Beehive Montessori school sits adjacent to the ocean at Mosman Park, surrounded by coastal sand dunes and native flora. The Montessori ethos celebrates the uniqueness of every child, with a focus on active learning, movement and engagement with the surrounding environment. 

The school’s plans for removal of a large cluster of old and outdated buildings in the northern quarter of the site was quite literally going to allow a new wind of change, a new corridor of connection and movement, a place for expansiveness and freedom to occur.

Djilba season occurs in the months of August and September it is known as the second rain and the season of conception. In Djilba season 2023, after many months of refinement, a design by NBP was fully conceived with the help of Elder Geri Hayden.

The landscape and nature play concept design process allowed the school to re-imagine, re-vision this quite vast tract of land. A key ingredient of this reimagining process was the inspirations drawn from our ancient Noongar culture, knowledge and use of this place.

Geri presented us with a rich palette of Indigenous dreaming stories and cultural caring for country practices which embedded themselves into the design as the key design themes.

These themes include:

  • The journey of the seven sisters in the night sky to Pleiades.
  • The Waugal tunnel stretching from the Swan River to the Indian Ocean and its resting places at the 2 caves located in Rocky Bay.
  • The Noongar 6 seasons and the associated seasonal movement and hunting patterns.
  • The walking lines along the coast collecting the various coloured sacred ochres for ceremonial use.
  • The gathering places used to seek permission to enter country, to rest, to share stories and knowledge and to exchange items before moving on through country.
  • The respect for the flora and fauna of this place, with many of the animals and plants contributing to the Dreaming stories and customs.

The circuitous limestone pathway edging the perimeter of the new open space represents the serpentine movement of the Waugul as it moves through the landscape. Along this pathway the four ochre coloured circles represent the meeting places of the Elders during their journey as they collected the various sacred ochres for ceremonial use. Each circle has a number of  black placemarkers in them, these can eventually be removed and replaced by student art works. Each placemaker circle’s artwork can further elaborate the Dream stories shared by Geri with us, such as the Seven sister journey to Pleiades. 

In this way the children are actively involved in enlivening the creation story of this place, its meaning and its sharing going forward.

The centrepiece of the landscape is the large Yarning Circle amphitheatre space, it represents the place for ceremony, sharing, truth telling, performance and resting.  It acts as the ‘heart space’ of the landscape.




08 9331 2997

Nature Based Play
1 Rees Street
O’Connor WA 6163
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ABN: 78 607 451 516

Nature Based Play believes that, especially in the context of Nature Play, there is much to be gained from pursuing a deeper understanding of the cultural, spiritual and educational practices of First Nations peoples.

Our offices and workshop are located on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar, though our work takes us all across the State. As such we would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work throughout Western Australia. 
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