Calgary Forest School
Located in Calgary, Alberta, our children's programs model the Forest School approach that have been well established in Europe since the 1950's. Research shows a multitude of reasons - intellectual, social, emotional and physical to get kids outside spending great lengths of time in nature.
All of the educators have taken the Forest School Practitioner training through Forest School Canada, some in association with Jon Cree from Forest School Association in England. In the program children spend the majority of their time exploring, creating and learning hands-on in the natural world using provincial, municipal and private lands. A permanent indoor classroom is located in the Red Deer Lake Community Centre. An outdoor classroom utilizes a travel-trailer converted to classroom and is used for the 1/2 day classes. Class size for the full day class is 16 children with a 1:6 ratio when outdoors. The 1/2 day class has 6 children.
Our individual practice is always developing and evolving as we ourselves develop and evolve as educators and learners. Our programs are supported by Certified Teachers to enhance appropriate curricular strands, numeracy and literacy.
We consider The Early Learning and Childcare Curriculum Framework for Alberta which "is broadly focused on the process of our (early childcare) work and the decisions we (early childcare workers) make every day, rather than determining the content of children's learning, as traditional ideas of curriculum often suggest." (from their FAQ, parenthesis added.)
The collective of our individual practice drive the key concepts at our Forest School:
Regular woodland visits for extended periods of time to play
Safety & supporting risk in play
Learner-led, inquiry-based project work inspired by the work of educators from Reggio Emilia
Collaboration, participation and group work
Observation and documentation of learning using StoryPark
Hands on learning and play
Reflection and mindfulness
Our programs operate Monday - Friday
Full day - 9:30 - 2:30; 1/2 day - 9:30 - 12:00
For ages 3* - 5 years old
The Forest School program is a semester-based program. Accepting wait list applications for full days. Spaces will be offered as they open based on the time the application was completed.
Now accepting applications for Spring 2019
which begins April 2, 2019
Spring 2019 semester fees - 12 weeks
Full day (1 day per week) - $660 + gst;
1/2 day (Friday) - $360 + gst
Registration for the Fall 2019 semester will open online January 20, 2019
Please note - Completing a forest school registration does not guarantee you a space. Our programs operate on seasonal semesters. Once enrolled in a semester families have the first opportunity to re-enrol for the subsequent semesters. The best time to get into the program is in the Fall as many children age out into Kindergarten and their space becomes available. Spaces for Winter and Spring become available as families decide not to carry on into the following semester.
The forest school program operates out of the Red Deer Lake Community Hall and Lloyd Park - 5 min. west of Spruce Meadows off Hwy. 22x. A beautiful 56-acre municipally-owned woodland and wetland environment. Additional $35 annual community membership is required at this location. ($25 if you live in MD of Foothills).
*Children must be fully independent in the bathroom to attend. There is no diaper-changing facility.