Forest School Kindergarten
“Kindergarten Forest & Nature School”
We offer nature based learning programs for children ages 6 weeks-12 years. We are very excited to be offering this Forest & Nature School program since 2014!
We firmly believe that learning doesn’t need to be confined to 4 walls in the classroom.
This Kindergarten program at Discovery follows a format similar to that of the other ages of children we serve. We offer educational programs based in nature. We believe that children not only need, but have the right to, regular and repeated access to the natural world. We believe that being outdoors in beautiful, natural environments is an essential experience for all children. Research continues to show that nature reduces stress, increases attention span and fosters healthy brain development. It is critical to a child’s health and to the healthy development of the whole child.
The Kindergarten Forest & Nature School program at Discovery spends 3 hours every morning (9am-12pm) in our local forest (Veterans Woods Park) and/or our outdoor classroom. Children have the option of full time or part time attendance.
What is a Forest School?
The forest school concept is quickly being adopted around the world offering enormous benefits to young children as they naturally explore the nature around them
BARRIE, Ontario, Canada – 24th September, 2014 - (www.discoverychild.on.ca) Discovery Child Care, an award winning child care centre, focused on connecting children with nature using unique award winning nature-focused programs, has opened its newest initiative, The Discovery Forest School – www.forestschool.ca
Forest School is an educational approach that has existed worldwide since the late 1950s, with over ten thousand Forest School programs in the UK alone. In a Forest School, children spend anywhere from a half day to a full day outdoors in various urban and near-urban parks, natural spaces adjacent to, or on school grounds, or natural playgrounds and outdoor classrooms.
Forest & Nature School Curriculum:
Our curriculum is child-directed, hands-on, play based, emergent, and inquiry-based. A growing body of research has emerged that affirms that children ages birth through eight years learn most effectively through this approach to education.
There are 3 teachers working in the program: Chelsa Osborne RECE, Level 3 certified Forest School Practitioner, April Gonzalez, assistant, both work in the program full time. Karen Eilersen or Jessica Holder are both RECE & forest school practitioners work in the program part time.
- 1:7 teacher-child ratio while in the forest; 1:13 teacher-child ratio while in the indoor/outdoor classroom
- Forest School Program (9am-12pm daily) taught by Level 3 certified Forest School Practitioners
- We follow the Ontario Early Learning Framework so your child is well prepared for grade one.
- Child-directed, play-based, emergent & inquiry-based learning environment
- Hot Lunch and snacks provided (full-day program)
- Longer hours available 7:30am-5:30pm (no additional before and after school care required)
- Beautiful outdoor classroom (1.77 acres)
- Organic Gardening Program
Learn About Our Nature Programs
All children should have the opportunity to play and learn in forests, so naturally when this gets intertwined with a school based program you are getting the best of both worlds. Learn more about our specific programs!