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Registration open for Surrey school offering outdoor learning for K-7

'We believe that nature is an important teacher': principal
East Kensington Outdoor Learning is accepting new students at the school which offers land-based learning to children in K-7.

One of the smallest schools in Surrey, which offers outdoor learning with a focus on environmental stewardship, is now accepting applications for new students.

East Kensington Outdoor Learning, or EKOLogy, is a K-7 school in the Surrey school district that offers learning outdoors, instead of in a traditional classroom. While integrating the province's education curriculum, this unique school is to allow children to be curious and inquisitive while learning outside.

“I like to say, ‘Small school. Big world.’ Everyone knows your name at East Kensington,” school principal Steve Hardy said in a Surrey Schools release.

“We’re able to be responsive to both their academic needs and their social and emotional needs. And the ability to get outside can help them regulate and be healthier as a result.”

The principal adds that the size of the school allows the teachers to cater to the students' individual needs more effectively.

The Surrey school district advertises the program as an opportunity for children to have unique experiences, learn more about the world while being surrounded by nature and being able to take class field trips and walks to nearby parks.

“Learning in the outdoors gives the curriculum a richer breadth,” Hardy said.

“The most effective place to learn about the science behind the environment is outside in the environment. Sometimes we’ll do art or silent reading outside if the weather is nice. It actually adds to students’ education by being outside of the classroom and I feel it’s a more beautiful way to learn.”

Athletics and music opportunities are also available to the EKOLogy students. 

In the cases of non-ideal weather, students will learn indoors, but are able to adapt quickly to outdoor learning once again if the skies clear unexpectedly. 

“They (the students) love the outside, they can be out for two or three hours of the day in the garden, doing P.E., playing educational games,” Hardy said. “We cover the same curriculum as other schools and have found that being outside helps students learn.

“We believe that nature is an important teacher. Studying nature in nature just makes sense.”

The limited spaces for additional students are available for the outdoor learning program. The school can be contacted directly for those interested in registering children in the service by calling 604-541-1257 or emailing

Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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