Aberdeen Hall connects
Sponsored Content - May 15, 2022 - Think Local

Photo: contributed
Students build relationships across grades through the “buddy” program where younger students are connected with an older buddy.

By Casey Turnpenny and  Laura Hazeldine

Blossoms returning, lighter evenings and warm afternoon rays of sunshine inviting us to come and play. Spring has arrived in the Okanagan, and with it, renewed opportunities to come together again to create new shared experiences and memories.

At Aberdeen Hall, the hallways and classrooms are abuzz with excitement about reconnecting with peers, teachers and fellow community members.

As the world opens up, here are some of the fantastic ways our students have been building relationships and connecting in the Junior School at Aberdeen Hall.

Kindergarten 

In Kindergarten, well-loved practices, such as “Show and Share,” offer a chance for children to share a part of their lives outside of school with each other, while also practicing their public speaking skills. “Forest School” and free play centres provide students the time to connect freely with a variety of different peers and teachers, as well as direct their own relationships and share in each others’ interests.

Grade 1

Every Thursday, our Grade 1 students partake in a guided gratitude meditation for “Thankful Thursdays.” This time allows them to think about who and what they are grateful for that particular week. Then they write a thank-you letter to the friend, teacher or family member who has filled their bucket. This activity provides students with the opportunity to foster meaningful and positive relationships with their peers and the adults within their grade.

Photo: contributed
Aberdeen Hall students often take learning outdoors. Some grades partake in weekly structured programming called “Forest School” while others enjoy regular class lessons outdside when weather permits.

Grade 2

Grade 2 children participate in “Excite and Writes.” During these activities, students write about a variety of topics, including fictional journeys and adventures. They have a set amount of time to produce their ideas, after which they share their stories with students in other classes. Through sharing, they develop confidence and connect with their peers.

Grade 3

During an activity we call “Golden Time,” Grade 3 learners explore their creativity. They have the freedom to choose their own adventure, from making unique pieces out of found materials to engaging in imaginary plays with pretend scenarios, they collaborate with their peers to create whatever their heart desires. The only limitation is no technology.

Grade 4

A few times every month, our Grade 4 students participate in team-building games that foster communication, connection and collaborative thinking. Teachers also engage students in both planned and unplanned class discussions. These can help build community by sharing successes, having meaningful conversations, and supporting one another.

Grade 5

Each Wednesday morning, before class begins, rain or shine, all the Grade 5 students enjoy fresh air and quality time spent with their peers and teachers during their “Wednesday Walk.” ​​The students really look forward to this weekly change in routine and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity for a breath of fresh air in the morning and the chance to spend this special time together.

Students also have many opportunities to foster and build meaningful relationships through the Grade 5 Leadership team (open to all students), House Team Captain program and a variety of other endeavours where students can assist their school community.

Connections with self and with class peers are integral parts of our Junior School programming. Building positive relationships across the grades are also supported through whole-school events, such as Healthiest Month Ever and Kindness Week. In these moments, our students come together to celebrate self, celebrate one another and celebrate our school community as a team.

Additionally, every student in the Junior School has a “buddy” from a different grade, where they can practice communication skills, share their interests and take part in arts activities and sporting events.

Connections in the Junior School are often the foundation for building relationships and friendships that continue for many years to come.

Let’s keep connecting. It strengthens us as people and as a community, every single day.

Casey Turnpenny is the Junior School principal and Laura Hazeldine is the Junior School vice-principal at Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School.

Photo: contributed
Aberdeen Hall Grade 5 house team captains show off their school spirit by wearing their house team colours.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.


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