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Sydney Preschools with beautiful gardens/outdoor spaces?

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#1 MeeraK

Posted 30 May 2019 - 11:10 AM

Hi there - we are based in Sydney (lower north shore) and looking for wonderful preschool recommendations with beautiful gardens or outdoor spaces within their grounds. We have an 18 month old who adores being outside in nature, so we would hope to find a little preschool where she can enjoy more of this. Many of the preschools we’ve seen so far have not had very welcoming outdoor areas - there’s no grass, the trees block all the sunlight, overall, they feel a bit neglected. We are planning to move in the next year or two so very open to hearing suggestions people have for schools all over Sydney. Thank you!

#2 Babetty

Posted 30 May 2019 - 11:24 AM

Not in Sydney so I don't have recommendations - buy if you're planning on moving in the next year or 2 then being in the zone for a good primary school is far more important than pre-school facilities.

With pre-schools, while a good natural outdoor area is nice, the warmth and care of the teachers is far more important - kids are only there for a few mornings a week, there is plenty of other time to go to parks etc.

#3 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 30 May 2019 - 11:30 AM

I am not in Sydney, but some of the preschools here in Victoria offer a bush kinder ptogramme. Often a short day every fortnight at a bush setting, sometimes facilitated by a council staff member, it involves nature play, learning about animals, plants, seasons, water cycle etc. It could be a good option to expand on a smaller outdoor play area.

#4 Kreme

Posted 30 May 2019 - 12:07 PM

Check out KU Osborne Park preschool in Lane Cove. It has a lovely tiered native garden and backs onto bushland.

#5 molinero

Posted 30 May 2019 - 12:08 PM

Yes I think a lot of preschools offer opportunities for children to visit nearby parklands and reserves. Is it possible you have visited some centres in recent weeks and the sunlight access doesn't seem so great but that is actually because we are in winter?

#6 esme weatherwax

Posted 30 May 2019 - 12:23 PM

KU Chatswood West also has nice outdoor space. Friends have kids who went there and loved it

#7 Kittichan

Posted 30 May 2019 - 12:52 PM

These might be a bit far (upper north shore) but they are known for their beautiful outdoor spaces (and are both wonderful preschools):



Edited by Kittichan, 30 May 2019 - 12:53 PM.

#8 robhat

Posted 30 May 2019 - 04:34 PM

It's really a good idea if you have a better idea of a specific suburb. Part of the benefits of preschool can be making friends with other kids who will go to the same primary school so being in a preschool near home and potential big school is a benefit where possible.

Also, many areas of Sydney are in high demand for preschool places. You'll need to get your name down early, although most places won't take your details until your child turns 2, so you're starting the search early enough.

If you're thinking of being in the Ryde area, I suspect you'd like St George's Preschool. They have a gorgeous little garden-like outdoor area and are very environmentally conscious. However they don't have real grass and yes, completely covered by trees. You'll find this is common. Grass often doesn't survive the large numbers of children running all over it all day, plus there are regulations about soft fall for climbing equipment. There is also a legal requirement for the majority of the play area to be in shade due to sun protection, hence the trees or shade sails. This also often means it's hard to grow grass.

You should look for a nice outdoor environment. It shouldn't feel neglected, although many preschools will encourage digging in the dirt etc so it may look dug up in some places for that reason. Expecting sunny and grass might be unreasonable though.

#9 robhat

Posted 30 May 2019 - 04:41 PM

I should add here that if outdoor environments are a priority for you, consider primary schools carefully as plenty of Sydney schools have practically no decent playground.

Kent Road primary school is an excellent public school with extensive grounds. Loads of grass, veggie patches and chickens and regularly wins the council garden competition. I recommend you consider being in zone for that primary school. They are currently undergoing major building works, but that will be all done by the time your child is ready for school

#10 QuirkyMum

Posted 30 May 2019 - 05:14 PM

View PostKreme, on 30 May 2019 - 12:07 PM, said:

Check out KU Osborne Park preschool in Lane Cove. It has a lovely tiered native garden and backs onto bushland.
And it is probably one of very few on lower North shore where there's a chance of getting a spot if you applied when your child was 18 months already. Lovely ladies (probably still) work there.
I'm talking about proper formal preschools, not day care centres.
OP, you might get a spot at Montessori/unconventional preschool. If you start doing Montessori sessions now and attend all their working bees and do enough cleaning and generally show how crazy you are about them, you should get a spot.
There's always kurrambena in lane cove. Not much bush, but enough yard to wonder around ( gates are always open too, mind you...), chooks, daily trips to the pool.

#11 DaLittleEd

Posted 30 May 2019 - 05:43 PM

Honestly, you want a lot of trees. Otherwise that outdoor space is pretty unusable in summer (too hot, sunburn).

#12 QuirkyMum

Posted 30 May 2019 - 05:45 PM

View Postesme weatherwax, on 30 May 2019 - 12:23 PM, said:

KU Chatswood West also has nice outdoor space. Friends have kids who went there and loved it
Please do a tour before.
I found it very dark and mouldy.
And make sure you chat to teachers there...

#13 Nickers numbat

Posted 30 May 2019 - 06:57 PM

KU Fox Valley doesn’t have grass but does have a decent outdoor space.

Grass just doesn’t grow in the bush ......

#14 Sui-yat

Posted 30 May 2019 - 07:17 PM

KU Mosman has a lovely outdoor space.

#15 blimkybill

Posted 30 May 2019 - 07:23 PM

I haven't had direct experience, but check out KU Castlecrag. They have a bush kinder program which looks great. It's a beautiful bush environment there.

#16 Caribou

Posted 30 May 2019 - 07:26 PM

I’d suggest blue mountains for more Bush and outdoor than Sydney.

I also agree put more focus on the primary school and high school you want than preschool

#17 MeeraK

Posted 30 May 2019 - 10:30 PM

Wonderful suggestions, thank you all!

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