THE FOREST SCHOOL is an alternative learning centre that believes learning can be a wondrous adventure, and that people learn best by doing. The programs offered are hands-on, and experiential in nature. They combine freedom with form and take place both indoors and outdoors.
The primary goals are to:
- Develop the whole child,
mind body and spirit;
- Nurture an understanding of the
interconnectedness of all things,
and with that an environmental
and social responsibility;
- Nurture/inspire an excitement for learning
and an understanding that it can be a
- Create a community that honours children as individuals, and
that values and respects the similarities and differences in all of us;
- Facilitate learning that is theme-based and largely learner directed;
- Involve the wider community through service, field trips and apprenticeships.
Painting by Ned Bittinger from the book When the Root Children Wake Up
IMAGINE a place where children feel valued and respected, are a part of a community that supports their uniqueness, that is gentle and kind, that feeds their curiosity and love of learning, and that helps develop their self confidence and self reliance.
IMAGINE a place that is grounded in a desire to nurture peaceful, creative, intelligent people who truly care about the earth and the people on it. The Forest School is this place.
Children aged 11 and over
Children ages 6 to 10 years old
Children ages 12 and over
WILD AT HEART
Wild at heart-- sums us up completely. Twelve years of "wild hearts" running around, exploring, discovering, questioning, imagining… So many “ings”. Through all of them, we have learned so much. My toolbox of resources, ideas, and activities has taken on a life of its own. My knowledge of ninjas, circus arts, Lake Superior, magic, and survival is 100 times what it was before. Imagine, if I did not have the honour of working with this amazing group of kids, I might not have learned that the life of a Sumo Wrestler is steeped in extraordinary ritual and ceremony, or that fox pee has a very distinct smell, or even that there used to be such things as bug circuses.
At The Forest School- An Alternative Learning Centre, what we learn about is largely determined by the kids. They pick the theme for the term; I do the research and come up with an engaging means of guiding our group in its exploration. I love it!!! It keeps me on my toes. Mixed in with all the different themes we explore, are underlying messages and commitments to environmental and social responsibility. We spend time learning to care about the earth, others and ourselves. We are putting the time into becoming great humans-- it seems to me the most important thing to master. (Although ninja moves are a close second).
Wild At Heart is a digitial zine, full of hands-on ideas for connecting kids with themselves, eachother and the earth. It is my way of passing on what I have learned and continue to learn along the way. I hope you find some gems to share with your people!
Our school is nestled in the forest in South Gillies, Ontario, hence the name, "The Forest School". It started before the Forest School Movement became a thing, and the name became associated with a brand of sorts. So, although we share similar values, beliefs and guiding principals, we are not officially connected to FOREST SCHOOLS.