Brussels Outdoor School
First Trilangual Forrest School Belgium
The Brussels Outdoor School was founded in 2016 by active mothers, teachers, and a specialist in educational sciences, who wanted to bring innovative outdoor education and forest school model in Belgium and meet a community need for alternative school options. This pioneer group was inspired by nature-oriented educational programs, widely spread in Northern Europe, where children have more space and freedom to play, discover, and grow in accordance to their individual rhythm and capacity. Since then, the BOS' focus has been on the 'whole child': an holistic approach to learning not only limited to academic ability.
The Brussels Outdoor School will officially open its doors five days a week from September 2018, after the enriching esperience of our pilot project "Graines de BOS" (January-June 2018). The school welcomes childen from 2,5 to 6 years old.
The Brussels Outdoor School philosophy lays in supporting the dynamic approach to learning: the passage of time, from the changing of the seasons, to the contemplation of an ancient tree; the dynamic nature of an outdoor environment - an infinite source of smells, textures, sounds and tastes; a range of visual stimuli from near to far, high to low, very big to very small; and the infinite layers of historical, cultural, spiritual and mythological significance that speak of our deep relationship with trees and woodland through the ages.
Brussels Outdoor School supports child-led learning through free play, in a 'real world' context, provides young children with freedom to explore, using multiple senses, promotes health and well-being, confidence and physical and emotional resilience, supports the acquisition of knowledge, skills and care for the natural heritage. The concept of sustainability is best understood through experiential learning. Being outdoors in a natural setting enables children to develop a connection with the natural world that can lead to long-term environmental awareness, understanding and positive action.
Childhood is a very special, never-returning, and developmentally vital stage in personality becoming. Every child is unique and we believe that providing the room for natural discovery, we build the base for developing and nourishing all the multiple intelligences each has – interpersonal, intrapersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic, visual-spatial, musical, and verbal-linguistic.
Brussels Outdoor/Forest School promotes holistic, individualised learning and development. It is for all ages and abilities and its ethos is fully inclusive. Our school sets out to help children with additional support needs, including Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic children. We believe it is mutually beneficial for children to share their play and learning experience with those needing more support, as the real world is diverse and the early childhood is the best time to develop empathy in natural way. Yet, being outdoor and having higher adult:child ratio provides the needed space, extra support, and moments of quietness to the more fragile children when required. The free play in combination with greenspace scenery promote restorative health benefits and calmness among children.