This September Nature’s Calling Environmental Education (NCEE), a registered not-for-profit charity, will launch a brand new education program In Norfolk County – a Forest Kindergarten for 3 to 6 year olds. This educational approach (most commonly referred to as Forest School ,is an educational approach, and program of delivery, that was developed in in Denmark and Sweden in the late 1950s Today hundreds of these unique schools can be found throughout Europe, as well as China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.
The concept is to have students learn outdoors – weather allowing – in all 4 seasons. The learning environment is characterized by regular and repeated access to the same natural space, as well as emergent, experiential, inquiry-based, play-based, and place-based learning. All subjects and disciplines are covered: in any given moment an experience can cut across math, science, art, literature, physical education, etc. A Forest School is often described as a “magical” thing to witness, as it’s often a microcosm of collaboration, communication, trust building, and a working model of consensus building.
Skilled educators plan their lessons at the end of a session, (also known as “backwards lesson planning”), and will know what curriculum standards they need to meet on any given day. The learning outcomes are based on real-time explorations and experiences, rather than pre-determined concepts in books or on screens, done within the four walls of a classroom.
NCEE Executive Director states, “Nature has a purpose in learning, development, and in building a sense of place in the world. Our Forest Kindergarten will provide an opportunity for this to be embedded into education, in a deep, meaningful and practical way”
The Forest Kindergarten program will be led by Colleen Dale, an experienced Early Childhood Educator, who has worked for 15 years in outdoor education in provincial parks, at the Backus Heritage Conservation Area, and with NCEE. She is currently completing her Forest School certification.
The Forest Kindergarten will be located at Delta Waterfowl’s Hunting Heritage and Conservation Centre at 546 Turkey Point Road. The property has woodlands, meadows and open areas to explore, as well as a large communal fire pit, pavilion and indoor classroom (in cases of inclement weather). Classes run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from September 25th to December 21st.
Spaces are still available for this fall. To learn more about the program parents can contact Bernie at 519-427-9969 or at email@example.com
About Nature’s Calling Environmental Education
Nature’s Calling Environmental Education (NCEE) has been operating in Norfolk County for almost 10 years to reconnect children and families with the natural world. Their outdoor school programs have received high praise from teachers and parent volunteers for their uniqueness and focus on local environment and issues. Their collaboration with Shadowland Theatre on the outdoor theatre production, Spirit Walk and Spirit Walk 2 was attended by hundreds of people. And their Eco-Explorer Summer camp regularly has 20 to 30 day campers attend.
For more information on the organization or the above media release please contact Bernie Solymar, Executive Director, at 519-427-9969 or at firstname.lastname@example.org