Meadowridge Voices Blog


Week Without Walls Round Up


Grade 6 Adventures in Victoria, BC
Q&A with Mr. Kevin Kennedy

Where'd you go?

Victoria. It offered a lot of options that connected to the Grade 6 curriculum. We study the Canadian Government, so going to the Legislature Building was cool. As well, in Science students studied astronomy (space science: exploration of extreme environments) and so we were able to visit the University of Victoria's Space Science Centre and do a number of activities. We were scheduled to look through their powerful telescopes at night, but unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. We visited the Aviation Museum in Sydney where students made a connection between Newton's third law and jet engines. At the Bug Zoo students looked at adaptation of bugs. Very cool!

What did you do?

We visited the Aviation Museum, Legislature, Chinatown, Bug Zoo, Miniature World, Fisherman's Warf, and the University of Victoria's Mars Rover Workshop and Space Centre.

What was the group's favourite activity?

Probably Space Centre, Legislature, and Bug Zoo (and just walking and eating together!).

What one thing were students surprised to learn?

Tarantulas are so fragile that they would literally break apart if you dropped one.

What was the first spring Week Without Walls like? How was it different?

Fall WWOW we camped at Camp Potlatch and did initiative and cooperative activities. This time we stayed in a hotel and spent more time at museums and university. Very different, but both very beneficial.

Best story from the trip?

Kids who might be a little freaked out of bugs holding them in their hands!



Grade 7 Adventures in Drumheller, AB
Q&A with Ms. Darcie Hook

Where'd you go?

Drumheller, Alberta. We chose Drumheller because it complements our Earth Science curriculum, specifically fossils and rock formation.

What did you do?

We visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the Atlas Coal Mine, and hiked the Hoodoo trail and the coulees.

What was the group's favourite activity?

Probably hiking the Hoodoo trail and the coulees.

What one thing were students surprised to learn?

The majority of Drumheller is made up of biotite clay. They also enjoyed learning about how Hoodoos form.

What was the first spring Week Without Walls like? How was it different?

It was really good for a first trip, and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves—they weren't afraid to express how they felt about certain things. We will take what we learned this year and make it even better.

This was a curricular trip. Everything we did had a connection to something we were learning about in Science. This is different than the September trip which is more about bonding and team building.

Best story from the trip?

I can't think of anything that everyone was talking about, but we had a couple of kids find a little cave that they shone their lights in, and thought they saw a 'golden egg'. So they shimmied into the hole and came out with an orange rock – they were a bit disappointed, but thought the rock was cool.


Grade 8 Adventures in Langdale, BC
Q&A with Ms. Marie Payne

Where'd you go?

We went to Camp Elphinstone in Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. We went there because we wanted the Grade 8s to have some experience in canoes before next year's Duke of Edinburgh trip. They had both Voyager (12 kids per boat) and two-person canoes.

What did you do?

Voyager canoeing, foraging, orienteering, shelter-building, and two-person canoeing. We also played a few versions of capture the flag as a whole group, had a campfire sing-along, built towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows (the teachers won), and played a word game.

What was the group's favourite activity?

The favourite activity was definitely canoeing.

What one thing were students surprised to learn?

English Holly is a laxative. Students learned this during foraging for wild edibles.

What was the first spring Week Without Walls like? How was it different?

This camp was a bit rougher; the cabins weren't as glamourous, and we spent more time getting dirty in the forest. However, these activities were run by volunteers, and the staff was enthusiastic and friendly. Also, mealtimes were different – family style eating instead at a buffet. Teachers liked that students were entirely responsible for setting and clearing the table.

Best story from the trip?

Sunny winning capture the flag... in sandals. Anas wandering around with mud all up his back from slipping in the woods. Simran's excitement when we sang camp songs. The kids calling Mr. Lester "trick shot" as a chant to keep time while in the Voyager canoe – Mr. Lester kept winning the "throw the coconut in the hole" game in Costa Rica to earn his nickname.


Grade 9 Adventures in Victoria, BC
Q&A with Ms. Deepti Rajeev

Where'd you go?

Victoria, BC. We chose Victoria for our Science, Humanities, and Physical Education trip. It ties into our Humanities component, and students get a guided tour of the University of Victoria and do a Science enrichment activity. This year, they did a microplastics lab where they analysed sand samples from different beaches around Victoria.

What did you do?

We visited Royal BC Museum, Ross Bay Cemetery, Ghost tour at night, Introductory Sailing activity, visited Craigdarroch Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, Parliament buildings, IMAX movie and did a lab at UVic and had a campus tour of UVic.

What was the group's favourite activity?

The students loved the sailing activity and were surprised at how good they were. The coaches said that the group took to sailing easily and had a natural ability.

All the teachers were very impressed with the way the students collaborated during the sailing activity. It was awesome to see them going in with some trepidation and coming back like seasoned sailors.

