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Testimonials from Parents of Forest School
“My children and I have been part of this program since its beginning and it is the only educational experience we find is worth being a part of.
Without a doubt Singapore is a great country and very progressive but it has almost no options available in alternate education, which is gaining popularity world over. This program is one of its kind in Singapore, a pioneer project which will also greatly benefit the community at large. Children who spend time in nature are the ones who learn to respect and preserve it.”
– Amna (Forest School Wildcats Wednesday, 2017 Term 2)
“We want to say how valuable this program is for my Son, Louis. He has been going to Forrest school since last year and we see tremendous growth in him in the love of nature and park.
Some people say we can’t protect what we don’t know. Our government has been driving initiative about being Green and protect the earth. We believe the first step for us is to introduce nature to our kids and all of us. We can’t protect the things we are not familiar. Familiarity breeds care. Care breeds Love. And it is the Love that we need in our community to save our planet earth.”
– Charles (Forest School Sunbear Saturday, 2016 – now)
“My wife Annabel and I have known Coach Darren for 2 years and we have entrusted him to bring our son Thaddeus, together with many of his young buddies into the forest. Living in urbanized Singapore, apart from having had to “chiong sua” in army, many people’s childhoods are not spent in the forest. No one can deny the beauty of the forest – the smell of the rain hitting the soil, the warm rays of the sun on your face, the trees that grow majestically towards the sun and the many animals scurrying by to say hello. In recent years in Singapore, there are many programmes directly linked to curriculum, including outdoor class field trips to the many gardens all around Singapore or the different pathways and nature reserves. But here is where Forest School Singapore (FSS) is different.
The Forest School Approach strives for something more, a lasting relationship with nature.. In FSS case, this means repeated revisits to the Boulder Park or the Water Stream. The reason in constantly going to similar locations is the hope the children and the adults who accompany them, will form a relationship with and connection to the land. This doesn’t happen overnight. Every new trip to these spaces brings new experiences, some experiences fresh and brand new, others a reinforcement of a previous day. I fondly remember my 4 year old Son recalling animatedly different walks in the Water stream. Some days it’s dry and arid and he traipses through the stream looking proudly at the tall trees on a sunny day; while on rainier days with huge downpours, the stream is filled knee deep and he recollects trudging through it, carefully watching his steps while gently caressing the vines, roots and stems of the trees and foliage. ” It is a delight when any child says, “Wow, how hard it was to climb that tree last week.” And “Hey, it’s so much easier now.” The lay of the land is the same, yet it is different.
When a relationship and affinity is forged with our natural environment, wouldn’t it be inspiring to be able to hear people in our community say at the start of a new day, “wow I can’t wait to be back tomorrow in the same environment but relieving new experiences”. The forest now isn’t just a place where the wild distant trees go. It is the children’s play land. They have a relationship with it.
At the start of every FSS day, Coaches respectfully lets the children decide unanimously on the itinerary for the day, not pushy but patiently waiting and letting the children make their choice, the choice that will set the ebb and flow of the day’s course. The children decide and it is a natural and equitable alliance formed between children and adults, nature and humans.
To these children, the land is no longer just a casual walk in the park and they will treat the flora and fauna with respect. The forest is their home away from home, their enclave and safe refuge. They chose and that’s why it will matter to them.”