What is Forest School?
Forest School is a learning program that is held outside, no matter the weather for a long period of time. It incorporates play-based instruction that is designed to foster independence and risky play. Students become more resilient, develop improved confidence, and social skills. Students who attend a Forest School have been found to have stronger motor skills such as agility, balance and coordination and excel at judging risk.
What is Maplewood Outside School, how is it different from other Forest Schools?
MOS is a forest school PLUS the best parts from several schools of learning to make a curriculum that matches our students interests.
From The Reggio Emilia Approach we believe that our students have a deep curiosity and we will foster their interests with the materials we provide. We focus on social collaboration, where everyones thoughts are weighted equally. Learning is a collaborative process where teachers are mentors and guides and will invite students to explore a topic further. Teachers will carefully document their work thorough pictures and provide transcripts of their explanations.
We borrow from The Waldorf Philosophy when we encourage imagination in learning, develop artistic expression, and social competence. We provide students with an experiential education, provide them with practical tasks, and immures them in a natural environment. We use natural and/or recycled materials and tools that lead to imaginative play.
We incorporate STEAM in our curriculum. Students are exposed to the natural world, create and solve problems, engineer solutions, and use a basic language of numbers. Lessons are hands-on, inquiry based and open ended that encourage teamwork. This can be seen when students use the pulleys to fill buckets and measure which bucket is heavier.