The Fiddleheads Forest School believes in supporting the growth of the whole child through attention to their social and emotional development, self-regulation and physical development.
When children leave the Fiddleheads Forest School to enter their next phase they can…
Participate as a member of an interdependent community
Care for themselves and those around them
Realize and express their own needs in a clear way
Cooperate with other children to accomplish group goals
Understand the expectations of others in a given setting
Express many human emotions in language and art
Be inquisitive and make connections
Initiate new ideas and invent solutions to problems
Stick at difficult tasks or come back to them later in order to succeed.
Run, catch, throw, kick and tumble
Laugh and play with a sense of joy.
Paint, draw, sculpt, and construct objects of beauty
Care for common spaces and materials to maintain cleanliness and order.
Act in stewardship for the environment and one’s own health and well being.
Fiddleheads has two classroom sites located among the native trees and shrubs at the Washington Park Arboretum. At Fiddleheads, students spend the morning exploring and engaging in a multitude of ways. For example, on a given morning you might encounter:
Children gathered at the peace table to discuss what “zone” they are in, examine emotions cards, or use the peace rose to resolve a conflict independently.
A mixed age group heading down to the dome shelter deeply engaged in imaginative play; the dome has transformed into a den, and they are a family of wolves, bringing food home to their pups.
A young girl hunched over the microscope under a big leaf maple tree examining a jelly fungus she’s discovered.
Children and teachers following the sound of alarming crows to discover a young Cooper’s hawk or owl in the branches of a Douglas Fir Tree. Later, the students will process the morning’s lessons by incorporating the experience into their own play or recording it in a waterproof nature journal.
A circle time spent discussing the morning’s activities and integrating them into whatever we are studying at the time—whether that means connecting them to a social thinking concept like whole body listening or to a natural science unit on raptors. On chilly days the children prepare cedar tea to sip as they sing songs about lichen, count the days of the month or the days of the year, and reflect on the experiences they’ve had as a group.
An adventure out into the arboretum. There is an incredible wealth of wildlife here, and at Fiddleheads we take advantage of all it has to offer. The children know that the forest grove may be their classroom, but the Arboretum is their school, and on a given morning, anything is possible.
Interns & Volunteers
This program is part of the University of Washington and will involve UW students as well as students from other area schools. We are developing a
Pipeline Project to connect students studying in fields related to Early Childhood Education with the Fiddleheads Forest School. They are future educators, psychologists, social workers, nurses, etc. and we believe they will benefit from the opportunity to work in a nature-based early childhood program. Conversely, we will benefit from the new and innovative ideas they will bring to our program.
In addition to students we welcome community volunteers who are excited about connecting with and supporting early learners in an entirely outdoor school!
Interested in doing an internship, service learning project or volunteering with us?
Contact us at email@example.com.
We are currently looking for volunteers and interns for the 2016-2017 school year