Outdoor Learning Grounds For Calagary Buffalo Rubbing Stone School

October 2018

The new Buffalo Rubbing Stone School Outdoor Learning Grounds are now complete featuring an outdoor classroom, community garden, and outdoor musical instruments.

Buffalo Rubbing Stone School in Panorama Hills Calgary is a relatively new school which first opened their doors to elementary students in September 2016. Now pupils and staff can enjoy lessons outside as they've created an amazing new space to learn in their outdoor grounds complete with; outdoor classroom, community garden, and musical instrument area! This wonderful community project opened last month and its all thanks to the support of generous donors from Panorama Hills, a dedicated group of volunteers, Buffalo Rubbing Stone Parent Association, and Alberta Government who all contributed to fund and help bring the project to fruition.

The outdoor musical instruments included a Large Babel Drum, Papilio, Marimba and Congas Trio were provided by Percussion play partner PlayWorks

Heather Isidoro from the PTA told us "The whole project is the Buffalo Rubbing Stone Circle of Courage Learning Grounds. It is a multi-faceted space that we tried to reflect many different areas of the curriculum and provide the school with many unique spaces for multiple classrooms to be able to work concurrently. It has the music space, a STEAM space, an art space, 3 unique classroom spaces (theatre style, fully circular bench, and picnic tables), a growing space with trough planters, a log stepping berm for a physical challenge, plus natural play areas of berms with logs and boulders. We have had some feedback from one of the donors that it is one of the more unique spaces she has seen in the city."

Asked how the school intends to use the instruments, Cam Denman, Music Specialist at Buffalo Rubbing Stone School told us "Since the installation of the instruments, I have witnessed the students actively exploring and engaging with them before school, during scheduled times (with their classroom teachers) and after school as well. The instruments, as well as the space in general, will be used as part of my personal music curricular programming." What does she think the best thing about the musical instruments is? "My current feeling about the outdoor instruments is that the selection and combination of timbres are practical and complimentary. We have only had the instruments for a relatively short period of time. The weather has played a significant role in how we have been able to use them so far, so I believe 'the best' is yet to come!"

About Buffalo Rubbing Stone School

Buffalo Rubbing Stone is a large glacier rock sitting in the middle of a small park in the Panorama Hills community. Also known as Crater Rock, Buffalo Rubbing Stone was used, just as the name suggests, by the buffalo to rub against. It is estimated that approximately 60 million buffalo once roamed the Great Plains in North America. This name honors the significance of the buffalo in the history of Alberta.

About PlayWorks

Founded by an elementary school teacher, PlayWorks take great pride in creating play spaces that keep kids interested, excited and engaged. They serve Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Canada’s Northern Territories from three offices: Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg