WCS Blog

800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492

     

Faith...Learning...Community

Faith...Learning...Community
 
Experiencing healthy relationships are a vital component of our spiritual, emotional and cognitive growth. From the beginning of God’s story in Genesis, He placed us in relationship with Him and one another. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we are sought by God to live a life obedient to Him and in servanthood to one another. As believers, our greatest commandment is found in Matthew 22:37-40, “ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Responsive Classroom is an educational approach that offers a framework for students to flourish in their school environment. Engaging academics, positive community, effective management and developmental awareness are the foci of a responsive classroom. To build positive community, students are led by the teacher to know one another as individuals in regards to talents, interests and beliefs. During adolescence, relationships are of great importance. Relationships influence an individual’s  choices, attitude and participation in community. Colossians 3:12-13 states, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” To ‘bear with each other’ implies relationship.
At WCS, community is a vital component of our spiritual, emotional and cognitive growth. Students experience positive growth and development in an environment that offers opportunity for safe, respectful and honouring relationships. In grade 7, we have made a deliberate attempt through our words, actions and choices to build a community that allows this type of relationship to form. We begin our day greeting each other. Each day I am amazed at the smile that is formed on a student’s face because their name was used and eye contact was made. We listen, we share, we help, we participate, we admonish, we forgive, we try and try again and together we grow.
 
L. Racicot
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As final preparations are coming together for one of the longest running fundraisers that Woodstock Christian School hosts (has been running for over 50 years!!), we are in awe of the small army that is coming together to celebrate this community and raise funds for a cause that we are passionate about – being a light in the community and providing quality Christian education for our children. Whether it is the teachers offering their Saturday to cook pancakes, farmers donating extra to provide a building, parents coming together volunteering with the Kidzone or Kitchen, alumni donating items for the silent auction, and vendors coming to display their goods, we are in awe. We are proud to be a part of this body. It reminds us of 1 Corinthians 12:12 – “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”

It is our hope that you will come and experience this event, whether by coming as a family and experiencing all there is to be had, or by giving of your talents in whatever way you can; we are excited to have you. Our experience whenever we have given of our time and efforts to a great cause, we have ended up receiving immeasurably more than given.

Blessed to be a part of this community,

Pauline Markus and Heather DeBoer Springfest Committee Co-Chairs

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Setting Goals

Setting Goals
 
As we enter into term three at Woodstock Christian School, the grade 8 students have all set SMART Goals to help monitor their growth in learning. In the week before March Break, the class discussed and collaborated to develop a ‘Goal Bank’. These were a few ideas which acted as a springboard for students to use as a starting point in setting their own personal goals for this term. The word SMART is actually an acronym that we use to help work through the process of goal setting. The acronym stands for the following:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Action-Oriented
R - Realistic
T - Timely
It is important when setting a goal that students have an opportunity to reflect on the process of meeting their goal throughout the term. In our classroom, we have regular conferences with peers as well as with the classroom teacher to monitor progress on goals that have been set and to hold each other accountable to the goals as well.
This term we have actually created a class-wide goal as well, which I am really excited about. We discussed in class that it is easy to move into coasting mode during term three, especially in Grade 8, when graduation is just around to corner. As a class we all agreed that the class-wide goal for term three is going to be: “We can maintain a strong learning environment.” We will have this goal posted in our classroom and it will act as a constant reminder that we are going to strive to finish this school year well.
The purpose of goal-setting in grade 8, is to begin to help students understand that when they set a goal, it can be accomplished and we can celebrate the success of achieving our goals. As I write this I am reminded again of our school theme from Hebrews 12:1, 2; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
We are all running a race that is marked out for us and this takes perseverance, setting goals helps us persevere when it gets hard. When we have goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely they help us live our lives with purpose.  
Mr. T. Schaafsma, Grade 8 Teacher
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Masterpiece

Each WCS student from Grades Four through Eight is given an agenda at the beginning of the school year. Sometimes it is so tattered and worn within months that we fail to see the Bible verses and messages of hope on the actual pages. At the beginning of January I found it very fitting that the first reminder for the new year is this question: “Do you ever think of yourself as a masterpiece?”  The adjoining message goes on to say that “You are not a product of chance. In fact, just the opposite is true.  You were created by a loving God who knows you and loves you and has a plan for your life!”  (p.60) Sometimes words have more effect on us than at other times. We and our children also hear the many alternate views which our society throws at us all of the time. That is why when a book or movie comes out that mirrors our view of how special each person is, it is a cause for celebration. It is a cause for celebration when 94% of google users who cared to be put in a review for the movie say that it is great and/or excellent! The movie, based on the book Wonder, tells us of an inspiring story of a boy named August Pullman, who has facial deformities and is now attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. The messages about kindness, friendship, and acceptance are so refreshing and life changing. I encourage you to read the book and/or see the movie! God gives us gifts of love in many places. And we can learn from them!

