Transitioning and Preparing to Celebrate

by Donald MacPherson on May 31, 2013

This week students worked hard on the Finding Out and Sorting Out stages of their inquiries into the central idea, “The use of power has consequences that affect relationships and access to opportunities.” Next week, they will work in groups to present their conclusions and prove the central idea. We’ve also worked quite a lot this week on algebraic thinking. On Thursday the Grade 6s had the opportunity to speak with the Grade 7 teachers to get an idea of what the Upper School is like – it’s going to be a big transition. Parents also had the opportunity to do the same on Tuesday when they met members of the Upper School team at the Transition Evening.

Excitement is building for next Friday, June 7, when we will be hosting our PYP Celebration. A lot of time and effort has been put into these preparations and we look forward to sharing this exciting day with you.

This afternoon we were very lucky to have a guest speaker from Tanzania. Kim Saville is the Director of International relations at the School of St Jude.  The School of St Jude, provides a free high-quality primary and secondary education to over 1,600 of the poorest and brightest children of the Arusha region in Tanzania. Her role is to ensure the sustainability and financial stability of the school by raising awareness and gathering up as much support as she can. Kim’s talk had many connections and direct links to our unit. Please visit or ask your child for more information.

Please note:

  • A Young Americans DVD was sent home today
  • Please provide your child with an extra bag next week so he/she can begin taking home belongings from school. It is a near impossible task to take everything home on the last day.
  • Please take note of the following letter from Lolita Schmalenberg on Safety

Dear Parents,

Every year as part of our school counseling lessons we focus on issues of safety. In Grade 6 we spoke about risky behavior and making safe choices. A special thank you to former Constable David Perry for his informative and sometimes humorous lesson on street safety.

Children, because of their dependency and immaturity, can be vulnerable. Teachers and school counselors are particularly well placed to inform, guide and monitor your child as they learn about ways to protect themselves from harm. In school we have a duty of care and ensure that our school is a protected and safe environment. We, in partnership with the parents, help develop children’s self esteem, confidence, independence of thought and the necessary skills to cope with possible threats to their personal safety both within and outside the school.

It is my hope that you continue the conversation of personal safety and in particular safe choices in regards to smoking, drinking and substance abuse with your child. As frightening as the topic is, being informed and aware can greatly ease the natural anxiety a child might feel. There are numerous online resources as well as books to
help you begin a conversation. I have included a few at the end of this letter. For now I ask that you build upon what we have discussed so far. Before your child enters the Upper School it is a good idea to have a frank and explicit conversation with your pre-teen about safe choices and risky behavior.

During the class lessons Dave Perry covered the following topics
– Basic street safety tips
– Effects of alcohol and smoking on a body
– Effects of peer pressure and choices that keep us safe

Lolita Schmalenberg
Grades 3-6 School Counselor


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