What is Farm and Forest School?
It is a unique blend of Forest School and Agricultural Literacy, with our teaching philosophy inspired by the Montessori and Waldorf methods of education.
Farm & Forest School
Rewilding Education is uniquely placed on a working organic farm with acres of private forest to explore. We expertly blend Garden-based education with the Forest School philosophy to create unique learning opportunities.
At REWILDING Education - Farm & Forest School, we’re proud to provide our learners a caring and safe environment. We provide educational programming on a privately owned 100-acre farm and forest for children, youth, families and school groups. We are conveniently located only 15 minutes west of Barrie ON, just outside of Angus ON and Base Borden.
Our unique programs expertly blend a variety of educational theories, while always keeping the learner's best interests in mind and always allowing for hands-on, experiential learning. Our school programs take place entirely (or almost entirely) outdoors in the forest and in the gardens and are a way for families to add to home-schooling or "regular" school.
Child and Nature Alliance of Canada describes the approach as centred on "the land and the child-at-play" with a focus on experiential, inquiry-based, play-based, and place-based learning. Students might connect to the Ontario curriculum by measuring the circumference of a tree, using sticks to make shapes or learning about the life cycles and food chains of animals they encounter.
Abundant research confirms that interacting with nature nurtures creativity, promotes good health, raises vitamin levels, inspires problem-solving, builds confidence, and simply just ‘makes you feel better’. Despite this knowledge and research, children are more disconnected from our natural world now than ever: not knowing where their food comes other than the grocery store, never having pulled a carrot from the ground and taken that first sweet bite, never having tried to climb a tree or catch frogs from a creek. Having a safe and nurturing space for learning and growing at their own pace, children who attend REWILDING Education go home happy, tired and full of enthusiasm.
Why Farm & Forest School?
Rewilding Education Farm & Forest School was born out of a desire to do better for our children and provide a space for the children in our community to connect with and learn in nature. After working for over 20 years with children and youth in a variety of settings and most recently, a decade in public and private schools, our Director and Lead Educator, Becky struggled to reconcile her knowledge of how children learn best and the disconnect from the one size fits all model in the public education system. Children need to move their bodies, have space to explore their own interests at their own pace and connect with nature every day.
At Rewilding Education, we provide a safe, fun space that nurtures a child's desire to be outdoors. Every day will include activities based on the needs of the farm and gardens (what needs to be planted, weeded or harvested), and exploring the forest on the property. No two days are ever the same! Our days are dynamic depending on the ever-changing natural environment of the farm and forest (evidence of animals, emergence of new flowers, what needs to be planted, weeded or harvested, insect activity, effects of weather on the land etc.) We will explore the gardens, learn about biodiversity, how to plant seeds, and what plants need to thrive while working hands on in the garden. We will also spend time exploring the forest, building forts, and playing in the ever popular 'Mud Kitchen'. The educators will provide opportunities for outdoor skill development, cooperative games, crafts and LOTS of movement. The day's activities begin and end in our gathering space where we will share stories, songs, poems, or plays. Educators also add to the day's learning by introducing provocations such as simple tools and loose parts used for building, planting and creating. We spend all our time outdoors, rain or shine, building deep connections with the Land that we play, walk and learn on.
Rewilding Education - Farm & Forest School blends different educational philosophies that all compliment one another. As a new and innovative approach to education, we follow the Forest and Nature school philosophy, while expertly blending in Farm and Garden-based Education. We pull inspiration from the Waldorf approach to learning by meeting children where they are, and focusing on educating their heads, hearts and hands while nourishing their innate sense of imagination and wonder of the world around them. We pull inspiration from the Montessori approach by focusing on real life experiences, mixed aged groupings, learning through their senses and at their own individual pace. Children and youth who attend Rewilding Education learn to appreciate and value nature, in its full splendour.
At Rewilding Education, our curriculum blends these different educational philosophies while also benefiting from an experienced Ontario-Certified-Teacher as the Director of our programs. We expertly weave the Ontario provincial curriculum expectations into our learning at Farm & Forest School. While a lot of wonderful learning happens at Farm & Forest School, we are not intended to be a replacement for your child's academic learning, we compliment it.
To learn more about the Forest and Nature schools, visit these links:
To learn more about the Waldorf and Montessori Approaches to Education: