Outdoor Education

As we know from peer-reviewed studies, years of teaching experience, and pure observation, children of all ages learn best through hands-on exploration. It seems that developing knowledge through ‘doing’ allows students to fully connect with their learning and immerse themselves in the topics of study. The natural environment is the perfect setting in which to discover this love of learning.

In 2012, the Outdoor Education program in the Junior School increased its student participation by adding JK, SK and Grade 4 to the already existing Grades 1-3 program, followed by Grade 5 in 2013 and then Grade 6 in 2015. Beginning this fall 2016, we will extend our already successful Junior School Outdoor Education Program into our Middle and Senior Schools.

Our newly appointed Middle and Senior School Outdoor Education Coordinator will work collaboratively with teachers across many subjects to identify curricular areas most suitable for outdoor education activities, as well as facilitate learning extensions on our 100-acre property and more distant locations. Launched in September 2011, outdoor education further enriches our Science and Social Studies curriculums. Rain or shine, students learn in our extensive, natural classroom – the CDS campus. In addition to paper and pencils, their learning tools include rubber boots, an umbrella and their five senses!

We invite you to return to this page for developments in The Country Day School's Outdoor Education program.

Why Outdoor Education?

List of 2 items.

  • Creating a love of and respect for the environment...

    Giving students the opportunity to explore and discover the natural world around them creates a love of the outdoors, fresh air, and the environment. Being in nature promotes a balanced lifestyle and has the potential to improve one’s physical, mental and social health. Children need to experience their own environment to understand it; they cannot simply read about rocks and insects and soils, but need to create their own knowledge through hands-on experiences.
  • Facilitating learning...

    As well as developmental advantages, being in the natural environment has been shown to increase learning. It promotes creativity, including thinking and the ability to respond to problems, and it allows students to form a personal connection to their studies. Research has shown that environmental education integrated into a curriculum increases student achievement in science.
Our sprawling campus is set on 100 acres of beautiful, natural lands, with over 500 mature trees and nearly three kilometers of groomed walking trails, with hundreds of wildflowers and indigenous plant species to explore. Students are also able to observe fresh-water life without setting foot off campus because the headwaters of the East Humber River are located on the property. With all of these chances to discover, explore and learn about the environment, CDS is the perfect setting for a successful outdoor education program.

FAQs

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

outdoor experiences

See our green space!

List of 2 news stories.

  • Junior School Outdoor Education Program Coordinator

    Stephanie Collins has been a Junior School faculty member since 2003. She presently coordinates the School’s Outdoor Education program for students in JK - Grade 6. She holds a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph and a B.Ed. from the University of Ottawa. Recently, Ms. Collins completed her Masters of Education in Human Development and Applied Psychology, with a focus on Outdoor Experiential Education, from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.
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  • Middle/Senior Outdoor Education Program Coordiantor

    Andy MacMillan, BA Hons. (Brock University), B.Ed (Lakehead University), has a long-standing dedication to the teaching of History and Geography to Middle School students. His passion for the outdoors and the development of leadership in young people runs deep.
    Read More

Outdoor Education Faculty

List of 3 members.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
(905) 833-1220
communications@cds.on.ca
admissions@cds.on.ca
Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.