A place for children to call their own, to grow and nurture and play, connected to the energy and life of the world we live in. A place to rest and recharge, to let the imagination run wild, to meet and make friends, to tell stories and create the precious memories of childhood adventures.
The most authentic Forest School experience possible in the garden city of Singapore
Forest School takes place in a natural setting with trees and in sessions the leaders and participants take inspiration from the environment around them and create the experiences central to the concept of personal growth within Forest School. Whether this is using the wood from the forest to build and solve a problem or whether it is to dig into the earth to encourage new growth and enhance the diversity of the nature around us. Forest School is a long-term process of repeated visits into the forest, so that long-term deep memories and associations are made which last a life-time. They create a value for nature, for life, and for our planet.
Forest School is learner-centred, with learning occurring usually through play experiences. These experiences can take many forms but they use plenty of natural resources and are always nature inspired. Sometimes these experiences are planned by the leader, but often they come from the children, they are spontaneous, and show us truly what is inside their hearts and minds. These experiences can be revisited each session, they can evolve and become something new and something better. A private Forest School site creates the perfect setting for these experiences.
Wildlife we have spotted at our new Forest School site: Green Crested Lizard, Monitor Lizard, Common Rose Butterfly, Black-Naped Oriole, Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Common Mormon Butterfly
"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul"
Friedrich Froebel, 1782-1852
Our new Forest School site is a place our community can nurture together, to encourage more wildlife, new growth, new experiences for ourselves and our children. We can watch the changes over time, we can add leaf by leaf, stone by stone, each and every session to build a wonderful wild space for our Forest School. Here we can provide the most authentic Forest School experience possible in the garden city of Singapore.
We can use this home base to inspire our local sessions at East Coast Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, and Bukit Batok Nature Park, providing the natural resources for these sessions, a place for excursions and campfires, bringing everyone attending any of our sessions across Singapore together, to benefit from our wild home in Dempsey.
We're busy working to make this space safe right now, holes need to be filled and sharp objects removed. As you can see from the video which shows a section of our space there are plenty of unmanaged jungle areas we will be working to make accessible.
Most importantly dangerous trees must be felled. In the tropics, the life-cycle is fast, trees grow and die in just 80 years, much faster than the deciduous forests of Europe and America. Some trees are particularly dangerous, with light brittle wood and shallow roots, they break and topple in storms, unexpectedly.
So our space may feel a little bare when we start, and we are sad to see some trees go. We will be keeping as much of the wood, branches and leaves onsite, to use in our sessions, to create play spaces and to return to and enrich the soil over time. Wood and tree stumps will become homes for insects, places to hide behind and we will reforest with local diverse species of strong, long lasting trees as soon as we can. We are retaining as much wildness as possible, we will not be creating a garden, or a nature garden, but something between a nature garden and a forest, away from the urban city, where we can detox and reset and benefit from the great outdoors and the feeling of being in nature.
We will be following design principles that set out how to manage natural spaces in the ways which best connect people to nature. We will introduce plenty of plants and manage our planted areas in harmony with nature by using permaculture practices.
We will be sharing more of this exciting journey with you, and we welcome all volunteers from our community to help out. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help.
We will be working with children during our April holiday programme to add features to the space such as a wormery, bee house and bug hotel and to help plant our garden. Places are available to book now.
We will be running a full programme of Forest School sessions and drop-in nature play, as well as events and regular workshops at Dempsey from 13th April 2020.
We hope you will join us, and are as excited about the possibilities ahead as we are! See you in the Forest!
p.s. did we mention there's bathrooms, showers, a cafe (great coffee) and restaurant (including licensed bar) and an amazing variety of wellness providers also onsite? Forest School, swim classes, dance and drama all available for you and your children at Core Collective Dempsey.
Claire is an environmental scientist by training and an environmental sustainability consultant and educator by trade (aside from being a busy mum to two young (and sometimes wild) children). Claire enjoyed a very outdoorsy childhood collecting acorns, making daisy chains and sifting dirt to get the perfect pile. Once upon a time Claire was an enthusiastic ultimate frisbee player and recently taught pre-school sports classes. Claire is on a mission to help City kids experience a wilder childhood through the Forest School approach to learning and founded Wildlings offering Forest School and environmental education in Singapore to do this.