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Ecole catholique Cathedrale students spend week at Bellevue House

December 05, 2016

Students outside Bellevue HouseMark Kyte’s Grade 6/7 students from Ecole Catholique Cathedrale spent a full week learning at Bellevue House National Historic Site starting on Nov. 28th. 

The students participated in Beyond Classrooms Kingston’s first programming week at Bellevue House National Historic Site.  The National Historic Site commemorates Canada's First Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald. He lived at the house, with his family, in the late 1840's.  It is the only location in the country solely dedicated to sharing Macdonald's legacy.  Beyond Classrooms welcomed the site as its eighth community programming venue. 

Mark’s goal for the week was for students to learn how the events and the people of the past shape who we are today.  Students spent the week exploring the site and hearing from speakers from the community who will share their history and culture.   

Each day students will learned about Kingston and Canada’s history from a different perspective. They were visited by costumed members of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada who shared events from Kingston’s history. Mid-week they met with representatives from L’ACFO Mille-Îles and Centre Culturel Frontenac to learn more about Francophone settlers and immigrants as well as hear how Francophone culture is celebrated in Kingston. An Oji-Cree Elder told students more about Aboriginal history and lead students in a drumming workshop. Students also heard about the fur trade and voyageurs while speaking with an outdoor educator who completed a historic 5,000 km canoe route across Canada. 

Collage of students working
At the end of the week, students were able to use all they have learned to begin writing their own story of their community and its history. Ultimately students may share their stories with other students across Canada as part of a collaborative project to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

Beyond Classrooms Kingston is a charitable organization which moves teachers and their classrooms into community sites for an entire week of inquiry.  Students slow down their learning, look closely, and reflect through journal writing. For more information about teacher, site, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, please visit our website at

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