THE FRASER VALLEY’S FIRST FOREST SCHOOL
Our forest school programme serves to reconnect children with our ever-changing environment while creating a base of knowledge surrounding the importance of community and sustainability. The first of its kind in the Fraser Valley, our school meets a child’s need for self-esteem, leadership skills, and kindergarten readiness, in addition to meeting a community need for alternative school options.
We are a non-profit school, managed by a board, many of whom are our parents. Our fully licensed ECE teachers and OED Leader develop an outdoor curriculum that is play-based, place-based and child emergent.
Langley Forest School follows the Forest Canada pedagogy. There are 4 main pillars:
3. Environment is the Teacher
4. Supported ‘Risky’ Play
Using these learning approaches, forest children will:
- Develop reflexive and inquisitive thinking along with problem-solving approaches in ‘real’ situations
Develop communication, team-building and collaborative working skills
Develop resilience and adaptability
Become good at assessing situations and identifying hazards versus risks
Develop self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem
Grow to love, appreciate and respect their forest, flora and fauna
Develop a lifelong love of the outdoors, becoming environmental stewards
Develop gross and fine motor skills, recognizing and admiring the body’s limitations and abilities
Expect both physical and mental health benefits
BENEFITS OF FOREST SCHOOL
“Today’s children are spending less time outside and more time indoors engaged in technology-driven activities; and we believe that as parents and educators, it is our responsibility to steer our children away from this “nature-deficit-disorder”
(Last Child Left in the Woods by RICHARD LOUV – 2005).
Increases understanding of and appreciation for nature.
Augments ecological literacy.
Creates sustainable and healthy communities.
Health + Wellness
Improves environmental, physical, emotional and mental health while developing fine and gross motor skills.
Accommodates multiple learning styles.
Affordable and community-enhancing way to deal with school space issues.
Encourages problem-solving skills and improves communication skills.
Creates engaged and passionate learners.
Supports creative and imaginative thinking.
A TYPICAL DAY
Our day begins with a gathering activity, attendance, and free play/exploration time. The curriculum revolves around the children’s interests and where their play and inquiries lead us. Outdoor Education and Environmental stewardship is woven into each lesson. The environment is the teacher and the adults in the classroom acts a forest research assists, facilitating learning through support and guidance, provocations and invitations. Children are encouraged to self-regulate, choosing to eat when they’re hungry or add or remove clothing if uncomfortable; self-reliance and resilience are fostered. Each day the children go on a hike or two. Much time is spent at the river when its warmer. Mud and dirt and getting wet are an every day affair. There is reflection time at the end of each day and a movement activity such as yoga or stretching is common. Forest Canada Pedagogy is well integrated as is environmental stewardship. The programme is play-based and child-emergent. Mostly, we have a ton of fun in the forest together!