Integrating Disciplines, Nature and Joy

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences in Grade 9 In June of 2017, teachers at Lakefield College School involved in the Grade 9 program embarked on an exciting venture. Together with Advising curriculum writers and Leadership, Character, Values (LCV) leaders, they set out to determine how Lakefield could provide Grade 9 students with more authentic learning experiences. The teachers represented five different disciplines—science, math, French, English and outdoor education. Their goal was to enrich their students’ learning by seamlessly integrating various aspects of LCS education with the academic program. They hoped not only to integrate their five courses, but also to weave nature, THRIVE (health and well-being) concepts, and LCV themes into Grade 9 classes. It was a daunting task. But after half a dozen meetings that summer, the group was ready to put interdisciplinary learning into practice. Grade 9 was the focus of the integration plan because with only 60 students,…

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The Lessons Nature Teaches Us

Deepening our connection with, and responsibility to, nature and the outdoors through beekeeping. On a warm day in early June, three students at Lakefield College School pull on long-sleeved white coveralls and plunk veiled hoods over their heads. Then they carefully tuck leather gloves under elasticized cuffs. Looking more like emergency responders in hazmat suits than high school students, they turn to the leader of this oddly dressed group. "Let's go," he says. Garret Hart, Head of Cooper House and Outdoor Education Assistant, is giving the students a hands-on lesson in one of Lakefield's latest outdoor pursuits: beekeeping. Hart is well known for coordinating The Grove’s maple syrup production every year. Many in the community covet the delicious product he and his students create each spring from the sugar maples on campus. Beekeeping is a fairly new endeavour at the school, and you can tell from the way he talks about the bees…

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