We believe that the learning opportunities that exist outside of the traditional classroom are extremely important. The experiences gained and the lessons learned will prepare our boys for life.
Imagine travelling through France and Belgium with a tattered and torn map that was once critical to your great grandfather, then 19, to be able to maneuver his way through a treacherous battlefield. On this parchment one can see the trenches clearly marked, but there are few details to be able to identify the location ninety years later. The buildings used as landmarks no longer remain. However, by combining problem solving skills and the incredible technology of the 21st century available to our students, the exact location where the battle was fought was found. Using the GPS systems from our Geography department and satellite imagery from Google Earth, not only was the location found, but when the trenches on the map were superimposed on the satellite photo, the pattern of the trenches were clearly visible with darker vegetation growing on them. To stand in a field where your grandfather did some ninety years earlier, envision the enemy just meters away, and then to realize that many of the men who went to fight were just a year or two older then themselves is unbelievably powerful; it is life-changing.
“No Mr. Embassador. I do not feel that it is the right of your country to continue to completely disregard the needs of the poor while only a few enjoy the wealth of the resources exported!” Another incredible opportunity that many of our boys experience is the Model UN trip to New York. Students from all over Canada and the US are assigned countries and then given scenarios to work through. Critical thinking, political, historical and geographical knowledge are combined with a flare for persuasive debate to endeavour to negotiate a resolution in your favour. During long intense days, sometimes rewarding, sometimes exhausting, friendships that will last a lifetime are formed.
The summer of 2012 was the 10th anniversary of St. Andrew’s Society for Service Around the World (SASSAW). The three-week trip to Kenya was led by coordinator and teacher, Mark Service, who was joined by five teachers and one Old Boy. Highlights included a community service project in the Massai village of Le Manyatta, a Duke of Edinburgh's award gold-level trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a Serengetti safari.
These are just a few of the many opportunities designed to allow our boys to gain a more global perspective, so that as they venture off to university and into their professional lives, they have the knowledge and character required to make a difference.