This time of year is a frenetic one, and I smile when asked by people if we are winding down, because most often it is the opposite. For staff, the end of the year is a time of marking, reports, professional development and preparing the school for next year. Our students have also been busy with the completion of exams and summatives as well as cleaning up and clearing out. While this is the time of year when everyone is looking to finish up, it is also the time to see and experience the culmination of our girls’ skills acquisition and its application in their work.
It is always a pleasure taking note of our girls’ growth, confidence and independence, but what is even more gratifying is knowing that this is accomplished through our exceptional staff’s facilitation, rather than direction, of student learning and engagement.
This past week saw two events that highlighted this well.
Our Junior School has been showcasing their curricular work through what are creatively entitled ‘Spring Things’- evening events for our parents. Our Grades 4-6 hosted one several weeks ago and our students from Grades 1, 2 and 3 hosted theirs this past Tuesday evening. Highlights included samples of their work and learning expressed through dance, design, tech, artefacts and writing. With hard-working staff behind the infrastructure of the evening, the girls were proudly in the forefront demonstrating their intellectual curiosity and accomplishments.
On Friday, our Grade 7 girls completed a challenging integrative thinking exercise designed to improve our school’s green space. The girls worked to design and create outside planters for the benefit of the entire community. Students worked with Dr. Foster, our Vice Principal, to learn how to create surveys. The girls then surveyed the Junior School and the Phys Ed staff, who use the outside space most frequently. The design of the planters was finalised after receiving feedback, and this past Friday saw the girls actually build them. Working alongside them were our Director of Facilities and Head Caretaker as well as our Head of the Eco Team, our Middle School LINCWell counsellor and our Head of the Middle School.
It is a pleasure for me to watch our staff as they facilitate rather than direct the learning process. In discussions they explain that it is a role that they enjoy as well. It is this approach to instruction that nurtures intellectual curiosity and courage within our girls.