Visiting CPSN Schools in New Brunswick

Dr. Andy Hargreaves and I had the pleasure of visiting three of the CPSN’s New Brunswick schools in February: Hanwell Park Academy, Bath Community School, and Gagetown School. All three schools welcomed us with open arms and provided us with a unique experience and insight into their school community. 

Hanwell Park Academy

Hanwell Park Academy was our first stop, and it was quite a showstopper! Walking into Hanwell feels like walking into the future – it encompasses the vast possibilities that our children’s education can hold. Universal design for learning was clearly in mind when this school was built and furnished. Writable tables, soundproofing, learning stairs, a book vending machine and so much more! While we did not get to see the school’s EPICs project in action (due to storm), our discussions with the school’s team tell us it is quite a success. 

Bath Community School

Our second visit was to Bath Community School where we were shown incredible hospitality. When you enter Bath, you can feel there is something special about it. In learning more about how Bath serves its students and community, it became clear that this “something special” was the immense love and compassion from its staff to students. In this school, the teachers and administrators care so deeply that they will work above and beyond to provide a safe and happy environment for their students. 

Gagetown School

Our third and final visit was to Gagetown School. By then, I thought it was impossible to match the energy of our previous two visits. But Gagetown was ready for us! They re-arranged their schedule so we could see their clustered play period. The school was brimming with life and excitement. Kids were problem-solving, collaborating, painting, laughing, PLAYING! Not only that, we saw the staff also smiling, laughing and playing! Gagetown, you showed us exactly why we’re all doing this – because play is beneficial for everyone.  

Final thoughts

I’d like to thank all these school teams on behalf of myself and Dr. Hargreaves. We enjoyed our time with you and will treasure these moments always. I’d also like to personally thank Pierre Plourde and Dianne Kay for taking me snowshoeing for the very first time after a storm delayed my flight an extra day! I am so grateful for the East Coast hospitality shown to us by the Anglophone West School District and the schools’ staff. We will be back soon!

Gladys Ayson is a PhD candidate in the Experimental Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on children’s cognitive development, specifically their developing understanding of the future. She also works for a non-profit organization that tutors new Canadian children on their English and financial literacy. Her passions include supporting new Canadian families, translating children’s research into accessible knowledge for families, and stemming change in the Canadian education system.