The Darlington Campus (K-5) is blessed with the perfect environment for Nature Play – an approach to childhood that acknowledges the many benefits of outdoor play in a natural setting.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia found that natural playgrounds provide children with more opportunities to develop gross motor skills than typical pre-formed playgrounds. (Nature Play WA)
Some of the many benefits of Nature Play are better health, improved behavioural outcomes, reduced stress and anxiety, and an increase in creativity, language and social skills.
Among our most treasured areas at the Darlington Campus are the Waabiny Hill playgrounds on a formerly eroded hillside that students have replanted with native vegetation, bringing the return of many local birds and animals. Waabiny is a Noongar word meaning ‘playtime’ and Helena College was given permission to use the name by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. The six seasons of the Noongar culture are highlighted on signs along special walkways in the grounds, which are modelled on NatureScape at Kings Park.
Our students continue to be involved in the ongoing development of Waabiny Hill and our teachers often use the area for outdoor lessons and classes. It is a lasting legacy from our Helena community to the land that sustains and nurtures us here in Darlington.