Welcome to another exciting year at Matthews Hall! By choosing to send your son or daughter to learn with us, you have demonstrated a commitment to partnership and teamwork. As the first and most important teachers of your children, you have selected a school that you believe will motivate them and prepare them for a successful future. We promise to work with you to ensure that each student is supported and challenged. We take this responsibility seriously and we are thankful for the task you have entrusted to us.
Apart from accompanying your child on a year of learning, we will all have the opportunity to be part of an auspicious and important project: the beginning of our long-awaited campus renewal. A year from now, we will have achieved the historic goal of ensuring all children and teachers will be learning and connected together under one roof. Teachers will be able to collaborate with greater ease and the benefits of our overall program for students will be amplified.
Our plan for campus renewal embraces the following principles that reflect our priorities: to be welcoming, to be versatile, to be forward-looking, and to be positive. We believe that our plan reflects a commitment to twenty-first century learning skills and the kind of environment required to develop them.
The visual literacy of our new addition – and the design elements that will define it – are very exciting and long overdue. As Phase 1 rises out of the ground, watch for the visual cues that reflect our love of children and our commitment to their needs. Scale, variety, and flexibility, combined with a careful blend of learning spaces, will allow for what psychologists describe as the important “third place”, a setting outside home and work where significant informal learning takes place and friendships are strengthened.
Researchers and practitioners know that – second only to relationships – physical and social environments have a direct impact on what and how our children learn at school. Lighting, acoustics, privacy, materials, textures, ethos, aesthetics, and personalization. Qualities like these speak to the heart and soul of a school and getting them right is a form of respect owed to children. By prioritizing “spaces that inspire”, we honour our past, celebrate our present, and move forward together with purpose and confidence.
Bricks and mortar are essential. There is no question about that. However, it is the people who are the decisive element in any school undertaking. We will all watch with interest as our campus takes shape this year, but we will never lose sight of the reason for our project: a vision that improves how and where our kids learn.
Educational and technology consultant, David Thornburg, emphasizes four primordial learning metaphors that apply to all effective schools: the campfire (space to learn from an expert), the watering hole (space to learn from peers), the cave (space to learn from introspection), and life (space to learn by doing).
With input and expertise from many people who care about your children, we have developed a plan that will accomplish these spaces and it is so exciting!
On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, thank you for all of your support. We are looking forward to a defining year.
Head of School