Forest School Principles

set forth by

Forest School Canada

1. FS takes place in a variety of spaces including local forests, creeks, meadows, prairie grasses, mountains, shorelines, rivers, tundras, natural playgrounds, city parks (open spaces) &/ or outdoor classrooms.

2. FS is a long-term process of regular & repeated sessions in the same natural space.

3. FS supports children & youth with a qualified & knowledgeable educator to identify, co-manage & navigate risk.  Opportunities of risk are seen as an integral part of children's learning & healthy development.

4. FS views children as innately competent, curious & capable learners.

5. FS honors Aboriginal & Indigenous (Native American) culture & history, as well as traditional ways of learning & living off the land.

6. FS supports children to develop an ethic of care towards nature & an understanding of themselves as part of the natural world.

7. FS is grounded in & supports building engaged, healthy, vibrant & diverse communities.

8. FS aims to promote the holistic development of children & youth.

9. FS allows for educators to navigate & balance their role as facilitator, guide, supporter & co-learner rather than "expert".

10. FS relies on loose, natural materials to support an open-ended, creative learning process.

11. FS recognizes that the process is as valued (or even more valued) than the product or outcome.

12. FS is led by a qualified Forest & Nature School Practitioner who is rooted in & committed to place-based education & FS pedagogical theory & practical skills.

13. FS calls for educators to utilize place-based, play-based, emergent, inquiry-based & experiential learning approaches toward connecting children to nature.

 * Sally Anderson is trained through Forest Schools Canada & was the first person from the US to become a qualified FSC Forest School Practitioner.

SOL Forest School Director Sally Anderson with acclaimed author Richard Louv who wrote the ground-breaking book Last Child in the Woods (2005) which was responsible for accelerating the Nature & Forest School movement in the U.S.  Sally read this book in 2006 & it changed how she parented, as well as how she approached teaching in early childhood education.