6 Forest School Programmes In Hong Kong
In Hong Kong’s highly competitive education landscape, a new trend is growing that takes kids outside of the classroom for some hands-on learning in nature.
Known as the forest school movement, it began in Scandinavia in the 1950s and has since gained ground in numerous countries, including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan and now Hong Kong.
Here are six forest school programmes in Hong Kong to discover:
1/6 Discovery Bay International School
Discovery Bay International School is the first school in Hong Kong to introduce both forest and beach schools in its Early Years Foundation Stage. The child-led programme operates all year round, allowing nursery and reception class students to explore, play, build, create and imagine—in all types of weather. Facilities include a purpose-built garden on the Early Years campus, as well as access to the beach, rock pools and the nearby country park.
2/6 Forest House Waldorf School/Garden House Kindergarten And Pre-school
Waldorf schools are founded on an alternative philosophy developed by Rudolf Steiner in which engagement with the environment is one of the fundamental principles and educational tools. At Forest House Waldorf School in Sai Kung, an extension of Garden House Kindergarten and Pre-school in Clearwater Bay, children spend a significant amount of time playing and learning outdoors, exploring the local flora and fauna, cubby building and gardening, as well as engaging in hands-on crafting activities.
3/6 ICHK Hong Lok Yuen
The International College Hong Kong Hong Lok Yuen campus, situated in the green hills of the New Territories, provides an ideal setting for the city’s first accredited Forest School Development Centre. Hong Lok Yuen boasts a custom-made outdoor classroom, called The Woods, and has partnered with Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden to create workshops that explore sustainability, animals, biodiversity, and trees and plants.
See also: Best International Schools In Hong Kong: 2019 Edition
4/6 Malvern College Pre-school Hong Kong/Malvern College Hong Kong
Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong, in West Kowloon, and Malvern College Hong Kong, in Tai Po, New Territories, operate a programme with Forest School Association certified leaders. True to the programme’s ethos, intra- and interpersonal skills, as well as practical and intellectual skills, are developed outside the classroom through a range of activities, including science-focused site exploration, games, shelter building, tool skills and environmental art.
See More: Malvern College Hong Kong
5/6 Wilderness International Kindergarten
At Wilderness International Kindergarten, a Kennedy Town institution, children can make mud pies and no one will tell them to stop getting dirty. Outdoor spaces—including a spacious outdoor garden with herbs and flowers, a playground with a tree house, climbing frames and a mud pit—provide opportunities for children to be uninhibited, messy and boisterous while developing gross motor skills, releasing energy and learning to take risks.
6/6 The Peak Pre-school
At this institution operated by Woodland Pre-Schools at The Peak, children can answer the call of the wild through regular scheduled free play in the school’s spacious outdoor play area and garden, complemented by more structured programmes such as Woodland Wednesdays, run in partnership with outdoor education specialists The Backyard Gang. The mid-week adventures allow students to discover, and learn from, the city’s abundant wilderness areas.
See also: Why Hong Kong International Schools Are Embracing Mindfulness