EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY & VALUES
Growing Wild Forest School's nature-based emergent curriculum allows for child-led free play interwoven with open-ended adult-guided activities. This strong foundation supports healthy development through all aspects of the growing child becoming more secure and balanced with an innate drive for stewardship and service.
EDUCATION: From basic forest ecology and natural sciences to handcrafts and primitive skills, student's minds and imaginations are kindled with play, story, and song. Every day is infused with sensory exploration and wonder, ever-changing with each season. The curriculum also fosters a range of benefits through an emphasis on the social and emotional aspects of learning and learner-interest led approaches, the development of pre-reading and pre-STEAM skills.
DISCOVERY: Kids are meant to move, not sit still in a classroom. We encourage their growing bodies to roam, ramble and run freely around variable and uneven surfaces, building essential motor skills and awareness. They are always given choices in their expression and encouraged to emote themselves physically with clear and loving boundaries.
CONNECTION: In a mixed-age setting, young children’s innate fascination with the natural world is nurtured so that they can adopt an early appreciation for our planet and their role in it. Emotions and spirits are nourished by their developing relationships with both themselves and each other, so that they are supported and able to flourish and thrive into their best whole selves.
The forest school concept dates back over 60 years and recognizes the fundamental human need for connection to the Earth, as well as the growing body of research to support the benefits of outdoor free-play for young children. Forest schools are part of a rapidly growing global movement to combat modern symptoms of "nature deficit disorder." They also are a way to off-set the detriment caused by risk-averse parenting styles and the unrealistic academic expectations society has placed on early learners.
At Growing Wild Forest School, we support "free-range childhood." We help to meet kids' hardwired biological expectation to exist as tiny explorers, scientists, humanitarians and artists. By experiencing all seasons and weather, experimenting with creativity, mingling with local plants and animals, learning through mixed-age socialization, guided by their own pace of learning and supported by strong and loving boundaries, we ensure that each child will truly make the world a better place for themselves, and generations to come.
To learn more about the history and guiding principles of forest school, as well as the specific benefits of forest school for your child, please visit our parent organization, The Forest School Foundation.