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HeadStart 2019

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Over the first weekend before school, a group of our new international students travelled up to Mount Washington with the HeadStart program to enjoy the last of the Canadian summer. The HeadStart Program introduces new international students to life at Glenlyon Norfolk School. It offers a comprehensive understanding of the school’s culture, the International Baccalaureate program and what to expect as the newest members of our unique and vibrant community. This year, GNS staff decided to go on a trip with HeadStart, in order to give the kids the opportunity to bond and form good relationships with GNS staff and students before classes start. “We wanted our newest students to feel that they already had some strong connections before their first day of school,” says Family Boarding Coordinator Alyssa Byrne. “The trip was a way for our students to develop confidence, lifelong friendships and a support network.” The group arrived to the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre, got changed into hiking gear and climbed to the summit of the ski resort. They took in some views until reaching the clouds at the summit where they hitched a ride on the Eagle Chair down. There was movie time, chill time, and various games in the lodge—charades, twister, cards, and other icebreakers! Students also played disc golf and went on an outdoor scavenger hunt. During the trip, students worked in four teams (Blue, White, Black and Green) to prepare meals for the rest of the crew. They cooked a spaghetti dinner, pancakes and sausages, and prepared a sandwich buffet. This gave them a chance to sharpen their culinary skills and learn how to make a few simple and nutritious meals. They also got a visit from an instructor who led a food safety workshop where the students learned how to safely handle and prepare food. Some other highlights were a scenic walk in Paradise Meadows and a birthday celebration with singing in many different languages. On the way to the mountain the group stopped for lunch at Transfer Beach, and on the way home stopped in at Oyster Bay Marina to enjoy lunch on the dock. Each team earned points throughout the weekend, and the White team ended up taking top prize, winning a gift basket full of chocolate to share. Overall, the weekend was a huge success—the students learned about life in Canada and our staff hopes it will be the start of a long tradition.