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Students Enjoy Life Outside the Classroom

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Students can still expect a wide array of co-curricular activities at the Pemberton Woods campus this year. Many of the activities have been adapted, physical distancing measures are being taken, and learning groups are separate.  “We knew how important it would be to make sure the kids can do as many co-curriculars as our restrictions would let us,” said Ms. Ali Doerksen, Co-Director of Athletics. “It’s such a key part of the school keeping kids physically active; also, for new kids and being able to establish themselves as part of the community.”  Students have the choice to take part in many activities including soccer, field hockey, art club, choir, debate and more.  Co-curriculars started a bit later than usual, but that was to allow staff to determine how to run them safely following our current COVID-19 protocols .Ms. Doerksen added that nearly everything that was offered in the past is on the table again, plus some new clubs.  GNS is in a unique situation. As a smaller community with fewer learning groups, it is easier to maintain our tradition of having a variety of co-curriculars. In other situations, there are limitations on what can be offered because of the large number of cohorts.  The biggest difference under the current health restrictions is with athletics. With no inter-school competition allowed, coaches and students are focussing on skill development. “This will likely be the structure for the foreseeable future,” said Mr. Duncan Brice, Co-Director of Athletics. “Some kind of sudden change to more competitive competitions amongst schools is a ways away.”  Having no competitive teams this year is encouraging some students to try new sports, or to train in a sport they have been interested in but didn’t have time for in the past.  Many co-curriculars in the Middle School happen at lunch and this has encouraged students to sign up, especially on wetter and colder days.  The non-athletic co-curriculars are starting up as well, with many having different meetings/times for each learning group. Teachers and Staff have had to work hard to figure out how many learning groups they can accommodate in each meeting and what space they can safely meet in. Some have moved from meeting once a week to twice a week to accommodate all the students who have expressed interest. Some co-curricular sponsors have also decided to work with different learning groups in different terms, where each group will get more focus in a condensed period of time.  “Although some of these decisions have been made because of COVID-19, I think some of those rotations might end up sticking,” said Ms. Doerksen.  There is still time to sign up for co-curriculars at the Pemberton Woods campus. The current athletic programs will run until the November break. Refer to the PW Co-Curriculars Fall 2020 guide for more information.