-Mrs. Dieleman, WCS Librarian

 

 

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WCS Student Perspective

My name is Christi and I am a grade 8 student at Woodstock Christian School.  I have had many great experiences at WCS and have grown in my faith significantly during my time here.  I have been attending Woodstock Christian School since junior kindergarten and I will forever cherish my time I have spent here. I have seen God working in the school community and have seen the students here grow in their faith. There have been bumps along the road, but overall Woodstock Christian School has been an amazing experience.  

The people I have met during my time at WCS have played a huge role in who I am today. The staff here are very supportive of whatever sports team I’m on, which subjects I need extra help in, and care what is going on in my life at home and at school. They have really shown me how to be a good example to the younger students and have been great role models of the Christian faith. My classmates have also played a huge role in who I am and how I behave. Most of them have been with me since kindergarten and will be graduating with me later on this year. We have definitely gotten closer as a class and we have all learned to accept each other for who we are. As a class we go through the good and the bad together and are there for each other when we need help. Last year we did girls and boys Phys Ed separated along with last year’s grade 8 class. I got to make friends from other grades I never thought I would have. It was a great experience and I still keep in touch with them even though they are now in high school. The friends I have made at WCS have stuck with me no matter what I am going through. I have been friends with some of them for up to 5 years and they have never left my side. I think that is one thing that is a benefit of having smaller classes, we get to know each other well and spend all our time at WCS together. The people I have met here at Woodstock Christian School have really shaped who I am and have influenced me positively over the years. 

Another thing that I really appreciate at WCS is the after school activities. I really enjoy playing sports and participating in school wide events. Some teams I have joined are the volleyball, basketball, soccer, and badminton team. All the coaches I have had have made me a much better player. I have grown in skill and have been a much better teammate than I used to be. The coaches really emphasize the idea of teamwork and playing a positive and clean game. Another thing they really emphasize is playing the game not only for enjoyment but for the glory of God. I really love participating and representing Woodstock Christian School at the events.  

Every year I have been attending WCS, there has always been something different than the year before. Last year in grade 7, we did classroom meals where we got to make a meal and sit down together and enjoy it. This year we have been doing more group projects. Whether they are plays, presentations, or just group work, I find that they are much more enjoyable when we work as a team to get the project done. Each year there is something new and exciting and that is something I will miss about WCS.  

After 10 years with my class, this is the year we graduate. So far this year we have gone on a retreat, had fundraisers, visited Caressant Care, and have started preparing for our graduation. At the retreat we sang worship songs, played games, and had snacks. Overall it was a great experience and was really fun. Going to Caressant Care is something I look forward to every month. I love spending time with the seniors there and playing games with them. We have also been preparing for our graduation. We are brainstorming ideas in art class and ideas for our yearbook. Planning for graduation and preparing for high school has definitely brought our class together and made us a closer community. 

My time here at WCS has been an unforgettable experience and I have really enjoyed attending here. The people and friends I have met here are fun, unique, and accepting. I really have grown in my faith and I know attending here has played a big part in that. I remember when I was in the younger grades looking at what the grade 8’s were learning and thought I would never get there, but with the help I have received and the support I have gotten, I did get there. The community I have realized is easy to make new friends in no matter how old or young they are. I’ve been at WCS for a long time and it will be hard to leave this place.

-Christi, Grade 8

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Science Fair

Science Learning

Science Fair projects have been a part of the learning culture at WCS for many years. What makes a science fair project such a great learning experience is that it involves so much more than just science? Communication is a key component as students need to be able to articulate their process, goals and findings clearly. Other aspects that tie into the process of creating a science fair project that connect to learning goals for students include writing the research report, researching topics on the internet, conducting experiments using precise skills, and learning about plagiarism. Students are asked to discuss their projects and to relate the learning process to an authentic audience of fellow classmates, teachers, judges, and members of the community who attend the Open House. Of course, the scientific method of learning is at the heart of any science fair project. Science fairs are a great way for students to recognize what is going on in creation—the forces and processes that are at work all around them—and to inspire the desire to understand more about the world that God created. Preparing a science fair project is an excellent example of a hands-on, inquiry-based learning approach that allows students to ask questions and then to explore the answers. It starts already in their earliest learning years! When we provide the opportunity for students to learn this way, we are allowing them to wonder about things and then encouraging them to explore, to research, and to communicate to others what they’ve learned. Come wonder with us!

