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The Outdoor Learning Space is the culmination of countless hours of time and effort by numerous École Riverview School members including students, parents and staff. We are incredibly thankful to this dedicated group; it is a legacy that will live on for a long, long time.
As we went through the process of creating our OLS, common goals emerged:
- create a four seasons gathering space within a natural setting
- create opportunities that enhance gross motor development
- enhance understanding and appreciation of nature
- integrate Aboriginal perspectives and teachings
- create leadership opportunities for École Riverview School students
The new berm will be as popular as the original one we have by the play structure. The water cistern and troughs lead to a dry river bed; the cistern catches rain water from the school roof and will allow for watering of plants and various lessons related to curricular areas. The deck gives a great platform to observe from. The limestone blocks give students more spots to sit and gather both at recess and during those days when classes escape the heat from their classrooms. Behind the row of blocks are plantings native to Manitoba. And finally, the tree stumps. These allow for a gathering spot which is in the form of a turtle, with the limestone block at the head of the turtle, pointing toward the river. The Turtle represents Truth, one of the Seven Sacred Teachings, and relates to North America being Turtle Island in Aboriginal culture. Future plans include silhouettes on the school wall representing all 7 Sacred Teachings. Aboriginal Education forms an important part of programming in the Winnipeg School Division and these elements allow us to incorporate this into what we do on an ongoing basis.
Watch this space for more information as school staff use the OLS to support student learning.