What is Forest School?
Join a worldwide movement of families that are reconnecting to nature and bringing childhood back outside. Give your child the chance to explore, create and solve problems in an natural environment for an truly rich learning experience. It can be difficult to find the time and space to allow kids today to play freely in puddles, fields, and forests. Yet preschool children are at the perfect age to explore, get dirty and get to know wild places -- and that's all part of the Forest School experience.
The necessity for outdoor education has never been as pressing as it is today. For the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population lives in urban settings. As children spend more time tuned into video games, television and computers, their interaction with nature is becoming increasingly rare. The sedentary, over programmed and overly ‘plugged in’ lifestyles negatively affects their development. It also affects their impression of nature; nature is becoming unnatural. Let's change that, shall we?
FortWhyte Forest School
The FortWhyte Forest School provides an inquiry-based learning experience for children aged 3-5 in the forest and fields surrounding the Siobhan Richardson Field Station. Curriculum will be guided by the children’s interests as they explore, experience and play in an outdoor natural setting. A Forest School Practitioner will be on-hand to facilitate the learning and ensure children’s safety and well-being.
Winter Session (Full)
Course Dates: January 8 - March 14
Sessions: Mondays & Wednesdays
Length: 9am - 12pm
Fees: $475, $400 for FortWhyte Alive Members
Spring Sessions (Full)
Course Dates: April 2 - June 20, 2018 (12 weeks)
1/2 days - Mondays and Wednesdays
AM Session: 9am - 11:45am - Full
PM Session: 12:45pm - 3:30pm - Full
Length: 2hr 45min
Fees: $575, $520 for FortWhyte Alive Members
The Spring 2018 sessions are now full. Please stay tuned for Fall 2018 session dates.
Information for Parents
Interested in learning more about Forest School? Please attend one of our family information sessions.
Forest School Information Session
Tuesday, February 13 // 7 pm
FortWhyte Alive (Interpretive Centre)
Forest School Open House
Saturday, March 3 // 10 am – 1 pm
FortWhyte Alive (Siobhan Richardson Field Station)
Join the Movement
Become a Forest School Practitioner
Forest School Canada is offering a Practitioners Course at FortWhyte Alive May 8 - 12, 2018. Learn more by visiting the Forest School Canada website.
Become a Forest School Volunteer
We are looking for FortWhyte Forest School Assistants to explore, create, build, and celebrate alongside the children and our Forest School facilitator. We need leaders who can find wonder in the patterns of the ice and in the wispiness of cattail seeds. Spark engagement between children and nature by modeling your enthusiasm for outdoor play and then step back to observe the connections that unfold! If this sounds like something you would love to be a part of, please contact email@example.com.
What parents are saying...
- “By week 5, my child kept saying Forest School was too quick!”( meaning time was flying and she could have stayed all day!)
- “Walking our older sibling to school, I noticed my child stopping more to pay attention/investigate things like bugs, sticks, leaves and trees.”
- “My child loves talking about the things they have learned and has started identifying things he sees on our walks.”
- “Now that there’s snow on the ground, he’s been paying attention to tracks in the snow!”
- “After a few weeks, my child no longer resisted walking to the bus stop twice a day and usually wanted to stay outside after.”
- “My child stopped, mid bike ride and walked across someone’s lawn to touch an evergreen tree and said, “Oh! The needles are softer than I expected!”
- “My child has started paying more attention to our pets and is more gentle and caring than she used to be.”