Learning in a Forest School context is inquiry based, emergent, and based on real hands-on experiences. In other words learning comes naturally. Our program works with children’s natural desire to explore and question the world around them. Inquiry based learning, as the name suggests, involves exploring a child’s questions, interests, and ideas about the natural world. Forest School uses this curiosity as a foundation upon which to build the child’s problem solving abilities, critical thinking, and deep connection to nature. Learning in this format is emergent, meaning that it cannot be pre-planned by the educator. Instead, our “lessons” emerge as children follow their interests. It is a learning style that allows children to learn at their own pace, thus accommodating for different learning abilities and needs.
The importance of play in the child’s development is at the very heart of the Forest School ethos. Playfulness and curiosity go hand in hand, after all! Nature play gives children the precious opportunity to build communication and social skills, work on problem solving and allow burgeoning creativity to thrive. Learning through play is learning for the children by the children and is therefor an infinitely powerful learning experience.