The design of the STS facilities furthers the goals of an STS education: to develop students who are well rounded, strong of character and capable of purposeful leadership. Every day, part of your child's learning takes place in our expansive 220 acres of nature. Inside, our diverse learning spaces help our faculty promote both teamwork and self-directed studies.
Our natural campus
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School has been synonymous with the outdoors since its beginnings in 1929. All day, there are students engrossed in outdoor activity for play, fitness and coursework.
Many of our curricular and co-curricular classes are enhanced with outdoor learning. In particular, our natural campus is an integrated learning space for earth sciences, arts, physical education and outdoor education.
Students are more intrinsically motivated when they are learning the science curriculum outdoors, according to a 2017 study. At STS, we integrate outdoor learning into curriculum planning. Classroom learning is augmented with frequent field study experiences on campus, as well as in other natural locations. With our wetlands, forests, grasslands and observatory, it's easy to encourage an appreciation for natural sciences in students of all ages. For example, recent Elementary students' projects included:
- Setting up a camera to watch a Great Horned Owl nest, eggs hatching, and owlets learn to fly.
- Measuring and comparing the health of our pond with one in a conservation area.
- Writing and producing a tree field guide for the STS property.
Exploring the arts outdoors encourages new ways to explore creativity and self-expression. Your student will sketch, paint and write outdoors, or in our Aspen Lodge classroom. They may also perform in our outdoor amphitheatre.
We have more than 10 kilometres of trails, often populated by students cross-country running. STS excels at cross-country running, winning the last nine straight championships, and many more before that. We also use the trails, fields and pond for activities such as Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and canoeing. Whether students choose to compete in sport or not, our vast, natural campus lends itself to students building a healthy love for outdoor physical activity.
"Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School provided me with unique and formative opportunities. It helped foster my love for science, travel, athletics and adventure." - Susan Elliot '89, Entrepreneur, Principal and Co-founder, Virtus Insights Inc.
Students gain practical, hands-on experience in our flagship Outdoor Education program on our property. In an environment that feels very much like a real excursion, students can master skills necessary for our trips. Here, there's opportunity to practice such things as setting up a safe camp, or learning water safety in canoes, which provides competence and confidence in outdoor adventure.
Inside, the curriculum comes to life in labs, dedicated studios and a full-size theatre. Student curiosity and imagination are sparked and realized with relevant technologies and up-to-date equipment everywhere.
Latest Expansion for Arts and Elementary
Our newest building opened in early 2018. The 65,000 square-foot expansion houses superb arts facilities for everyone, and enriched learning spaces for the Elementary school. The design challenges traditional notions of what a school looks like with features such as:
- Moveable walls
- Learning pods
- Places to sit on the floor
- Furniture that lets students move their bodies
Music, drama and art creation are a big part of the comprehensive STS experiential education. The new building has purpose-built rooms for drama and music, including small, private rooms for practice. The art studios are ample and equipped to hold projects over weeks - even months - of creation time. The design labs carry tools and equipment for ongoing experimentation, including 3D printers.
Students at STS are encouraged to share, and they enjoy those opportunities. The central gathering hall is cleverly designed to accommodate relaxation time, collaborative work or a casual performance venue.
Build by Community
The STS community of parents and alumni donated 100% of the $24 million budget for the spectacular expansion. We thank them all for their enduring belief in Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School.
Read about how our facilities "reflect the ideas, ethics, attitude and culture" of STS.
This video explains the thought behind the expansion design.
Nestled in the woods near the School, Aspen Lodge is an eco-friendly, glass-walled single classroom. Students are in the lodge regularly, as their teachers decide to use it for anything from a regular class to reflection time.
C.A. Smith Arts Centre
A fully-equipped, 630-seat theatre provides more than a lovely, acoustically-optimized space for assemblies, music concerts and guest speakers. It's a bustling, fully-functioning theatre in which students can learn all aspects of performance, preparation and execution.
A large proscenium/thrust stage is ideal for our annual musical, and there's room backstage for set building. A fly gallery means we can configure the stage differently for different events or scenes in a play, flying in curtains and set pieces. The theatre is also equipped with:
- Industry standard technical booth
- Digital sound mixer and Bose speakers
- Sophisticated lighting grid
- Infrared camera for better performance video
Peter B. Ditchburn Library
Our library program encourages students to become lifelong, independent, and information-literate learners. STS nourishes a reading culture — and not always in science. Our specialized staff design enrichment activities for all programs, including guest speakers, story time for younger students, book talks and displays in our large, classic library.
Our dedicated library staff proactively teach skills and strategies that enable your child to navigate the post-secondary research and writing. And to help meet the goals of the program, our stacks hold over 37,000 books and resources, including academic databases and other digital tools.
We also strive to kindle intercultural understanding, so we've intentionally curated items with an international perspective.
For your convenience
Forget something at home? Your lunch, or a tie? Need a new uniform piece?
Black Watch Bistro
Many of our students bring meals from home, but there are always healthy food options available in our campus cafeteria. Your child's dietary health is essential. You won't find a deep dryer in our kitchen. Every meal is dietician-reviewed, and on our on-site food services team prepares meals fresh daily. We're happy to accommodate all dietary needs.
Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed all school and statutory holidays.
Method of payment
Debit, credit and statutory holidays.
Tweeds and More
Our campus store carries quality consignment uniforms, some new uniforms pieces, most accessories and useful STS items. You'll also find the required gym strip and our popular Spartans athletic wear. Tweeds and More is operated by parent volunteers, and fifty per-cent of sales go directly back to support STS.
Hours of Operation
Monday and Wednesday 11:00 am - 1:00 p.m.
Friday 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.