Dr. Thomas A Swift Nature Program

“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education.”
Luther Burbank, American Botanist

Nature K Info Video and Registration 2024

Check out our Nature K Info Video Here!
The Nature K "lottery" opens on January 22nd. For information on Nature Kindergarten Registration for September 2024 Click Here

There will be a Nature Kindergarten Info Night on January 16 at 6:30 pm. It will be held at the Abby Arts Extension at Abbotsford Arts Center. 

Nature Kindergarten placements will be awarded via random draw, using the priority order outlined in Policy 18.
As in previous years, parents must FIRST register their child at their catchment school before January 19, 2024 in order to be considered. Regular Kindergarten registration will take place starting on January 15, 2024

Nature Kindergarten

How is it different?

  • Your child will be outside for up to two and a half hours daily. (Increased over time)
  • Students will be required to walk up to two km a day. (Increased over time)
  • Many learning activities and themes will take place in both the outdoors and the indoors. Our learning will be “place based” and directed by the children’s interest.
  • There are many community partners that your child will learn from.

How is it the same?

  • Follows the provincial curriculum.
  • Parental involvement is encouraged.
  • Similar expectations and goals.

The Ideal Nature K Student:

  • Is a good listener and can follow instructions. If there is a safety concern, for example, your child does not follow instructions, does not stay within boundaries, then please come and have a conversation wtih us about your concerns.
  • Likes to participate.
  • Is accepting of new experiences and challenges.
  • Enjoys the outdoors in all kinds of weather. We will encourage postitive attitudes even when they are wet, cold, muddy, etc.
  • Is able to walk up to 2km a day.
  • Will be dressed appropriately for all kinds of weather.
  • Can independently dress and undress themselves in a reasonable time frame.

5 Things To Do With Your Child This Summer To Prepare Them For Nature Kindergarten:

  1. Get outside in nature.
  2. Go for regular walks.
  3. Practice putting on gear and dressing themselves (doing up zippers, pulling rain pants over rain boots, turning gear right-side round, etc.)
  4. Read and talk every day to your child.
  5. Have fun and play!

Nature K includes regular classroom time and instruction and provides the full kindergarten curriculum.

Clothing and Equipment Requirements for Nature K and Nature 1

Dr. T.A. Swift 2024-25

Classroom Basics:

  • 1 Pair of running shoes for indoors to leave at school (must be Velcro or slip on and have non-marking soles, please label with your child’s name)
  • A large sized back pack for carrying items to and from school (please label with your child’s name on the inside)
  • 1 lunch kit (please label) and 1 water bottle for their lunch kit (please label)


Our goal is that your child remain warm and dry so that they enjoy the outdoors! Please check that items say WATERPROOF and NOT water resistantIf you are unsure you may wish to leave the tags on your items and check with your child's teacher at your Kindergarten Interview in September.

**Please label all your children's clothing, especially coats, boots and rain pants.

To Stay Dry:

  • Waterproof Rain pants. Buy from Mountain Equipment Co-op or similar brand. These pants stay at 
    school. (Please avoid purchasing pants with Overall straps. Do not buy gear with cotton lining). Most children can not get MEC rain pants over BOG boots. Please check this before purchasing/sending their gear.)
  • A waterproof raincoat (big enough to layer underneath)  with cinching at the wrist and a hood. - Buy from Mountain Equipment Co-op, Columbia, North Face or other similar brands. DO NOT buy brands with cotton lining.
  • Warm waterproof winter jacket (Remember we are outside for many hours). An example would be Columbia Omnitech.
  • Rain Boots (we would suggest insulated rubber boots without the neoprene unless they are from Bog or other high quality outdoor company. (Stays at school)
  • (optional) Waterproof ‘rain’ mittens like the ones from Reima
  • (optional) Rain suit from Mountain Equipment Co-op or other similar brand.

 To Stay Warm:

  • Thermal socks made from wool or smart wool (leave them at school to wear in rain boots)
  • Fleece top with a zipper or thin, down-filled, packable coat (or a wool sweater that is too big and felted in the dryer! You can find them in the second hand shops)
  • Fleece or wool toque
  • Winter Gloves/Mittens - good quality (easy to pick stuff up with)
  • Multiple pairs of inexpensive gloves.
  • A neck tube or scarf for those really cold days

Please note:

  • A complete change of clothes should be left in the bottom of your child's backpack or with your child's teacher. This should include multiple pairs of socks.
  • Brands such as MEC, Oakiwear, Bogs, North Face, Columbia, McKinley, REI (in the US), Smartwool, etc, are recommended for quality and durability.
  • Check second hand stores for these items as children out grow their clothes quickly!

If you are unable to purchase these things, please contact us.

Nature K Clothing Supply List.pdf