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NEST Program

NEST - Nature Education for Sustainable Todays and Tomorrows


What is NEST?
Nature Education for Sustainable Todays and Tomorrows is a Davis Bay Elementary program conceived to offer families a Nature and place-based learning opportunity at the elementary grade levels. NEST is rooted in a philosophy and pedagogy supported by research that underscores its emotional, social and academic merits.

Nature Education? Outdoor Education?
NEST is not an ‘outdoor school’ where one might expect to find an emphasis on adventure pursuits such as climbing and high ropes challenges. The Nature and place-based emphasis of NEST, however, does naturally lead to much of NEST learning taking place out-of-doors – in a meadow, a forest, by the creek, in parks, on trails, at the estuary, on the beach…..

If you are considering enrolling your child in NEST, it is because you wish for the primary or intermediate curricula to be delivered to your child using Nature as the learning lens and often in an outdoor setting.

NEST teachers, like every teacher who thoughtfully and intentionally develops their classroom program, strive to provide a learning context that will ensure students have the greatest possibility to feel success, pride, and belonging.

The place-based nature of NEST, means the inherent risks for student safety are inherently greater. Outings are the standard of day-to-day schooling rather than the exception. This means that safety is a NEST priority, and so, your child’s ability to be safe – for their sake and for the sake of others – must be paramount in your consideration of whether NEST is a strong and viable fit for them.

Program Foundations

  • Inquiry, Play & Project Based Learning
  • Place-Based, Nature as Co-teacher
  • Growing Green Hearts and Green MindsExperiential and Emergent Learning
  • Circles of Care: Self/Others/Natural World
  • Multi-age Learning & Teacher Collaboration
  • Community Building & Connections

Registration/Application Process:

First you will need to register your catchment school. You can determine this by entering your address into our school locator.

You will be required to fill out an Expression of Interest form for your child and we ask that you read this form carefully and consider all statements pertaining to your child.
Also note, that we do not carry applications forward to the next year, you will be required to re-apply for your child each year, should they not obtain a spot.

If you do not live in our catchment, after you complete the above, you will also need to complete a Cross Boundary Application to Davis Bay.

Due to the high number of applications we receive each year for the NEST Program, we conduct a lottery at the end of March each year to determine our student intake. We have limited spaces in each grade depending on our student movement.

You will be notified by phone or email to let you know if your child was successful in obtaining a spot in NEST.

When to Apply:

Applications are accepted each year when kindergarten registration begins, early February.

 Deadline: The last day to submit an Expression of Interest form is mid-March of each year. This is the Friday before Spring Break.

**We do not carry NEST applications forward to the next year’s waitlist. You will need to apply each year if you do not obtain a spot.**

If you have any questions about any of this information, please contact the school at (604) 885-9523.

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