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Course work at Prince of Wales Mini School often goes beyond the provincially prescribed curriculum by examining topics in greater detail. In some subjects the prescribed material may be covered more quickly in order to allow time to explore other areas of interest.
Teachers at Prince of Wales Mini School use a constructivist approach, where the student is an active participant in the learning process. Constructivism is a theory about how we come to know what we know. The meaning of “knowing” is an active and evolutionary process. At Prince of Wales Mini School this process is supported by a wide variety of enrichment activities and events.
Enrichment occurs in the classroom, and through field trips in the community. Examples from various subjects are as follows:
- English: theatre and opera performances, Writer’s Festival, Shakespeare workshops;
- Social Studies: student-led discussions of current events, guest speakers, art gallery visits, law courts tour, film screenings, museum visits, day trip to the Legislature in Victoria, Sustainability Action Project;
- Math: math contests and shows, Math Challenge Projects;
- Science: study of current scientific discovery and advancement, Grade 8 and 9 Science Fair Project, Grade 10 Science Mentorship Program, 4-day trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on Vancouver Island, nighttime visit to the GMS Observatory, ecology study of Jericho Beach Park, biology and geology study of Lynn Canyon, Camosun Bog study;
Each year all PW Mini School students travel to Strathcona Park Outdoor Education Centre on Vancouver Island for a 5-day wilderness adventure, and to Whistler for a 3-day skiing and snowboarding experience.
Occasionally PW Mini School teachers are able to offer optional international trips for senior students during Spring Break. Our most recent trip was a homestay and service trip to Ecuador.
PW Mini School Student Council also organizes activities throughout the year including dances, movie nights, and intramural (lunch time) events.
Evening enrichment events include: PW Mini School Arts Night, Family Winter Supper, and our Year-end Picnic.
Senior students at PW Mini School develop their leadership skills by taking an active role in one of our many student-led enrichment activities.
Our enrichment program also emphasizes three intertwined themes:
1) Developing Strength of Character
The underlying purpose of our enrichment program is to provide experiences that help students learn about themselves. We create a physical and social environment that supports the development of positive character traits such as: honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, independence, initiative, confidence, openness to new experiences, helpfulness, self-discipline, enthusiasm, courage, leadership, critical thinking, intrapersonal skills (looking inward), interpersonal skills (reaching outward), creativity, and concern for health & fitness.
2) Building and Sustaining Community
Everyone involved in Prince of Wales Mini School continuously works on developing and maintaining a strong sense of community. Students are asked to take an active role in all school activities, as we believe these events are an important part of our program. We encourage students of various grades to interact throughout the school year. We promote cooperation between students, teachers and parents as we work together to build a supportive community. All students at Prince of Wales Mini School are required to be involved in school and community service throughout the school year.
3) Creating a Better World
Sustainability is a model for thinking about a future in which environmental, societal, and economic considerations are balanced. Our enrichment program enables students to understand the issues of sustainability, examine solutions, and develop self-directed action projects. Their efforts are helping to close the gap between the world as it is, and the world as it should be.
The above events and activities are subject to change due to the interests and expertise of the teaching team, and the changing needs of students. While every effort is made to provide continuity from year to year, we make no promises to provide particular enrichment activities.