Category Archives: Outdoor Learning

Learning…everywhere…

Over the past few years, our school team has been on a wonderful journey. They have embraced learning, everywhere. I have said before that we are very fortunate to be located where we are in such a beautiful town and with such amazing greenspace readily available. Early on in our school’s journey, our staff began accessing those spaces to explore learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. Those initial steps led us to a much larger journey.

Along the way, we also sought out student voice in what our outdoor learning spaces could be: dots

Students and staff developed a vision for materials that could support both outdoor learning as well as recess times. We included our School Council in those discussions as well as we considered costs, accessibility, equity of access, risk management, materials that would engage learners and a plan that would sustain our work for several years.

We were able to implement a lot of materials fairly quickly such as this Mud Kitchen for our FDK yard:kitchen.jpg

and…recess games:

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Over the past year we have also been able to develop a plan for a wide variety of materials to support our classroom programming. You may have noticed our recent addition to our grounds:

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Of course, it is really what is on the inside that counts…

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Thanks to a dedicated outdoor learning committee of staff at our school, our collective vision has now become a reality. We are one of the few schools to have such materials and to have them readily accessible for all classes to use. And wow, are they using them! signout.jpg largeWith a focus on loose parts, our outdoor storage is the culmination of four years worth of hard work that did indeed include students, staff and our community. What a time to celebrate now.

Yesterday, we were honoured to host a professional learning session at our school led by Tanya Murray, a consultant in our board.  Staff from across the board were able to access our outdoor learning spaces and peruse our learning materials:

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Could staff professional learning get any better than this?

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What is most exciting is that our journey has really just started.

Here’s to learning…everywhere…

Mr. Collins

Kids and Active Play York Region information

York Region has shared the following information for our community

Win a prize by taking our spring Active Play survey!

 Kids and active play

How does the change in seasons affect how kids play?  Do you live in York Region and have a child age 5 to 12 years of age? Or do you work at an elementary school in York Region?  Tell us how children play in warmer weather by completing this brief survey and you could win a prize.

Thank you to everyone who already filled out our winter active play survey!  With over 700 responses, the survey taught us a lot about how kids play in the winter.   For example, the weather kept many children indoors, both at home and at school.

Whether its winter, spring, or any other time of year, children need several hours of active play each day.

Outdoor active play can include such things as:

  • Playing hopscotch, tag or soccer
  • Making mud pies or sandcastles
  • Climbing a tree or building a tree fort
  • Riding a bike, scooter or skateboard

How can parents encourage active play?

  • Balance scheduled activities with free play time
  • Encourage children to play in natural outdoor spaces, and in a variety of weather conditions
  • Allow children to take risks so they can have fun while learning to identify and manage risks in all areas of their lives

How can schools encourage active play?

  • Regularly embrace the outdoors for learning, socialization and physical activity in various weather conditions
  • Choose natural elements for the school yard over pre-fabricated playgrounds and paved areas
  • Examine existing policies and reconsider those that pose a barrier to active outdoor play

 

For more information on physical activity and active play, visit:

york.ca/physicalactivity

york.ca/healthyschools

participaction.ca

Take Me Outside Day

Tomorrow Wednesday October 26, 2016 we look forward to once again celebrating Take Me Outside Day. This year, we have formed an Outdoor Learning Committee to consolidate the journey we have been on as a school over the past two years. Outdoor learning is something we have explored a lot as a team and in collaboration with our School Council. Tomorrow, we invite you to also be part of the fun.

Families may enjoy:

  • Leave no Trace Scavenger Hunt where you find items, places and spaces in the outdoors together.
  • Going on a family hike together.
  • A simile stroll Complete the following while on a walk as tall as…as green as…sweet like…as rough as….

We have a beautiful town to enjoy together tomorrow or any day of the year for that matter.

Be sure to follow the journey of many schools via the twitter hashtag #takemeoutsideday

Here’s to the learning,

Mr. Collins