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.
What is Forest School?
|Forest School as an educational approach has been around for more than 50 years in parts of Europe. It centres around giving children regular and repeated access to the same natural space while expanding their knowledge through experiential, inquiry-based, and play-based learning.|
|Forest School builds a foundation for lifelong environmental stewards by bringing the love of nature back into the hearts and minds of young children -- and benefits preschoolers by improving their physical health, emotional well-being, social competence, critical thinking skills, safe risk taking ability and knowledge of the natural world around them.|
|A different approach to environmental education than our traditional guided programs, Forest School facilitators instead explore, create, build, and celebrate alongside the children. Our leaders are trained to spark engagement between children and nature by modelling their enthusiasm for outdoor play and then encouraged to step back and observe the connections that unfold!|
Why Forest School?
The necessity for outdoor education has never been as pressing as it is today. As children spend more time tuned into video games, television and computers, their interaction with nature is becoming increasingly rare. And for busy families, 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.
FortWhyte Forest School
The FortWhyte Forest School provides an inquiry-based learning experience for children aged 3.5 -5 in the forest and fields surrounding the Siobhan Richardson Field Station. Curriculum is guided by the children’s interests as they explore, experience and play in an outdoor natural setting. A certified Forest School Practitioner guides learning and ensures children’s safety and well-being.
Sessions & Schedule
FortWhyte Forest School presently runs sessions in fall, winter and spring. Some seasons offer multiple sessions to choose from.
(Currently in session)
|Course Dates: April 2 - June 20, 2018 (12 weeks)
Days: Mondays & Wednesdays
Two sessions, morning and afternoon.
Morning Session: 9 am - 11:45 am
Afternoon Session: 12:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Session Length: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Fees: $575, $520 for FortWhyte Alive Members
Fall 2018 Session
(Registration opens Thursday, April 5 at noon)
|Course Dates: September 10 - December 14, 2018 (14 weeks)
Days: M/W/F or T/TH
Option 1: M/W/F Mornings: 9:00 am – 11:45 am
Option 2: M/W/F Afternoons: 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Option 3: T/TH Mornings: 9:00 am - 11:45 am
Session Length: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Fees: M/W/F: $1,025 non-members, $925 for FortWhyte Alive Members
T/TH: $700 non-members, $630 for FortWhyte Alive Members
Winter 2018-19 Session
|Course Dates: TBA
Information for Parents
- Children aged 3.5 – 5 years old
- Almost entirely outdoors (heated yurt for cold weather warm ups)
- Children must be potty trained, indoor washrooms available
- Must wear weather appropriate clothing
- Parents pack a nut free snack and water
- Bring extra clothing because they might get dirty!
- Parent/caregiver drops off and picks up child
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. Learn more.
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.”