Fanning Education Centre / Canso Academy


Our project

Main Play Projects overall themes of PLAY-BASED – INQUIRY-BASED – LAND-BASED LEARNING – centered around our trail and lake :

  1. Knowledge Path Stations & Outdoor Classroom -meaningful connections to nature through the guidance of Mikmaw Elders -6 stations – specific activities, lesson plans, storytelling, outdoor learning experiences, reconciliation, cultural activities;
  2. Active Smarter Kids (ASK) activities created with outdoor play in mind – explicitly connected to grade 4-8 inquiry based learning and curriculum review (especially in the area of environmental science);
  3. Hmmm M the Humdinger – Story Book – Dorothy Lander -class set (or a few) of books -Dorothy Lander – local author – lead us through read aloud and ‘pilgrimage’ -mindfulness, Mi’kmaq culture, eastern NS vegetation -led by school counselor (extensions);
  4. Technology 7/8 – Wigwam Construction & learning space/cultural classroom;
  5. Gr 8/9 citizenship project – storybook walk/signs in the theme of Mi’kmaq culture and reconciliation.

Tell us about your team and your school community.
Our team is made of up educators with a range of experiences and identities. Jeff is a skilled trades teacher, Amanda is a literacy mentor, Jennie is a school counselor, and health and social studies teacher, Ashley is a Learning Support and Literacy teacher, Nicole is a physical education, health, and science teacher, and I, Lynn, am a principal with a background in math, diverse learners, and equity. We are all from the local community, with the exception of Jennie. Our students live in rural communities who depend on local resources and most have been residents for generations. Our school community takes pride in education. It is the centre of the community. We take care of each other and strive to keep our students engaged in highly meaningful activities that build lifelong skills. Our diverse team members will support each other.

Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
Our school and regional student success planning focuses on improving engagement through meaningful learning opportunities, movement, play, and wellness. Our plan is unique as we want to explicitly and intentionally integrate movement in order to better access and achieve curriculum goals. We want to do this through the areas of wellness, reconciliation, land-based learning, outdoor education, and play-based learning. We will make every effort to connect all additional professional learning opportunities to our project, as well as extend to all grades, Primary to 12. We are continuously encouraging more play and learning outdoors but not all teachers know how to explicitly and intentionally connect and integrate this with curriculum.

Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
We would love to connect with other schools who have similar facilities who have integrated daily learning/curriculum in their natural spaces.