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Paddington and the Magic of Middle School

Middle School
Post-it Notes gathered during the parent info session

“A wise bear always keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat, in case of emergency.”
~ Paddington Bear

This past Wednesday evening, we were pleased to welcome students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 to Denford Hall for a special showing of Paddington. It was great to see the excitement on the students’ faces as they arrived, found seats with their friends, and settled into the comfort of our amazing theatre. Our fantastic Senior School student leaders kicked things off with the school land acknowledgement and a review of some of the do’s and don’ts for audience members, and with a promise of a delicious treat after the movie, the lights dimmed and Paddington began.

As students were transported via the big screen to the London Underground, parents headed to the Dining Hall to get a sneak preview of what life is like in Middle School. We had a chance to briefly share some of the themes from our recent book club, focused on Finding the Magic in Middle School by Chris Balme, looked at co-curricular clubs and athletics, and heard from Ms. Gina Simpson about the benefits of the IB Middle Years Programme, which runs from Grade 6 through 10 at GNS. Then, it was time to put the parents to work! 

Armed with Sharpies and Post-it notes, we gathered feedback, questions and potential concerns about the transition to Middle School that helped guide a hopefully helpful Q&A session. I look forward to spending some time over the break digging into the themes and ideas shared on the hundreds of Post-it Notes that we weren’t able to get to during Wednesday’s session to see how we can use this important data to inform our decision-making and communication moving forward. If you are interested in checking out the slide deck, please follow this link.

Parents on the Gallery Walk

At the conclusion of our Q&A, we headed up to the stage of Denford Hall; parents collected their children, the students collected their delicious cookies prepared by Chef Leon, and everyone headed home for the night. A huge thank you goes out to our Senior School Leaders, Yi, Analee and Delaney for their help in making this event such a success, and to all the parents who were able to make it out for their engagement and participation.

It was such a treat to welcome students and families from the Beach to the PW campus along with our Grade 6 students and their families. Looking ahead, we are planning student-led family tours of the PW Campus for Grade 5 families in late January and early February. Stay tuned for more details to come in the new year!

Russ Marston is our Middle School Principal.