Spring Write Up
Summer is finally starting to arrive and the sun and warmer weather it brings is a welcome sight. Students have just completed their second semester courses and are closing out the school year. It has been wonderful to see the students growing in their maturity as well as their academic ability in these past months.
This semester saw a return to more normalcy in that we were able to continue the many school-wide activities that we used to do before COVID-19. We were able to take a field trip to Grouse Mountain and to have a school-wide sports day at the Richmond Olympic Oval. We also were able to host our graduation ceremony on a harbour cruise ship as opposed to zoom which was a welcome blessing seeing all the graduates dressed up and sharing a meal together. Unfortunately, the weather was poor on that day but we were still able to get some nice photos near the end of the trip as it started to lighten up and the rain subsided.
A further change to the school came with the installation of a ping pong table. Since being brought to the school this semester, the table has gotten heavy use and has been used by virtually every student at the school. The school will look to bring in more items like ping pong tables to help bring students closer together.
Overall, our students were able to navigate the difficult waters of the current COVID-19 situation to further develop their academic and core competencies with impressive work. Everyone deserves to be commended for being able to succeed in these difficult times.
I wish everyone a pleasant summer break for those who are not taking summer school courses. For those who are, we will continue with school on June 29.
All the best,
Eric Di Nozzi
Below you will find updates from the Maple Hill School faculty about how the semester has progressed so far.
My personal highlights from this term include teaching new scientific concepts, motivating students to discover their limitless potential and watching them grow into better versions of themselves as the term progressed. Another memorable moment was the field trip to Grouse Mountain where students worked on their teamwork and communication skills in a scavenger hunt. The group I was leading performed exceptionally well together and we were able to complete most of the challenges presented on the mountain, earning first place in the scavenger hunt challenge! After the scavenger hunt, students attended an amazing presentation in a real longhouse presented by a First Nations member, where they got to learn more about the BC First Nations, their history, culture and way of life. Another moment I will never forget is my first graduation ceremony at Maple Hill School, watching the grade 12s walk down the aisle to receive their diploma, and the feeling of happiness for them almost brought a tear to my eyes. I wish the graduates the best of luck in their future careers, and I will miss seeing their familiar faces in my classroom.
During the Winter term, our Art and Photography students were able to exercise their Creative Thinking Core Competency by developing a wide range of projects using the skills they learned in class. For most Photography 12 students, this course was their first time using a DSLR camera, but by the end of the course, everyone knew their way around different camera modes, exposure settings, rules of composition, and even Photoshop editing techniques! Photography 12 culminated in a creative presentation that let students develop original photos inspired by prominent photographers of the 20 and 21st centuries. Art students took their artistic abilities to new levels by consciously incorporating the elements and principles of art into their work and experimenting with a variety of media. Art Studio 12 students became acquainted with art movements and prominent artists across history, creating paintings inspired by an art movement of their choice, while Art Studio 10 students explored mixing wet, dry, and paper media. Meanwhile, English and ELL students engaged their Communication and Critical Thinking skills by discussing and analyzing meaningful texts such as American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang and Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson. I’m incredibly proud of everyone’s good work this term!
It’s been a wonderful school year with all students returning to classrooms in person. Students have enjoyed the school-wide activities including the team-building event and indigenous culture immersion on Grouse Mountain, the end-of-term ping pong tournament, and many more. Academic-wise, most of our students have been demonstrating respectable work ethics in their studies of school subjects. In Math classes, students have always helped each other with course materials whenever possible. In Chemistry 12, students have picked their own research topics, including the properties of fire, water, and how certain drugs could affect human bodies. They have applied their communication skills and knowledge in natural sciences to give their peers a series of wonderful presentations. I’m very happy to witness the growth in students’ learning skills as well as personal strengths, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in the upcoming school year!
Students completed the semester by applying their knowledge of content and core competency skills in projects. A highlight of this was an Economic Theory 12 project where students were required to survive on minimum wage in the lower mainland, examining what types of government assistance were available to them in such a scenario and the importance of social safety nets.
This term in English grade 12 studied The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, about a boy who discovers his purpose in life, is the journey not the destination. We looked at a variety of short stories and poems from local and international writers. We created documentary films and created podcasts from student-led research. In ELL we designed a virtual field trip to Ottawa, complete with budgeting and itinerary’s developed by the class.
This year has come to a close and I would like to congratulate the students for successfully completing another school year. All of the students graduates need to be especially commended for the dedication they showed by completing their high school education. A standout of the year was seeing the hard work students were able to complete in their year end projects, especially in Life Science 11. Another highlight was seeing the Physical and Health Education students really embrace the fitness unit and begin to make healthy choices when it comes to exercise and diet.