A teacher, historian, storyteller, and visual artist - Saa’kokoto is providing STS students with a deep understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture. His lessons carry a wealth of first hand experience, drawn both from his years as a business leader in his community and as an ambassador of his culture. “I learned a lot about the people, the land. I come from the largest First Nation in Canada which is Kainai west of Lethbridge, and we have two elementary schools, a middle school and high school, and our own college. In my last term in office, I taught a course there at the college and it was accredited through the University of Lethbridge. It was on governance - (a concept) that I could share.”
Elementary School - Where it all begins
Elementary School at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School offers Kindergarten through Grade 6.
STS Elementary School students develop a love of learning in a safe, nurturing, inquiry-centred, and technology-rich environment. Grounded in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) students learn to challenge themselves and apply critical thinking strategies to enable them to meet their potential in all areas. Discovering their skills and knowledge in art, French, music, physical education, and a wide-variety of clubs promotes a well-balanced education.
Students have the opportunity to explore our beautiful rural campus learning and playing in the fresh, open-air and also participating in our Outdoor Education program. These activities develop curiosity, independence, and an appreciation for our natural environment, while building lasting friendships and memories.
From the Blog
As many of you may know, February is Black History Month! This month is all about recognizing, amplifying, and celebrating Black voices both in the past and the present. Three Grade 11 students, Bolu K. ’23, Anaya T. ’23, and Tanusri B. ’23, have created a working group to share some of the messages and themes of Black History Month with the school community.
The theme this year is “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day.” I find this a very valuable statement. Take the time to learn about the many accomplishments and important stories of the Black people of Canada. The Government of Canada website includes lots of information to get started with. After discovering these, keep them in your heart not only during this month but remember them every day!
Encore is a co-curricular option that gives students agency in their learning. As part of the Elementary School Encore group, Grade 6 students chose to donate their own time and resources creating products for sale to our school community through a Maker Market. Embodying our vision, mission, and motto, the students brought awareness and support to four different causes through the sale of their products.
Recently, students in Grade 1 explored the computational thinking concepts of decomposition and algorithms. First, they reflected and discussed how other areas of their learning were broken down into their parts, such as story writing, numbers in math, and the PYP Approaches to Learning skills. After this review, they took on the challenge: decomposition of a device - old handheld games and phones. Using their hands, screwdrivers, flashlights, and wearing safety goggles, the students “decomposed” their device step by step.
Giving back to the community made me feel amazing, helpful, and all warm and fuzzy inside. Purchasing gifts and imagining seeing the smile on people’s faces when they receive them is an exceptional feeling. I encourage anyone to help their community in any way they can. When a community comes together, many small donations can go a long way.
The new STS climbing boulder and climbing wall mats are getting a workout as are the students and faculty who are using them. Mr. Straub has continued his creative route setting, building an expanding range of climbing and bouldering routes that engage climbers regardless of age or ability, now on an increased number of surfaces.
Last week Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School students and employees took part in numerous activities for the 37th annual celebration of Marti McKay Week. Founded in 1984, Marti McKay Week promotes the creative arts, honouring the memory of Marti McKay, an STS student and gifted poet who passed away in 1981.
On October 8, 12 STS teachers across all three grade divisions attended a workshop at Dodginghorse Ranch on Tsuut’ina Nation. Facilitated by Sonya Dodginghorse, teachers engaged in meaningful learning, collaborating, and sharing that focused on Indigenous culture and diversity awareness.
While Canada observes its first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, STS strives to create meaningful engagements to promote the ongoing process of truth and reconciliation. However, the question arises for Elementary Educators and parents of young students alike: How do we approach this important but painful legacy in an age-appropriate way? During conversations this week, I discovered that Elementary Teachers at STS kept this important question in mind while staying true to the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.
Thank you to the STS student and staff community for your participation in our class runs during the week of September 20 – 24, 2021. It was an amazing demonstration of caring, encouragement and fun! The STS Terry Fox Run is a part of one of Canada’s biggest displays of solidarity against cancer while setting an example of compassion, fostering school spirit, and encouraging physical activity! Our participation over the past 37 years exemplifies our dedication to supporting Terry Fox.
Grade 3 student, Izmir K. '31, ran a half marathon this weekend to raise money for Afgan girls to gain access to education. He ran a total of 21.1 km in 2 hours and 49 minutes!