East Wiltshire green space initiative
“Is teaching an art or a science? It’s a little of both. There is artistry in the way teachers connect with students and foster their understanding (Bouffard, 2018).” In my experience, teaching is both an Art and a Science for administrators, teachers, and students alike. It takes all three stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to the advancement of learning. Each student represents a separate work of art in progress seeking to be moulded into the best they can be to earn a living and contribute to society. Teaching and administration are also Sciences as both must learn, understand and apply philosophies, theories and principles of teaching, learning, and leading to support student learning and development. For this to be achieved, we must provide the facilities for students to apply their learning in a secure, safe and structured environment. Our project outlines the support needed outside of the classroom for the application and reinforcement of the classroom learning. Our proposal involves students, staff, and community in the design which will create a welcoming and sustainable space for all.
The phases resulting from our meetings include the rejuvenation of the exterior of our school. The final list for our work following our meetings include components of one’s health:
Phase 1 mental health
Beautify the front entrances (main and grade 7). Develop the greenspace in front of our school as so the students, staff, and community members can make use of the space and enjoy the nature.
Vegetation: We will plant perennials for pollination. We will have benches in the area for school and community members to sit and enjoy the beauty of the areas covering the front of our School. We will plant/repurpose trees to provide perching and homes for wildlife in the area. We will plan and design the garden areas. We will prepare the soil and the garden for planting. We will choose the plants and be responsible for watering, weeding, and fertilizing. This will be used for observations and experiments. Students will receive lessons on soil nutrients, plant growth, etc. Through the planting project, the subjects covered will be Science, Health & Life Skills, Physical Education, Career Education, Math, and Environmental Education.
Phase 2 social health
We will build and install benches around the building where students, staff and community members can gather to enjoy our work
Reflection & Celebration
Our objectives and relationship to the program are:
The committee learned to manage time based on the uncertainty of outside organizations;
The committee researched and practiced in leading change through management;
The committee demonstrated well being and resiliency;
The committee linked our actions to the school mission and vision;
“The East Wiltshire Mission statement: Staff, students and community of East Wiltshire School share the responsibility to provide for individual student’s intellectual, physical growth within a secure environment.”
The committee used a strategic planning process that involve setting goals that are relevant, realistic and measurable;
The committee modeled effective partnership through the connections made with local organizations;
The committee successfully accessed community support agencies;
Our equipment has been generously donated by Home Depot!
Our mulch has been generously donated by Home Depot!
Our compost has been generously donated by Kool Breeze Farms!
Our soil has been provided by Twins Landscaping!
Our planting design is being supported by Peter Meijer with VanKampens!
Our information session about basic gardening principles for staff and students will be led by Stephanie Dewar with Morning Dew Gardens.
Our funding ($500.00) is provided by Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) which provides $300 for planting soil and $200 for vegetation.
The committee used anecdotal data in the strategic planning process;
The committee used observation of our students and staff during their time outside of class.
The committee followed the policies and practices in the development of safe and caring school environments;
The committee followed policies and practices related to student mental health and well-being as we collaborated with school youth workers and guidance;
The committee fostered an open, fair and equitable school culture through the project by ensuring all were included in having a voice.