Matthews Hall aims to Inspire Education during and post Covid19
Canada’s children have occupied a unique position during the COVID-19 outbreak. While kids are statistically the lowest risk population, they have also been especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic’s resulting shutdown due to the impact of lost class time and separation from their social and extracurricular connections. And with all children being automatically advanced across the province, what will the consequences be as they progress in school?
Matthews Hall sets high goals that empower students by refining learning skills and study habits. They do this by offering an unmatched and substantive elementary experience. Matthews Hall is an independent school offering an enriched academic program to students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. The school’s motto – Debeo Possum Volo – means I must, I can, I will and expresses the School’s commitment to responsibility, excellence, and determination.
Matthews Hall has been delivering a quality “learning at home” program since the provincially-mandated closure of all educational facilities in March. At Matthews Hall, there was an immediate pivot to remote learning as their team of talented and committed teachers recognized the exciting upside of this potentially messy and large-scale experiment.
“This experience offers us a window into what all schools might be coping with over the next little while,” said Ric Anderson, Head of School. While he believes that education hasn’t seen nearly the leaps of innovation as in other sectors of industry or society, he is convinced that the coming school year “could be a chance for administrators and teachers to advance something truly forward-thinking”.
Anderson and the School’s teachers and administration are excited to welcome fall programming and meet the challenges head-on as they continue to offer an exceptional educational experience that is both safe and rewarding. “This spring, we have provided a quality online learning opportunity in a moment’s notice and our teachers have skillfully adapted to the academic, athletic and artistic needs of their students.”
This September, Matthew Hall is proud announce the opening of a new wing at the school that includes ten new classrooms. “We welcome a larger, more modern infrastructure and spaces that will strengthen students’ learning environment, as well as honour the work of their teachers.” Said Anderson, “The campus renewal will enhance collaboration and innovation, helping students to celebrate the joy of effort, as they become the best version of themselves.”
‘These new inspiring spaces will lend to our happy and safe environment, where every child can reach their full academic and social potential with the support of committed, caring and innovative teachers’, Carey Rhodes, Parent.
Timing is Everything
The campus enhancement couldn’t have come at a better time. With impending COVID19 restrictions and the potential of school being further delayed or modified, Matthews Hall is preparing to ensure that they can meet the needs of the students and families by offering:
- Smaller class sizes
- Larger classrooms that provide the social distancing requirements
- Movement of teachers rather than students
- Extensive Curriculum
- Parent Engagement
- Safe Environment including physical distancing
Building for the Future of Education
21st century learners need educational space that are both welcome and motivate. Matthews Hall is near completion of the construction on an intelligently and beautifully designed addition. Its vibrant features include a living wall, abundant natural light streaming through clerestory atrium windows and a student lounge warmed by a huge stone fireplace. The ecologically respectful building will also serve as a teaching opportunity by exposing sections of construction, so students can see how in-floor radiant heating and other components work.
This cornerstone project is the new 18,000 square foot addition, Matthews Hall’s first purpose-built space since Dr. Kate Matthews established her school locally 101 years ago.
Honouring Dr. Matthews’ views on education, this 18,000 square foot addition will provide breakout spaces where students can collaborate and distance as required. “We give our students considerable freedom with appropriate levels of teach support and supervision so the children can be the best version of themselves,” Anderson explains.
While the addition will accommodate more students, the small class sizes will be maintained for optimal student-teacher interaction and social distancing. Anderson says, “Our goal is not to grow bigger – it is to grow better and wiser.”