We are located on the 600 acre property of the Ignatius Centre, five minutes from downtown Guelph. The school is housed in a grand hall, with 30’ high south facing windows. The hall has beautiful views over the valley. Ignatius has a diverse network of trails, with exciting forest, meadow, river and stream settings that offer a myriad of opportunities for play and exploration year round.
We believe the educational setting is very important for learning and a general sense of happiness. Our facilities are beautiful and inspiring and are well stocked with open-ended, quality toys, tools and materials to extend and facilitate great play. The inside and outside areas are directly connected and function as an integrated whole, facilitating the flow of materials, ideas and learning. We have fully-equipped kitchen, bathroom, office, and staff-lounge areas.
Ignatius is a pioneer of organic sustainable agriculture. It is home to a thriving garden community, organic farm, innovative enterprises and community organizations providing exceptional real-world learning opportunities for children. Ignatius has led initiatives such as “Plant an Old Growth Forest”, leading to the decommissioning of Marden Creek dam, freeing the creek for the first time in 180 years.
The play rooms have lots of soft lighting, plants, area rugs, and comfortable places to play. The furniture is child-sized and comfortable. The playrooms are divided into many smaller, more intimate areas to enable focused uninterrupted play. There are lots of natural materials and colors.
The outdoor facilities are rich and varied in natural and cultural resources. The location offers extraordinary play and learning opportunities in every season. The natural areas consist of diverse cultivated and wild ecotypes, including meadows, forests, creeks, and gardens. The network of hiking trails offers all year opportunities for all sorts of exploration, gathering, cooking, and play.
Indoor and Outdoor play areas are well stocked with tools and materials for all kinds of play and discovery, including:
- A variety of safe, quality art supplies, including paints, brushes, crayons, glue, tape, yarn, scissors, clay.
- A large assortment of open-ended materials such as pine cones, bits of string and cloth, clothespins, hardware, disks of wood, logs, wooden blocks, and all the other natural materials found outside!
- Materials to inspire imaginative dramatic play, such as kitchen tools, dishes, baby dolls, dress-up clothes, small furniture, etc.
- Real, tuned musical instruments.Adequate numbers of developmentally appropriate toys, puzzles, games, and books.
- Tools for digging, building, gathering and examining, such as trowels, shovels, buckets, sieves, wheel barrows, magnifying glasses, jars, spray bottles, etc.
Food integrates many aspects of the human experience, including culture, education, community, health, and environment. Growing and preparing food provides relevant real-life opportunities for introducing children to mathematics, science and technology. The culture of food is a natural and inviting forum for helping children’s social, language and communication development.
The business of growing and foraging for food builds ecological and food literacy that connects children to their food and the natural world, setting healthy eating and activity patterns for life. Through participation in food cultivation, harvesting, preparation and celebration, children begin to understand the road from seed to table.