Grade 4 - January 19 / 2018

Dear Junior School Parents,

As you know, in last week's FLASH we included reminders of the Junior School's procedures and expectations for all community members with regards to drop-off and pick-up.

As many of you are aware, the nightmare scenario became a reality this week in Toronto for the St. Raphael School community and the family of 5-year old Camila Torcato. This tragedy is simply unacceptable (see link below) and we must act now to ensure the continued safety for our school community.

I have now had the chance to be part of the Junior School community for a few weeks and have really enjoyed getting to know the students, teachers and families. This time has also provided opportunities to observe some shocking behaviour at drop-off and pick-up, behaviour that if we don't act now, could put our students, students in the Yorkminster parking lot, staff and families at risk. Such examples include disobeying posted road signs/regulations, u-turning in the middle of Yonge St. and speeding through our parking lot. To be clear, this is unacceptable.

As we said last week, we are all busy, we all need to get to work or to an after-school activity, however, we can all agree that the safety and well-being of all members of The York School and neighbouring community is priority number one for all.

We have again included the procedures and expectations for drop-off and pick-up. Thanks to some parent suggestions, we have now defined two maps of the immediate area; one for the morning and one for the afternoon, highlighting the differences in flow and traffic regulations.

Please take the time this weekend to re-familiarize yourself with these reminders.

Please think about how you drive to/from school and if there are opportunities to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Please help all of us make The York School community safer for all.

Thank you.
Struan Robertson, Deputy Head, Academics


To tie in with their How the World Works unit on light, the Grade 4 students have officially kicked off their photography unit in art. They began with a photo scavenger hunt on the elements of design in photography and will now be using pinhole cameras of their own creation to take photographs and develop them in a dark room. This relates to the class’ learning about the scientific principles of light, where they explored prisms and the visible spectrum of light. A special visit on Monday by Ms. Agostino, a senior school science teacher, helped us inquire into the properties of sound.

Students wrapped up some learning about division, including how to use short division to find a quotient quickly. We have now begun a unit on patterning and algebra using the equation functions in Google Sheets. Patterning and algebra are at the heart of mathematics, and it helps students learn and retain basic number facts, including their timetables! Students are encouraged to continue practicing their timetables, as they are important for most future math topics and concepts this year.

Students have been completing new assessments for reading and writing to determine their next steps for this term. Also, they have continued their learning about procedural writing and the features of a narrative. Our new novel studies begin soon!

Both classes are excited to be putting the finishing touches on their goal roadmaps, which they hope to share with you at the upcoming Student-centered conferences. Both classes have been excitedly searching for a motivational or inspirational quote that is meaningful to them (and hopefully to others!). Thank you for your support in this.

Looking Ahead


Don’t forget:

  • Agenda/Homework folder every day

  • Black shoes!

  • Read every night!

Some parents had asked how to download items from SeeSaw. At the bottom-right of each SeeSaw item, there is a box with three dots. Click it, and click download item. Parents can also download a whole archive of their entire child’s collection. Here’s the link!

Student-Centred Conferences

On February 7th or 13th, students in Grade 1 to 5 will be participating in Student-centred Conferences. A Student-centred conference differs from the traditional Parent-Teacher interview as the student is present at and is an active participant. The focus of the conference is on student goal setting in order to support learning. During the Student-centred conference, each participant - teacher, student, parent - have a specific role. The teacher facilitates the discussion and the student and parent are encouraged to contribute. A Student-centred conference should focus on recognising and celebrating the progress that a student has made in his/her learning, and to identify the next steps that need to be taken, within a supportive environment. Parents should be aware that the priority of Student-centred conferences is to focus on discussing student’s progress in ways which motivate and encourage the child in his/her future learning. Finally, a Student-centred conference is not intended to be a rehearsed ‘performance’ by the student, but a genuine conversation that encourages objective and realistic discussion of the student’s learning progress.  

A reminder that students in Grades 1 to 5 need to present with parents at all conferences with homeroom and specialist teachers.

India - Global Pathways School Donation Drive

This week we will be kick starting our India donation drive (clothes and toys). Bins will be placed by fire place in the Gathering Place for donation drop off. Please take a look at our "wish list" link below. This list will also be posted in each classroom and communicated in the FLASH for the next few weeks.

Junior School Pancake Breakfast - REGISTER NOW!

We are thrilled to host a Pancake Breakfast, hosted by The York School Parents’ Association (YPA) on February 22nd and 23rd.

Students are invited to bring a family member or friend to join them for a pancake breakfast at the school.

RSVP here!  

Important Dates

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