The school was built by parents in 1989 on land belonging to the Department of Natural Resources and administered by the Pine Rivers Shire Council. The surrounding area was planted as a food forest, with all the trees being food trees. We have a beautiful little veggie patch and a worm farm.
Pine provides a variety of literacy, numeracy, science, music, health and physical education and arts resources. All classrooms have computers and access to laptops with broadband internet connections, safe filtered internet and email, and a selection of the latest educational software and digital resources. We also have a school library, a kitchen, an extensive collections of Lego, blocks, building, sandpit, craft and construction materials, a playground and school oval with a small orchard to support our children’s learning experiences.
The learning environment is considered flexible to include indoor work areas along with outdoor locations.
In addition to the school building and the natural environment, use is made of community facilities such as libraries, art galleries, museums, local community hall, parks and sporting facilities.
Meaningful excursions, related to the students’ interests are an integral part of the curriculum. Various excursions, sleep-ins at school and camps are essential learning environments that develop social skills, self-esteem, responsibility and group cohesiveness
The school has a number of qualified teachers who function as co-ordinators, facilitators and sometimes leaders of learning experiences, rather than as authority figures.
Parents and community members are welcome as co-educators in the school in order to enrich the curriculum.
Pine has a great organic garden. The kids love to plant vegetables which are then used in cooking or to simply help themselves to the fresh produce thoughout the day. We often grow cherry tomatoes, eggplants, parsley and shallots, to name a few. One year we even grew wheat, which the kids then husked and ground, and turned into bread!
During the 2010 renovations, we finally got some cupboards in the kitchen! The kids love cooking with Patty, who’s been with the school for over 17 years. It’s a great place for learning all sorts of things, both social and academic. Not to mention for producing great food! Patty and the kids often cook for various school events – everything from scones to sushi!
During the renovations, each child painted a tile for the wall, and you can see those in the photo.