By Kas Craw and Kathy Broadhead

Nature School at The Nest has developed from a beautiful collaboration of likeminded wahine with a passion for our future generations and the future of Mother Earth.

Kas Craw (The Nest) and Kathy Broadhead (Nature Library) are celebrating four years of collaboration in Waihi Beach, where they provide exceptional experiences for local tamariki to grow, learn and connect with our Natural World.

At Nature School we blend intentional experiences, free exploration and play to support and develop the whole child and deepen their connection with nature, themselves and others.

Each term we have a focus; a recent one being ‘Perspective’ a valuable lesson for children to understand their important place in the world and learn tools to support their social, emotional and mental wellbeing. Another focus has been ‘Nature Ologies’, exploring scientific thinking, growing our curiosity by asking the big questions, investigating, collaborating and coming up with their own ideas and thoughts.

Beautiful lessons are always unfolding at The Nest; nature is the best teacher and we work alongside her to highlight them and weave them through our day.

What we offer is very special. It is a co-creation with nature, the children and the space. The children are encouraged to have a voice and take responsibility for their experiences.

Our kaupapa is simple, ‘whakaute’ (respect) for ourselves, others and nature.

The Nest is a safe sanctuary surrounded by trees, with a small forest, chickens, orchard, gardens, a pond with eels and much magic. We have created a space for children to connect, explore, create and learn in nature in a nurturing environment.

Nature School is a one-day-a-week, in-term programme. We also run Nature Kids Holiday Club each school holidays. Both are open to children aged 5 to 12 years.

In this nature based, engaging and supportive setting, your child will thrive and develop in the following: Curiosity; Creativity; Confidence; Self-Management; Problem Solving skills; Resilience; Communication and Collaboration skills; Emotional, Physical and Spiritual wellbeing; Empathy Love and Care; a Sense of Joy and Wonder.

With small groups and mixed ages, children develop strong social-emotional skills and learn to care for themselves, others and nature. Evidence strongly suggests experiences of nature boost academic learning, personal development and environmental stewardship.

Within these small connected groups, children have a safe space to be themselves, take risks and be challenged while supported by their peers. We are a Nature Family, more than a nature school.

While we weave our kaupapa through all we do, we also know the ripple effect this sends out into our community, not just today but well into the future. Parents often share the noticeable and positive change in their children after time spent at The Nest.

And, we want this for as many children and their families as possible. We offer a scholarship each term for one child to join us. If you would like to take advantage of this, please email and let us know a little bit about your child, their connection to nature and why you would like them to join our nature school family.

Spaces available for term 4 – get in touch to register.

Kathy and Kas


Contact Details:

Nature Library NZ
Kathy Broadhead MEd, PGDip, BSc,
027 842 5645

The Nest, Waihi Beach
Kas Craw BA, BCom, Dip Yoga
027 872 7278