By Grade 7 and 8 Students
The Linden School provides students with valuable learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. Each fall, as part of our experiential learning program, we devote an entire "Week Without Walls" to carefully selected field trips for our students. This not only enriches our overall curriculum, but also provides an important opportunity for community building during the early weeks of school. This year, the Grade 7 and 8 students spent their Week Without Walls exploring Toronto, Ottawa, and the limits of our comfort zones.
We went for short walks on warm days and long walks on cold days. We started on Tuesday by playing community building games in David Balfour Park and taking a walking tour of Chinatown and Kensington Market. Highlights included making art out of found objects and finding beauty in Toronto’s street art and graffiti.
Once we made it to Ottawa, our adventures really began! We enjoyed doing things that we might not get to do in our own city, like taking the train, asking people on the street what their favourite thing is about Ottawa, taking a selfie with an Army Captain, staying in hotel rooms without any grown-ups, and finding food at Byward Market.
Some of the most fun parts of the trip were the Children’s section of the Canadian Museum of History, learning about Ottawa from an indigenous perspective, and walking around to see different parts of the city. We also took a haunted walk and learned the dark history of the Ottawa Jail.
Before we left, we had a personalized tour of Parliament Hill with Milton MP Lisa Raitt, who told us that she had also attended an all-girls school, and it turned out to be great because it forced her to take leadership positions from an early age.
We got to meet the Speaker of the House of Commons, Geoff Regan, we saw the Sargeant-at-Arms, and we had special access to parts of the Parliament building that most school groups don’t get to see! The week was a great opportunity to bond as a middle school.