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 Week Without Halls

The Ultimate Example of Experiential Learning
Experiential learning has been a crucial part of a Branksome education for decades. The ultimate example is the innovative Week Without Halls program, which sees all Branksome students from Grades 7 through 11 head off to different points in Ontario.

Through their Week Without Halls experiences, students learn, bond and grow. They discover nature and their own hidden talents. They learn to take risks and build their resiliency.

Through their Week Without Halls experiences, students learn, bond and grow. They discover nature and their own hidden talents. They learn to take risks and build their resiliency.

The now annual event, which was launched in 2008, provides students with "the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and try new things with the support of their peers," says Denise Power, Director, Student Life. "New relationships form and new skills are discovered, which leads the girls to form stronger connections within their community."


Diverse experiences
Some grades work on team-building or leadership skills at Camp Arowhon, in Algonquin Park, while some challenge themselves in canoeing expeditions through Algonquin. Others devote the week to community service activities at various Toronto sites, including the First Nations School.

Our Grade 7s spent their 2013 Week Without Halls in cooperative arts-based learning opportunities such as sketching at Fort George and participating in a drama workshop and backstage tour at the Shaw Festival. They also engaged in a collaborative service opportunity planting trees in Niagara parks.

"The trip was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to get to know each other and to bond as a grade," says Amanda Kennedy, Head, Middle School. "In addition to the strengthened friendships, the experiential activities on the trip provided wonderful curricular tie-ins to the girls' Music, Drama, Visual Art, Science and History."


A highlight of the year
Students consistently describe the Week Without Halls as "one of the highlights of their Grade 7 year," adds Mrs. Kennedy.

Our Grade 7s spent their 2013 Week Without Halls in cooperative arts-based learning opportunities such as sketching at Fort George and participating in a drama workshop and backstage tour at the Shaw Festival. They also engaged in a collaborative service opportunity planting trees in Niagara parks.

Observed one Grade 11 participant: Students went "from strangers to sisters."


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