Forest classroom start : 2016
Location: Berlin, Germany
Number of Students in the class: 50
Status : Public
Imagine the door to your classroom leads straight back outside – into a primeval forest.
Five years ago, in the Conrad School in Berlin, Germany, public sector educators launched two classes for children aged six to nine, offering them the chance to spend 70% of class time in the woods.
School headmaster Hans Gerritt Plessen explains the concept of this forest lesson, where free play is the rule: “Children learn by discovery and personal motivation. Some play with logs, others build cabins or dig in the ground. Each style of play corresponds to the dynamic of the child’s development at that moment.”
Children at the Conrad Outdoor School have the chance to learn at their own pace – and in three languages, French, Dutch and English. In this way, they learn autonomy and responsibility, becoming accustomed to a multilingual, multicultural life in which issues around biodiversity are an important part of the conversation.
Living and learning within nature teaches them to be attentive to the needs of the animals and the people around them – and to be comfortable asking questions about their interconnectedness.