École Acadienne de Pomquet [FR]

Introduction

Our project

Many of our playful projects are structures that are built by the students. Through the acquisition of knowledge in tool manipulation, collaboration and communication. The goal is to create enjoyable spaces to facilitate and promote outdoor learning. This year we plan to increase the diversity of trees in our forest, we would like to purchase and plant species typical of an Acadian forest, such as black ash, cedar, pine and hemlock. We would also like to increase the aquatic biodiversity by starting the “pond” project by digging a test hole. We also hope to create a “pump track” around the pond with the soil we will have to remove.

Tell us about your team and your school community.
The team consists of 3 trained physical education teachers and the school principal. They have teaching duties in physical education and also teach other courses (technology, carpentry, ocean, civics, DPS, English.) from K-12. Our team normally takes the lead on projects proposed by students, the community or other teachers. Afterwards, the rest of the teachers make the effort to create outside lessons for their students. Many teachers and students can regularly be seen outside during school hours. The community around us is very appreciative of the activities offered by the school. Concrete activities such as cooking meals on the fire made possible by the acquisition of knowledge ranging from handling tools to prepare wood for the fire, managing a fire for cooking, food preparation, hygiene rules, washing one’s own dishes, etc.

Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
We believe that the play of life is what makes this type of learning interesting for the students. Many of our projects or activities (shelter building, bridge, lunch, scavenger hunt) require the completion of a multitude of tasks to reach our goal. In this way, the students are asked to choose among the tasks that appeal to them the most. With this approach, we succeed in reaching all students (inclusion). During activities that are more structured, movement, sounds, smells, tastes, the manipulation of tools or natural materials allows us to stimulate all the students’ senses and allows everyone to get involved in these activities. The benefits of spending time outdoors in a natural environment are also well documented, including reduced anxiety. These activities also create enjoyable moments where students can live in French. French becomes a language of play rather than a language of work. During outdoor activities, we often co-teach with several classes, which also promotes the sharing of knowledge and know-how between teachers.

Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
By joining the network, we hope to meet people from other schools in the green/machine category and exchange ideas and ways of doing things. We also like the idea of having access to international consultants. We have accomplished many of our dreams in the last few years and now by exchanging with other passionate people we hope to continue to develop our open-mindedness. We are also willing to share our knowledge and know-how.