Auckland bush turns classroom for new nature school

(Flickr / Phillip Capper)
(Flickr / Phillip Capper)

New Zealand's first ever nature immersion school is set to open next year, and will literally send children into the wild.

The Deep Green Bush-School, which will open in Auckland's Clevedon, says it aims to rewire its students in an environment where there's no classrooms, no homework and no gadgets.

Instead children will be taught to weave flax, look after chickens and live off the land, while teachers will teach but only at the request of students - and all with the Education Ministry's approval.

The concept is based on the belief kids are getting too much screen time and too little time amongst nature - and co-founder Joey Moncarz says academics will not be forgotten, but may look a little different than the usual education system.

"This thing we call school is only a social experiment and is only about 150 years old," he told the Paul Henry programme on Tuesday morning.

"What we're aiming to do is raise kids with a deep connection to the Earth, a deep understanding of what's going on in the world...and they will do whatever it takes to ensure a healthy planet for current and future generations."

Mr Moncarz says while the school takes a very environmental approach in the teaching of its students, they've attracted the interest of eco-warrior and non-eco-warrior parents alike.

"It's a mix - we're getting interest from all over the board and all over the country, with people saying 'can you open one here, can you open one in Wellington, can you open one in the South Island and up north?'"

He says while the teaching of the children is completely reliant on whether they want it, free play is just as important, and older kids want to learn anyway.

"Young kids like to play all day but when they got older, they like to do more meaningful things and contribute to the world.

"It's the kind of education I wish I had - and when we look at it, we see that actually it's the way we evolved to experience our childhoods," he said.

More information on the school can be found here.