Children covered from head to toe in mud, kids building bridges between trees, and 'fire donuts' roasted over flames.

Kaurihohore School children spent yesterday doing whatever activities they liked, eating when they liked, and getting as muddy as they liked as part of Outdoor Classroom Day.

Principal Leslee Allen said the day was about bringing the joy of play back to children.

"It's about celebrating the fact that play is the most powerful way of learning. We celebrate play here every day anyway. This is on a giant scale," she said.

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Allen said play-based learning is an important part of the Whangārei school's ethos. She said there are no rules at the school, kids are taught values and trusted to plan their play at morning tea and lunch time, as a result they do so responsibly.

"Play in the school has created really responsible learners. They're very socially aware of each other, they are very kind to each other, seniors support the juniors and vice versa. They're much more independent and we find that behaviour goes out the window because they're happy."

Pat Parker, with great-grandson Adam de Roo firmly attached, heads down the mudslide. Photo/John Stone
Pat Parker, with great-grandson Adam de Roo firmly attached, heads down the mudslide. Photo/John Stone
Brent Drummond, top, and Ollie Mitchel try the alternative classroom for size.
Brent Drummond, top, and Ollie Mitchel try the alternative classroom for size.

Northern Advocate

photographer

John Stone

captured the mud slide, fire, bridge building, and hut building happening at the school.