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In the middle of the forest!

A school in the middle of the forest… goats, sheep and pigs in the schoolyard… I couldn’t imagine a happier place for schoolchildren

Written by Dóra Vera HALÁSZ, Rogers Foundation, Hungary

While in Pappus we are also committed to introduce learning by plants to urban, and less nature-oriented schools, our workshop was not less useful for the teachers of Apátkúti Erdei Iskola (Apátkút Forest School) near Visegrád, Hungary. In this school the students have a direct connection with animals, nature and agricultural production. They have their own domestic animals and kitchen equipment.

Their approach is to maintain a school where unconditional acceptance of each other, tolerance and trust in others are evident and decisive. A school where pupils are happy to go, where they receive knowledge that arouses their interest, that is useful and applicable in everyday life, where their assessment is based on their performance in relation to their individual talents and abilities.

During our time at the school we introduced a couple of activities, namely "find my own tree”, to point out how useful and cheerful it is to use our nonvisible senses for recognition. We also presented the different springboards of the toolkit, which they found interesting and useful, and of course the most popular activity: the cane den-building, in which a whole hut is constructed out of 25 canes by a couple of people in just a few minutes . Staff here found all the activities with and by plants fun and expressed they are worth incorporating into their daily work.

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