One Day School

Primary School 5 - 12 Year Olds

What would it look like for your child to spend once a week, every week immersed in nature? Maybe you would like to help your child develop greater confidence and positive social interactions with other children? Or perhaps the opportunity to be hands-on and outdoors is when learning happens best? Maybe your child is not quite thriving, or mainstream school can be a struggle?

The Forest School provides an exciting learning space for any child in Primary and Middle School. We have a Primary School programme for children aged 5-12 years and a Middle School programme for 10-15 year olds. If you require further details on the Middle School programme, please go to our Growing Greatness page.

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what does the forest school provide?

The Forest School is a 100% outdoor classroom of  alternative education, set among 10 acres of native and exotic forest on the beachfront at Hatfields, Auckland. Our research-based programme provides children with the regular opportunity to engage deeply in their play and learning within nature. Students attend The Forest School once per week, every week to take part in experiences and opportunities that are real, purposeful, relevant and empowering. The natural environment provides numerous opportunities to build a rich vocabulary and learn curriculum concepts in a very authentic way. Our main focus is on developing human skills such as resilience, communication, problem solving, creativity, and other dispositions and attitudes that our children need, in order to be successful for the future.

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who is the forest school for?

We have a diverse student roll and our outdoor classroom caters for students who thrive in this learning context. Our strengths-based perspective focuses on the can and the interest of the student. Children are highly engaged because they are active all day, have autonomy and their learning tasks are completely hands-on. This empowers, promotes healthy wellbeing and builds confidence and self-esteem. Students who may otherwise struggle in a more traditional teaching and learning environment, have the opportunity to be successful, in a new context, in the company of others who share similar interests. Our ratio of 1:9 enables students to work closely with teachers to discover passions, build on strengths and overcome challenges.

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How does it work with REGULAR school?

The Forest School is the first of its kind in New Zealand and aims to work in partnership with regular schools to support the holistic development of children. The Ministry of Education has advised that every child who attends The Forest School is still considered fully enrolled in their regular school and may be granted permission by their school Principal to attend our One Day School. We will explain this further at your visit. The Forest School is a 100% parent-funded, not-for-profit Social Enterprise. We do not receive any government or private funding. Parents who enrol at The Forest School are required to pay fees for their child to attend.

Places are limited. Please sign up early to a Try Day to avoid disappointment.