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Richland Academy / School Life (Page 2)

GO HUSKIES GO!

With Badminton and Ball Hockey competitions taking place later this month, we can reflect upon what our Huskies have accomplished on the basketball court, and what we hope they will achieve looking...

A Season of Sports

Today Inquiring Minds is pleased to share an update from Richland Academy’s Grade 3/4 Teacher and Athletic Director, Mr. Lionel Ownsworth, on the Small Schools Athletic Federation events that Richland teams have competed in.  Go Huskies!It has been a great first part of the year for Richland athletics, and our students have represented the school with Husky spirit at the Cross-Country Championship run,  the Under 10 and 12 Soccer Tournaments, and the Ultimate Frisbee Event to start off the year.
The Ultimate Frisbee Tournament was new for Richland this year, in large part due to Ms. Bei’s enthusiasm for the sport and her inclusion of it in her grade 5/6 P.E. schedule. We had a great time at Shepard’s Bush Park and competed well, but the experience of the other teams was apparent and we ultimately did not make the final rounds. We played games against TCMPS, VIS, and RMS, and we finished off with an exhibition match against a team from Burlington. Overall, we learned a great deal about how to play the game, and we will be ready for next year. Many thanks to the grade 5/6’s for playing hard and learning some new skills in this event, and Ms. Bei is already planning out strategy.The Cross-Country run was held at Sunnybrook Park, and we had perfect fall weather for the event, with the predicted rain holding off until the very end. All our runners finished their races, with Z.P. finishing 10th in the U-8 event, and A.H. and A.L. coming in the top 20 of their division, the U-10 girls.There were over 150 runners in each event! All the students were happy to have competed, and in some cases improve upon results from last year. It was a fun day overall, and many thanks to Mrs. DeSimone and Mr. Gandhi for acting as field marshals (and taking pictures), and Mr. Hilkowitz for helping the students off-side with Mrs. Brown while I took care of race starts and finishes with the runners.

We had an equally fun day at the U-10 Soccer Tournament, and while it took us several games to find our footing at ‘The Hanger’, we did eventually win our final game and thus capture the Division B Consolation Championship title. Everyone played hard and worked as a team throughout, and we lost, tied, and won our games with Husky dignity. Our three girls had to play every single minute of each game(regulations), and they were our rock at defense. Playing with heart and intensity up front, our players had many fine chances to score when the opportunity arose.  H.G. was a strong mid-field presence throughout, running up and down the field to attack and defend, and G.B. showed us how quick he can be with defenders having difficulty keeping up with him. D.C. and A.H. showed us their skill as attacking and defending mid-fielders, keeping and maintaining play whenever they were on the field. They were always a threat, and A.H. scored the winning goal in our final game. Z.P. played an outstanding game in net, virtually stopping our opponents cold at every turn. Many thanks to Mr. Hilkowitz and Mr. Carter for helping out as trainers/coaches for the event, keeping the children in form with drills and pep talks when we were not playing.

Is Inquiry Learning really “Classroom Fads and Magic Beans”?

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente pokes fun at progressive models of learning and touts the simplicity of traditional schooling and the ‘3Rs’ of reading, writing and arithmetic.  Ms. Megan Pearson, a teacher and Inquiry consultant at Richland Academy, challenges Ms. Wente’s article in a letter that Inquiring Minds would like to share with you.

Dear Ms Wente,

I was intrigued to read your article in the Globe and Mail on September 7th of this year.  As an intentional and experienced teacher, I can assure you, I am not “rolling my eyes and pretend[ing] to comply” with the “fads and magic beans” of a necessarily evolving educational system.  As someone who is also deeply entrenched in providing the best possible education to my students, I am well read in the latest research.  Actually, all of my colleagues are, as certainly, we cannot hope to improve our teaching practices by reveling in tradition.  Though there is certainly something to say for tradition, it’s tradition for a reason, after all, and why change a good thing?

It was tradition, that with the threat of the strap always looming, teachers had 30-40 silent children, acting as empty vessels, waiting to be filled with facts and figures.  Regurgitate and succeed. Why have large classroom sizes, corporal punishment and blind repetition gone by the wayside?  Weren’t those a part of a strong and traditional model of schooling?

There is a constant struggle to lower class sizes, create more jobs for teachers and hire more teaching assistants, none of which are part of the “school was simple” model you are touting.  And who are the children who are successful in a traditional model?  In actuality, that model is made only for a fraction of the population:  The high achievers who are going to succeed anyways, and the “middle of the roaders” who have an education system tailor made for them. The students who struggled in the traditional model, well, they still struggle.

We Can Change the World!

Ms. Amy Pitt, Richland Academy’s Children’s Rights Team Leader and Performing Arts Teacher, has high hopes for Richland students and the local and global community, as they embark on the 2013-2014 school year as the first elementary UNICEF Rights Respecting School in the GTA.  Inquiring Minds is delighted to share this post from Ms. Pitt.

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Last December, we announced our commitment towards becoming the first elementary UNICEF Rights Respecting School in the Greater Toronto Area. Administrators, teachers, students, and parents worked hard towards our collective goal through surveys, meetings, workshops, and a symposium. We took on the initiative with full force because we believed in it.  It’s amazing what can happen when people come together; children and adults working together for a common goal. This September marks our first year as a Rights Respecting School and I couldn’t be more excited. Grades 1-6 elected one member of their class to represent them on the Children’s Rights Team this year. They did this through a blind vote. The Children’s Right Team will meet once a month to discuss Children’s Rights issues inside and out of our school community. Team members will also embark on Peacemaking Circles where they will become proficient at the art of peaceful resolution, an art that they can share with their classrooms and assist when inevitable conflicts arise inside and out of the classroom.  Our first task will be to synthesize the ideas our school community, (including staff, students, family members, and guests) has written on the Graffiti Wall next to Mrs. Oliveira’s office and create a new school wide charter during our first meeting in October.