Australian Forest School Association

supporting nature immersion programs nationwide

what is forest school?

Forest school, also known as bush kindy, beach school and a wide range of other terms, is encapsulated as offering children regular and ongoing uninterrupted immersion programs in natural wild spaces, allowing participants to develop meaningful relationships with nature, others and themselves.

It fosters resilience through physical and emotional risk taking, exposure to the elements of weather, dirt, plants, rocks and water sources and support for the natural flow and rhythm of participant’s intuitive play.

a note on the term “forest school”

Forest Schooling is an internationally recognised term to describe an educational approach to ongoing outdoor nature play.  It does not mean these programs need to take place in a “forest”, nor does it mean it is a “school” in a similar fashion to those teaching Reggio Emilia not needing to live in the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy.

We recognise the colonial implications of the term “forest” and we love and respect the way that Australian educators are finding a wide range of alternative terms to use that relate specifically to their programs.  We also respect that some educators choose to keep this term because of its accessibility for others to find and research their approach.

Perhaps in time our name will change but for now it offers a landing space for those exploring what “forest school” as an educational approach is all about.

how can I learn more?

Check out our page of recommended resources, follow our blog or attend one of our annual meetings!  You can also become an AFSA member – this gives you access to our exclusive members-only facebook page where we host monthly FB Live webinars with experts in the field, list discounts and where you can connect with like-minded educators to ask questions and share ideas!

together we stand

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations peoples of the lands on which we work and play.

Lands that were never ceded; lands that we must respect and value as we move together toward recognition, reconciliation and forgiveness.

our commitment to reconciliation

We understand the deep and meaningful connection to land that First Nations Australians hold and we respect and value their knowledge accumulated over thousands of years.  As Australian nature immersion facilitators, it is our responsibility and privilege to walk alongside First Nations people, under the guidance of elders, as we create programs that build awe and respect to inspire the next generation of Australians.

Forest School Directory

Want to know who is offering high-quality nature immersion programs around the country?  Well look no further, we have it!  Our AFSA Approved Providers Map lists all of the nature immersion providers in Australia who are able to demonstrate how their program follows the AFSA guiding principles as well as provide evidence of their business structure and insurance.  Click on the link below to check out who made it to the map!

Our Logo

Our logo was created by Quandamooka artist, Shara Delaney.

This is Her Design Story:

“I incorporated the beach, forest and desert. The people and children are also represented in this, and those song lines circles that connect the different places out to the regions. Also symbolising important connections to Country (land and sea). Circles can also mean families and communities or your organisation ties to supporting children nationally.”