While at Hilltop House Forest School you can expect your child to have rich learning experiences that will help them prepare for elementary school socially, emotionally and academically. Following the Reggio philosophy, the teacher will plan and guide activities that will benefit the needs and interests of the children in each individual class.
Forest school, as an approach to early childhood education, can be best defined in the words of the Forest School Canada guide:
‘…all Forest and Nature School programs adhere to the following: regular and repeated access to the same natural space, as well as emergent, experiential, inquiry-based, play-based, and place-based learning’ (MacEachren, 2013). The defining feature of this type of nature-based education program is that children are provided with opportunities to build an on-going relationship with the land, to a dedicated educator, to one another, and to themselves through this educational approach.’ (Forest and Nature School in Canada p.12)
A child-led time to play, inquire, wonder, problem solve and feel connected to nature in the supportive, trusting, observant care of nature loving early childhood educators.
The activities at Forest School will depend on the season and the children involved. Activities will be child-led, teacher supported, inquiry based and emergent. In other words, we will follow what the children show interest in, as it takes place.
Activities at Forest School will include:
Learning about native plants/animals
8:50 - Arrival at park, all children to use washroom and wash hands
9:00 - Meet at covered picnic area – parents stay until bell rings
9:00-9:15 - Walk the park area
9:15-9:30 - Circle time back at picnic area/meet any late arrivals
9:30-9:50 - Hike the trail to the Back Forest
9:50-10:00 - Arrive at Back Forest and set up camp
10:00-10:15 - Snack time
10:15-11:15 - Free play in Back Forest
11:15-11:20 - Pack up camp/backpacks on
11:20-11:30 - Hike back to covered picnic area
11:30 - Parents pick up at covered picnic area
*The above timetable is approximate (with exception of start/finish times which remain the same each day). The Reggio philosophy believes in following the children's interests - therefore if we are deeply immersed in a project, activity or goal - this will take precedence over following a set timetable.