Our project is built on plans to create a hiking trail system through the woods behind our school. The ultimate goal is to have our students learning while engaged in predominantly outdoor, hands-on tasks. We will develop the trail system into a place that is utilized year-round by the school and greater community. As the trail itself takes shape, we will incorporate smaller projects, allowing students to include features based on their interests. The outcome we hope to achieve for our students is improved communication, collaboration, problem solving and critical-thinking skills. We expect to have students doing things such as: researching habitats, building structures, creating story walks and themed events. We will accomplish our goals by furthering a respect of nature, investigating creative ways to utilize items in nature, and changing the learning environment dramatically.
Tell us about your team and your school community.
We are from Bath Community School, a rural K-8 school in Western New Brunswick with a population of about 130 students. Our team is made up of administration, middle school, and upper elementary classroom teachers. We are a collaborative team, each bringing our own strengths and interests to the project. Our school believes in developing students who are kind, involved, dependable and safe. We try to expose them to new experiences and make the most of what we have in our area as well.
Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
We recognize the importance of learning through play to improve engagement and reach more of our students. We have many hands-on learners whose needs are not met in a traditional classroom environment. This approach is important as we will be able to give the students voice and choice in how and what they learn, and what they do with that knowledge. We would also like to have a place for families to come and a restorative place to sit and listen. This will hopefully help improve connections between home and school. It is important that our school community take pride in their work and ownership of their learning and environment.
Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
Our team hopes to see what the research shows around play in early adolescents, and the correlation to learning and overall well-being. We look forward to the collaboration and exchange of ideas with other teams and having the time and space to do so. The guidance and collaboration around new approaches to learning is exciting for our team. We have been slowly working toward this approach to learning for several years, and are excited for the boost the network offers in moving us forward.