Apr 14
Learning in the Field

Dear Parents of Sibylla Kiddle School,

The most magical phrase any student wants to hear is, ‘Tomorrow is a snow day!’ We have not had a snow day in Calgary since 1998 so I’m going to suggest we have a better chance of spotting a unicorn than hearing this phrase any time soon. The second most magical phrase a student wants to hear is, ‘We are going on a field trip!’

Field trip destinations rarely matter to students; they are more excited about the possibility of going somewhere. In a student’s mind, it is like a mini vacation. However, from an educational point of view, a field trip also holds great potential to be a magical learning opportunity. In fact, I prefer to call them a ‘field study’ as this phrase triggers an awareness of the learning objectives about to happen outside of the school building itself.

We know that learning is triggered when our brain is engaged. Think about the last time you travelled somewhere unique, it may have been a vacation to another country or simply to a local business you have never been to before. The engagement of a new place likely awakened a sense of wonder and consequently new things were learned with increased intensity.

Field studies have started up again at our school and it is great to see the wonderful learning opportunities our students have already engaged in or are about to experience. On this long weekend, think about a field study your family could go on. Can you find an unusual tree to learn about in Fish Creek? Could you help your child learn the power of resilience by doing a winter hike in the foothills? Maybe you can awaken the inner horticulturist in your child by spending some extended time at the local gardening store. The possibilities are endless. Where will your next family field study be? What will you learn?

Brad Emery, Principal


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