The staff and students of Sunalta School are embracing the new CBE Well-being framework through conversation and taking action to understand what it means to be well. In order for us to be able to learn, have positive relationships and feel good inside and out, we are creating our own approach and goals through the Comprehensive School Health Partnership. With strong support from Alberta organization, Everactive Schools and coach Adam Pratt, our students are designing a culture of well-being at Sunalta School. Throughout this year, our goal has been to improve our social and physical environment to create space to play and be together. A group of leadership students organized an assembly to kick off this project. With a stop-animation movie and description of the different types of well-being, students connected and reflected on their own well-being status. Leadership students then created anchor charts to be placed throughout the school with positive affirmations and 'how to destress' cards children could select to try a strategy.
“A healthy school community promotes the holistic development of students in eight dimensions: physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, intellectual, and occupational. While respecting the diversity of each student's unique strengths, talents, and goals… [The curriculum] seeks to empower all learners to positively engage with their peers and community. With a healthy mind, [heart], body, and spirit, students are empowered to experience success at school, with their families, and in their communities" (Physical Education and Wellness, 2022).
In March the leadership team designed a Wellness Hour for students to select a well-being activity such as dance, music, clay art, cartooning, photography, board games, and were multi-aged for students to spend time with other children from their division. It was well-received and students recognized the need to feel good inside out in order to thrive in life. We have intensions to have another Wellness Hour on April 28 with the support from community volunteers. One student stated, “we're learning about how to be friends, eat better, think positive thoughts and get some fun exercise every day".
Developing strong partnerships is another area of focus for Sunalta. For the past two years we have been regularly visitng with Blackfoot Elder Shirley Hill and Lemon Bear to develop an understanding of brain healing with reflection on Mother Earth and embracing who we are through our own spirit. Through consideration of the CBE Indigenous Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework, Elder Shirley has been teaching all of our students have learned about indigenous ways of knowing and connected these understandings to the land around Sunalta. She also brought her many hoops and taught the children how to hoop dance, which was much more difficult than it looks! Her playful attitude was embraced by the students as they learned how hoop dancing is part of healing ceremonies and represents the never-ending circle of life through story-telling.
Our goals this year are to implement healthy school policies, create supportive learning environments, teach students about health and wellness, and develop strong partnerships with communities such as Everactive School.
- Christine McCrory, Principal