Forest and Nature School at the YKPS
What follows is an overview of Forest and Nature School and how I plan to run the program.
Forest and Nature School’s philosophy is based in place and play and is guided by the child’s interests. The children are free to explore all the while learning to trust themselves, the land, their playmates and teachers, who are co-learners. They do this by repeated exposure to the land developing a relationship with the natural space and their co-learners as they have the freedom to explore through play and inquiry.
The program values this relationship with the land, which will hopefully create a life long desire to advocate for the land, their community and the environment. You can find a lot of similarities between the Indigenous ways of knowing and FNS’s pedagogy. The oral tradition and experiential learning of indigenous cultures are highly valued by FNS connecting the child to the natural world, the history of the land and the people who live(d) here, both past and present.
Who Will it Benefit?
The children at the Playschool will benefit from this program along with their families. The Playschool offers unique programming in that it is part-time. We have a Monday/Wednesday/Friday program and a Tuesday/Thursday program. Families have the opportunity to send their children for full days or in the morning or afternoon. Last year we had almost forty families that sent their child. We work with the NWT Disability Council and provide several spots for children to attend with their aids.