What one thing were students surprised to learn?

Students were surprised how easily sailing came to them.

Best story from the trip?

There's no one story. It was a great trip all around!



Grade 10 Adventures in Barkerville, BC
Q&A with Ms. Jennifer Higginson

Where'd you go?

We have been going to Barkerville for over a decade. Every year, our Grade 10s brave a long bus ride to immerse themselves in the (literally) rich history of British Columbia. With a stop at Hell's Gate to witness the most dangerous part of the Fraser River, the students head up the Fraser Canyon for a trip that parallels the trek settlers would have taken up the Cariboo Wagon Road. Barkerville was initially chosen because it closely aligned with the previous Grade 10 curriculum, but this year it was a great opportunity to honour Canada's 150th Anniversary by seeing the events that led to BC's entry to Confederation.

What did you do?

Our students participate in a number of immersive experiences. The visit starts with a very punny introduction to Barkerville through a 'Town Tour' introducing you to the most important town-members and outlining what life was like in "Williams Creek" (what Barkerville was called before Billy Barker struck gold). Everyone had the chance to experience a proper 1860's school-lesson, learning that Meadowridge teachers actually are quite nice, especially in comparison to the strict rules and bonnets of the Victorian era. Many student had the chance to participate in a trial in Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie's courthouse, complete with slapstick humour and a lot of yelling. Other students took part in a real archaeological dig. Since Barkerville is a 'living museum,' new artifacts are being discovered every day. One of the neatest recent discoveries were Chinese coins from 400-600 years ago.

What was the group's favourite activity?

The musical review at the Theatre Review always guarantees laughs. This year, they re-enacted 'Romeo and Juliet' in under 3 minutes, and then pulled some of our students and teachers up on stage to help fight the great Barkerville fire of 1868. Honestly, very, very teenagers are excited to see a musical about gold-miners before the show starts, but everyone walks away entertained.

What one thing were students surprised to learn?

I was very impressed to see the additional information regarding the indigenous groups and the traditional land on which Barkerville is placed. There was also additional information this year about the gender inequality in Barkerville, and the indentured servitude of the "Hurdry-Gurdy Girls" (dancers). The students were surprised to see how small the area actually is, knowing that it was once the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. It is also surprising, since you're in an area surrounded by forests, to learn that in the time of the Cariboo Gold Rush, all of the trees had been cut down. My favourite 'fact' this year, was that the streets we walk on in 2017 are actually 50 feet higher than the streets of the 1860s because every year as the snow melted, the run-off and mud drained through town and left a new layer of 'muck' every year. The residents would lift their houses up every fall to avoid flooding.

Best story from the trip?

Dr. Reinink particularly enjoyed the schoolhouse, and was literally in tears from laughing so hard. He was the only person to get in trouble in school.

The motel owner, Dianne, runs a 'clean-room' contest, and bakes home-made chocolate chip cookies for anyone who tidies their room each day. One group of boys was so competitive that they were late for the bus in an attempt to leave their room in pristine conditions, complete with a bouquet of dandelions. Their efforts were so appreciated that Dianne made them all home-made ice-cream sandwiches.

My favourite part of every trip, though, is when I get stopped repeatedly to be told how amazing our students are. They were engaged, polite, and enthusiastic.


Grade 11 Adventures at Pearson College
Q&A with Mr. Jamie Marriott

Where'd you go?

The Grade 11 students went to Pearson College on Vancouver Island to conduct their Group 4 science project.

What did you do?

The Group 4 project is a collaborative activity where students from different Group 4 subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) work together on a scientific or technological topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared and to "develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge."

The project is intended to emphasize interdisciplinary cooperation and the processes involved in scientific investigation rather than the products of such investigation. The students conducted this scientific investigation on the campus grounds of Pearson College, where they had access to water sampling in the ocean, in the estuary, in the forest and along a fresh water system that started with a waterfall.

What was the group's favourite activity?

The favourite activity was probably taking water samples and scientific readings (eg. dissolved oxygen and conductivity) out on the ocean from the boat at Pearson. Also Kayaking in the ocean was a favourite activity during free time.

What one thing were students surprised to learn?

Probably the most surprising fact the students learned was how difficult it is to do fieldwork and get consistent and reliable results.

Best story from the trip?

From Mr. Marriott: When we were out on the boat doing sampling, a Canadian Naval submarine came up from the water and two military helicopters flew by the boat.

From Mrs. Mohoruk: The amount of fidget spinners everywhere, even while they were collecting data and thinking, they were using these.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Meadowridge

Learning to live well, with others and for others, in a just community.

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

International Baccalaureate Continuum World School, PYP, MYP, DP

Located in the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada on 27 acres in Maple Ridge

Challenging academic, inquiry-based curriculum, arts, athletics, experiential education

Founded in 1985 with an original enrolment of 85 students