Nurturing nature: students at Sangster play outdoors

West Shore nature kindergarten pilot program a first for British Columbia

Eli Thuot

At five years old Eli Thuot already knows what he wants to be – a nature explorer.

Following his bliss Eli is just one of the 22 students in the nature kindergarten program at Sangster elementary school, the first school in B.C. offering the program.

Every morning Eli and his classmates head to the neighbouring forest at Royal Roads University.

The young boy beams with excitement as he explains his new nature kit – a pencil, paper and a magnifying glass – to his parents.

“We do lots of exploring,” he said.

Wearing rain gear and a special backpack with emergency tools such as a whistle, emergency blanket and a snack, Eli is ready to explore.

“We know students learn in different ways,” said Sangster principal Maureen Laureen. “The forests, ocean and streams, they are your classroom and they will reveal tremendous things for you.”

Safety plays a key role in the course and before the children ever set out in the forest, safety issues were addressed with them.

“The children have adapted really well,” Laureen said.

While the mornings are dedicated for outdoors, in the afternoon the students return to the typical classroom environment.

The school was able to raise more than $100,000 in grants to help make to program a reality. The grants were used to cover expenses such as providing rain gear and sunglasses to the students and cover extra staffing costs.

 

This is a two-year pilot project. The original “forest preschools” concept emerged in Sweden decades ago, and has been used in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and a few places in Canada.

 

 

Just Posted

Playground a fitting tribute to Sarah Beckett

West Shore Rotary sells bricks to raise funds for playground equipment

Bike to Work Week officially kicks off

Organizers calling current cycling conditions the perfect storm

Sunny with a high of 22 C for Monday

Plus your weekly forecast

Greater Victoria records a drop in EI recipients

2,140 received regular EI benefits in March 2019, a drop of 3.2 per cent

Panorama Rec serves top junior tennis tournament

160 boys and 94 girls, from 14 countries compete June 1–8 in ITF Championships

WATCH: Thousands enjoy sunshine at second annual Village Block Party

Cook Street filled with local food, music and more

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read