Welcome to GoingPLACES

People, Land, Action, Community, Environment, and Stories

We are privileged to meet and learn on the Stó:lō unceded traditional territory of the Pilalt and Ts’elxwéyeqw tribes.

GoingPLACES exists to nurture students by developing spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth through place-based learning and understanding their role and responsibility in the larger community.

Why place-based learning?

Place-based education allows students with diverse needs to excel and recognizes that authentic learning must accommodate individual strengths and skills (Chawla & Escalante, 2007; Vander Ark et al., 2020). Research demonstrates that students experience improved levels of memory, reduced inattentiveness, lower levels of depression and stress and increased positive behaviour when students had increased access to nature (Dadvand et al., 2015; Roe & Aspinall, 2011; McCormick, 2017). Increasing student engagement, developing the 21-century competencies of creative thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration requires learning through meaningful connections to the world around them. Supporting faith development and wonder in Creation are critical by-products of place-based learning


We recognize that God has created each of our students uniquely and wonderfully. We seek to create a program where students will recognize and develop their individual God-given strengths and abilities. This will allow them to positively impact the world in which they live.

Through their experiences they will establish a sense of ownership and responsibility for the PLACES they inhabit in the Chilliwack area. Students will recognize that their purpose is to use their hands and feet, hearts and minds to unpack all of the potential learning an outdoor classroom has to offer.

People | Land | Action | Community | Environment | Story


Together we will be inspired and engaged through God’s creation to develop the competencies necessary for flourishing life


To nurture students to develop spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth through place-based learning and to understand their role and responsibility in the larger community


Experiencing wonder in creation
Leadership through collaboration
Learning through a strengths-based approach

Students in grade 6 begin the 4-year GoingPLACES cycle. In the Engage year, students begin leaving campus for one morning each week to engage in a local community project or area of inquiry. This grade has adopted McCutcheon Park, a local community park and has taken responsibility for some ongoing maintenance and development of the park. Working with the city, our Indigenous neighbours and other community partners, students continue to plan for development of the park and further understand it as a place of learning.

Students in grades 7 and 8 begin exploring the local community outside the classroom for one day each week. They spend time learning about the local geography, stories and land within our region.  A typical day might be spent exploring symbiotic relationships in nature while on a hike, comparing and contrasting water quality between two different bodies of water or meeting with a local expert in the community forest. The EXPLORE component culminates in an Action Plan to educate or inform others about a local topic related to their experiences.

In grade 9, students have the option of choosing to spend another year exploring, or apply for a year of skill building, certification and leadership.  During the EQUIP year, students will develop a deeper understanding of our local place. In this place-based learning experience, students develop specific skills-based learning and outdoor practice. By the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to receive their: 1) First Aid Certificate, 2) Belay Certificate, 3) Lakewater Level 1, 4) River Smart Certificate. A typical outdoor day in the EQUIP component would be building a survival shelter, snowshoeing, or building skills and knowledge toward specific certification.


Chawla, L., & Escalante, M. (2007). Student gains from place-based education.
Fact Sheet: https://www.colorado.edu/cedar/sites/default/files/attached-files/CYE_FactSheet2_Place-Based%20Education_December%202010_0.pdf

Dadvand, P., Nieuwenhuijsen, M., Esnaola, M., Forns, J., Basagana, X., Alvarez-Pedrerol, M., Rivas, I., Lopez-Vicente, M., De Castro Pascual, M., Su, J., Jerrett, M., Querol, X., & Sunyer, J. (2015).  Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, 7937-7942.

McCormick, R. (2017). Does access to green space impact the mental well-being of children: A systematic review. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 37, 3-7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2017.08.027

Roe, J., & Aspinall, P. (2011). The restorative outcomes of forest school and conventional school in young people with good and poor behaviour. Urban Forestry and Urban Planning, 10, 205-212.

Skoutajan, S. (2012). Defending place-based education. Green Teacher, 97, 34-36.

Vander Ark, T., Liebtag, E., & McClennen, N. (2020). The Power of Place, ASCD


After careful consideration of the road conditions and the safety of everyone involved, it has been decided to cancel our Open House this year.
Registration will still open on Monday, January 22 at 8:30am as scheduled. Registration forms are available to print in advance under the admissions tab on this site. Thank you for your support and patience!