Wilderness unveils new Early Learning Centre – a home away from home 

Wilderness school ELC
Step through the doors of the Wilderness Early Learning Centre and you’d be forgiven for thinking you had the wrong address. With its familiar appearance and welcoming atmosphere, it's more like a beautiful family home than a school.

But that is precisely how the new ELC is supposed to feel. It’s the result of a unique collaboration between educators and architects to craft a space specifically suited to the needs of young learners destined to be the leaders of tomorrow.

The ELC is a beautiful blend of heritage and modern architecture — a near century-old stone house and a new thoughtfully designed contemporary structure — built to create a blend of home-away-from-home with a truly inspiring learning environment for Wildy’s future trailblazers.

Nature play 

In the heart of North Adelaide, it offers incredible nature play opportunities including a purpose-built cubby house, mud laboratory (think outdoor play kitchen) and a chicken coop.  

Wilderneess ELC nature place

Space and light

The modern Annexe boasts double doors opening onto more green space – with soaring ceilings and abundant light it is perfect for yoga, music and physical education, all delivered by specialist teachers from the Junior School — a rare offering for an ELC. 

Wilderness school music offering


The centre is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education — an innovative and child-centred philosophy that originated in the town of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy.  

Rebecca Williamson, Director of Early Years at Wilderness, embarked on a study tour to the Italian town last year to fully immerse herself in the approach. 

“Reggio Emilia is really about highlighting innovative teaching methods that foster children’s creativity, critical thinking and learning, emphasising the importance of the environment,” Ms Williamson said. 

Wilderness school art

“What’s also important aesthetically is the use of natural materials, neutral colour palettes, lots of light and plants both inside and outside. This creates a respect and pride of place that is invaluable for our youngest girls.  

“My favourite space in our new ELC is the former ballroom inside the old house. It retains its charm but has been reimagined to include a cosy play corner, a dress-up area and a reading nook — it’s a space brimming with opportunities for immersive play,” Ms Williamson said. 

140 Years Exceptional Education

In 2024, Wilderness is celebrating its 140th anniversary and Ms Williamson says despite all the changes the school has seen throughout the years, its core values have remained the same. 

As we approach International Women’s Day, we are incredibly proud to celebrate 140 years of empowering girls as young as 3 to believe in themselves.

“This new chapter for the ELC, opening its doors during this milestone year, reiterates our commitment to nurturing our future leaders and giving them a solid foundation from which to begin their learning journey.” 

 Wilderness ELC has limited spaces available for 2025 and is currently accepting applications for 2026. 



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