Hope, Joy, Faith, Love & Peace: Candlelight Assemblies

JrCandlelightAssembly_15Dec2015-6700Jr. School Candlelight Assembly

The Junior School held their traditional Candlelight Assembly on Tuesday, December 16. This annual celebration of songs and readings is led by our Grade 7 students, and includes the lighting of candles for joy, faith, hope, love and peace. The assembly reminds us what this time of year is really all about.

York House supports the Family Services of Greater Vancouver, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families and children in need. Students in Grades 1-3 brought a gift which is placed under the tree at the beginning of the service. These gifts are used year-round for children who are in their Emergency Foster Care Program.

Students in Grades 4 to 7 (and staff), also contributed to the Holiday Hamper Project where each class was assigned a family in need. Nine families will be the happy recipients of these hampers.

We appreciate your support for these two worthy causes. Thank you for your generosity.

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Sr. School Candlelight Assembly

The Sr. School Candlelight assembly was organized by Music Heads Gabriella, Fraser and Christina. The assembly opened with a flute quartet who played “Silent Night”, and was followed by a reading from Miranda, Gr. 10. She recited an abridged version of Shayne Koyczan’s “To This Day”, a poem about the impact that bullying can have on an individual.

Ms. Irani and Sophie, Gr. 12, lit the candle for “hope”, Mrs. Harvey and Erin, Gr. 12, lit the candle for “joy” and Head Girl Helen and Vice-Head Sarah lit the candle for “love”. Before Ms. Gionet and Angela, Gr. 12, lit the candle for “peace”, they led a sing-a-long to John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

The choir sang “What Sweeter Music” by Canadian Composer, Eleanor Daley, and the Music Heads spoke on gratitude, kindness and mindfulness in the midst of a busy holiday season. The assembly concluded with the singing of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

Organized by Tammy, Gr. 10, Senior Students also collected donations for Syrian refugees. Donations included toiletries, small appliances, toys, books and non-perishable foods. Following the assembly, the Student Executive organized hot chocolate for all.

LSCandlelightAssembly_15Dec2015-6651Little School Candlelight Assembly

The Little School also held their own Candlelight Assembly. The girls brought in gifts for children in the Emergency Foster Care Program, and candles were lit for hope, joy, love and peace. Each candle lighting was followed by a song from one of the classes.

Hour of Code

img_7269xJust before we broke for the holidays (December 5-9) students across the Junior School and our Grade 9 students in the Senior School participated in an online global movement called the “Hour of Code”.

The Hour of Code is an international initiative that introduces millions of students around the world to one hour of computer science. The premise of the “Hour of Code” is that everyone should have access to computer science because it nurtures problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity while also providing students with a foundation for success in any 21st Century career path. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics biennial update of employment projections, by 2020 (the year our Grade 9 students will graduate) employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22%.

img_4061xThe excerpt below from CodeRev, Inspiring Kids To Code offers some valuable insight into why students who begin programming early become so successful.

“Students who learn to program early in life gain a deeper and more complete understanding of the logic and advanced thinking behind programming. Like learning a language early in life, learning and practicing this type of thinking early in development actually influences a child’s brain as it is still developing. This is why early learners have experienced such boundless success in this field (think Gates, Zuckerberg, Jobs,…the list goes on and on). We all know the future of our world is digital…so what can be more important to a child’s future than to provide a child now with a rich foundation in these integral thinking and problem-solving skills that will be so valuable for success in his or her future world.”

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In the Junior School, Education Technology Coordinator, Tara Avenia arranged for  a variety of games and challenges that would  challenge students across the grades to problem solve and develop their own algorithms to find a solution.

  • Grade 1 students played the game Robot Turtles and used their iPads to learn code with “Code Spark Academy”
  • Grade 2 students continued on their learning journey that they began in Grade 1 with the BeeBots
  • Grade 3 students used blocks of code to make a Minecraft Game as well as to play LightBot, a game that asks players to use programming logic to solve puzzles
  • Grade 4 students used code to explore the world of “Frozen”
  • Grade 5s were challenged to design their own custom hero and play that character through a multi-level game
  • Grade 6 students worked with the program Scratch
  • Grade 7 students were challenged with METLAB where they broke problems into smaller chunks while learning basic programming along the way

hourofcode_09dec2016-1638Senior School teachers David Dallman, Noble Kelly, and David Gueulette developed a unique opportunity for our Grade 9 students to work on a challenge that incorporated music composition, new media design, and programming for the “Hour of Code.”

Students were challenged to design a “Sound Board”, an app that produced different sounds depending on what object or part of the screen was touched. Students worked in groups of three, to create, collaborate, and use computational thinking to develop an original design.

img_4067xStudents first followed two tutorials designed to teach them how to use the LiveCode Programming language, before creating their design. As a result of this process, students were exposed to what is involved in real-life app development, beyond simply writing the code itself.

While not everyone completed the challenge over the four blocks dedicated to the challenge, teachers reminded the students that it was the process and not the outcome that was critical to their learning. Students were challenged to collaborate in small cross-disciplinary teams, problem solve, and reflect on what they learned with their classmates.