About Us

All about Forest School, Pedagogy and Guiding Principals.

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Principles

Forest School Principles and Criteria for Good Practice

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What to Expect

What do we actually do at a Forest School?

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Registration

I'm interested! Tuition information, registration, and next steps.

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Welcome to Natural Pathways Forest and Nature School

Our Mission Statement

Our mission at Natural Pathways Forest and Nature School is to provide innovative, inspired and transformational outdoor experiences for children through play and exploration in the local woodlands of Windsor and Essex County, Ontario. Our mission is also to nurture generations of ecologically aware and academically well-rounded individuals, who will have the knowledge, values and skills needed to make environmentally and socially conscious decisions on a local, national and global scale. We will inspire individuals to become ambassadors for nature and champions for well-being. We will support individuals in harnessing their potential and passion for building a deeper relationship with our natural world.

 

 

Forest School Programs 

 

2019 Summer Forest School Camps

This summer NPLC will again offer their popular Forest and Nature School Camps at our wonderful Holiday Beach Forest School site.  

Forest School Camp gives children the opportunity to enjoy adventures in the forest, exploring, creating, building, using their imagination, making new friends and challenging themselves.

Our educators all have extensive experience working in the outdoors with children.  They will provide a safe program that is child-led, inquiry-based, place-based, that may include:  shelter building, woodland crafts, hiking, treasure maps and directions, campfire building and cooking, exploring trails and wetlands.

The program is available for children aged 4 - 12. 

All programs run Monday - Friday  9:30 - 3:30 pm (see schedule below)

Fees:  $200 per child per week (sibling discount available upon request)

2019 Camp Program Dates:

Session 1:   July 8 - 12, 2019

Session 2:    July 15 - 19, 2019

Session 3:    August 19 - 23, 2019

To Register:  email Jocelyn@naturalpathways.ca

 

 

 

Natural Pathways Learning Centre Receives Ontario Trillium Foundation SEED Grant!!

OTF announcement 2019.pdf

Woodland Wanderers

Location: Camp Bryerswood 6480 Texas Rd

Calling all kids to run like the wind to in beautiful Essex County, the site of Natural Pathways Forest and Nature School, where we will fill our days hunting for the treasures of the woods, building forts, tracking animals, telling stories and so much more. Are you an explorer? We've been waiting for you to help us discover the wonders of our site! Are you a cartographer, a local historian, a budding naturalist? We need your help to chart our paths, uncover the stories the land holds, and unlock the secrets of the rocks and trees and the creatures who live among them.

The Details
  • Ages 6 – 10 years
  • Days: TBD
  • Times: TBD
  • Term: TBD
  • Fees: $25 per day ($100 per session)

Register Today! Email: Jocelyn@naturalpathways.ca

Forest Family Explorers

Location: 1431 Gore Rd, Harrow

With a unique focus each week, our small group of parents and children will explore the forest using all our senses and incorporating music, movement, yoga, traditional woodland crafts, storytelling and more.  This program is specially designed to introduce small children and their care givers to the beauty of the forest. Together we will build coordination and confidence, creativity and resilience by walking trails, scrambling up rocks and balancing on logs. Through our explorations we will use our 'deer ears' and our 'owl eyes', finding evidence of forest creatures. We will build our forest community sharing stories, snacks, affection and wonder in the beautiful forests in our community.

The Details
  • Ages 2.5 – 5 years with Parent(s)/Caregiver(s)
  • Days: Wednesdays
  • Times: 9:30 - 12:00
  • Term: Summer session 1: July 3, 10, 17, 24, Summer session 2: July 31, Aug. 7, 14, 21
  • Fees: $25 per day ($100 per session)

Register Today! Email: Jocelyn@naturalpathways.ca

Half-day Forest Kindergarten

Location: Holiday Beach Conservation Area

This half-day kindergarten program is distinguished by its commitment to total nature immersion, interest-led flow learning, emergent curriculum, place-based focus, inquiry-based teaching style and authentic play. Nature Immersion is defined as 'unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world'.

The Details
  • Ages 4 – 7 years
  • Days: Mondays
  • Times: 12:30 - 3:30
  • Term: Fall session TBA
  • Fees: $25 per day ($100 per session)

Register Today! Email: Jocelyn@naturalpathways.ca

Drop In Family Programs

Parent and Child Nature Mornings - Location: Holiday Beach Conservation Area (HBCA)

We invite all parents and caregivers with young children to the forest, trails and beach at HBCA to connect with the outdoors and introduce your child to its gifts in the security of a group. We encourage you to foster a life-long relationship between your child and the natural world. Meet like-minded parents and caregivers, and find support and community as we walk the trails and beach and return to the fire circle to play, rest, feed our babies, and share healthy snacks before heading back out into the world. This will be a drop-in group

  • Days: Family drop in on Mondays at Holiday Beach Conservation Area (location may change, check Facebook for most up to date information) from 10:00 - 12:00. No pre-registration necessary. Please check our Facebook page for regular updates on dates, times and locations (we often visit other sites for Forest School drop in and updates will be posted on our Facebook calendar)
  • Fees: $10 per family
  • Dates: Monday July 8, 15, 22, 29. August 12, 19. Fall dates to follow!
  • Other Details: Park entry and meeting site information will be updated on our FB page each week

School Groups

SPRING 2019 IS FULLY BOOKED for our School Program bookings! RESERVE NOW FOR FALL!

