wild at heart (1)

Our school is nestled in the forest in South Gillies, Ontario, hence the name, "The Forest School".  It started before the Forest School Movement became a thing, and the name became associated with a brand of sorts.  So,  although we share many similar values, beliefs and guiding principals, we are not officially connected to FOREST SCHOOLS.


"A World Worth Imagining" is a children's book written by Forest School founder, Sue Holloway, illustrated by Amanda Clark, and inspired by The Forest School Children.  It tells the story of a young girl who sees what has become in a world guided by respect and compassion. 
This heartwarming tale of hope is for young and old alike.


Wild at heart-- sums us up completely.  Fourteen years of "wild hearts" running around, exploring, discovering, questioning, imagining… So many “ings”.  Through all of them, we have learned so much.  My toolbox of resources, ideas, and activities has taken on a life of its own.  My knowledge of ninjas, circus arts, Lake Superior, magic, and survival is 100 times what it was before.  Imagine, if I did not have the honour of working with this amazing group of kids, I might not have learned that the life of a Sumo Wrestler is steeped in extraordinary ritual and ceremony, or that fox pee has a very distinct smell, or even that there used to be such things as bug circuses.  
At The Forest School- An Alternative Learning Centre, what we learn about is largely determined by the kids.  They pick the theme for the term; I do the research and come up with an engaging means of guiding our group in its exploration.  I love it!!!  It keeps me on my toes. Mixed in with all the different themes we explore, are underlying messages and commitments to environmental and social responsibility. We spend time learning to care about the earth, others and ourselves. We are putting the time into becoming great humans-- it seems to me the most important thing to master.  (Although ninja moves are a close second).
Wild At Heart is a digitial zine, full of hands-on ideas for connecting kids with themselves, eachother and the earth.  It is my way of passing on what I have learned and continue to learn along the way.  I hope you find some gems to share with your people!


The woods out here have been too quiet lately!!! So, we are going to offer a 3-day Wild Things program May 8, 9 and 10th from 10 to 3, for kids 8 (or close to it) and over. (and a second one to be announced for June)

Wild Things will be an outdoor program consisting of games, adventures, naturalist skills, bushcraft and stewardship.

The cost will be $120 per program for the first child, and $100 for other children from the same family. Space is limited

Contact me for more information or to register



The primary goals are to:


  • Develop the whole child,
    mind body and spirit;

  • Nurture an understanding of the
    interconnectedness of all things,

    and with that an environmental
    and social responsibility;

  • Nurture/inspire an excitement for learning
    and an understanding that it can be a
    wondrous adventure;

  • Create a community that honours children as individuals, and
    that values and respects the similarities and differences in all of us;

  • Facilitate learning that is theme-based and largely learner directed;
  • Involve the wider community through service, field trips and apprenticeships.



“Education is not
the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire"

- William Butler Yeats


Painting by Ned Bittinger from the book When the Root Children Wake Up

Established 2007

IMAGINE a place where children feel valued and respected, are a part of a community that supports their uniqueness, that is gentle and kind, that feeds their curiosity and love of learning, and that helps develop their self confidence and self reliance.  

IMAGINE a place that is grounded in a desire to nurture peaceful, creative, intelligent people who truly care about the earth and the people on it. The Forest School is this place.

THE FOREST SCHOOL is an alternative learning centre that believes learning can be a wondrous adventure, and that people learn best by doing. The programs offered are hands-on, and experiential in nature.  They combine freedom with form and take place both indoors and outdoors.


We will not longer be offering our Semester Program