A Remarkable Learning Community

Have you heard the word “murmuration?” I hadn’t until this past summer, when I discovered that it is used to describe a natural phenomenon – a flock of starlings moving in a huge, cloud-like mass, shifting back and forth across the sky.  Scientists are puzzled by the ability of these flocks to be “almost instantly and completely transformed… each starling connected to every other.”

This amazing and beautiful image of community found in nature provides a picture of the remarkable learning community that is growing at VCS.  We have been working together to shift and mold our K-9 program in ways that far-exceed the new provincial expectations. 

After its recent two-day review of the entire school, the Ministry of Education’s External Evaluation Team commended VCS for its unique educational vision because it doesn’t merely “comply” with new curriculum standards; it exceeds them, and embeds the strong development of student knowledge and skill deeply in community life – in practical skills and real-life projects, in service-learning, in faith development, and in relationship.

Like starlings navigating en masse, our K-12 teachers have been challenging and supporting one another as a professional learning team, each providing expertise and leadership at key moments through the process of transformation.  Students, too, are being invited to have more voice and to shape the “flight pattern.”  For example, all Grade 12 students now lead our multi-grade “Driven to Serve” reflection groups, which helps them develop leadership skills such as facilitation and conflict resolution.    

What strikes me most about starling murmuration is its fluidity, which illustrates the fact that in the midst of change a unified community can transition with strength and grace.  Isn’t this, after all, a picture of the body of Christ bound together by his Spirit, being transformed for his kingdom? 

Even more amazing things are to come as God continues to lead our learning community. Your gifts of time, treasure and talents will ensure our mission to provide an education that transforms hearts and prepares young people for a life of discipleship.  For supporting, for praying, for believing in what we do and what we can do yet, thank you.