About Us


Our Philosophy

As a result of globalization and educational research, the “image of a child” has changed from that of an empty vessel or thirsty sponge to that of a “competent and unique individual” bringing her own strengths and learning competencies to the table. This in turn has brought about a shift from theories of learning that support the top-down transfer of select information to theories that support the co-construction of knowledge in the classroom and beyond. We believe literature is the best conduit with which to construct such knowledge.

This shift is reflected in the philosophical base of all programs offered at the Lyceum.

At the Lyceum we choose to concentrate on the perceptual dimension of learning in an effort to challenge binary thinking and encourage exploration of “possibilities.” Nurturing a lens through which to view personal, local, and global interactions helps children develop guiding principles when approaching problematic situations inherent in a diverse society.

Meet the team

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Founder & Director

Christianne Hayward

Christianne has been educating children and adults for over 35 years. She established her unique parent and youth bookclubs in 1996, and now facilitates 17 bookclubs, 4 writers’ workshops and literature and art classes for young children at the Lyceum. She also teaches at post-secondary institutions, works as a teacher consultant, facilitates parent groups in the ANCHOR Program at the Vancouver Child Study Centre, and is mother of two sons.

Her Ph.D studies in education (UBC, 2000) focused on using select children’s literature to develop socially relevant curriculum in early childhood settings through to high school. Christianne’s M.Ed studies (Bristol, 1982) centered around the use of literary theming in nursery schools and its effect on children’s attitudes toward reading. Christianne completed her B.Ed (U of A, 1978) in Special Education and received her Diploma in Early Childhood Education in the same year. Her first year of study at the U of A was dedicated to Fine Arts which fueled a life-long love of the arts.


Program Manager & Systems Coordinator

Caitlin Ferguson

Having moved to Vancouver from the U.K. almost 6 years ago, Caitlin is now a fully fledged Canadian.

She graduated with an MA (Hons) in English Literature from The University of Dundee in 2015 after taking a some time to travel the world in between. Caitlin spent the year after her degree volunteering for Victim and Witness Support Scotland, a non-profit aiming to provide specialized services for victims and witnesses of violent and non-violent crimes; as well as a two month stint in India as a human rights intern. 

The people closest to her know of her insatiable curiosity, desire to collect new skills, and love of donuts. 

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Marketing Manager & Volunteer Coordinator

Charlotte Bisanz

Charlotte graduated from McGill in 2020 with a BA in History and Communications. While working towards her degree, she completed an internship working as the communications assistant at a museum focused on the history of the audio industry in Montreal. 

Her time spent sharing antique radios and gramophones with museum-goers, along with her experience teaching Lego Robotics, has ignited an interest in exploring the spaces where science and the arts intersect and the role of storytelling in making these fields accessible to all. 

Charlotte loves that her role at the Lyceum enables her to constantly learn, both from her colleagues and the children. She is passionate about creating an environment where everyone can succeed. 

When she’s not at the Lyceum, you can find Charlotte exploring the city, swimming in the summer, snow-shoeing in the winter, and riding her bike year-round. 


Graphic Designer

Cilla Holmes

Cilla is a forest school mentor, a visual and narrative arts teacher and storyteller, a graphic artist and writer, a lover of ink, clay, and tragic Appalachian ballads, maker of tiny wool skeletons, driftwood looms, and fairy apothecaries. Kids, including her own, are her favourite creative co-conspirators. In 2009 she moved from the American east coast to Vancouver with her Canadian partner and spent a decade working and training in fine arts, literacy and counselling, and also immersed herself in the magic of Christianne’s Lyceum. She raised two babies while working as a Reggio Emilia inspired arts instructor and graphic designer at the Lyceum, and as a poetry mentor with the CEDAR camp for aboriginal youth, making and teaching art in the urban wilds of Jericho Beach and the Pacific Spirit Forest.

She holds a BA in Literature from Brown University, a certificate in Fine Arts & Design from Emily Carr University, and completed her graduate work in creative writing and teaching at the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. Her counselling psychology studies begin in 2021, with a projected focus in nature therapy.