Professional Development 2016

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria provides an extensive range of professional development opportunities for teachers at all levels, all year round. To request a booking please contact the Education Bookings office:

T 03 9252 2358

Professional Development (PDF - 187 kB) programs now available for booking.

2016 Professional Development Offerings

Facilitating Nature Play Seminar

Victoria is leading the way in Nature Play for Early Childhood with Bush Kinders and Outdoor Playgroups growing at a rapid rate. The first Bush Kinder started at Westgarth in 2010 and by the end of 2015 there are significantly more than 100 regular early childhood outdoor learning groups meeting in bush, beach and garden settings throughout the state.
Join our early childhood outdoor learning forum to understand what a Bush Kinder is, why there is an increasing demand for outdoor play opportunities in natural spaces and what this means for you as a supporter, Council or Land Management team.

When: Wednesday 6 April 2016
Time: 9.30am to 3.30pm
Place: Auditorium, Cranbourne Gardens
Cost: $85
Bookings: 03 9252 2358

Gardens for Food, Learning and Play

Make the most of the treasure that is a garden to stimulate children's imagination, creativity, learning and enjoyment of the natural world. Examine the value of both and structured and unstructured experiences, and learning experiences that are social, sensory, physical and emotional, to support you in your role as a facilitator of nature play and outdoor learning. Grow food plants to enhance your school grounds, develop ideas on how to share fresh produce and try some simple recipes that kids will love tasting and sharing. 

When: Tuesday 10 May 2016
Where: Melbourne Gardens
Time: 9.30am to 3.30pm
Cost: $85
Bookings: 03 9252 2358

Nature for Health and Well-being

Put aside busy schedules and the demands of everyday life and be led on a sensory exploration of the Gardens. Awaken the inner child through playful activities interwoven with times of contemplation and reflection. Join in discussion about how we can integrate these qualities into our work with children.
Share hands on practical experiences that help us tune in to the natural world around us. Be immersed in the rich landscape of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria through mindfulness in the Fern Gully, peering through leaf windows, creating a mandala using natural materials and connecting with Indigenous culture and ceremony.

Health and wellbeing is interconnected with time spent in natural environments. Being in nature reduces anger, fear, anxiety and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Participants will look at how to help children brainstorm and discuss the role of healthy foods, physical exercise and spending time outside to cultivate health and wellbeing. Through practice of mindfulness exercises, participants will learn to nurture their own self-awareness and greater awareness of others and the natural world.

When: Wednesday 16 November 2016
Where: Melbourne Gardens
Time: 9.30am to 1pm
Cost: $50
Bookings: 03 9252 2358

Feedback from participants

''I had a really lovely day and I loved all the hands on ideas that don't require lots of funding! Thank you so much."

"Really useful information which has inspired me to continue to work in our community garden and motivate others"

"Great food, loved the nibbles, relaxed enthusiastic professionals, excellent day, thank you"