About us

What is a forest (pre)school?

 

The forest (pre)school educational model allows children the time to immerse in nature with no sense of rush and with no adults telling them what they must do next. The time slows as children find their own rhythm without adult intervention, and this sense of timelessness is something that is not often experienced in our frenetic world. Besides the daily nature immersion, forest (pre)schools are distinguished by their emergent curriculum, child-driven flow learning, and an inquiry-based teaching style. We know that young children learn best through hands-on discovery and when they are relaxed and having fun. The forest kindergarten early childhood education model keeps children excited about learning by building on their own discoveries and interests and increases their connection with the natural world. When children are allowed to “just” play in nature, deep learning takes place in the areas of ecology, biology, botany, ethnobotany, ornithology, zoology, math, physics, and engineering. In addition, the forest (pre)school model emphasizes social and emotional development, as well as kindness, compassion, empathy, cooperation, and teamwork.

 

What curriculum do kids follow?

 

 

Children have an enormous capacity for taking in and cataloging information; the more children are interested in something, the more information they can take in and retain. Our approach capitalizes on following students' interests as they explore. This type of curriculum is referred to as "emergent" because it is evolves directly from what is relevant, interesting, and personally meaningful to the children.

 

 

What is the role of „teachers”?

 

 

The role of the teacher in an inquiry-based teaching style is quite different from that of a teacher in a conventional classroom. Instead of providing direct instruction to students, teachers help students generate their own questions and guide the investigation that follows. So our teachers provide rich experiences that provoke kids’ thinking and curiosity; they plan carefully-constructed questioning sequences; and respond to students’ emerging queries and discoveries. Children are given opportunities to take ownership of their own learning, a skill necessary for one to succeed in college and in most professional settings. Furthermore, inquiry-based teaching methods can benefit linguistically diverse students and students with special needs.

 

Is this a proper kinderschool or school?

 

 

Our Forest Nursery offers a nature and art-foused alternative educatinal model. It is not a registered educational facility, but organized by an NGO called Harmony of Culture Foundation. As such, it is being grown and developed with regular inputs by both parents and teachers. Children who are aged 6-9 and attend daily are registered as home-schoolers and will make yearly exams from age 7. Ours is one of the first forest schools in Poland which offers an education for school-aged children. Currently it is fully funded by parents as the Foundation cannot apply for government subsidies for kindergartens. As the Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, all money recieved is spent on paying for teachers, buying materials and paying the overhead costs of the NGO. .

 

Which groups do we have and what's the schedule?

 

 

The forest school runs from September till end-July with two groups. Kids between 5-9 can be enrolled from Mondays till Fridays. We prefer full-time enrollment, but currently we offer flexibility and thus it is also possible to enrol once or twice a week and there is a choice of mornings or afternoons too. We have different teachers in the mornings and in the afternoons – usually each teacher takes 2-3 sessions each week and we also have volunteers. During vacations, other children are also welcome provided the maximum number does not reach 10 kids. Kids aged 3-5 meet three times a week in the morning hours. Again, there is possibility to just come once a week.