Best play/nature-based schools & early years centres in Victoria

As referred by followers on Maggie Dent’s Facebook page September 2017
A summary of people’s comments are listed in bullet points under school names.

Disclaimer: Please note that this list is compiled from comments made by Facebook followers. It is not the opinion of Maggie Dent or her employees, nor are these recommendations to be considered formal endorsements by Maggie Dent. When deciding which school is best for your child, it is important to make your decision based on your individual child – there is no one-size fits all.

However we asked our 100,000+ Facebook followers “Which schools in Victoria have you observed have a focus on:
* play-based learning in the early years, and / or
* strong nature-based focus in their teaching and learning…”


Here’s what they said:

Blog post image is from: Bonbeach Primary School

Axedale Primary School – Axedale

  • Supported by outside school hours by ‘Open Air Adventure Care’. After school push bikes come out, trees climbed and self-help skills developed. Play paddock – vacant block of land net to school that is being developed into adventure playground using upcycled and natural materials

Cornish College – Bangholme

  • Recommended

Rosanna Golf Links Primary School – Rosanna

  • Love that they have their own chickens and teachers are great

Holy Spirit School – Manifold Heights

  • Walker learning model

Hurstbridge Leaning co-operative – Hurstbridge

  • Recommended

Little Beacons Learning Centre – Beacon hills College – Pakenham

  • Recommended

Lyndhurst Primary School – Lyndhurst

  • Kathy Walker foundation

Mount Evelyn Primary School – Mount Evelyn

  • Recommended

Myrniong Primary School – Myrniong

  • Can’t wait for my son to start foundation next year

Penbank School – Moorooduc

  • A non-institutionalized school where the kids often come home happy and muddy thanks to the spacious natural grounds.

Preshil School – Kew

  • Australia’s leading progressive school. Kids surrounded by nature, build cubbies and are encouraged to take calculated risk. Children are respected as individuals. Play based learning at its best

St Brendan’s Primary School – Flemington

  • Recommended

St Johns Primary School – Footscray

  • Amazing

Sunrise Preschool and Long Day Care – North Fitzroy

  • Recommended

Swan Hill Primary School – Swan Hill

  • Recommended

Thornbury Primary School – Thornbury

  • Recommended especially Steiner stream

Warrnambool Primary School – Warrnambool

  • Recommended

Wooranna Park Primary School – Dandenong North

  • Follows Reggio Emilia style of learning with lots of play based and child led learning