Our School Story
We take our mission and our mission statement to HEART and try and find ways every day to make sure that everyone at our school realizes how special they are to our community. We pride ourselves on being a kind, thoughtful, and accepting group of learners. Brighouse has undergone much change over the years. We love to learn about our past and celebrate our collective diversity. You can learn more about our school story as you walk through our community garden and see that our story is told through paintings and stories created by the students that reflect our past, our stories, and our hopes for the future.
The Story Fence was a full school infusion project that involved many modes of learning and creativity, collaboration and engagement. Samuel Brighouse Elementary students and staff had already built and planted a community garden on the grounds of our school. The Story Fence was a legacy project designed to beautify the school grounds and tell the story and history of the community for the current generation and generations to come by adorning the chain link fence surrounding the garden with the ‘story’ of how Brighouse has evolved as a community since the mid 19th century.
Thematically and visually the Story Fence represents the past, present and future intertwined with community building. Students and teachers all contributed on some level to the development, design, creation and mounting of the painted and weather resistant wood motifs on the fence. They also helped to write the story that was depicted on the fence in words and images. Each division took on a different theme, researched and developed it through various art forms (drama, storytelling, visual art, creative writing) with the artist and teachers. The themes decided upon by the school community were: Musqueam, Agriculture, Transformation, Old and New School, Community, Habitats and Who We Are.
The project was highly student driven and they had a huge degree of ownership in its creation from start to finish. Each of their panels includes a piece of writing that each class researched and captured in various poetic forms to tell a part of the story of the community and land on which Brighouse sits. Our school is on Musqeuam land and our story starts long, long ago before Richmond was a city. The artwork the students created reflected each part of our history.
Each student, from Kindergarten to grade seven had a hand in designing and painting the images that were initially created on paper and then painted onto wood. We turned part of our school grounds into an outdoor art studio during paint days. The larger community of parents, businesses and neighbours was also involved in the project with many parents volunteering and our wood being cut by a wood artisan at a neighbouring co-operative housing complex. The panels read like a picture book and will stand for many generations to tell the story of how Brighouse came to be, what its hopes and visions for the future hold and the many ethnic communities who live within its boundaries. Students and their families can come and visit their art at any time.