Grade 2 - March 9, 2018

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Parent Compass Points Feedback Summary

Dear Junior School Parents,

Thank you to the all that families that were able to attend the two compass points meetings. We had more than 50 in attendance, representing 28 families. For those who were not able to attend, here is a summary of our next steps based on your compass points feedback.

Compass Points Action Steps:

1. Parent Workshops: Parents have identified the interest and need for more sessions and support. We will plan workshops focused on the following areas between now and June and have calendared more into the following school year of 2018-19.

  • Bullying/ discipline policy
  • Transition from Junior to Middle School
  • PYP (social work, athletics, etc.) - understanding the learning model

2. JS Communication Committee: Communication has been identified as an area for improvement. The school has, therefore, convened a committee comprised of Junior School parents, YPA reps and school administration to review strategy and suggest improvements. One such example/idea is the development of a JS Parent Handbook with FAQs and policies, etc. where new and returning parents could turn to for helpful information and direction.

3. Review Learning Support model: As part of The York School’s 20/20 plan, parents have identified the need to review our learning support areas and how they operate. Part of our 20/20 strategic plan is to review the learning support model and the school looks forward to sharing this on-going work with parents next school year.

4. Collaborate with the YPA: Create opportunities to work with the YPA to ensure that we are more representative and celebratory towards all of our international and multicultural community. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Harmony Concert think tank
  • International Week 2018-19
  • Opportunities for partnerships/ identify roles and support of/for class parents, new parents, ambassadors, buddies etc.

5. Other informational items (nuts and bolts):

  • Coffee meetings/ parent workshops: we have calendared monthly Junior School coffee meetings for the next school year to ensure there are clear lines of communication and consistent opportunities for feedback
  • We have invited parents to bring any concerns or compliments to us via an open door policy and look forward to partnering with you going forward


Val and Struan

Mindful Moment - Action Research

As we all know, Mindfulness happens everyday in our school. Teachers are working with students to plan for mindfulness, name mindfulness, and practice mindfulness throughout the day in homerooms and specialist classes. This is one of the unique things about the Junior School.

As a faculty we have been wondering about our Mindful Moment and how we can further incorporate mindfulness into our days and lives. One of those examples has been taking the Mindful Moment off the PA system and integrating it into our classrooms, routines and throughout the day. Starting after the March Break, until the May long weekend, we will be engaging in action research - trying new ways to be mindful with our students. This could look a little bit the same and a little bit different,  such as some days with the Mindful Moment on the PA system, and other days having it at an assembly or incorporated into a classroom activity or the lunchroom.

We look forward to reflecting on our action research after the May long weekend, charting a path forward with mindfulness and  sharing our path with you.

In the meantime, please speak to your child about how mindfulness feels, sounds, and looks in the Junior School and at home.

Spring Athletics

Spring Athletics are just around the corner!  To sign up for our Spring Teams and GADPs, please click here.  The schedule for our spring offerings is here. If you have any questions, please email our Athletics Assistant, Norah Baine, at


In Music, we played an echo game with symbols of St Patrick’s Day. We then marched in single file to the beat while we sang the, March of the Leprechauns song.

At the beginning of next term, on April 6th, the grade 2 students will be visiting the Textile Museum of Canada. We have been learning about tessellations in art class for the past two weeks, a type of pattern that links both math and art. The students have learned about tessellations in textiles and fashion. They have created their own original textile tessellations in art class which will be used to decorate tote bags. On April 6th, we will be participating in the Textile Museum's FibreMath program that also links patterning with textiles.

We will need one parent volunteer to come along on our excursion.  If you're free to participate, please feel free to contact Sheryl Faith or the Grade 2 homeroom teachers. Here is the link to the Venturing Out form for this excursion or you can find it in the events calendar.

In French, the students have been finishing up their set of centres they started last week. Among other things, the students wrote, in their own words, a story retell of our play, Ou est mon chien?  As well, the students learned a new song called Au Canada, by Gregg Lerock. The Grade 2 students will be seeing Gregg Lerock perform on April 25th 2018.

Au Canada par Gregg Lerock

Looking Ahead

We will be travelling to the TIFF Lightbox to explore their Digispace on March 27th. Thank you to those parents who volunteered. If we were not able to use you this time we will have more trips coming up soon.

Following the break, the Grade 2 students will be putting the finishing touches on their technology Unit of Inquiry. They are coming up with inventions to make life easier and writing opinion paragraphs about why those inventions are needed.

In Mathematics, the students will be exploring geometry and 3D shapes. They will also compare and sort solids by their attributes.

In Literacy, students will continue to practice expressing opinions and writing paragraphs designed to persuade. The students will also look at some of the characteristics of non-fiction books.


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Junior School Showcase

A favourite event in the Junior School is the annual Junior School Showcase. It is back again this spring but with a little change. Instead of one showcase for students from Grades 1 to 5, there will be two showcases, one for Grades 1-3 on April 13th and one for Grades 4-5 on May 4th. The showcases will take place during assigned assemblies from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., in the gymnasium. Students from Grades 1 to 5 are invited to participate. Parents of students participating in showcase are invited to attend. Each student may present for a maximum of 90 seconds. Videos may also be submitted to be shown during the showcase. If you have any questions, please email Jessica Smart at We welcome all students to participate.

The Showcase

  • Builds our Junior School community
  • Celebrates interests and passions of students
  • Demonstrates the diversity of students
  • Develops independent self-management skills

The Showcase process is:

  • Students sign-up for the Showcase on the signup form outside of the cafeteria.
    Sign-up starts on Monday, March 5th and ends on Friday, March 9th.
  • Student will attend at least two practices between Tuesday, April 3rd and Thursday, April 12th.

To participate, students and families need to commit to:

  • Prepared, practiced and rehearsed performances
  • One audition at school
  • One rehearsal at school
  • To be at school at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the showcase
  • To be responsible for props and any accessories needed

Important Dates

Please make sure to check The York School’s full school calendar regularly for updates, locations and times.