Seven Stones Community School offers a unique 21st century learning model featuring collaboration, flexible teaching arrangements, inclusion and inquiry. Inspired by the work of Fielding and Nair International, Seven Stones aims to personalize learning for its students and honor the traditional approaches to learning from the First Nations students it serves.
Seven Stones offers a unique program called Cultural Arts that combines the curricular outcomes from the Arts Education strands with Cree and Méchif language instruction and Indigenous Studies content and perspectives. Kindergarten to grade 8 students receive this instruction in a holistic manner from a collaborative team of three teachers. The program aims to honor the traditional heritage languages while celebrating student’s creativity and personal expression. In addition to this daily instruction, students are also offered ‘opportunities time’ where individual instruction or support is offered to students in a passion area of the arts or culture. During this time students have chosen everything from piano lessons to beading to making a traditional flute to recording their own song.
Students at Seven Stones are grouped by grade cluster in Personal Learning Communities or PLCs. Each grade cluster works flexibly in rotations to receive whole group, small group and independent practice time in literacy, numeracy and inquiry. Teams of educators collaborate to design, deliver and assess student work in flexible feedback loops to students. This offers an amazing opportunity to individualize learning by providing students with differentiated instruction in one to one conference time that informs next instruction and independent practice tasks. The teams of educators in each PLC are autonomous to create their own timetables, class rosters and daily routines within a large school structure. This allows for a more responsive approach to student needs and curricular opportunities. In addition, the school’s library has been placed onto a flexible cart system whereby the books are embedded in the PLC structure and available at any time to students rather than on a library schedule. Each cart was designed with the concept of “Good Fit Books” from Bouchey and Moser’s Daily 5/CAFÉ. The books that are in each PLC are preselected to be good fit resources for the reading readiness levels, interests and grade level curriculum of the students in the PLC.
Our school was designed with the true concept of being a community school. We have a family room space in the heart of the school dubbed ‘Big Bear’ by the community. It is a welcoming space with carpet, soft furniture and south facing light. All events are held in this space as it brings celebrations to the heart of the school and feels like a family gathering together. Family days and events are plentiful and meaningfully selected to honor our community’s strengths and provide strength to each other. Examples of this include our ‘Honoring the Parents’ night that starts each year, our ‘Community Heroes’ calendar, and our National Aboriginal Day celebration. Further, we celebrate the diversity of this community by flying the Treaty 4 flag and the Pride flag.
Our school enjoys partnerships with many agencies and organizations and receives several generous grants. We wish to thank these partners for their support.