Philosophy Statement


Harrietville Bush Kinder believes that contact with nature is critical for our physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing.  It has positive effects on our ability to concentrate, to learn, to solve problems, to relax and to be creative.


Harrietville Bush Kinder will focus on each child’s self-esteem, confidence and kindness to others through creativity, persistence and social connectedness.  The natural setting will allow the strengths of each child to emerge.  Children will see the world around them with wonder and will learn to explore, consider and communicate what they find, need and offer. Our Bush Kinder program allows the children to experience nature and its elements across the seasons, recognising the place the bush has in Australia and the significance of the land in Aboriginal culture.

Learning outdoors using the Early Years Framework:

Identity. Children develop a sense of security with familiarity.  Regular sessions learning outdoors helps children build and explore their identity.


Community. Through firsthand experience, children develop an awareness of their impact on the local environment and can get involved in caring for nature.


Wellbeing. Regular contact with nature relieves children’s minds and ignites curiosity.  Outdoor environments allow children to expand and refine their abilities, mentally and physically.


Learning. Ever changing outdoor environments invite hypothesising, imagination, interaction, problem solving and experimenting.


Communication. Children can share stories, use natural materials to create art and interact with each other and their surroundings to create drama and music.


National Quality Standards for Early Childhood

A child’s ability to access nature and learn outdoors is fundamental within the National Quality Framework.  Learning outdoors promotes a child’s health (Quality Standard 2) through relaxation, physical activity and spontaneous experiences. By placing children in a natural outdoor setting (Quality Standard 3), they have the opportunity for independent exploration and to participate in real-life projects and care for the environment they live in.




Harrietville Primary School has always set high standards and expectations to ensure our school is a safe, happy and productive environment.  New Child Safe Standards came into force on 1 July 2022 after an amendment to the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic) was passed by the Victorian Parliament in June 2021 and upon self-reflection as a school, we are in a great place with a lot of the work we have done and continue to do.  We hope this information helps you and the wider community become more familiar with the Standards, what your role is within the community and how we as a school continue to work towards these standards.  (Extracted from Ministerial Order No. 870)

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, Harrietville Primary School will be implementing, reviewing and improving each of the 11 standards as below:                                                                        

Standard 1: Culturally safe environments – Establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.

Standard 2: Leadership, governance and culture – Ensure that child safety and wellbeing are embedded in school leadership, governance and culture. 

Standard 3: Child and student empowerment – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.

Standard 4: Family engagement – Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.

Standard 5: Diversity and equity – Equity is upheld and diverse needs are respected in policy and practice. 

Standard 6: Suitable staff and volunteers – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.

Standard 7: Child-focused complaints processes – Ensure that processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.

Standard 8: Child safety knowledge, skills and awareness – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training. 

Standard 9: Physical and online environments – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.

Standard 10: Review of child safety practices - Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved. 

Standard 11: Implementation of child safety practices – Policies and procedures that document how schools are safe for children, young people and students.

In complying with the child safe standards, Harrietville Primary School includes the following principles as part of each standard:

  • promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • promoting the safety of vulnerable children and children with a disability make reasonable efforts to accommodate all students

Child SafeSafe Schools

Please contact our school principal, Samantha Pellegrini or our Business Manager, Kristie Corbett for further information.

Phone: (03) 5759 2533 Email: HARRIETVILLE.PS@EDUMAIL.VIC.GOV.AU