Winter Gathering

We invite all families to join us on Tuesday, Dec. 18 for the South Canoe Elementary Winter Gathering from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.  We invite families to drop in anytime during these 2 hours to be part of the festivities and try their hand at making decorations, cards, wrapping paper, beeswax candles, bannock, Metis Dance, start gazing and more.  The event will take place in and outside the school as well as at Mrs. Tenveen’s across the street. Teachers will be asking parents if they would like to help out for a 1/2 hour shift, giving the opportunity to volunteer, but also to enjoy the evening with their family.

There is not cost for the event, but we encourage families to bring an item for the Food Bank.

On Thursday, January 31 at 6:00pm we will be presenting a Caravan-Style theatre on the school grounds.  All classes will be involved in this presentation.  We look forward to sharing these evenings with all of you.

Proposed Mission, Vision and Philosophy for South Canoe Elementary

We invite all South Canoe Elementary Families to take a look at the Proposed Mission, Vision and Philosophy Document  for the school that was put together by the Outdoor Learning Committee and Staff at South Canoe Elementary. Please feel free to provide feedback either by email to or in person at the PAC Meeting on Nov. 19 @ 6:30pm.


The mission of our school community is to inspire learners to act wisely by cultivating healthy relationships with nature, community, and self.


Among staff, we aim to work collaboratively to develop and deliver curriculum and best practices for optimum learning outdoors. Staff at the Outdoor Learning School will encourage, critique, and fuel each other’s practice so as to be better able to support all staff throughout the district in the delivery and growth of their own Outdoor Learning programs.
At a macro level, our aim is to develop a successful program that is replicable in our district and beyond, while contributing to the cultural shift in education towards human and planetary health.

Our aim is to develop and run an Outdoor Learning School where students are taught the B.C. curriculum through nature’s lens and where learning supports the four dimensions of health (mental, physical, emotional, and social) through the following pedagogical approaches:

     1. Mental Wellness: Inquiry-based learning

Learning through curiosity, asking personally meaningful and relevant questions, wondering and seeking solutions, story, play and a balanced academic program. Developing life-long learning habits such as problem solving, creativity, and reflection.

     2. Physical Wellness: Experiential learning

Learning through doing, exploring, trying, failing, reflecting, and bravely trying something new. Learning how to take appropriate learning risks. Making sense of the world through real lived experiences.

    3. Emotional Wellness: Place-based learning

Learning outdoors, growing an understanding of the natural world, and finding our human place within nature. Becoming familiar with the animals, plants, physical features, history, and intricate interconnectedness between components of the natural world, and thereby developing a sense of connection. Learning how to balance care of self and others.

   4. Social Wellness: Learning within a Community

Developing strong and compassionate relationships within all the communities of which we are a part, such as a class, multi-age groups, whole school, neighbourhood, city, etc. Deliberately nurturing gratitude, compassion, resiliency, collaboration, emotional regulation, and confidence.


  • We believe that thoughtful and active learning outdoors in a supportive community allows us to connect and relate to others and to the natural world, which together enables and inspires us to act wisely.
  • We believe that Outdoor Learning is most effective when all four dimensions of wellness are exercised: mental, physical, emotional, and social.
  • We believe that learning is about who we are, how to live well with others, and how to grow joy and balance.
  • We believe that nurturing a sense of connection grows compassion and responsibility: to oneself, to others, and to the natural world.



Diagram – Circle with four quadrants: Place/Inquiry/Community/Experiential

(Will post this Diagram later is it will not format for this media)


The circle is a symbol of connection, unity, and harmony and is recognized as a theoretical framework of Indigenous philosophy. The circle represents the Indigenous belief system of wholeness and balance, which symbolizes inclusion and equality for all.


Program and pedagogy 

  • Deliver an outdoor-focused program founded on inquiry, place-based learning and experiential education
  • Provide learning experiences that enable reflection on the concept of all things being inter-connected.
  • Provide transformative outdoor experiences that are awe-inspiring, imaginative, self-reflective, challenging and cooperative in nature.
  • Develop an educational program that is thoughtful, effective and (to some degree) replicable.
  • Support the professional growth of staff and parents (eg. first aid, certifications, Pro-D)
  • Provide resources and experiences for other schools in our district, including inviting other classes to visit the school and offer a ‘learn-by-doing’ approach for students and Pro-d for teachers.
  • Deliver a balanced outdoor-focused program, using the BC curriculum, and including strong foundations in numeracy and literacy.


  • Build an organizational culture of experimentation (ie. embody experiential ed)
  • Establish a network of supportive community partners
  • Establish a team of teachers and support staff, admin, parents (PAC), advisors and volunteers that are
    positive, inclusive, and supportive of each other’s ideas and work.
  • Cultivate a process-based mindset – the end goal has value but the steps to getting there must be exciting, fun and creative.
  • Achieve organizational stability & develop/implement a sustainable growth plan.
  • Achieve reputation as a model school for outdoor learning in our region and beyond.

