Creating Community

Cross-divisional activities make Canterbury stronger.
Apr 3, 2023
Natalie A. Trout
Provided

Some students walk into Canterbury School for the first time as two-year-olds. Others might not start at Canterbury until their high school years. Whether they are two or in Grade 12, Canterbury School sees the benefit of cross-divisional activities with its youngest students to its oldest. Teachers and administration jump at the chance to mix and mingle with the four divisions of Canterbury School: Early Childhood, Lower School, Middle School, and High School.

Canterbury Assistant Head of School and Lower School Director Mike Landgraf says cross-divisional activities are an opportunity for older students to cultivate leadership skills by directing the younger students in a positive way.

“The younger students benefit from the mentoring and connection that they make with the older students,” Landgraf says. “Ideally, the older students are providing guidance and helping our younger students perform a certain task or just creating a positive relationship that helps our students feel a deeper connection to the school community.”

Connections are an important part of the Canterbury experience. Students easily know all their classmates with such small class sizes and a 9:1 student-teacher ratio. This also makes cross-divisional activities and lessons easier.

“It has been my experience that some of the most memorable experiences for the children are these cross-grade level interactions,” Landgraf says.

Interactions come from a variety of activities. Canterbury School’s annual Thanksgiving Feast brings all grade levels together in different “families” for activities and even performances. Canterbury High School students spent time in the fall drawing positive messages on the sidewalk and playing games with some students from Canterbury Lower School. One of the most popular cross-divisional activities is a writing project with Grade 1 and Grade 8 students.

Landgraf says he loves watching younger Canterbury students go from mentee to mentor as they move up to the higher grades.

“These experiences help us feel more closely connected and part of something bigger,” he says. “We are truly a Cavalier community.” 

Canterbury School

Owner(s): Head of School: David Jackson

Address: 5601 Covington Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804

Phone: (260) 436-7721

Website: canterburyschool.org/academy

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