Blue Sky School Speech by Maddy

Maddy is a young student who attended our Kanata Town Hall. She was so interested in Blue Sky School that she wrote the speech below to share with her class in a speech competition.

"Consider how much technology has changed, a new car model comes out every year, and people pay thousands of dollars to renovate or update their houses.

But none of these things are as important as our education. So, what can be done to improve and update the educational environment?

What if you could decide when to start your school day? What if educators adapted to your style of learning rather than you adapting to the traditional classroom? Every child learns in a different way so does it make sense to teach them all the same way.

Mrs. Powell and fellow classmates, all this and more is possible at Blue Sky School, an experimental prototypical school of tomorrow. This is a new and innovative school with a different way of teaching and learning, located right here in Kanata.

Blue Sky School realizes that education needs to adapt to each student, not the other way around and is working to construct a learning environment that does just that.

Blue Sky School is an independent, not-for-profit school started by Shauna Pollock and Karen Hill educators in Ottawa. Their motto, is “where the sky is never the limit.” This school teaches valuable life lessons and gives you flexibility that is not always possible in a public school.

For example, to teach the importance of time management, this school lets students pick their own schedule (to a degree) and decide when they want a lunch break.

Blue Sky School still incorporates traditional methods of teaching which means they still have class time, and time for independent work. Shauna Pollock, one of the founders of the school says that their mission is… “
* To provide a wide range of opportunities for community members of all ages to come together and learn,
* foster mental wellness, natural creativity and innovation through learning,
* provide an unprecedented individualized education that creates the conditions for learners to live their real world problems and share their discoveries with authentic audiences...”.

They believe in three different methods to learn and teach.
1. Mountain top: This is where the teacher stands in front of the class teaching us while we are in assigned seats
2. Campfire: This is where we all sit in a circle to talk, and share ideas. Here, you can make eye contact with everyone.
3. Cave: This is where you work independently free from distractions typically found in a classroom

They believe different types of teaching styles are important, so they have classroom sessions, a circle time where you can share ideas and get feedback on projects, and they even made sound proof “Caves” for independent work. In the middle of the day, there are workshops.

For example, when the teacher knows you are struggling in math, they will arrange a math workshop which you, and anyone else who wants to can attend.

They also let you learn any language you want to learn as a second language and will connect you with someone who speaks that language to help you learn it.

This school is partnering with local businesses, such as Modern Niagara, a construction company who are creating space for this school in their building.

Once Blue Sky School is ready, Modern Niagara will gradually help them move into their own building. They are planning to start with 12 students for this year. They will be opening in September.

Though this school still has some things to work out, I think we should continue to learn and explore
different ways of teaching different students which could help immensely in preparing the next generations for the future."


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