Last week in my Child & Adolescent Development course, we had the opportunity to leave the classroom and go on a field trip! Bloorview School Authority is a school that is located within the Holland Bloorview Hospital, near Bayview and Eglinton.
Within the MACSE program, students have the option to complete an extra block placement in April. They have the option to either explore an additional school, a particular subject area (ie. phys. ed), or to delve deeper into the special education. Bloorview is a great option to better understand special education, and to gain more experience in a completely different setting.
Bloorview is known as an educational facility that provides specialized school programs for children with special needs. The school works at transitioning children back from the hospital into their local schools, and also to create individual educational programs (IEPs) for the needs of each child. The classroom sizes are much smaller, with at least 1 teacher and 1 Educational Assistant per 8 children.
The program that we got to witness firsthand was known as the 'Integrated Education and Therapy (IET). Exclusive to children from kindergarten to Grade 1, the students within this school attend normal classes, as well as music, art, and library while receiving the necessary supports and resources necessary.
Despite many children having learning disabilities or developmental delays, they were still able to engage in a variety of activities due to the modifications of this school! Below are some of the artwork from the Grade 1 art class that I visited.
From the architecture of the buildings, to the staff and the entire space itself, the school was filled with a buzz of exciting energy, and it was an amazing place to see!
One of my favourite things about the CSE program is the fact that we get opportunities like these to visit specialized schools and to witness the different types of learning and teaching that occur. The variety of schools available in the form of field trips and placements have made this program a truly enriching experience.