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FAQs

You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers.

How do you ensure Health and Safety?

Risk is part of living life fully and learning about ourselves, our boundaries and the world around us. Moving beyond our comfort zones is where we start to learn and grow. At the same time, if we reach too far out, the risk overtakes learning and becomes overwhelming and potentially dangerous.  A big part of who we are is to provide a safe container for kids to learn and grow.

Prevention and awareness is our main first aid policy. We will keep a record of hazards closely and intertwine it with our curriculum such as dead trees and proper use of tools. We follow a robust Safety Management System which we go through daily (prior to children's arrival).  We also have comprehensive first aid training and will carry a first aid kit at all times.  On enrolment, we send you out our handbook for your perusal. 

Where are you located?

Currently, our home base for our One Day School is Orton Bradley Park, Charteris Bay. We feel that it has an incredible array of different environments that we can tap ourselves into - from the native bush forests, through to meandering stream and two working farms (conventional and organic) to explore. We also run programmes in other locations around Ōtautahi Christchurch and Te Pataka o Rakaihautū The Banks Peninsula. 

Do you offer transportation from town?

Not at this stage, but we are always looking into various options. We strongly encourage ride-sharing.

My child is in school. Can I take them out for this?

Bush Farm operates with registered New Zealand kaiako, who base as much of our learning on the NZ Curriculum as possible, with special emphasis on EOTC (education outside the classroom). If you are interested in attending our One Day School, you will need to have a kōrero with your school Principal to see if your child can be released for one day per week. We can offer a letter for Principals as well as the Achievement Objectives we shall achieve.  The 1989 Education Act allows for this - with consent from your school Board of Trustees. Please read more here. We also welcome homeschooled and unschooled children.

How will my child be safe? Child ratios?

We want to make sure tamariki have a natural and genuine connection, so we make it one adult per 8 children. There are always at least 2 mentors and sometimes more.

It's wet and stormy, will my child be ok?

We run our sessions rain or shine unless there is a situation beyond our control (i.e. Metservice Warning).  Tamariki need to carry rain pants, raincoat and thermal layers. We send you a comprehensive clothing list on enrollment and payment. We will monitor the tamariki throughout the day to make sure they are warm.

Why do you have such a wide spread of ages?

We believe in a whānau mode of learning,  where an older or more expert tuakana helps and guides a younger or less expert teina and vice versa as we believe this is a powerful learning opportunity. Sometimes children have a completely different take on situations that arise from interactions with a peer.  In our structured learning sessions, we make sure that there is enough range for all abilities, regardless of their age.

My child is high needs - can I send them?

We are not in the position to cater for children with high needs at this stage,  as we do not receive any funding.  We hope to be able to do so in the future.

I'm interested, what next? 

We would invite you to register your interest first by sending an email with information about your child to Bush Farm and why this would be a good fit for your child. From here, we will get in touch with you to schedule a free thirty minute one-to-one.  On completion of this, we invite you to either pay for a holiday programme or a one day trial.  If  both parties are happy in moving forward, we ask that you make payment for a six-month programme. After this is paid, a welcome pack, handbook of policies and procedures is sent to you. 

How do I sign my child up for the next term programme? 

 Our priority is to guarantee a spot for current enrolments and siblings to re-enrol so that we build an active community of families.  After this, as spaces become available, we will invite you and your child/ren to visit us (in a trial capacity)  to see if it is a good fit for both Bush Farm and your family.   We want to make sure we can cater to all the needs of the child before moving forward. 

What do you do about changes, cancellations and absences for programmes? 

Before enrolling, please be committed to your programme.  No-shows and cancellations will have consequences to the programme (ratios etc.). 

Back to our Roots Holiday Programme
- If cancellation occurs seven days before 'back to our roots' programme begins, you can have a full refund after an administration fee of $15.00 per child / per day has been taken out.
- If your cancellation occurs within a week, you will get 75% refund after an administration fee of $15.00 per child / per day has been taken out.
- If cancellation occurs 48 hours before a programme begins, no refund will be given. Instead, you will be charged the full daily rate. 
- Failure to attend, due to illness or injury will only be refunded on production of a medical certificate, minus an administration fee of $15/ child per day. 

One-Day School
- If you decide to withdraw from the One-Day School, you must give 4 weeks notice. And then, only then, will you be refunded the terms fees. 
- If Bush Farm needs to cancel any day, due to unforeseen weather (or beyond the control of Bush Farm), credit or a make-up day will be issued to you. 
- If your child is absent because of a school camp, event or family holiday, there will be no refund. 
- If it is necessary to exclude your child (disruptive behaviour after continuous discussions), you will be promptly notified and you will be asked to pick up your child. Bush Farm will not be responsible for any partial refund. 

Want to read more? 

Please email us for our up-to-date Handbook of policies or subscribe to our newsletter (6 per year). ​​