The Experiential Education Circle
Our experiential education philosophy follows a circular path:
Preparation: the setting of goals; identification of desired outcomes from the experience.
Interaction: decision making; exploration of community differences and similarities; resilience.
Reflection: achieving learning outcomes, in a measurable and meaningful way; reciprocity for both communities.
Reintegration: reintegration of learning back into the SCS community; empowering the SCS culture.
This approach means:
- Our girls interact with a network of 100 independent schools across the world through Round Square, participating in conferences and service partnerships.
- All Grade 7, 8 and 9 students participate in full Middle School experiential education retreats, to develop leadership and team building skills.
- In addition to our Grade 3 to 6 students being involved in offsite experiential education opportunities such as a week at Black Creek Pioneer Village, Camp Wanakita and Norval, our entire Junior School is very involved with our local community through visits to local seniors’ residences and choral performances at local churches.
- Experiential education is integrated into the curriculum. Native Studies students, for example, travel to Moose Factory for firsthand interaction with the Moose Cree First Nation community. Students have also completed a Geography credit in Iceland, a science credit in South Africa, and learned about Art History in Italy.
- Our girls demonstrate a commitment to the completion of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. SCS graduates the most Gold Awards in Canada.
- Community Day has the whole School - students, faculty and staff - involved with organizations and groups, some with whom we have ongoing partnerships during the year.
Our approach to experiential education is another way we live our mission.
The passion to learn about - and from - other people and places is ignited.
The courage to challenge personal boundaries and step outside comfort zones is strengthened.
The curiosity to explore new places, ideas, and activities is inspired.
Our experiential education program includes volunteering at local organizations and schools; travelling to Moose Factory in Northern Ontario to further our partnership with the Moose Cree First Nation; international exchanges; outdoor adventure and cultural trips; credit courses abroad; and meeting and working with people in other countries and on different continents as part of Round Square service trips and conferences. It also includes discussions with alumnae who return to SCS to share their experiences; guest speakers in the classroom; our annual Career Day; and co-operative education positions.
Community involvement, work projects, exchange programs, leadership and adventure excursions take our girls around the world.
Round Square is an association of schools on five continents. This network shares and follows six pillars, or IDEALS, of learning: Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Round Square aims to help students prepare for life by having them face it head-on and experience it in ways that demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution.
The Round Square philosophy aligns seamlessly with St. Clement’s School’s mission. Round Square membership allows our girls to uncover the passion to learn about people and places, the courage to challenge personal boundaries, and the curiosity to explore.
As the first girls’ school in North America to be accepted as a full global member of Round Square, we have access to a worldwide network. Membership allows us to regularly arrange local and international student and teacher exchanges, as well as community service projects. Our girls have travelled across the globe with Round Square, including international service trips to Kenya, India, Nicaragua and Cambodia, and participation in regional and international conferences, such as the African International Round Square Conference in South Africa.
Round Square seeks to capture the enthusiasm and power of our girls, and to provide opportunities that help them develop into the leaders of tomorrow.
I loved being a part of such a meaningful adventure, and I would encourage all students to participate in a Round Square project.
This trip showed me how fortunate we are to live and work in the conditions we do and how important the little things are, like just having a safe place to learn.
Without a doubt, the conference broadened our horizons and connected us with fellow students from around the world.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, founded by Prince Philip, aims to equip young people with life skills to make a difference to themselves and their communities by encouraging personal discovery, growth, self-reliance and perseverance. Through the internationally recognized Award’s three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) students in Grades 9-12 have the opportunity to develop in four areas:
- Service: intended to advance a sense of community and social responsibility
- Adventurous Journey: aims to cultivate a spirit of adventure and discovery, and an understanding of the environment
- Skills: develops cultural, vocational and practical skills
- Physical Recreation: encourages improved performance and fitness
- the greatest per capita rate of Award achievement in Ontario (where the program is not mandatory)
- 6 Gold awards
- 12 Silver awards
- 28 Bronze awards