Valmont Academy

Introduction

Our project

Our project is about connecting to our community through play and learning, which we will capture as a mural in our school to emblemize who we are and where we come from. Using natural and repurposed materials and with the help of local experts and industry, we will craft a mural inspired by Newfoundland and Labrador Artist, Adam Young. Students will explore our area, finding materials that will be a part of the project like driftwood and beach glass that has washed up on our beautiful shoreline. They will also craft and fabricate by working with local industry such as our world class pottery shop, examine minerals with a mining company, design boats with builders, and even learn to weld at a community shop. We will utilize the many tools at our disposal, from our school’s Glowforge to our 3D printers. The true strength of our play is in the experiences we will get through collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. We can’t wait to see where this takes us.

Tell us about your team and your school community.
As a small K-12 school of under 100 students, our school is the heart of our community. It is a source of great pride and our students have made exceptional contributions within the town. Citizenship and character are essential skills that we work to establish through our many learning partnerships. For the majority of our students, school is the primary location for socialization, involvement, and for new learning opportunities. We strive to provide as many opportunities as possible throughout the year. Our students are the innovators of their own learning experiences.

Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
Curiosity is what leads the way at Valmont Academy. We have the unique opportunity to focus on students as individuals, fostering their interests and giving them a voice in their learning. It’s the unique passions of students that propel us toward innovative futures. Our students lead the way with community events like our annual Winter Classic played behind our school on our community rink, which is sustained by volunteers. We are resource rich at Valmont. From our Glowforge laser cutter, 3D printers, to our provincial winning Lego League Robotics program, we maximize learning opportunities beyond what’s possible within a rural school. And it’s not just what happens within our building that makes us special. We never let the four walls of a classroom interfere with learning.

Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
As we are a small school with a small staff, it can be challenging to provide as many learning opportunities as we would like. Our students are compelled to be involved in the community and work with our community members. This opportunity will allow us to enhance our available resources, while also giving us new ideas about what we are capable of, by connecting with other schools and other educators. This project should allow us to broaden our horizons and learn what’s possible through interacting with others, encountering unique challenges, and developing innovative solutions.