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Demonstration outdoor learning environments

The DECD preschool outdoor learning project has committed to creating 20 new outdoor learning areas in South Australian preschools between 2014 and 2018. This government initiative represents a $6 million investment over 4 years. The project has now been delivered at 10 sites across South Australia.

The design and build of each area takes into account authentic contributions from children, families and the local communities. The engagement process is helping to create culturally appropriate environments that strengthen local communities.

The areas enhance children's curiosity and experience in play by using unique features such as mounds with tunnels, garden and creek beds, mud kitchens and sensory walls.

All the preschool sites incorporate philosophies taken from the Reggio Emilia approach. It is a free and open-sourced style of learning that guides the relationships children have with their environment, family and peers.

Metropolitan outdoor learning environments

  • Sturt Street Children’s Centre, Adelaide – watch the Sturt Street video
  • Wandana Child Parent Centre, Gilles Plains – watch the Wandana video
  • Campbelltown Preschool,  Campbelltown – watch the Cambelltown video
  • Adelaide Miethke Kindergarten, Woodville South – opened 2016
  • Brentwood Drive Kindergarten, Huntfield Heights – opened 2016
  • Hackney Kindergarten, Hackney – opened 2016
  • Elizabeth Grove Children's Centre, Elizabeth – opening 2017
  • Oaklands Estate Kindergarten, Marion – opening 2017
  • Alberton Preschool, Queenstown – opening 2017
  • Salisbury Park Kindergarten, Salisbury – opening 2018
  • Riverview Preschool Centre, Salisbury Downs  – opening 2018

Regional outdoor learning environments

  • Madge Sexton Kindergarten, McLaren Vale – watch the Madge Sexton video
  • Melaleuca Park Kindergarten, Mount Gambier – watch the Melaleuca Park video
  • Flinders Kindergarten, Port Augusta – opened 2016
  • Solomontown Kindergarten, Port Pirie – opened 2016
  • Koonibba Child Parent Centre, Koonibba – opening 2017
  • Mallala Preschool, Mallala – opening 2017
  • Moonta Kindergarten, Moonta – opening 2018
  • Renmark Children's Centre, Renmark – opening 2018
  • Yankalilla Community Children's Centre, Yankalilla – opening 2018

To see a showcase of other schools and preschool developing outdoor learning areas, see the Nature Play SA website.

Example concept design plans

Concept design plans reflect input in the consultation from children, educators, families and the community.  These plans illustrate the planning involved to develop a concept design that reflects the ideology and vision of the preschool outdoor learning project:

  • Adelaide Miethke – Woodville South (PDF 1.6MB) – a suburban preschool north of Adelaide incorporating a tree walk with spaces arranged like ‘growth rings’ around the central feature.
  • Sturt Street – Adelaide City (PDF 2.1MB) – an inner urban school providing spaces for children to use from birth to 7 years. 
  • Melaleuca Park Kindergarten  (PDF 2.3 MB) – Mount Gambier – a rural preschool located on a school site with strong links to the community and the local government charter for children.

For specific advice relating to design standards for outdoor learning environments please contact:

Asset Policy and Environmental Resources
Phone: 8226 0091
Email: DECD.PolicyComms [at] sa.gov.au


For specific advice relating to the demonstration preschool outdoor learning projects:

Early Childhood services

Phone: 8226 0901
Email: decd.preschools [at] sa.gov.au