One of our key objectives this year is to strengthen our connections; connections between alumnae and current students, amongst Old Girls across the country and around the world, and between our alumnae and the school. Strong connections between these key groups help ensure that our school, and our girls benefit from a committed, informed and supportive network.
Congratulations to our swimmers on a great city meet last week! The girls swam extremely well and had fun competing as a team. We are really proud of their achievements. Elmwood won the Open Girls trophy! As a school, we placed 12th in Ottawa, without being able to compete in any of the boys races.
One of the things that I really appreciate about being a teacher at Elmwood is the school’s support of professional development opportunities for their staff. At the beginning of November, as part of my professional development, I had the opportunity to attend the Healthy School Communities National Forum organized by PHE Canada. One of my highlights of the conference was a presentation by Dr. Tracy Vallancourt, Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair for School-Based Mental Health and Violence Prevention, about School-Based Mental Health.
This year, the Junior School introduced a new and exciting enrichment club to students in Grade 4 and 5 called Young Entrepreneurs. The goal of this club is to foster a better understanding of financial literacy, business sense, innovative and critical thinking, and effective communication skills. In September, students began by thinking about the wants and needs of their target market and collaborating with each other to brainstorm different product ideas. Once students committed to an idea, they had to approach their investors (parents) to secure funding for their big idea. Young Entrepreneurs then could purchase materials to begin building inventory. Students created businesses, logos, and advertisements. They learned about the design cycle and that ideas are always evolving and changing. Some students learned that failure is an option: some learned that their ideas did not work, then went back to the drawing board to modify their existing product or develop a new one altogether.
One morning in October, you could have heard a pin drop in Senior Kindergarten as eighteen girls watched wide-eyed as baby James and his mom entered the room. Four-month-old James was immediately entranced by the girls seated in a circle on the green blanket.
Elmwood Girls are having a great year!
At Elmwood, we have long been dedicated to providing a top-quality Early Years Programme, offering a holistic, International Baccalaureate education for even our youngest learners. How- ever, the 2018/2019 school year brought forth a series of exciting changes, as we proudly launched a newly expanded, fully licensed Pre-Kindergarten programme last fall. This means that our Pre-K class, which has been operating on a smaller scale since 2017, is now officially recognized as a licensed preschool by the Ontario Ministry of Education. As a result of this change, we can now accommodate a greater number of students, while still maintaining the high level of quality and expertise that families have come to expect from Elmwood. Christine Blackadar, Deputy Head of Elmwood’s Junior School, helped spearhead this recent transformation. “We went through an exciting and thorough process to become Ontario licensed,” she says. “We have been delighted to establish a licensed Pre-Kindergarten program to include three-year-olds.”
When Mackenzie Johnson came to Elmwood in Grade 6, she never would have imagined that she would begin her Grade 12 year as Elmwood’s Head Girl. Shyness was a significant obstacle for her before she came to Elmwood and applying for a prefect position was not something that would have been on her to-do list back then. After spending the past six years at Elmwood, that shyness has become a thing of the past. Her family is so proud that she is headed into her final year at Elmwood as Head Girl. She is thinking about the big footsteps she is following in, but is also ready to make her mark on this position of leadership within the school.