A Saskatchewan school is taking learning into the elements by building an outdoor classroom.
The Eaton School in Eatonia, Sask., is now home to the Spartan Outdoor Space.
It all started three years ago when testing found that 60 per cent of the students in the school were "naturalistic learners," said Nichole Ness Bredy, a teacher at Eaton School who spearheaded the project.
"A naturalistic learner tends to do better when they are in nature, surrounded by nature and outside interacting with nature."
This prompted the idea for an outdoor classroom, said school principal Lisa King.
Ness Bredy began applying for grants and seeking donations to bring her vision for an outdoor classroom to life.
"I've heard things said like, 'Oh, my kids don't know how to do this anymore. They don't know how to garden. They don't know where their food comes from," said Ness Bredy.
"Lets address these kid's needs. Lets address their wellness, their social-emotional growth, lets develop the whole child."
Ness Bredy said the outdoor learning space will allow for educational experiences involving permaculture, sustainable agriculture practices, gardening, healthy food sources and active lifestyles.
"It almost gives us a calm, peaceful aura when you're outside," said Ness Bredy.
"I feel like when you are relaxed and your mind is at ease, you're able to perform better academically."
Ness Bredy said the community, local businesses and organizations came together to donate $32,000 to the project, plus about $20,000 in free labour.
"It's really hard to get something like this going and we couldn't have done it without our community and without these people. I'm just amazed by them," Ness Brady said.
Students have already been learning in the space, but the project is expected to be fully completed in May 2021.