That every child in New Zealand, especially those with diverse needs, will know their value, self worth and the greatness within themselves.
Empowering children through experiential learning in nature so that transformation happens in self, place and culture.
The Forest School instills a love of learning through play, discovery and curiosity in the natural world, fostering a connection with and love for the environment.
We provide opportunities for children to take supported risks so that they build resilience and confidence in their abilities.
Children are taught how to think, not what to think and are encouraged to be imaginative people who are great at problem solving.
We believe that these important life skills empower children to become happy and relatable people who are confident to ask the big questions:
Who am I? What am I capable of? Where do I fit? What is my purpose?
We help children figure out what they like, what they’re good at and understand that they have enormous potential. We help them find their reason to learn.
Finding the answers to these big questions is the fundamental purpose of education.
Children then feel confident about who they are and who they can be in this world.
The Forest School is play based. Play is the foundation of true inquiry and discoveries. Play empowers, enables and excites. It is the very thing that allows for natural, developmentally appropriate learning to take shape. Play provides children with the opportunity to interact with one another, so that they can make sense of themselves and their world. We have fun and play together always.
Genuine relationship is our core foundation. Being truly connected to others and to the environment is essential to personal, social and emotional growth. We support children to become socially competent, empathetic people who feel a true sense of belonging, to people and place.
Experiential learning is at the heart of what we do. We focus on the process and what children are learning through their experience, rather than the product. Children experience through doing. Real-life learning is key, so that children understand that what they are a part of has purpose.
Who we are and who we can become is the big question of life. Every child arrives unique and capable in their own way. We enable children to understand this about themselves and others. Children are empowered to see that we all have purpose and potential and are given space to figure out what that is.
Moving physically provides greater opportunities to process, think and participate in a whole body way. Physical and mental well-being is a byproduct of highly engaged active learners. Engaging the mind and body with surroundings is a powerful catalyst that enables children to become lifelong healthy and active people.
To prepare children for our fast changing world we must first understand what matters in their world. This is different for every child. Our focus is to then enable children by coaching them in becoming confident, resilient, bold, creative, innovative problem solvers of the future, that can not just make sense of the world they live in, but impact it.
See what the experts have to say on education, play, nature and development. We are constantly inspired by them and the evidence based research that they conducte. We hope that you are too.
Dr Thomas Armstrong
Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, award-winning author, speaker and educator for over forty years.
Co-founder of the Children and Nature Network, journalist and author.
Professor Welby Ings
Teacher of 40 years, award winning designer, filmmaker and professor at AUT, Welby Ings is an international consultant on issues of creativity and learning.