Grant enables project

M.V. Beattie Elementary is thrilled to have received an ArtStarts Grant for $10,000 for students to embark on an inquiry project into “Yi7élye – This Place”.

The inquiry based project will unfold over the course of the entire school year. It will be cross curricular and will enhance some projects which already take place in the school as well as include more, comments Vice-Principal Mishel Quaal, who applied for the grant.

She explains inquiry based learning, which is a big part of the new curriculum, is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios.

“Students will ask questions about the place the live and learn. With Indigenous Worldview and Perspectives guiding curricular competencies, students will experience interconnected learning steeped in place, drumming, storytelling and traditional ways of being,” she explains.

For example, at Grade 2 level one of the curricular “big ideas” in science is that water is essential to all living things, and it cycles through the environment. For the inquiry project students will use the school wetlands to connect to community as well as explore Indigenous connections to water in both story and art.

Each classroom will work with the Indigenous Education department, local Knowledge Keepers and curricular competencies to inquire into the sense of school, community and place.

Students will also get to go on some field trips, such as a kekuli site on Shuswap River. Quaal is also hoping to get students out to other sites to see the history of Enderby, not only to get them outdoors but because “place-based learning is good for kids”.

The Enderby Museum is also getting involved with the school’s project, which Quaal is thrilled about. “The more we can do to connect our students to their community the better.”

Learning around the student inquiry project of “What is the story of yi7élye?” will be displayed on a large bulletin board at the entrance of the school. Work from each classroom will be shared with the other students.

One exciting project is that the school’s grade 6 students will work with a traditional drum maker, a visual artist, Knowledge Keepers, and A.L. Fortune’s drum team, to build a school drum set for M.V. Beattie. They will also design and sew drum bags to protect the drums.

The A.L. Fortune drum team will work with the younger students on drum protocols and teach them some Secwepmec drum songs. This connection will also hopefully build transitional competencies for when the M.V. Beattie students head to A.L. Fortune.

The project received wholehearted support from the school’s staff and parent advisory committee (PAC). “The staff and parents here are fantastic and are very supportive of anything that provides learning opportunities to our students.”

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