Student Attributes 

The following are a list of attributes the OL committee recommends should be fostered through the proposed program:

  • Gratitude
  • Positivity
  • Empathy/Compassion
  • Literacy (Eco and Language Arts)
  • Problem solving
  • Resiliency
  • Collaboration
  • Inclusion
  • Creativity
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-regulation
  • Self-care (Well-being/fitness/nutrition/sleep)
  • Humility
  • Communicativeness
  • Adaptability
  • Mindfulness
  • Risk takers and Risk managers
  • Reflectiveness
  • Curiosity
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Acceptance

Introducing the New PAC Executive

On Tuesday Evening after the School Community Potluck, we held our first PAC Meeting with the first task being that of electing a PAC Executive. Thank you to the many parents who attended the meeting and who came to support those who put their names forward. The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) is the voice of all parents at the school.  Even if you are not on the Executive, we urge you to take part in events and decision making through your PAC.  The next meeting of the PAC will be announced soon.  Childminding will be provided.

In the meantime, I would like to introduce this year’s PAC Executive:


From Left to Right:

Chairperson (President) – Melissa Parmenter, Treasurer – Richard Gage, Vice Chairperson (Vice-President) – Corene Hunter, Secretary – Michelle Purdon


Mid- September News

Exciting things happening at South Canoe Elementary.

Parent Information Night

Thurs. Sept. 20 we will be hosting a parent information night.  Here is the plan for the evening:

6:30pm – Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers present to the parents of their students.

7:00pm – All parents in the gym for a general session

7:30pm – Grade 2 – 6 teachers will present to the parents of their students

We look forward to seeing many of you there.

South Canoe Elementary Potluck

We hope that many of you can attend the South Canoe Elementary and South Canoe Community Potluck on Sept. 25th from 5:00 – 6:30pm. Please bring a dish to share, plates and cutlery for your family and a chair if the weather is nice, otherwise we’ll be indoors and we’ll set up chairs in the gym.

PAC Elections and Meeting

Our first PAC Meeting will be held in the South Canoe Library at 6:45pm on Sept. 25 right after the Potluck.  According to the protocol for forming a PAC, the first meeting is to be held by the Principal of the School. Elections will be held that evening for the PAC Executive.  Nominations are now open for Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Please let me know if you would like to nominate someone for one of these positions or if you would like your name to stand. Nominations will also be taken at the first meeting as well. Once the PAC is elected, we will then vote on a constitution which has been constructed using a constitution framework from BCPAC. Once the Executive is in place, changes can be voted in. We will have a presentation from a few photographers as we choose a photographer for individual and class photos. We hope that many can attend this meeting as Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) are extremely important in schools as the body which includes all parents at the school and provides that much welcomed parental voice.

New Parent Information Session

If you know of new parents considering South Canoe for Sept. 2019, please let them know about the New Parent Information Session that we will be holding at the school on Oct. 3 at 7:00pm. There will be a 30 minute presentation and then a Q & A.  Registration for South Canoe and for all schools in the School District is on Oct. 9

Have a wonderful week!




Bell Times and Details

Hi Everyone,

You will most probably not hear the bells ringing at South Canoe Elementary.  We call the start of the day with the drum to gather all students in the field.  The end of the day is announced with 5 beats of the drum.  Once you hear this, your child is free to go home. Here is our Bell Schedule:

7:45am – supervision starts

8:00am – start of day

9:40 am – recess

9:55am – classes start for second half of morning

11:35am – lunch (eat first/play after) – on most days students will be eating

outside with supervision.

12:27pm – classes resume for the afternoon

2:00pm – end of day- student pick up


South Canoe Update

We have less than two weeks to go before the start of the school year. Thank you to parents who are able to come to volunteer to help out.  We know that it is not necessarily good timing for everyone, but we appreciate any help that we can get.  Next week will be a very busy one.

Thank you to Parent Maryke Simmons and her son Harry who have organized a Gear Swap Area at the school.  Come and check it out starting next Tuesday.  Right now there are just a few things in that area, but we anticipate to have more with time.  Maryke writes:

“Please come check out our “Gear Swap” area, located at the south end of the school. To promote reusing and to make gear lists easier for all our students, we’ve made a space where you can give what you want and take what you need!
We’ve got bins to drop off & pick-up any unused or 


outgrown outdoor gear/ clothing and a board to post items for sale (reasonably priced).
Any questions or suggestions are welcome; please contact Maryke”

Parent Michelle Atkins had asked me to send out some ideas for after school childcare options. A few daycares have responded saying that they provide an after school program and will do pick up at South Canoe.  This includes Summit Kids Care and Discovery Kids.  No other daycares have contacted me yet, but if there is a need other daycares may decide to do the same. You may want to contact them directly.

Have a wonderful last week with your children!  We’re looking forward to having your child explore the great outdoors with us as we all learn together, by questioning, observing and sharing. We have some great tools to work with, but most importantly an amazing staff that is excited to welcome our students.

All the best!

Isabelle Gervais