We all know what overflowing looks like: The moment you are not paying attention while pouring coffee into your mug or juice into your glass. The rain comes teeming down and eavestroughs or street gutters cannot handle the load. Spring runoff from melting snow swells creeks and rivers beyond their banks. Dictionary.com provides these definitions for the verb o·ver·flowed, o·ver·flown, o·ver·flow·ing.
● to flow or run over, as rivers or water:
● to have the contents flowing over or spilling, as an overfull container:
● to pass from one place or part to another as if flowing from an overfull space:
● to be filled or supplied with in great measure
I am drawn to the last two definitions in this list when thinking about the WCS theme for this year: Overflowing with Thankfulness. God is full of grace and mercy, full of love and compassion. Many, many Bible passages tell us about the nature of God and frequently use the words, 'full', 'abounding', 'all'. Our response to Him comes from the recognition of His greatness. As we discipline ourselves to be conscious of the blessings He pours out, knowing that we are filled and supplied in great measure, those blessings can pass from us to others. Look at what God is doing in your life, in your community, and let His goodness and grace overflow through you.
C. Verbeek, Principal
Back in April of 2018, I wrote an article about Responsive Classroom. In July 2019, I went for a week long seminar to be trained in Responsive Classroom specific to teaching intermediate level students. There are many RC practices that are consistently shared between primary, junior and intermediate teaching levels. One RC practice that is distinctly different at the intermediate level is the ‘Morning Meeting’. RC practices aim to mature and progress the social, emotional and cognitive domains of a learner. The purpose of the meeting is to give students a safe place to practice positive, intentional, social interaction. The group is led to greet and converse with one another through games, prompting questions and discussions. At the intermediate level ‘morning meeting’ becomes Responsive Advisory Meeting.
RAM is altered in appropriate ways to provide a safe place for adolescents to interact with one another. 12 year olds desire to be with friends, reflect on who they are becoming, feel safer in smaller groups and are ready to take on responsibilities (Wood, 2017). At 12 years of age, students are increasingly able to plan for and organize themselves. RAMs focus on 7 areas to support social, emotional and cognitive development: student-to-student affiliation, academic readiness, advisor-advisee relationship, communication and social skills, re-engagement, reflection/recalibration and service learning (Benson et.al., 2018). The students meet, and interact, in small groups of 4-6 students. Each RAM contains a greeting time, announcements, guided interaction (skill based), an activity (skill based) and a reflection. The teacher’s ‘advisory’ role is to consistently meet with small groups, noting and encouraging positive interaction and development. The teacher also meets individually with students to discuss short, and long term goal setting, and to monitor goal attainment.
There is much evidence that RAM is having a positive effect on our grade 7 learning community. Daily, students are practising active listening and speaking/presentation skills. Students report they enjoy sharing their feelings, and knowledge, with peers in ‘safe’ small groups. Students have begun intentional short-term goal setting, developing self-regulation skills and building confidence to use and share their God given talents.
Field Studies at WCS
It is almost fall, and our out-of-school explorations are about to begin. We are excited about learning about God and his creation in our classrooms, but there is something special about getting beyond our classroom and school walls and investigating, first hand, other spaces, and other parts of creation. As parents, guardians, or grandparents, you are also invited into these learning experiences. If you have signed up as a chaperone for one of the WCS field trips, here are a few items to remember:
● Please be familiar with the WCS Code of Conduct as this applies to all of the adults who interact with our students.
● Be punctual both with school departure times and arranged meeting times at the venue
● Use your cell phone/device to snap a few photos, but keep your attention on the students, rather than your screen.
● Be conscientious about sharing photos. Some of our students are on the 'do not photograph' list.
● Make sure your police check is current. Check in with the office if you are unsure.
● Be amazed at what God has done. Have fun and learn along with the students!
C. Verbeek, Principal
60 years today! Did you know that on September 9, 1959, exactly 60 years ago today, our school opened its doors for the first time. More then 90 children attended school on the first day and 3 teachers were hired. Tuition was set at $4.00 per week and Mr. deGraaf was hired to drive students to school in his bread truck. It’s amazing to see how much change has transpired in the last 60 years and we are "Overflowing with Thankfulness" that this all happened. There is so much history that comes from this school and we are excited to share our school's history with you throughout this school year. Looking back at the last 60 years it is amazing to see how God has blessed our school over and over again. Joleen Mulder
It’s a brand new year and it’s our 60th year of Christian education in Oxford County! Welcome back to school families, students, and staff. A special welcome to our new students and staff. This morning, we were blessed to spend some time together as WCS community in our New School Year Chapel. We were welcomed parents, relatives, friends, and neighbours. We are happy to have your support and share your excitement for another school year. We are welcoming many new students and some new staff this year. Welcome to Mrs. Rebecca Dam in grade 6 and welcome back to Mrs. Jessica VanLeeuwen as an educational assistant in JK. At our opening assembly this morning, we welcomed so many new students to Woodstock Christian School! We hope you will soon feel ‘at home’ in this community.
This summer, five classrooms were painted, repairs were made, and a new Movement Maze was added to the east-west hall. Take a stroll through the school and check out it out. Better yet, try it out! We are so blessed to have three kindergarten classes again this year. The excitement and energy in our kindergarten/primary wing is tremendous! We praise God for a new year and new beginnings! I am excited to explore our new theme: OVERFLOWING WITH THANKFULNESS. Stay tuned for future chapels, assemblies, and editorials exploring how we can live for God and respond to his great love for us. Blessings for the new school year.