800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492


November 2021

Read With Them


One of the best ways to encourage your child in their learning is to read with them. It is amazing how much children know about language before they even learn to read. From the moment they are born, kids are exposed to all kinds of spoken language that helps them understand and make connections to written language years later. All that language—spoken to them, sung to them, read to them—becomes deposits in their language bank that they can use as they grow. Reading leads to language comprehension.

What is language comprehension?

Language comprehension is the ability to understand the different elements of spoken or written language, like the meaning of words and how words are put together to form sentences. Language comprehension is one of the building blocks of reading comprehension.

Why is language comprehension important for reading?

Imagine that a child’s language bank is full of vocabulary, knowledge of how words make sentences, and information about the world. When the child begins to read, they will be better able to connect the words on the page to all these things. 

When do kids start developing language comprehension?

From birth to about age 6, children are considered pre-readers. They are learning sounds, letters, words, phrases, and what all those things mean. They begin to learn about books, too: how to hold one the right way and how to turn the pages. They go places with adults and experience new things. Even commonplace things, such as shopping or taking the bus, provide new experiences for children, especially if the adults talk with the children about what is going on. For example, talking about what you have to do to take the bus, the colors of the packages at the store, or how you pay for something provides new information for children to deposit in their language bank.

Stay tuned for more ways you can support your child’s reading and learning. Carol Verbeek, Principal

Source: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2021/all-about-language-comprehension
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Last week Thursday, November 11, the grade 4 and 7 class attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at Victoria Park in Woodstock. We were thankful that students were able to witness and learn about the ceremony held there. Students asked, "What is a Cenotaph?" Good question. It is a monument to someone buried elsewhere, especially one commemorating people who died in a war. It is important to educate our students about the history of Remembrance Day and why we need to commemorate each year. It was very moving to see a 99 year old sergeant from World War 2 lay a wreath at the cenotaph. Even though our students may never really be able to understand the sacrifice these men and women gave for our freedom, we will continue to teach our students through stories, chapels, and attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in the community. 

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Thursday and Friday last week provided the annual late-October long weekend for our WCS families and provided spiritual and professional refreshment and growth for our staff team. The Edvance Annual Gathering was live-streamed to our staff gathered in the gym at WCS. The theme this year was Education as Hospitality. Thursday’s lecture and discussions began with looking at scripture in order to understand how hospitality is woven into the biblical command to love and care for one another. Hebrews 13:1-2 tells us: “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” A key concept communicated by Dr. David Smith was, “If a school is a hospitable space, it will serve as a home that introduces students to a tradition of knowledge, creates a safe space in which they are shaped by constructive practices, and makes room for students to move in new directions and begin to tell their own story.” 

As we see considerable tension and ‘taking sides’ in our world currently, it is more important than ever to find and share our common story, to bring people in, to build trust, to serve each other with justice and mercy. 

I wonder if we as parents and school partners are raising children/students who are aware of their stories and are committed to caring for others. Do your children know your family’s story? Do they know their faith story? How are they growing and expanding their circles of interest and contact? Are they demonstrating care for and interest in the stories of others? It starts with love for others. Galatians 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” My prayer is that WCS and our families reflect the abundance of love, honour and grace that God has given us, and that our lives and actions are characterized by generosity and hospitality.

                                                                                                                                 Carol Verbeek, Principal

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