Grade 5 - 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



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Our trip to the Google Offices was a hit! We have talked about building a secret room in the classroom and developing questions to start investigating. It was the perfect provocation for Exhibition this week. Thank you for the invitation and hospitality!

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The week was jam packed with learning about decimals, multiplying them by 10 and 100, peer editing; how to support each other in our learning and narrowing down our ideas for exhibition.

Dinner Discussions continue through the padlet shared in the students’ workspace. Keep an eye on that workspace, it will keep growing.

In French, students have started a novel study entitled, Brandon Brown veut un chien. The goal of the novel study will be to learn reading comprehension strategies to promote independent reading in French. This is an important skill in preparing the students for Grade 6 French and beyond! So far, they are all enjoying the book and are open-minded to the challenges it brings! You can expect the novel to remain at school because most of the work will be done in the classroom.

Looking Ahead

How We Express Ourselves continues. Next week, we will start to build our research sources, talk about taking notes and generally finding out more about our chosen topics. We will meet our mentors and develop a central idea. Through our research we will start to help the students develop ideas of actions, from pamphlets to field trips and volunteering.

In Math, we continue to explore decimals, adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing as well as making connections to fractions.

The Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival (CISMF) is on Sunday April 8th at Roy Thomson Hall. All Grade 5 students are welcome to be part of the Junior Choir. It is usually a four hundred voice choir on average and it  is a wonderful opportunity for students to sing with a large number of fellow CIS students. We believe all students should experience this at least once in their lives. There are two rehearsal days off-site at Havergal College on Tuesday February 6th and Friday April 6th. Students who would like to participate in the concert on April 8th, must participate in both rehearsals. We will travel together there and back on a school bus and will return in plenty of time for regular dismissal on both days. All other rehearsals will be during regular Grade 5 scheduled classes. We have already started to learn one of the songs - Africa by Toto. If you would like your child to be part of this exciting opportunity, please email me -, as I need to submit our numbers in advance of the first rehearsal on February 6th.


Here is a link to help you sign into Google Chrome at home. This will be important especially during Exhibition time!

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 fireplace 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!  


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