Our guide to finding the right forest school programme in Hong Kong for your kids

In Hong Kong’s highly competitive education landscape, a new trend has emerged 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 Hong Kong.

Want to learn more? Here are five forest school programmes in Hong Kong to discover.

See also: The Best International Schools In Hong Kong

1. 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.

Discover more at dbis.edu.hk

2. 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.

Discover more at foresthouse.edu.hk

3. 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.

Discover more at ichk.edu.hk

See also: The Best Extracurricular Activities And Classes In Hong Kong In 2021

4. Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong

Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong is one of the first schools in Hong Kong to operate a Forest-Beach School programme, managed by Level 3 certified Forest School leaders. The outdoor programme is built on a philosophy of child-led learning, with teamwork, intra- and inter-personal skills developed through games and group activities such as hide-and-seek or scavenger hunts; along with self-esteem, individual practical and intellectual skills enhanced through supervised activities like shelter building, tool handling or lighting fires

Discover more at malvernpreschool.hk

5. Wilderness International Kindergarten

A Kennedy Town institution, at Wilderness International Kindergarten children can make mud pies and no one will tell them to stop getting dirty. Aiming to provide a nurturing and secure environment in which your child can develop intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally, 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.

Discover more at wilderness.asia

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