“The major aim of schooling is to enable students to become the architects of their own education so that they can invent themselves during the course of their lives.” — Elliot Eisner

Part of our school goal at a our school is to “develop each student’s unique talents and interests”. Three years ago, the previous principal and I , along with our School Planning Council (parents) and Staff, decided to try to tap into the curiosity of our students and the strengths and passions of our staff.

Wednesday afternoons at Kent school are often the most exciting for our students as this is when they get to participate in an activity called CHOICES. Three times a year (once per term) for four-six weeks, all Kent students get to choose one of many options of learning activities. Staff are encouraged to offer an activity in an area of their passion and the hope is that the combination of teacher passion and student curiosity will create learning opportunities that will drive interest and confidence in learning. The activities that the staff have offered over the past 3 years has been nothing short of amazing. Here are a few examples:

Flag football Softball Ball Hockey
Cross-Country Running Basketball Mini Hockey
Soccer Track and Field Sketching
Painting Hip Hop Dance Crafts
Spool Knitting First Nation Drumming First Nation Dancing
First Nation Crafts Legends and Stories First Nation Carving
Knights and Castles Odyssey of the Mind Literacy Circles
Creative Writing Theatre games Improv
Pirates! Combustion Engines Build It! Construction
Insects! Crime Scene Investigation Geology Rocks!
Scrapbooking Gardening Mystery Books
Website Design Choir Video Production
PowerPoint Cartoons Hockey Pool 101 Baking
Pre-school helpers Puppetry Flower Power!
Gym games Math Challenges Poetry
Leadership Board Games Strategies Chess

Some comments from parents:

“Wednesdays are my favourite day… I don’t ever have to ask my child how school went… he just tells me!” – JH

“CHOICES has encouraged my child to try new things and take risks. Through CHOICES, my daughter has found a new love of writing!” – KS

“My son hardly slept night because he was so excited for CHOICES”. – CK

A final comment from a student sums it up:

“I wish CHOICES was every day! I love Kent School!” – Kaden

During CHOICES, there are rarely any behaviour concerns and you never hear the question. “is this for marks?”. When students are given the autonomy to choose a learning activity and teachers are given the freedom to teach an area in which they are passionate, a true love of learning results.

Thank you to the staff of Kent School who have demonstrated inspirational effort to make CHOICES such a powerful, authentic learning experience for our students.