With our human and more than human community
What is the CEDAR Stream?
The intention of CEDAR Stream is to provide students with opportunities to spend time outdoors daily. Students will Connect, Engage, and Discover the natural world in our community. They will learn to Adapt to their environment. The purpose of this intention is to have students think and respond to needs in our community with acts of Reciprocity. We feel that fostering a love for the land in children is the best way to raise citizens who consider and care for our land in the future.
Students will be in a multi-age learning environment where they will be grouped in a variety of ways throughout the day. Friendships are not forced based on age, but instead fostered through interest. This also provides the flexibility to create unique learning opportunities where students will be placed in roles as both learner and teacher. Children are given many opportunities throughout the day to become student-leaders. Having a student-led class empowers students to identify their strengths and share them with the community. It also encourages them to notice when they’re struggling and ask for help. It becomes evident quite quickly that just because someone is older, does not mean that they have more knowledge or power. Everyone has something to teach us, and everyone has something to learn.
Community is another focus of the CEDAR Stream. Students are encouraged to see their classmates as members of their community who care about one another and wish to see each person grown and become their best self. One way we foster community is through class meetings. Students learn not only how to talk about themselves and share a piece of who they are with others, but, more importantly, they learn to become active listeners and respect the voice of every member. This teaches students that we all have similarities and differences, that we are entitled to feel and express our emotions, that sharing a part of yourself feels wonderful, and supporting one another strengthens our community as a whole. We also plan camping trips and field trips that provide opportunities for students to connect with the land and members of our wider Whonnock community.
Students witness collaboration, cooperation, and kindness between adults at school on a regular basis. They learn from watching teachers work together, and with the land, to create learning opportunities for them.
Learning is strengthened when brought outside. Fresh air increases attention, decreases stress, encourages self-regulation, and provides opportunities to become whole-body learners. Plus, memories are strengthened when connected to a place. This becomes so apparent when we visit one location over time. Students constantly begin sentences with “remember when…?”, recalling lessons, memories, and learning opportunities that occurred upon the land. This connects them to place, to one another, and to the land in way that cannot be replicated within a classroom.
Will this be a good fit for my child(ren)?
Will this be a good fit for my child? Being a parent or guardian of a child in the CEDAR Stream is not always easy. Students will be outside every day, regardless of weather. That means your child will need proper gear to keep them warm and comfortable, plus guidance in what to bring each day, especially while they are getting used to this new learning environment. We will ask you to help pack for camping, request volunteers to drive to the lake, and trust us that your child is learning – even if they’re far from the four walls and rows of desks that you may be used to. Your child may also return home soggy or scratched. However, we also strongly believe that your child will feel safe, connected, and healthy, with a strong sense of belonging, while they are at school. They will undoubtedly learn a lot, and will experience a school year that they will not forget any time soon. We have seen the engagement and joy our students have developed as they explore beyond the classroom walls and truly look forward to continuing this journey with you.
Contact Mr. Richardson for further details: