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Gryphon Days Spark Creativity and Collaboration

Junior School
This year we launched Gryphon Days with our afternoon of activities rotating to be on a different day each month.

One thing that I love about our faculty at GNS is the fearless way in which they try new things and innovate in order to provide exciting and engaging opportunities for our students.

An example of this innovative spirit last year would be the introduction of Flex Thursdays. These Thursday afternoons provided a monthly opportunity for activities involving the full Junior School that allowed for integration, collaboration and community building. At the end of that year, as with any initiative, we reflected and made adjustments. 

This year we launched Gryphon Days with our afternoon of activities rotating to be on a different day each month. The focus of Gryphon Days also varies. For example, categories have included athletic connections, academic tasks and service opportunities. One of our Gryphon Days this year focused on an engineering task. Anyone visiting our school that day would have walked into a wonderfully messy, creative and innovative schoolhouse – and it was loud. Loud with communication, thinking, negotiation, collaboration and laughter. It was loud with learning. 

We have moved well beyond the days of students quietly working alone at desks. Our students were putting their IB skills to work. They were spread throughout the building working with their buddies to create something using recyclable and reusable materials. They could create anything. The only rule: no tape or glue.  

Now one might question how this would work. How would they stay engaged? What could they possibly create with such limited resources? Well, let me say this, the possibilities proved to be endless!

There were robots and houses. Doors leading to fairy worlds and homes for hamsters. There were spaceships and cars with special trailers for pets. There were fish tanks and airplanes. And the list goes on and on.

As I observed the Grade 1 and 4 buddies debriefing the afternoon and making connections to the IB Learner Profile attributes for learning, it was amazing to hear the connections they had made and the amount of learning that had taken place that afternoon with such an open-ended prompt. In fact, they were able to identify ALL of the attributes even right down to being principled because “there was not enough of certain supplies for everyone so you needed to only use your fair share.”  

I hope this example supports one of the many reasons why you choose to send your children to GNS and give them the chance to experience the power of the IB Primary Years Program. You send them to build those foundational skills which will help them be successful in both school, and in life.