Raincoast Field School

“The goal of the Raincoast Field School is to increase outdoor learning opportunities for students in our local public schools.”

Raincoast Field School is an outdoor education program designed to meet BC curricular outcomes while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students in our local public schools. It is a collaborative program developed by the Raincoast Education Society (RES) and the teachers at the Tofino and Ucluelet elementary schools.

Field trips and activities are led by a qualified full-time instructor with extensive experience as a science educator, and encompass multiple aspects of curricular outcomes including science, numeracy and literacy. Many outings also feature traditional Aboriginal knowledge provided by a First Nations Cultural Educator. The program is constantly evolving, with lessons being built or recycled to best fit with the unique themes of each class as determined by the teacher.

Get Outside!

Most students in Canada learn about nature and the environment in a classroom. Here on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, we are lucky to live in one of the most pristine and beautiful ecosystems in the world; a place where nature is right outside and rubber boots are often a better teaching tool than a textbook.

Raincoast Field School takes science out of the classroom and into the forest, the ocean, the beach or the bog….places where students can touch and feel and listen and learn, right in their own backyards.

Making Connections

Raincoast Field School is designed to complement classroom lessons taught by each class’s teacher. The program provides education about the environment in a natural setting and incorporates physical education while reviewing mathematics, English language, arts and social studies concepts that students have learned in class.

Ultimately, the material covered in each class is based on specific requests from the teacher which the Field School instructor then incorporates into a unique activity or lesson plan.

Progress

Full programming is provided to the Wickaninnish Community School in Tofino (since 2014) and the Ucluelet Elementary School (since 2018) through Raincoast Field School. Each and every student from K to grade 7 gets to participate in at least one field trip per month during the school year – that’s over 200 Raincoast Field School trips delivered per year!

Follow along

Raincoast Field School programs are currently being run in Tofino and Ucluelet elementary schools (K-7). Follow along with our programs below.

#tofinofieldschool

Nov 26th Predator and Prey!🐺🐟⁠

The Grade 3 students have been working on their species classification skills. Today we went one step further and discussed the interconnectedness across the different animal kingdoms. We headed into the school field to link up and demonstrate a real life food web! Students became predator and prey species of a forest ecosystem and followed the transfer of energy from primary producers all the way up to apex predators. ⁠

#outdooreducation #steam #stem #learning #learnoutside #tofinofieldschool #raincoastfieldschool #foodweb #predator #prey #outdoored #experientallearning #naturebasedlearning #nature #forestschools #learningoutside #natureschool #tofino #explorebc #explorecanada #britishcolumbia #beautifulbc
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The grade 6/7 students have focused their scientific studies on the Solar System. The students have explored the theories based around the Sun, Earth, and Moon and have been gaining knowledge in the ways in which these three masses interact and influence one another. Today, Raincoast Field School lead a fieldtrip to test the theories of gravity and orbiting planets. From Earth it may be hard to notice we are constantly rotating around our axis, but we can look to the oceans for proof! As a class we headed down to the beach to look at the tide and discuss the phenomenon causing this effect! Students learnt what causes the tides and some special periods of neap and spring tides. ⁠

#outdooreducation #steam #stem #learning #learnoutside #tofinofieldschool #raincoastfieldschool #solarsystem #outdoored #experientallearning #naturebasedlearning #nature #forestschools #learningoutside #natureschool #tofino #explorebc #explorecanada #britishcolumbia #beautifulbc
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Nov 25th⁠
Looking at a clean stream, thanks to the rain garden! 🌧️⁠

Once again the students got down and dirty helping out in their community rain garden! The Centennial Creek Restoration project has been an ongoing construction site as excavators have been removing invasive species and opening up the site. The students helped by planting saplings, spreading mulch, and building the rock trail. Nice work crew, the garden looks better than ever before! ⁠

Thank you @cwfsrestoration for showing us what you're working on and letting us pitch in.⁠

#Tofinofieldschool #raincoastfieldschool #tofino #outdooreducation #steam #stem #learning #learnoutside #restoration #invasivespecies #raingarden #streamecology #outdoored #experientallearning #naturebasedlearning #nature #forestschools #learningoutside #natureschool #explorebc #explorecanada #britishcolumbia #beautifulbc
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Getting muddy and planting trees!🌲 Watch how to plant a tree with Raincoast Field School and @cwfsrestoration⁠

Full video link in bio 📹 Check it out⁠

#tofinofieldschool #raincoastfieldschool #centennialcreek #outdooreducation #steam #stem #learning #learnoutside #streamecology #outdoored #restoration #experientallearning #naturebasedlearning #nature #forestschools #learningoutside #natureschool #ucluelet #explorebc #explorecanada #britishcolumbia #beautifulbc
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#ukeefieldschool

Nov 25 DYK that to be considered a rainforest, an area needs to receive a minimum of 2.5 m of precipitation annually? ⁠

Here on the West Coast we receive on average 3.3 m annually! The 6/7 class is learning all about the world's biomes. What better way to study biomes, than to experience them right in your own backyard! Students learned about the unique characteristics of a temperate rainforest ecosystem. Students also learnt about the adaptations that plants and animals have in this ecosystem that allow them to survive. They tried out echolocation and even the different roles of the parts of a tree trunk. It was truly the mos-tree-markable day! ⁠

Check out our stories for videos of our echolocation and tree activities!⁠

#outdooreducation #steam #stem #learning #learnoutside #ukeefieldschool #raincoastfieldschool #outdoored #experientallearning #naturebasedlearning #nature #forestschools #learningoutside #natureschool #ucluelet #explorebc #explorecanada #britishcolumbia #beautifulbc #xylem #phloem #rainforest
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Nov 8th Bats

Did you know that bats can be almost as large as an eagle and as small as a bumblebee? There at least eight different species of bats that can be found on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Students learned all about bats and bat adaptations. Then students took flight outside to learn how bats find their prey using echolocation and how mamma bats find their babies in their roost. You bat-ter believe it!

#ukeefieldschool #raincoastfieldschool #outdooreducation #outdoored #experientiallearning #activelearning #naturebasedlearning #stemforkids #steamed #stemlearning #teachingtips #handsonlearning #stem #fieldtrips #theworldisourclassroom #natureplay #learningoutside #natureschool #ucluelet #raincoast #education
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Nov 4th Bats

Did you know that bats are more closely related to humans than they are to mice and birds? Bats are mammals in the family Chiroptera which means "hand fly". Bats have bones similar to humans but their wings are made up of finger like projections covered with skin. Kindergarten students learned all about the amazing world of bats. We learned where they live, how they find food in the dark using echolocation, how they find their babies in their caves and even what types of special adaptations or tools they have to help them survive. The kids "batted" this one out of the park today!

#Ukeefieldschool #ucluelet #raincoastfieldschool #bats #learningoutside #handson #experiential #learning #schoolprograms #fieldtrips #adventure #getoutside #gooutside #batmask #kidsactivities #educationalactivities
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Support

Raincoast Field School is made possible with the support of the administration and teaching staff at local schools, and the generosity of organizations, businesses, and individuals within the community. The curriculum is designed to build upon itself each year, representing a  long-term commitment to the students. Our instructors are highly skilled educators in a full-time position with the RES, committed to the program, and the community they teach in.

Need help?

If you have any questions about our courses, our events, or just us in general – we’re here to help!