"We are social beings and forge our lives in a social context. Classroom and school environments give rise to a variety of social relationships: among students, teammates, and cast and choir members; among teachers, administrators, and staff; between students and teachers; between students and bus drivers, cafeteria staff, and custodians. The connective tissue that sustains these relationships — whether it is trust, encouragement, mutual respect, cooperation, collaboration, and selflessness...— has a powerful character-shaping influence. In sum, the ethos of a school has both an inevitable and a potentially permanent educational power." (Ryan & Bohlyn, 2000)
We believe that children's character development will be shaped by the relationships they have forged and the models of adulthood they have witnessed. We work to nurture the "connective tissue" which will sustain positive relationships and build community. It is important to us that the ethos of West Dalhousie School reflects trust, respect and encouragement.
Recognizing the social nature of teaching and learning, we believe that children need to be actively engaged in a variety of shared experiences. These may range from the on-going dialogue and collaborative projects of classrooms to extra-curricular activities, informal recess activities with friends and special programs with local experts. Extra-curricular activities and clubs also offer a range of opportunities to our children. Clubs may be sponsored by the school staff, parents and/or outside experts such as
- Chess Club
- Nature's Place Connection
- Leadership Club
- Reading Buddies
- Safety Patrols
- West Dalhousie Radio
- Bundle Buddies
- Green Team
We also work to help children to make connections between their learning at school and the world they experience beyond the schoolyard. Field trips offer one opportunity for all students to enrich the learning experience of the classroom.
- Author visits
- Outdoor School
- Chevron Open Minda (Grade 1/2)
- Guest speakers from the community
- Individuals speaking about places impacted by ongoing current events
These are all examples of unique extensions of the curriculum in which our students are involved.
We strive to ensure that the "social" lives of our children in school are as rich and varied as possible. Opportunities to work together in different settings and to form new relationships broadens our understanding. The students at West Dalhousie School are afforded many extra-curricular opportunities and experiences within and beyond the school walls. We make this effort because we know that these social experiences are greatly enhance the growth and development of young children.