February 14 / 2019


Challenge Week has been a fixture at The York middle and senior schools for the past 16 years. The programme was originally conceived as a project for grade 9 and 10 students to fulfill the Challenge Week mission, “to challenge the mind, body and spirit through authentic experiences that extend and enrich the students’ learning.” Fast forward to 2018, our approach to Challenge Week has changed little. The programme philosophy combines the IB Middle Years Programme approach of ‘practical connections between studies and the real world’, and  our school’s motto, Experience Teaches.

Experience Teaches is a progressive learning approach that is found in the writings of educational philosopher, John Dewey.  Dewey posits that progressive education involves experience, purposeful learning, freedom, and social agency as factors that promote deep learning.  He also claims that learning within a context is critical for learners to connect and reflect deeply.    This coming May, our grade 6 to 10 students will be transported to one of twelve trips in which their curriculum learning will be contextualized to a region.  We know the curriculum presented through the words on pages, images in presentations and words spoken by teachers will be be strengthened by the challenge week experience.  We expect that Challenge Week will push students outside of their comfort zones where they have to negotiate resources, time and space with others, and their mind, spirit and body will be tested.  The narratives of each trip will, we hope, be positively written by our students, and will reveal the deep learning they have experienced during Challenge Week

The York School’s Challenge Week is coordinated by our tireless Trip Coordinator, Andrea Lossing and lead by a team of 48 teachers who facilitate these memorable experiences for our students.  You can follow the experiences at #yorkcw.

Helen Gin
Middle School Principal

WE Global Learning Field Trip

Student leaders representing the Junior, Middle and Senior School took part in a full-day event at the WE International Headquarters, The Global Learning Centre. They worked as a united school team to build leadership, team-building and problem-solving skills then took on the afternoon challenge to collaborate on the development of a May Community Service Awareness Week. The group brainstormed understanding of the theme of inclusion, discussed engaging activities that will build awareness across the entire school and finally, they learned how to move forward with a project management timeline.  



The Board of Directors is calling for nominations for Board and Committee Members for 2019-2020.  If you are interested, please click the button below to submit your nomination.

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