581 5392.


The School Term Dates for 2019 are:

Term 1: 29th January- 13th April

Term 2: 29th April- 5 July

Term 3: 22 July- 27 September

Term 4: 14 October- 20 December

Tuesday 9 - 3
Wednesday 9-3
Thursday 9 - 3
Friday 9 - 1