Barrie Forest and Natural Learning School has the distinction of being the first established and oldest Forest Kindergarten and Natural Learning School in Simcoe County.
Barrie first started our Forest Kindergarten almost a decade ago because there was a lack of Outdoor Programs in Simcoe that were similar in focus to the European model of forest kindergartens. These schools focus on small class sizes, nature immersion and learning through play. We strived for a Forest Kindergarten model similar to that in Europe where children learn into their seventh or eighth year in Forest kindergartens; countries that continue to have some of the highest academically ranked student populations in the world. We have only grown our Natural Learnjng from there to provide Project Based Learning for older students, workshops and consultation for adults, field trips for schools and online self directed learning classes.
After attending Cedarsong Nature school for Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training, the only Forest School training in North America at the time, we were able to provide this wonderful opportunity for the benefit of families in Simcoe Country. The Cedarsong Model, which is based on the forest kindergarden models in Europe, provides complete nature immersion promoting a child directed inquiry based learning model. Our founder and lead facilitator has also extended our learning by pursuing a Masters of Education in Sustainability with a focus on self directed learning models.
We are proud to say we are still the oldest, and only, Forest Kindergarten in Simcoe County with low class sizes for tailored class facilitation, full nature immersion, and led by a trainer, speaker and resident author in play based child directed learning.
We are also proud to say we are dedicated to land based cultural learning and privileged to be located on Annishinabe territory. We are able to have a daily relationship with the Annishinabe community members who manage the only Annishinabe run Provincial Park in Ontario through a co-management agreement. This allows us to bring learning on the land and through the land with their experience of language, culture and general fun.
Member of The Alliance for Self-Directed Education
Board Member of Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario
Member of the Forest School Association