Forest and Nature Schools
what & why
The movement to connect children and youth with nature has been and is a fundamental way of being, knowing, and learning for Indigenous communities and cultures. We are following in these footsteps.
Forest and Nature School (FNS) is a deliberate educational approach which has existed worldwide since the late 1950s. It made its way to Canada in 2012 with the establishment of Forest and Nature School Canada. The primary goal is to provide children with regular and repeated access to a natural space, to explore, grow and learn. At FNS, children are understood as competent learners who help forge their own program.
Participants spend the majority of the day immersed in various outdoor settings where things are unhurried and there is space for independent reflection, collaborative creation and risky play. They return to the same natural spaces across the seasons, creating a familiarity and deep connection with change in the intricate web of life.
Our disconnect from nature has grown with the strong embrace of technology that envelopes the lives of children, keeping them focused on screens rather than being wide lens observers of the natural cycles of life. There is an abundance of research in support of learning outdoors, some less commonly known benefits being perseverance, independence, self-confidence, social competence, memory retention, and higher engagement in learning.
All children are drawn to the natural world. It is a beautiful transformation as kids peel away fears and gradually clear mental and physical barriers to reconnect with nature; the local flora and fauna, seasonal cycles, weather systems, and environmental issues in their home communities.
Through the nature school experience you may now walk with your child through new territory, enjoying their sharing of knowledge as they call out the names of trees, plants and animals as if they were treasured friends.