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Forest School

FortWhyte Forest School is an outdoor, multi-age program that takes place rain or shine in the forests of FortWhyte Alive.

The Outdoors is a Natural Teacher

Forest School creates a foundation for lifelong environmental stewardship by building an early connection to nature. It also promotes critical thinking, safe risk-taking, and knowledge of the natural world through outdoor exploration.

Offering sessions in the summer months, and the school year, we aim to bring consistency in our groups as we flow together through the changing seasons.

Meet your Forest School Facilitators.

Child swinging on a makeshift swing in summer

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an educational approach that builds resilience and knowledge of the natural world in children through nature exploration no matter the weather. Our program is modelled from the principles and guidelines developed by Forest School Canada.

Forest School uses hands-on nature experiences to support an emergent curriculum which is, in part, derived from the daily and seasonal changes observed in nature. The children and their curiosity are the driving force behind the direction and outcomes of each day, with a flexible daily routine that includes a snack break, nature hikes, time for unstructured nature exploration, and two group gathering times where we discuss plants, animals, and nature.

How to Enroll

Pollywogs

STEP 1: Register for Pollywogs

Aspen Blooms

STEP 1: Review the Eligibility and Readiness Criteria
STEP 2: Complete the Goodness of Fit Survey
STEP 3: Register with the link sent to you upon completion of the survey

Catkins

STEP 1: Review the Eligibility and Readiness Criteria
STEP 2: Complete the Goodness of Fit Survey
STEP 3: Register with the link sent to you upon completion of the survey

Forest School is always growing!

What once started as a preschool program for ages 3 to 5 has now expanded to include family and school-aged programming.

Pollywogs (ages 1–3)

Pollywogs is designed for you and yours to play, the Forest School way. Each session is infused with child-led nature play, while you take in some tips and tools on how to bring this ethos home for your family adventures. Each session will cover a different topic that is designed to pair engaging lessons for adults with hands-on experiences for the children.

Join us for one morning a week as we explore the trails and find the magic of learning embedded in the forests and marshes at FortWhyte.

Pollywogs are no longer tadpoles and not yet frogs but that magical phase of metamorphosis that gives them freedom to explore the greater world with the comfort of familiar ponds close by.

Summer
Tuesdays
July 2 – August 20, 2024 | 9 am – 12 pm
$240/$216 for members
$30 per day

Re-enrolment: April 30
General registration: May 14

 

Fall
Tuesdays, Wednesdays
September 17 – December 18, 2024 | 9 am – 12 pm
$390/$351 for members
$30 per day

Re-enrolment: July 23
General registration: August 6

Aspen Blooms (ages 3–5)

Aspen Blooms are the tree’s natural display of resiliency. This forest school programming for young children has a primary focus on cultivating factors of resilience for their overall wellbeing and capacity for emergent learning.

With curriculum centred around connection to nature, self-awareness, pro-social behaviours and creative problem solving, these preschool sessions give children the tools they need to fall in love with the learning process.

Summer
July 2 – August 22, 2024

*SOLD OUT, Join our waitlist!* Monday/Wednesday
$700/$630 for members

*SOLD OUT, Join our waitlist!* Tuesday/Thursday
$800/$720 for members

$50 per day

No classes: Aug. 5

Registration now open.

 

School year
September 16, 2024 – June 13, 2025

*SOLD OUT, Join our waitlist!* Monday/Wednesday
$1,950/$1,755 for members

Tuesday/Thursday
$2,100/$1,890 for members

$30 per day

No classes: Sep. 30, Oct. 14 & Nov. 11, 2024; Feb. 17 & May 19, 2025

Registration now open.

Catkins (ages 5–10)

Nestled in the Aspen groves, this forest school program offers children a space to bloom. Emergent curriculum centres a child’s learning around their innate curiosity through immersion in the natural world.

Following their lead in play-based and place-based learning, our educators provide rich experiences and opportunities to foster a child’s understanding of their passions and needs for freedom, trust and reciprocity.

Summer
Fridays
July 5 – August 23, 2024 | 9 am – 3 pm
$400/$360 for members
$50 per day

Registration now open.

 

School year
September 20 – June 20, 2024 | 9 am – 3 pm

Mondays
$1,500/$1,350 for members

*SOLD OUT, Join our waitlist!* Fridays
$1,750/$1,575 for members

$50 per day

No Classes: Sep. 30, Oct. 14 & Nov 11, 2024; Feb. 17 & May 19, 2025

Registration now open.

FortWhyte Forest School

Frequently Asked Questions

Reminder!

Forest School offers a wide variety of mental, physical, and social benefits but please note it is not a recognized school through Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning.

If your child is enrolled in a school please speak with the principal or education team to make a plan for your child’s absences in order to attend this supplementary educational program.

STORIES

Seasons of Learning

At FortWhyte Forest School, we see how each season has a rhythm all its own. We listen and let it guide school. 

Learning outside, together

Forest School is ideal for parents who are passionate about sparking a sense of curiosity in their children and laying the foundation for a life of environmental stewardship. 

The Forest School Revolution

Forest School is a pre-school alternative favored by parents that are passionate about spending time outdoors, and about protecting the environment.