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St. Michaels University School

EXPERIENTIAL PROGRAM

“The ability to deliberately learn from experience is perhaps the most powerful source of learning”

-David Kolb

 

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY & DESIGN


AHOUSAHT: PLACE & PEOPLE, A WEST COAST CULTURAL EXPERIENCE


RIDGELINE TO COASTLINE #1: PADDLING

RIDGELINE TO COASTLINE #2: HIKING

SPORTS ANALYTICS

WHO AM I? EXPLORING ANCESTRAL

ROOTS

SCHOOL GROUNDS COFFEE COMPANY

CLAY & GLASS FUSION

MUSIC WRITING & PRODUCTION


GIDDY UP! LEADERSHIP THROUGH RANCHING

YOGA, PILATES

& MINDFULNESS


RIDGELINE TO COASTLINE #3: OUTDOOR SAMPLER

BEES & PEAS PLEASE!

STUDENT ATHLETE EXPERIENCE

FASHION DESIGN & INDUSTRY

WRITING

& VISUAL ART:

ONE WILD & PRECIOUS LIFE

SERVICE & PHILANTHROPY: TIME, TALENT & MONEY

IMPORTANT DATES


EXPEDITION DAY #1 October 22nd, 2019

This is the first day the students will be meeting with their cohort!
Everyone is excited to meet and the faculty leaders are thrilled to share their passions!

The focus of the day is for the students to get to know their cohort peers and faculty leaders, make connections with professionals in the field, start to consider what success means to each cohort member as well as to the cohort as a whole PLUS wear casual clothes (what no uniform?! PERK!).

Dig into the opportunities the leaders have planned: they might get dirty, wet, creative, inspired and more!


EXPEDITION DAY #2, November 26th, 2019

Day #2 with the Cohorts!

Now that the students have been introduced to some of the skills they’ll be using this year,,.they can now put them to practice. Meet with more members of the community connected to your cohort’s area of interest and ask meaningful questions that are back with a little bit of education in the field.

Try new things, expand on ideas and consider new ones!


EXPEDITION DAY #3/4, January 28-29th, 2020

Expedition day #3 provides some time for the cohorts to look at different aspects of their themes and learning topics.

Alternative Energy & Design visits a solar project, School Grounds talks business, Giddy Up! starts planted on the ground to build equal relationships with horses and more!


EXPEDITION DAY #5, March 17th, 2020

With only TWO expedition days remaining, the cohorts begin to look at what their pursuit trips will look like and what needs to be planned and prepared leading up to them.

What skills do they still need?
How will they put the skills they’ve learned to the test?

Day #4 is still a skill and character building day that allows the students to consider what has “stuck” and what needs to be revisited.


EXPEDITION DAY #6,
May 5th, 2020

This is the last expedition day that the cohorts have to build upon the skills they’ve learned so far this year and consider if they have everything they need for their upcoming PURSUIT trips in June.

Day #5 is all about solidifying the skills the cohorts have built and considering the plans for their pursuit trips.


This is a 6-day, intensive Experiential opportunity. Students will work within their cohort on a culminating capstone project. The applied skills presented and practiced throughout the previous 6 Expedition days will have prepared the students to make the most of this time!

Some cohorts will stay in the local Victoria area while others will travel to locations necessary to stay overnight but all experiences will deepen their connections to place, to people, to self and to their learning.

They are bound to end this week with numerous stories that they will carry with them into the future!

PURSUIT TRIPS,
June 7-13th, 2020


PREPARATION FOR and DEMONSTRATION
OF LEARNING,
June 15 & 16, 2020

The students have landed back on campus after their intensive Pursuit Week scattered across Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. Students attend school a day meant for debriefing their experience then planning a presentation that is both interactive and true to their cohort experience.

This will be presented to the Grade 9 student body and the faculty of SMUS in an outdoor Demonstration of their Learning.

Examples of some of the demonstrations from last year include learning to cook outdoors, how to set up a bear cache, how to properly pull an espresso shot, a mini Acro-yoga session, blind-contour drawing and more!


 

History of the Experiential Program at SMUS

Where it all began: The “Pilot” year 2007-2008

This is where the Experiential Program at SMUS formerly began! At this point it was a small number of grade 10 students, about 20 in total who formed the first group of students who spent their final term on an altered academic timetable which allowed them to pursue areas of interest beyond the SMUS bubble. The program included many similar elements to the current program, and ultimately the vision of those who created it is maintained in the structure of the Experiential Program this year. In fact, most of the faculty who worked to build the program are still involved in shaping it this year.

The early success, and resounding positive feedback from students and parents, led to expanding the program to the entire grade 10 body in the 2015-2016 school year.

 
 

Here are some articles with current research about Experiential Education  

This article from EdWEEK discusses student application of knowledge:

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/09/26/we-learn-by-doing-what-educators-get.html