Connaught Heights Elementary School is a small, diverse school in New Westminster.  We have two programs at Connaught: Montessori and Mainstream. This means that some of the families who attend with us live outside of the Connaught catchment area.  Connaught Heights Elementary is located in a suburban neighbourhood but is fortunate to have many beautiful outdoor spaces surrounding the school: the meadow, the forest, playground, gravel field, courtyard, etc.  We have a desire to continue our goal of connecting our students with these outdoor spaces and to use them as a meaningful learning environment.  This year, we would like to extend our learning environment to include spaces outside of the school ground (e.g. neighbourhood).  We would also like to instill a sense of responsibility of our outdoor learning environment.
Our Goal:
By connecting our students with outdoor spaces as a meaningful learning environment, the community at Connaught Heights Elementary will develop awareness of and take responsibility for their natural environments.
We will continue to collect anecdotal data about the ways that our outdoor space is being used at Connaught.  We hope to see:

–  Students and staff act as environment stewards (litterless lunches, reduce, reuse, recycle)

–  Students and staff recognizing the psychological and physical benefits of natural spaces (calming and regulating strategies)

–  Students and staff develop an appreciation for the natural world by reflecting on the impact of being in natural spaces

Desired Impact:
– Classes regularly using the outdoor spaces as learning environments

–  Classes seeking opportunities to learn outside and beyond our school borders

–  Deeper respect for the outdoor environments with less litter in and around the school

–  Have families excited and engaged in our school goal.  This would look like parent participation in Earth Day activities, monthly thematic photo throughout the year that will be shared through SWAY, and other events.

The community is a central part of our learning journey.  We will share with the community through channels like newsletters, SWAY, and teacher communication.  We will also include the community with an invitation to be participants in our journey.  The principal will highlight our activities at PAC meetings.  Throughout the year, we will invite the community to participate in a variety of events and actions that will move our school learning plan forward. Everyone will benefit from the community being active participants, especially our learners.