School Groups are invited to join us at Camp Bryerswood or 1431 Gore Road

Natural Pathways Forest School provides outdoor nature connection opportunities to school groups. Students visit the same woodland site, located in the Windsor and Essex County area, in all but the most extreme weather conditions on a weekly basis. At Forest School, we subscribe to the old adage that there is no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing. Forest School in Canada takes place in four seasons: learning how to dress appropriately for outdoor adventures is part of the experience. Each Forest School program is tailored to meet the needs of the students within the group and is continuously developed as the participants grow in confidence, skill, and understanding.

Forest School is ideally suited for preschool, Junior and Senior Kindergarten and home school groups. Cooperatively designed programs are also offered to elementary grade levels as well. Programs are currently being offered at Camp Bryerswood and 1431 Gore Rd.

We offer 6 week programs for individual class bookings and are currently accepting bookings for Fall 2019. Spring 2019 is completely booked! Please reserve your fall booking as soon as possible.

Please contact us for the fee schedule and fall availability.

Book a Field Trip with your School Group Today! Contact Jocelyn@naturalpathways.ca


Philosophy and Program Statement
  • Our program at Natural Pathways Forest and Nature School is a reflection of our philosophy; we support the individual's natural sense of curiosity through nurturing each individual's learning style, abilities and temperament. We nurture authentic relationships in our learning community recognizing children as competent, capable, curious, rich in potential and capable of constructing knowledge.
  • We are committed to creating an atmosphere of mutual respect for each other, our community in Windsor and Essex County, our environment, and the world around us. Relationship building is an integral part of our practices. Authentic, caring relationships are the foundation of our program; we cultivate a sense of belonging among the children, adults and the learning community with an emphasis on positive communication, self-regulation, and problem solving.
  • Our learning environment is a reflection of our image of the child as competent, capable and rich in potential. Our outdoor environment in Windsor and Essex County is rich in a natural materials and accessible tools/equipment that promotes exploration, discovery and divergent thinking. Our programs will reveal the authentic respectful approach to the learning process through reflecting each individual's interests and input. We support and nurture our ecological identity through a wide variety of opportunities for scientific discovery. Children explore the natural rhythm of the seasons in a respectful and flexible time schedule. Time is necessary for deep exploration and understanding of the cyclical systems in nature such as plant and animal life cycles. Our Forest and Nature School Program provides space based and play based emergent opportunities for discovery and connects us to the ancient wisdom of Canada's First Nations.
  • We promote health, safety, nutrition, and well being through our close connections to our natural environment. Our well being is nurtured by the ever changing weather and seasons, fresh air, food, science, and stress free natural surroundings. The natural world enhances opportunities for discovery and nurtures curiosity. Hands-on exploration and concrete experiences encourage us to build awareness about safety and safe risk management. Our seasonal food and outdoor practices inform us about healthy living through awareness of where our food comes from.
  • Authentic relationships are the substance of our learning community. We provide an environment that engages children in meaningful explorations, fosters active and creative play, and inquiry-based learning. Our emergent and child initiated curriculum provides many opportunities for the children to explore relationships. Our carefully designed schedule provides flexibility and opportunities for exploration, discovery, and expression.
  • Our research-based Constructivist approach to learning honours children's innate ability to construct knowledge from their hands-on experiences. Thus we provide an environment that encourages exploration, play, inquiry, and opportunities to build on previous learning. As a learning community we support children's explorations, experiments and discoveries by providing age appropriate provocations based on our observations of the inquiries unfolding during the play process. We capitalize on the rich diverse social, cultural and linguistic gifts that each individual bring to the group.
  • We cherish the diversity in learning styles and strive to create diverse, positive learning environments that meet each child's individual abilities. We understand the uniqueness of each child and design the learning environment with opportunities for active and quiet explorations. Through embracing the process of observing, listening and communicating with respect, we create opportunities for strong relationships to form. We nurture a strong sense of belonging with a natural rhythm and routine each day
  • Through Forest and Nature School Canada's ethos we research, observe, document and support the various types of play emerging in our environment such as symbolic, exploratory, dramatic, social, communication, creative, deep, fantasy, imaginative, locomotor, mastery, recapitulative, rough and tumble, and quiet meditative play. With our meditative 'sit spot' practice we provide time for quiet, mindful self-reflection and expression.
  • Through our strong professional commitment to foster engagement in our learning processes we invite families and the community to join in our programs. We strive to empower parents to participate as partners in all aspects of our program as experts on their children and the source of the most powerful influence on the child's learning, development, health and well-being.
  • We cherish our community relationships with local conservation groups, local colleges and universities, high schools, Scouts Canada, Forest and Nature School Canada, and other government-sponsored programs. Professional development opportunities are our passion and we strive to broaden our horizons continually. We embrace life-long learning for our staff as well as our colleagues in the community.
  • We seek to develop professional partnerships with like-minded organizations and are passionate about building bridges to create a community of best practices for learning. As professionals we are committed to the process of collaborative inquiry through sharing critical reflections, pedagogical documentation and our life long professional inquiry with the community. We are committed to the process of critical reflection, learning and growth as the basis of high-quality programs that continuously improve supported by emerging research.