All posts by Gord Phippen

Gord Phippen

About Gord Phippen

Gord and his wife Lynda are the Owners and Directors of Dearcroft/West Wind Montessori School. Gord holds a B.Sc. from Dalhousie University in Halifax and an A.M.S Elementary Teaching Degree from CMTE, NY. From 1992-95 he served as Chairman of CCMA (Canadian Council Of Montessori Administrators) and he is a CCMA trained Montessori Consultant.

‘Lost & Found’ – Dearcroft Welcomes Arctic Adventurer, Geordie Dalglish

The story of Franklin’s Lost Ships and the greatest discovery in Canada’s maritime history…

Marine Archaeology

Franklin Lost Ships, Search for Northwest Passage

Lost Franklin ships

In 1845 Sir John Franklin set off to find the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic.  Franklin, his 2 ships and 129 men were never heard from again.

The fate of the expedition has become one of the greatest mysteries in the history of exploration…

Canadian Geographic, A Franklin FindNearly two centuries later, the discovery last summer of Sir John Franklin’s flagship, the Erebus has ignited interest in this tragic and enigmatic story.  Dives to the wreck and the ongoing search for Franklin’s other ship, Terror have slowly begun to unravel this arctic mystery.

We are very excited to welcome Arctic adventurer, Geordie Dalglish to Dearcroft Montessori on Wednesday, May 6th @ 10:00 a.m. to share the story of this remarkable discovery.  Geordie has been involved in many facets of the search, supporting the research team, divers and scientists in this monumental multi-disciplinary effort.

The success of the search for The Lost Franklin ships, (long considered the ‘holy grail’ of marine archaeology), has been supported by the local Inuit, Canadian Coast Guard, government and private investment and iconic publications including Canadian Geographic.

If you’d like to join us to hear Geordie Dalglish, as he speaks to our Elementary students, please feel free to join us in our Jr. High building tomorrow.

As chairman of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Geordie Dalglish is involved in numerous initiatives supporting education, land conservancy, stewardship and Northern research initiatives.

W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Geordie Dalglish

A graduate of Dalhousie University, he is an avid outdoorsman, pilot and environmentalist.

Dearcroft Welcomes Arctic Adventurer, Geordie Dalglish

Celebrating Mom’s

Mother's Day, Tea Party, Celebrating Mom

The school has been abuzz this week with final preparations for the annual Mother’s Day Tea to be held on Friday May 8th at Dearcroft.  This spring tradition is a wonderful chance to pay tribute to the dedicated and hard-working Mom’s, who we are fortunate to have as part of our school community.  Students have been working on a few surprises and musical numbers to help show their appreciation towards their Mothers.

We look forward to spending this morning of celebration with an outstanding group of women!

Mother’s Day Invite

Experts in Another Topic!

Junior High, Nova Scotia, Acadians, Finland

Grade Seven students enjoying a moment with their job well done!  These girls are feeling great after completing their presentation on Nova Scotia and the Acadians.  And after such an intensive study and research period, they have earned it!  Our Junior High program is made up of several 6 – 8 week sessions over the year.  Each session focuses on a different inter-curricular theme, and encompasses studies from all subject areas.  On top of related lessons, weekly work and field trips, students are responsible for identifying an area of interest within a topic and completing a major research project with a written, oral and creative component to it.  With all of this rigorous behind them, our students are understandably proud of their accomplishments!

There are numerous arguments in favour of “teaching by topic” instead of “teaching by subject” in order to really prepare students for life.  So many in fact, that the entire country of Finland – one of the world’s most successful education systems, is making the switch.   Check out the article below for more information.

Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with ‘topics’ as country reforms its education system

Fun and Games in Junior High

Shakespeare studies, Romeo and Juliet, Founding Fathers of Confederation, Junior High

Pictured above, the Junior High students are acting out the famous balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet as part of their Shakespeare studies, as well as playing the part of the Founding Fathers of Confederation in their session work.   Our Junior High students can often be found enjoying themselves through active games, role play, and group work.  Current research shows that keeping play, creativity, and joy in the classroom helps to drastically reduce mental health problems like depression and anxiety in teens, as outlined in the following article in Time Magazine.   More than 100 years ago Dr. Montessori also recognized the importance of “role – play” for adolescents.  Around age 12 students enter into their third plane of development, entering a period in which their focus switches from mental to social independence.  During this time students are using all of their prior knowledge to form themselves.  As they develop, they begin to query who they are as a person and how they fit into society.  All of this questioning requires adolescents to try on different roles in order to see how they fit.  This is just some of the internal work of teens.  Luckily, our teachers understand how this critical formation period works and have set up a program that takes their stage of development into consideration, helping them not only advance in their academic studies, but have fun at it too!

Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers – Teenagers Need It, Too

Spring Chicks!

chicks, incubator

It appears the Easter Bunny did not skip over the Casa classes at Dearcroft.  Preschool classes are now hosting some special guests, currently in egg form!  Students will help take care of the eggs by monitoring temperature and conditions as they eagerly await signs for the next stage of the life cycle.

Earth Day Video

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate Earth Day at Dearcroft, we wanted to share a wonderfully creative and timely video created by one of our recent graduates, Massi Montanari and his high school friends at Oakville’s Holy Trinity S.S.

Posted on Facebook last evening by globally renowned environmental documentary film maker, Rob Stewart, this music parody video inspired by Taylor Swift, (also a Montessori graduate) is a great example of the passion, creativity, engagement and talent of today’s youth.

In the video, Massi portrays Stephen Harper and the message of their efforts is clear.  Clean air, water and a healthy environment matter to our youth and their voices are not going to be silenced!

Having hosted Rob Stewart at Dearcroft on several occasions as he shared his conservation message and discussed his remarkable films, Sharkwater and Revolution, our students have clearly been inspired.

Congratulations to our staff and students for the many impressive environmental initiatives we’ve launched on campus.  From a spark can grow a mighty flame… the energy from which can change the world!

Enjoy the link to Massi’s collaborative effort and congratulations to Rob Stewart for the gift of his brilliant documentary, Revolution… being launched globally today on social media.  Share it with the world!

Happy Earth Day 🙂 !