-Carol Verbeek, Principal 

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Pancake Breakfast

Our annual pancake breakfast at WCS helps support our neighbours around the world. This year, breakfast money is designated for Edu-Deo Ministries. Here is the logo for Edu-Deo. Look carefully and you will see a book, a butterfly, and the fish symbol through the centre of the design. This logo represents the transformative power of Christian education. Edu-Deo Ministries (formerly Worldwide Christian Schools) is a Canadian, Christian, mission organization serving children in developing countries with quality education rooted in a Biblical worldview. Education is one of the most powerful tools for reducing poverty. Edu-Deo Ministries promotes sustainable schools by partnering long-term with existing school associations and mission organizations. Their goal is to take the effective tool of education and combine it with the transforming message of the Gospel. Woodstock Christian School, on Wednesday, get comfy, get ready for pancakes, and help us support Edu-Deo! For more information see https://edudeo.com/

 

 

C. Verbeek
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Talking to Yourself

Talking to Yourself

 

How inspiring listening to Olympian marathon runner Krista DuChene talk last Thursday about her blessings and trials.  She shared stories of both exciting highs and disappointing lows in her bid to win a spot on the 2016 Olympic team.  Every success was given back to God; challenges and failures were opportunities to lean on God.  Through it all, Mrs. DuChene intentionally told herself positive messages including:

I will choose joy.

I will be thankful.

God’s plan is better than mine.

This made me reflect on the messages we play in our minds all day long.  Sometimes these are negative messages which fuel feelings of helplessness, anger, resentment, and despair.  I sometimes hear students verbalize their internal dialogue.  Just in the past week, I have heard students say things like:

I don’t have friends.

I can’t do this.

I’m not good at math.

When I hear these types of messages, I encourage students to add a small but powerful three letter word to the end of their sentences…YET.  “Yet” has the potential to change a fixed mindset into a hope-filled growth mindset.  Students with a growth mindset expect their abilities will improve with practice. 

As teachers, we are intentional about helping students persevere through difficulties and embrace challenges.  God has not promised us that we will never experience hard times, but he has promised to be faithful and to never leave us.  By telling ourselves truths like Mrs. DuChene does, we too can reprogram our minds and become resilient, hopeful, lifelong learners who give God all the glory.

Tracy Bulthuis, Learning Support Teacher 

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SNOW DAY. BUSES CANCELLED FEBRUARY 9. Due to weather advisory for heavy snow, buses are cancelled for today. WCS is closed.

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Olympics: Running the Race

Olympics: Running the Race

 

 

 
Our key Bible chapters for our school theme this year, Faith in Action: Heroes for God, are Hebrews chapters 11 & 12. Chapter 11 lists out the heroes and how they are commended for their faith, while chapter 12 provides encouragements and warnings, reminding us that we are part of God's story, part of the time-line from the creation of the world to the time when Jesus comes again; part of that "great cloud of witnesses" who can tell of the wonders God has done and is doing. Verses one and two read: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV). The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we are in training, we may endure pain and obstacles, but to be encouraged, as those are all part of the training and learning process.
I can't help but think of Hebrews 2 as the Winter Olympics approach. I love the Olympic games (despite the politics) and am amazed each time by the athletes' perseverance, determination, and skill. This week, we are blessed to have Krista DuChene, an Olympic marathon runner, come to Woodstock Christian School to speak to our students about her experiences as a Christian, a Christian athlete, and as an Olympian. Check out Krista's story: https://olympic.ca/team-canada/krista-duchene/ or  http://www.runottawa.ca/running-talk-canadian-marathoner-krista-duchene-2.
Another ordinary hero - doing extraordinary things. Krista is using the gifts with which God has gifted her, sharing her faith, sharing her story. Krista will be with us on Thursday, February 8th at 10am (JK-3) and 1030am (4-8).
C. Verbeek, Principal
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Beauty in our surroundings

I love beautiful things. An unusual line of poetry, the brilliant colours of the sunset on my way home from school or the palest pinks of the sunrise that turn into bold ambers. The most beautiful of all are voices of children and their joyful radiance in song. As you look out of your window wherever that may be, look for the beauty and the colours of joy!

Elizabeth Martin, Music                 

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Grow in Faith

Growing in Faith   

One of our guiding documents at Woodstock Christian School is the  Student Character Profile. This document was developed a few years ago with considerable input from the teaching staff and information from the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools, as well as partner schools in the OACS family. Our desire was to articulate more full the words in our tagline - FAITH, LEARNING, COMMUNITY.  Currently, as we are engaged in developing a strategic plan for Woodstock Christian School, we are reviewing some of our essential documents. Here is the first part of the Student Character Profile. In future weeks, look for the rest of the document - the “grow in learning” and “grow in community” components. As we partner with you in your child’s education, join us in praying for and cultivating these key characteristics and skills.

-Carol Verbeek, Principal

      WCS strives to prepare students who:

Grow in

faith

• live their lives in thankfulness to God, praising and serving him

• possess a deep understanding of God’s grace and a sense of humility about self

• can articulate that God created them uniquely as his image-bearers, that God loves them, and has called them serve in this world

• think critically, test the spirits of this age, and show thoughtful discernment

• share their conviction that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world and that God the Father is the creator and keeper of all

• have a sense of wonder for the fallen but beautiful creation

• show basic Biblical literacy, cultivate a Christian worldview that combines intellectual understanding of God’s call on their life with the awareness of the need for action through the prompting of the Holy Spirit

 

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