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Inquiry based learning in the rain at St. David School

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St. David School Kindergarten students, Luca Moreira, Brody Sprague, Milli Wesley-Jeffries and Kieanna Solomon prepare for home-made boat races on a wet spring day.

April 7, 2017 - The new St. David Catholic School is blessed to be built on a site nestled in nature. One of the school's blessings is a natural stream that runs through the location. During the first springtime rainy day, Ms. Michel and Ms. Ross' kindergarten class inquired about how boats float and which structure would float the fastest down the stream. Students, with support from teaching staff, built boats and floating devices for the challenge.

At St. David School, this simple kindergarten inquiry exploded into a full divisional spectators sport. Students from the other two kindergarten classes as well as the grade 1 class all gathered, some inside the school viewing through the oversized windows on the second floor and some bearing the weather to cheer on the boats outside in the rain. Secretarial and support staff also gathered for the challenge.

With the help of Mr. Lapalme, the school's vice principal, the boat challenge was on. Students cheered and laughed as some boats got caught up on rocks and debris while other boats sailed on through towards Frood Road. Near the end, Mrs. Waugh even through some rubber duckies into the race. It was a great way to spend time outside, even on a rainy day.

The Full Day Kindergarten program at St. David Catholic School is based on the inquiry model which means that kindergarten students "drive their own learning". Kindergarten students are encouraged to ask questions and then investigate to find answers. St. David School has also taken advantage of the school's natural site to promote outdoor learning every chance it gets.

St. David School Kindergarten ECE, Angela Ross states, "When students are outdoors in nature surrounded by trees and rocks and even streams, they seem more invested and engaged in their learning. They are excited by nature and we count ourselves lucky each day that we are blessed with this beautiful school on such a natural site."

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