On Thursday, September 12, the Valley Central Public School Community will be cutting the ribbon on a very special new addition to the school. A new timber frame outdoor classroom will be officially opened for learning! In addition, the students and staff will proudly show their fully accessible trail through the woodlot located at the school.
“The outdoor classroom and the trail system are very welcome additions to our school and we are incredibly proud to welcome our community to this very special ceremony,” says Christy Radbourne, Principal of Valley Central Public School. “Outdoor learning is an integral component of the learning that occurs at Valley Central. The two spaces combined will be used to support all of our classes to engage in working and learning in the classroom and experiential learning opportunities.”
The 20′ x 20′ timber frame structure was constructed with partial walls and an asymmetrical roof line to allow for use throughout the winter months. The Valley Central Public School Community Sustainability (Exploring our Built and Natural Environment) and Fine Arts Learning Academies worked with a landscape architect and Ontario Parks to develop a 4′ wide fully accessible trail through the woodlot.
The possibilities for sharing and collaboration with these new outdoor spaces are endless. The students at Valley Central Public School will be working with their peers from Sherbrooke Public School to share land based learning in the space, including digging clay for refining and firing. Several other learning opportunities are already planned, including an opportunity to partner with the Thunder Bay Bird Watchers to learn bird identification and harvesting the highbush cranberries in the space for jelly making.
“Since the first day of school, students already have been enjoying the classroom and trail system in class and during play and recess,” says Radbourne.