Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It was quite a morning, let me say that.  Our trip to the cenotaph was hugely successful as students shared their handmade post cards with the veterans in the crowd.  It was touching to see the younger generation connecting with the old.  Expect to see a picture or two posted soon.

We ended our mini unit on Canada’s wartime contributions in both world wars, fittingly on November 11th.  The students were highly interested and asked many inquisitive questions.  They were saddened, at times shocked, by the losses; horrified at the nature of the Holocaust; and proud of the efforts of our Canadian soldiers.  I hope they came away with a better understanding of the importance of this day and how it’s just as important for them to carry the torch onward, as John McRae advised in his poem, “In Flanders Fields“.  During our discussions, I mentioned a number of related films that they may interested in.  However, these are generally geared to adult audiences and, naturally, contain war violence.  I want to respect what you allow your child to watch, but if you feel the maturity is there, and want to watch with them, here are some of the titles I’d mentioned.  For your convenience, I’ve linked their descriptions in the Internet Movie Data Base so you can judge for yourself before watching:

I also suggested a BBC documentary that is kid-friendly, which shows the aftermath of the First World War with blimp footage from 1919.  Aptly titled, “The First World War From Above“, it’s available on Netflix and is absolutely incredible (well, to a history geek like me anyway).

We capped off our day composing letters of thanks that will be sent to veterans’ hospitals in London, Toronto and Montreal.  I’m sure they will bring smiles and possibly tears to some very deserving individuals.  Lest we forget.


* * *

On Monday, your child’s Progress Report will go home.  This is a glimpse into the term at the midway point.  Personally, I don’t find them to be effective enough as the achievement categories are too vague.  There can be quite a gap between “Very Well”, “Well” and “With Difficulty”, particularly with the latter two.  In some subject areas, there are multiple strands, such as English, yet there is only one achievement to choose from.  Keep in mind that in some cases, the assessment data is very limited for determining achievement.  Where possible, I always try to give the benefit of the doubt.  Whether you have concerns or not, I invite you to come see me on Thursday evening between 4-7pm.  You can book an interview at this website using your child’s student identification number.  Hope to see you then!

Enjoy your weekend!


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