As educators, preparing our students for the future can be an intimidating concept. After all, predicting it with any degree of accuracy can be nearly impossible. However, by presenting a challenge, then teaching them how to examine, identify, research, communicate, empathize, and self-manage that challenge, they will be equipped with the versatility and resourcefulness to be ready for every possible future – no matter what path they choose to take.
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
What do we do well? What can we do better? How do we ensure academic excellence, rigour, and deep learning remain at the core of what we do? And how do we gauge how STS is meeting its mission and value-driven goal of continuous improvement across multiple fields?
Research findings demonstrated that even our youngest students could articulate a deeper connection to the campus, a need to steward it, and that the spaces themselves could be known and understood through different perspectives. It is probably no surprise that teachers and students alike reported increased levels of wellness during these experiences as well.
The outdoors are experiential in nature. Just as every living organism grows in relation to its environment, the same is true of a child exploring the world beyond their classroom. The more our students and teachers learn about the outdoors, the more we all realize just how many vital lessons the beautiful and diverse landscape of the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) campus has to offer.
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) places the wellbeing needs of students at the center — and it begins with teachers. Walk into any Kindergarten to Grade 12 classroom and you will notice authentic and meaningful connections established between students and teachers. Why? Because at its core, every educational encounter is a relational one that is anchored in trust-building. STS teachers understand the critical role they assume in providing a safe space for students to take well-supported risks in the classroom and on the field. Raising a hand to ask a question in calculus class and trying out for a new co-curricular activity are made possible when students trust the adult overseeing the experience cares about their learning experience.
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.”
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) is a unique and special place as it is one of only a few K-12 continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in Canada. The IB framework is an integral part of our school’s identity and the Flourish 2031 Strategic Plan. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is the framework that the Elementary School uses to teach the Alberta Program of Studies. The heart of the PYP is inspiring students to take action in their community in order to leave the world better than they found it. The Primary Years Programme is where students are introduced to their schooling journey and it is where teachers instill a love of learning and encourage curiosity.
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.