The Discovery Program breaks away from the traditional high school setting by bringing together a group of up to 20 students to form a cohort for their Grade 10 year. Because of this structure, the class can take part in approximately 50 days of fieldwork over the course of the year while still completing all aspects of the grade 10 curriculum. The students take English 10, Science 10, Social Studies 10, PE 10 and the Discovery 10 class (an elective block) together. Students take Math 10 (Provincial or Honours), one language credit and an elective with the rest of the grade 10 students at the school (not as part of the cohort). The flexible timetable options provided by the cohort system allows the scheduling of catch-up blocks and tutorials in order to cover material missed in students’ math and language courses.
Careful time management and planning allows Discovery students to gain the benefits of this unique learning environment while maintaining a strong academic standing. Our students also continue to be a part of school life and many are involved in competitive sports, theatre, music and leadership opportunities.
The Discovery program offers a unique opportunity for students to develop a range of lifelong skills. All of the areas of focus of outdoor education are covered through a wide range of school-based and out-trip activities:
Personal and Interpersonal Skills
- demonstrate responsibility and respect for themselves, others and their surroundings;
- extend their personal boundaries by making good decisions in challenging themselves;
- reflect upon their experiences and identify personal strengths and weaknesses;
- be an effective member of a group (active listening and communication, cooperation/followship, initiative);
- develop their leadership skills and personal leadership style.
Environmental and Social Responsibility
- empathize with the needs of others and other species;
- gain an appreciation for the cultures and places they visit;
- appreciate the value of others and demonstrate social responsibility by making decisions accordingly;
- develop their ecological literacy by studying natural systems and how humans interact with the environment from social, cultural, economic and political perspectives;
- define their personal environmental ethic and take action in their own lives to support their position as a steward;
- learn academic concepts through the use of direct experience;
- connect their experiences in the field with learning in the classroom;
- view issues and concepts from a variety of perspectives.
- experience and develop lifelong interests in a variety of self-propelled outdoor activities;
- learn specific practices that emphasize proficiency and maximize safety;
- develop the skills required to assess risk and make responsible and prudent decisions for themselves and the group;
- demonstrate low-impact outdoor skills.
Discovery offers the opportunity to learn:
- Trip planning
- Wilderness cooking
- Health and hygiene
- Leave No Trace (LNT) camping skills
- Sea kayaking
- Top-rope rock climbing
- Avalanche awareness
- Winter camping
- Cross-country skiing
- Snowshoeing, backcountry skiing or snowboarding
- Expedition leadership