At St. Anne’s in the Hills (SAITH), we further our mission of educating minds, enriching hearts and expanding horizons for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. The 16-acre parcel of land in the foothills just west of Denver was originally deeded to the Founding Sisters by the Ascension Church of Denver in 1931. Early in the school’s history, the Sisters and their convalescing patients would use the property as a summer camp and as space for reflection.

Today, the fully enclosed property features a low ropes course, outdoor learning space, fire pit, volleyball court, and newly-renovated facility with an industrial kitchen, great room with fireplace, and four comfortable bunk rooms. Situated only 30 minutes from our Denver campus and close to Mt. Falcon State Park, SAITH is readily accessible for both day excursions and overnight trips. The property is also within easy reach of Front Range activities such as rock climbing, hiking, rafting, snowshoeing and kayaking.

By visiting the same place repeatedly throughout their St. Anne’s experience, our students have a unique opportunity to create an attachment to a specific outdoor space and to experience the rhythm of nature. The natural world offers recurring patterns and cycles but never does anything exactly the same way twice, so every time the children return to SAITH, they find a place that is both reassuringly familiar and intriguingly new.

Goals of Outdoor Education at St. Anne’s:

  • Foster a kind and compassionate student community

  • Cultivate environmental stewardship and appreciation for nature

  • Teach skills that allow students to feel at home in the outdoors

  • Enhance the school’s science curriculum

  • Explore themes of interconnectedness, life cycles, adaptation, biodiversity, and change

  • Provide opportunities for team building and student leadership training

  • Develop a deeper appreciation for the legacy of the Founding Sisters

 

Why We Value Outdoor Education:

  • Research has shown that student achievement is strengthened by opportunities to use the environment as an integrating context for learning.

  • Children who spend more time outdoors have proven to be more resilient.

  • Nature provides challenges that enable children to find new successes, develop a sense of competency, and build self-confidence.

  • Relationships with teachers are further strengthened and enhanced outside of the traditional classroom.

  • Developing connections to the natural world and strengthening interpersonal skills are vital for children growing up in a digital age.

Directions for St. Anne's in the Hills