The prerogative of Wild Island Forest Programs is to connect children with nature and to help children learn academic and social skills through nature and play-based learning while building their self-confidence and character.In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. Collectively, this body of research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature.

At Wild Island Forest Programs, children will learn by engaging in practical, hands-on outdoor activities and play. As a result, children learn critical life skills while developing emotional and social intelligence within a natural setting.

By being immersed in nature on a regular, long-term basis throughout the unique four seasons of the Newfoundland school year, children will develop a deep emotional connection to nature that will help them understand they are a key stakeholder in the complex workings of our natural world. With this mindset, it is our hope that our students will grow to be the leaders of tomorrow with a strong ecological consciousness and become valued caretakers for our planet.

When hiring teachers and administrators for our programs, we value diverse education and life experiences. We look for staff members who have a passion for working with young children and their families. The foundation of our teaching team is built upon staff members who:

  • Are knowledgeable about developmentally appropriate practices for early childhood learners.
  • Enjoy the outdoors and have a personal connection to the natural world.
  • Professional, creative and passionate individuals, experienced in fostering the whole child and developing a child‐driven curriculum.

Teacher to Student Ratio: We believe in the importance of maintaining high standards regarding staff to student ratios. We also believe that the process of developing meaningful relationships with the outdoors is best achieved in small groups. Therefore our class sizes have a maximum of 18 students with two teachers and the possibility of one or two interns for a maximum student‐teacher ratio of 6:1.

Our programs are also available to community groups and schools, please contact us to inquire. We also offer places under the R.E.A.L. Program.

Education at Wild Island Forest Academy is a new, nature-based way of learning. With unrest amongst educators and caregivers in NL surrounding current policies in the Education system (inclusion, self-regulation, math and reading scores, mental health and wellness, and Indigenous Education practices), the need for alternative schooling is a growing concern for a number of families.

Wild Island Forest Academy’s goal is to relieve some of the strain from the formal schooling system and help as many children as we can connect with nature and realize their full potential.

Over the past 6 months, we have been working diligently to create an innovative and emergent learning community in the beautiful town of Portugal Cove St. Philip’s, NL. Wild Island Forest Academy will be the first Experiential Nature School in NL and its vision was born solely to address the current needs of today’s formal schooling.