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.