top of page

Wild School

The below information is a brief outline of our weekly Wild School programme which operates during term time from various locations. For more detailed information we have created a "Useful Information" document for you to download and read as you wish. If you have further questions, please email or contact Sarah on 021 160 6112

What is Wild School?

A One Day School is an educational programme or learning space that your child attends for
one day a week, whilst still attending their regular school or home-based education. This "one day" model is growing around NZ and falls within the guidelines of the Ministry of Education. 

One Day Schools have a specific focus or purpose and offer specialised, child-centred support that addresses the current educational needs for individual children, their families and communities.

Our focus for Wild School is to nurture Wonder & Wellness through nature.

Our days will be filled with connection, adventures, creative thinking, exploration and discovery, and will be underpinned by our core values; 

Be Curious – To have a curious mind, to wonder, to ask questions, to think creatively, to problem solve, to express themselves. 

Have Courage – To take risks, try new things, challenge themselves, build self confidence, have a voice, be innovative, test their ideas.

Act with Care – To speak and act with care to others, to build respect for themselves, to think and talk with positivity, to learn to respect and care for our living world. 

Each moment, every session, all conversations, each site, all four seasons, and each relationship is packed with potential for inspiring wonder and wellness.


Our Daily Flow

Our Wonder & Wellness programme is play-based, child-led and no pressure.
Our experienced educators observe, notice and respond to learning in the moment,
sharing their knowledge, experience and encouragement to think, wonder, and develop
working theories. To complement spontaneous learning our educators plan group experiences that embrace the ever changing, seasonal learning environment. These experiences
promote collaboration & communication as we share and celebrate children as individuals.


A Typical Day

Leader safety sweeps selected play space & sets boundary (prior to children arriving)

Drop off/Greeting families

Morning Hui (meeting) - Welcome, Risk/Hazard Awareness, Goal Setting

Short hikoi (walk) to site

Free Play - Children get involved in enhancing wild space with additional resources (ropes, swings, ziplines, slackline, hammock, tools, crafts etc. 

Morning Kai (food) - Social chats & discussions about group interests.

Free Play/Discovery Time

Lunch - Reflection on the morning, sharing plans for the afternoon

Free Play/Creative Time

Group pack down - children help to pack away what we brought into the space

End of Day Hui (meeting) - Sharing our favourite experiences or learnings of the day while enjoying a warm fruit tea or a camp cooker made snack.

Return to pick up point

Meet with families, share about our days & farewell 


In the Whakatipu basin we are blessed with natural spaces that offer a kaleidoscope of learning opportunities waiting to be discovered. We aim to secure access to "wild spaces"
that have varying natural elements from forests and fields to mountains and rivers.
Each wild space has been carefully selected to suit the seasons, and have been thoroughly assessed for risks and learning benefits. As we use the land for learning, it is our duty to show respect and care for the land. To give these wild spaces opportunity to  rejuvenate and minimise our environmental footprints our Wild School sessions will change locations on occasion.

Our current locations are Whakatipu Lakeside (park street) and the Shotover Delta (near the Shotover Bridge)



Wild School operates in Term time only, Enrolments are for a full term.

Children attend one day a week, instead of attending a normal school day.

Session times are 9am - 3pm.


We welcome children aged 5 - 12 years old into Wild School. Our programme aligns with the educational goals of the New Zealand Curriculum's Key Competencies: thinking; using language, symbols, and texts; managing self; relating to others; participating and contributing.

Wild School provides children who may have previously demonstrated a love or enjoyment of the outdoors, for families who value time spent in nature or for parents who want their children to experience a broad range of experiences in their school years. 

Additionally, our programmes have proven to work well for children who need something additional to get them through a tricky time, help them to build confidence and self-esteem,  to have time in their week to decompress their sensory system, or for those who are seeking a sense of belonging and a tribe.


Opportunities & Possibilities

Some experiences your child will participate in over time include:

•    Risk assessing and climbing trees
•    Exploring  our living world close up 
•    Collecting, gathering and crafting with natural treasures
•    Ropes challenges and swings
•    Sensory play – water, sand, mud, flora and fauna
•    Daily physical movement – walks, climbing, sliding and sledding in winter, stretch/yoga, swinging, lifting 
•    Learning about personal strengths and those of other
•    Creative & imaginative play
•    Integrated Literacy and Math through play
•    Cooking by campfire/cooker
•    Tool use and safety management
•    Hikes and Walks
•    Daily reflection and group discussions about our day
•    Team & friendship building group games and challenges
•    Goal setting and trying new things


Wild School Fees

Our fees are charged for a full term at $75 per day. 

3 week trials are available at our usual day rate.

Fees are invoiced termly, and payment plans/installments are available on request.

Full term commitment is required (Usually 10 weeks).

We are a local, independent, social enterprise entirely supported by local families and community and do not receive any Ministry of Education funding. All fees circle back into Wild Kindy/School and keeping the vision alive and sustainable for years to come.


Whanau of Learners

We have a whanau-of-learners approach, where we believe that the best outcomes are achieved through family immersion and sharing of our experiences. We require one parent help per session to attend for the day to help support the children in their exploration, discoveries, goal setting, & risk management. These days give family members insight into our daily flow, helps them to witness their child in action and the skills and strengths they hold in this setting and strengthens wellbeing and belonging for the children individually and as a group. As adults with young children, we spend our days guiding and showing them how to navigate our world, this is an opportunity to switch roles and allow the children to lead you in their special place in the world.

Release from School

As our programme operates during normal school hours, as an alternative education to the traditional school classroom, you are required to seek permission from your schools Principal or Board of Trustees. 

This process involves you getting in touch with your school Principal to let them know about your interest/intentions to enrol your child in Wild School. We recommend you explain why you want your child to attend and the benefits they will get from the programme in addition to School. 

We are not required to be registered under the Ministry of Education, we are a private charity working alongside schools in our region.  We don't require any signed documents from schools (your agreement with the Principal can be verbal).  The Principal is welcome to view our key documents, Health and Safety policy, and other policies on our website.

6 April 2023 Wanaka (18).JPG
bottom of page