Our school is situated in the Town of Penetanguishene, ON, just off the shore of Georgian Bay. We are committed to spend more time in the outdoors and our area is filled with great outdoor walking trails, forested areas which give many opportunities for outdoor learning. We recognize that children thrive most when learning outdoor and we try to establish many opportunities for them to do so. We also take into consideration that we are here to share the land and must try our best to give back as a way to say thank you to Mother Earth. Our two neighbouring towns (Town of Midland and Township of Tiny) are Bee Cities and we have heard that our town is also in the works.
We are an elementary school that works towards our ÉcoÉcole Certification every year. We have a very large school yard with many opportunities to plant flowers to invite our pollinators. We have a student who is in SK that is a beekeeper with her family. We have an outdoor classroom and would love to build an area to invite bees into our yard and into our learning.
Starting in the JKSK classes, we spend a lot of time talking about pollinators and the importance of bees. We work directly in nature to build a healthy relationship between students and nature. We would like to conitnue those teachings to include pollinators and have the students experience this hands on. There are many curriculuum connections we can make from JKSK-Grade 6 to include the learnings of our pollinators in our science classes. We would also love to make videos to show our neighbouring schools to try and entice them to do the same. We do a butterfly program (Painted Lady) in our JKSK classes where we have them from eggs until butterflies. The children LOVE to witness the changes and the hands on learning experiences that come with it
We would like to work with the woodworking classes of our neighbouring high school to build our very own Hotel for Bees! We also have a vegetable garden in one area of the school where we plant the Three Sisters plants (beans, corn & squash). We would like to add other vegetables and will need to invite bees to come help with the production of fruits and vegetables. Also, we would like to include parents to come and help us establish some flower gardens to brighten up the school yard and ensure our pollinators will be happy. Our school yard is a pesticide free zone and lawn cutting in our garden are will be kept to a minimum. We would like to partner with a few green thumbed parents and flower nurseries to plan indigenous flowers.