Sudbury Catholic District School Board

St. James School Collaborates on a Mural with Artist Jessica Somers

St. James students have a unique opportunity to work with Jessica Somers, a visual artist with Focal Point Artistry, and collaborate on a mural. The opportunity is made possible by a grant provided by Ontario Arts Council – Michelle Thiessen completed the proposal with the project in mind. Students will be able to feel inspired, creative and innovative as they work alongside Jessica to create a hand-made mural representative of the Indigenous teachings and land.

To kick off this partnership, the school welcomed Elders Nokomis Julie and Mishomis Frank who guided students about the importance of Indigenous teachings and how the land in which we live on contributes to these teachings. Students spoke about things such as bears, trees, water and fish. Jessica then allowed students to take their first steps and encouraged them to draw what they were inspired by. Students eagerly leaped into action, using pencils, markers and colouring crayons to convey their thoughts, emotions and inspirations.

“I like to draw because it is very calming and you can use your imagination to create whatever you want,” said Michael, Grade 3 student.

“It was very cool to hear from Nokomis Julie and Mishomis Frank about the land and the different things that make up Indigenous teachings. I like that we are working with a real artist too, it makes us feel special!” said Mia, Grade 2 student.

Classes will work with Jessica and collaborate on the mural throughout the month of February. Stay tuned to see this work of art come to life!

St. David School Participates in Take Me Outside Day

St. David School joined schools across the country and participated in Take me Outside Day on October 19, 2022. Take Me Outside Day helps to raise awareness about outdoor learning and encourages teachers to take their students outside. In 2021, 8,900 educators and nearly 400,000 learners across the country participated in the event. 

For their activity, St. David students had the task of building a structure that would keep a photo of a dog safe and dry. They had 10 minutes to find materials outside and the structure had to leave room for a water bowl and bed. Students learned how to collaborate, problem solve and be innovative.

St. David School regularly engages in outdoor learning as a pedagogical approach to enrich learning, enhance school engagement, and improve student health and well-being. The school believes that spending time outside playing, exploring, and learning should be a regular and significant part of every student’s day. St. David School is set against a backdrop of trees, trails and a structured outdoor classroom which significantly encourages teaching and learning opportunities, such as the Take me Outside program. Having a dedicated space for outdoor learning helps students to learn through imagination, play and inquiry. 

“Using our outdoor space provides opportunities for our students and teachers to interact and learn in an environment which stimulates enhanced teaching and learning. Through our connection with the land, St. David School intends on deepening our connections with Indigenous perspectives, strengthening our health and well-being, and increasing our knowledge on climate change, stewardship, and the environment,” said Dawn Wemigwans, Principal of St. David School. 

“Being outside is awesome because it’s fun to learn outdoors and get some fresh air. I think being outside makes me more creative, said Emmett, Grade 4 student.

“I really enjoyed the activity today. Building the structures wasn’t easy, but we did our best! I love learning outside and interacting with nature,” said Sophia, Grade 4 student. More information about Take Me Outside can be found online at:

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