At Sunstone, we believe a school should nurture the whole child and prepare them to be responsible, compassionate members of the community. In addition to academics, children at Sunstone explore the world through the lens of imagination, create multi-aged relationships, practice empathy and nurture a love of nature.
We value learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
Sunstone Academy believes that well-being of the mind and body are essential to ensure that optimal learning takes place. Daily yoga and mindfulness practice's create a learning climate centered around peacefulness and respect for ourselves and one another.
At Sunstone Academy, we offer small class sizes, and a child-focused environment, conducive to expressive learning. Small class size is essential in a teachers ability to authentically honor the uniqueness of each child.
At Sunstone, we care for your child's academic, intellectual, physical and emotional well-being.
We follow Nova Scotia Department of Education Elementary ELA and Math Curriculum infused with Montessori curriculum and methods. Montessori education follows a constructivist or discovery model where students learn from experience and reflection.
Through the integration of content, children are encouraged to creatively express their learning. Students are supported in their natural curiosity, through the exploration of different creative processes.
Our hope is that at Sunstone, we will become excited about unexpected adventures that await us in the natural world. Through occasional workshops, children learn about sustainable practices and food production. These children will grow up facing many environmental challenges and will need to have an affinity for the earth. Educating children about the importance of environmental stewardship and developing ecological literacy will be a main focus of Sunstone.
We will incorporate inter-generational learning into our programs whenever we can. We want our students to develop empathy by spending time in inter-generational situations. We believe there is a richness in the stories of our elders, that will benefit the students. Our hope is to support our students in creating a powerful voice for social justice, understanding their social responsibility.
Sunstone has created a network of non-conventional teachers in the community. Our goal is to create a holistic alternative that branches out into the community creating knowledgeable children, with a solid, healthy sense of self. We strive to create opportunities for children to cultivate connections with their learning, their creativity, their environment and their community; fostering healthy hearts, bodies, and minds.
The Sunstone Team
Founder of Sunstone Academy/ Head Teacher
Michelle is originally from Truro, N.S. She began raising her family of 5 in Calgary and during that time she worked in a variety of private alternative school settings. She has experience working as an ESL teacher, a teacher for children living with trauma and abuse, and at a Montessori School.
Michelle's time at the Montessori School was very intriguing, she noticed students were extremely passionate about their learning, wondrously independent and were mastering high-level skills at a very young age. This led her to attain a diploma in Montessori Teaching Methods.
Since returning to Nova Scotia, Michelle had been teaching in the CCRSB for 8 years, while her teaching career spans 15 years.
Michelle is a passionate mother, teacher, and artist. She is an advocate for art, social justice, and outdoor learning.
Connect to Content
Sunstone follows the Department of Education Math and ELA Curriculum. We infuse Montessori curriculum as well as plenty of one-on-one teacher-student time, and independent learning time.
Montessori is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and is characterized by the emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child's natural psychological, physical and social development.
Montessori follows a constructivist or discovery model where students learn concepts from hands-on opportunities.
Our classroom is a place where children feel at ease, they are purposeful, they guide their own learning, and they develop a strong sense of independence.
Connect to the Arts
Sunstone is a place exploding with creativity. We value the beauty of the imagination. Students are encouraged and supported in processing their learning through creativity. We provide both individual and whole class opportunities to be creative.
Our classroom is imagination friendly and play is a valued source for learning.
Connect to Environment
Children are encouraged to discover the wonders of the outdoors. We use outdoor time to inspire our learning. Rich opportunities exist in the untouched, unplanned adventures that happen in nature. We call upon the community to offer knowledge in food production and sustainable practices. We want our students to care about the earth and learn how they can be proactive in dealing with environmental challenges. Through extensive outdoor time, we hope to create environmentally sensitive citizens who have a deep understanding of the importance of respecting the earth.
Connect to Citizenship
Sunstone focuses on developing healthy social skills through mindfulness practice, co-operation, inter generational learning opportunities and community work.
These connections will lead our students to understand the importance of citizenship and social responsibility.
Sunstone offers options to families who are looking for alternatives to public education.
Outdoor Educator and Yoga Teacher
Becky has been a practicing RMT and body worker for over 10 years. She has worked with young people as a facilitator of social justice programs as well as in outdoor educational experiences.
She brings her love of nature and healing to Sunstone by sharing a Yoga and mindfulness practice with the children of Sunstone and leading the students through their weekly outdoor experiences.
Jen is a self-taught artist and Truro native. She works in the downtown community, teaches art and works as a birth doula.
Jen loves creating and helping others embrace their artistic abilities, especially children. She is a wife and mother, french toast maker, and lover of pottery. She will provide weekly art workshops at Sunstone.
Primary/ Grade 1 teacher
Joanna is a perfect teacher for our youngest Sunstone students.
She brings experience from Ontario in a traditional school setting as well as experience in Montessori schools.
She has spent the last 2 years with us bringing her creative, hands on learning approach to our classroom.
If we want our children to move mountains, we first have to let them get out of their chairs.