Marine Biology and Philanthropy: A Visit to the Vancouver Aquarium

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Grade 4 students headed across the water this week for a memorable visit to the Vancouver Aquarium.

This field trip was more than just a great way to cap off in-class lessons on creatures living in the Salish Sea, it was also a chance for the students to present a big cheque to Aquarium staff. This was money the students raised in the fall from a book sale they launched after learning about issues affecting killer whales, and money they wanted to donate specifically to the Aquarium’s rehabilitation and Adopt A Killer Whale programs.

“It’s generosity like this that inspires the staff and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. Not only did the students make the trip to visit us, they went above and beyond to donate back to the Aquarium and make an impact,” says Fergal Dempsey, Manager of Annual Giving at the Vancouver Aquarium. “The money raised will help to fund the rehabilitation of the rescued false killer whale, Chester. It will also allow us to adopt two killer whales through our Killer Whale Adoption Program, and continue our research on the wild B.C. killer whale populations. We can’t thank the students enough for their support.”

During their visit, the students toured the Aquarium while learning a lot about the fish and mammals that live in our waters. They also got to learn about Chester, the rescued false killer whale, by meeting with Dr. Martin Haulena (or Dr. Marty), the Aquarium’s head veterinarian.

Student Reflections

“It was amazing to see how hard Dr. Marty and all the veterinarians work to get the animals healthy, and how they get them healthy, and all the tests that they do. It was also pretty amazing because we got to see the two sea lions that were rescued a couple days ago. What I learned about myself is that I’m fascinated by how animals are rescued and how they drive them to the Marine Mammal Center. I definitely was inspired by Dr. Marty. He knows so much about animals and can help them, but he also has feelings for the animals. Dr. Marty has inspired me to learn and to help animals to get inside their shoes and know how they feel.” – by Makena

“My favourite part of the visit to the Vancouver Aquarium was seeing the dolphin show because I loved how synchronized they were and how they could understand the trainers by the trainers just waving their hands. Also, at the dolphin show I learned that to keep a healthy diet, dolphins eat the equivalent of 50 cheeseburgers a day! I also like seeing the dolphins just have fun playing around in the water. I also learned how much a donation can help charities for animals/people/wildlife in need.” – by Ryan

“I learned that I like sea animals because they have a world below us, some farther than ever explored. I think differently about whales after seeing the video about Chester’s rehabilitation and seeing what he had to go through and how hard it was for him just being a baby whale. I was thinking, ‘How could a whale taken from his mother so early be so happy now?’ Raising money for Chester made me feel really nice inside, especially after seeing what he went through and how we helped him.” – by Audrey

“I loved the dolphin show. It was amazing what those dolphins could do; they could jump almost two meters into the air! I learned how amazing the people that work at the aquarium are, and how they help the animals that have been hurt or are sick recover and get better. And I learned how smart the animals are that live there and how they learn so quickly to do amazing things. I also learned how hard the people work and how passionate they are for the animals.” – by Jonah

“What I learned about myself during the visit to the Vancouver Aquarium is that I might like to be a marine biologist because when I saw the video that Dr. Marty put together for us with how they took care of Chester, I wanted to help. One thing that I learned at the Vancouver Aquarium is how hard the staff work to rehabilitate the animals that are injured. This is important to me because now I know how carefully they treat the animals that are injured.” – by Samantha

See more photos of the Grade 4 field trip to the Vancouver Aquarium at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

(photos by Gordon Chan)

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Middle School is Off to See the Wizard

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Follow the yellow brick road from the Middle School and it’ll lead you on stage at the McPherson Playhouse, where in just over a month our students will stage The Wizard of Oz musical.

Since auditions in the fall, students, staff and many wonderful volunteers have been working tirelessly on perfecting the acting, singing, music, dancing, costumes and sets.

As we approach the performances (March 5-7), the SMUS Review will highlight a few of the talented young actors, singers and dancers who will be onstage when the curtains rise. This week, we sit down for a Q&A with the students who’ll play Dorothy (Diya), the Scarecrow (Duke), the Cowardly Lion (Lucas), and the Tin Man (Connor).

What is The Wizard of Oz about?
Diya – Well, it’s a story about a girl who, her only friend is a dog, and she learns that you shouldn’t take things for granted.
Connor – And that you shouldn’t run away from home when people love you.

Why did you want to be a part of The Wizard of Oz?
Diya – I love acting; I want to be an actor when I’m older. And my mom’s a singer, so I love to sing. And I love plays, so I try out for a lot of plays.
Duke – I’m new to the school, and at my old school there were no choir classes or things like this. Anything that involves performing I just love because I love to show how I do things in front of people to make them laugh, because it’s really fun. I saw the movie like 10 years ago, and I loved the Scarecrow before I even got the part. I think I play his role perfectly; the ‘without a brain’ part.
Lucas –
 I like performing in front of people. I like singing and acting, so I just though it was a good fit for me. I also like The Wizard of Oz movie.
Connor – I enjoy performing in front of people, too, and speaking in front of people, and I’ve never really had this kind of experience doing a show in front of people, other than Annie in Grade 6. I want to do as much as I can and get into as many leadership or different roles to help out around St. Michaels. And I feel like I fell right into the perfect role as Tin Man.

How would you describe your character?
Diya – Dorothy’s a brat, and she’s kind of a cry baby. She shows her emotions a lot and I think she’s very innocent. And she acts before thinking a lot.
Duke – The Scarecrow’s very excited all the time, but he doesn’t know what he’s doing half the time because his joints are messed up and a lot of the time he’s falling. Sometimes the acting part is really challenging so you’re not just standing doing nothing when you’ve got nothing to say; I have to find the perfect thing for the Scarecrow to do based on who he is.
Lucas – I really like the Lion’s personality because he has three personalities. His uncertainty personality, he doesn’t know what’s going on; his tough personality; and then his scared personality. He’s also really sweet, too. He likes to help, and he wants to be friends with everybody. But he’s also very sad.
Connor – The Tin Man, he really has nothing to do in life. He has friends when he meets Dorothy and the Scarecrow, and then when he meets the Lion, and it gives him something to do for the day. But he doesn’t have much meaning to his life.

What has the experience been like so far?
Diya – It’s been amazing. I love plays. It’s the best when you get to mingle with the cast members, but sometimes the dance rehearsals get really tiring.
Duke – I love that if I wasn’t in this musical I would barely know you guys. We’ve had a lot of fun together.
Lucas –
 I really like it. It’s been a lot of fun, but pretty busy because I also do a lot of sports.
Connor – It’s been an awesome experience so far; it’s always fun making new friends and getting to know everybody really well. But, like Lucas, it’s a big, big, huge time commitment for me because of the sports I’m committed to, but doing The Wizard of Oz has been worth it.

What’s your favourite scene?
Diya – I like the monkey scene, when they take me away. Two people have to fly away with me, but they just kind of drag me. And I like the poppy scene because the sets and the costumes are amzing!
Duke – I like the Lion’s scene, because I like listening to other people sing; I like hearing Lucas sing.
Lucas –
 My favourite scene is when I have my second solo, If I Were King. You know the one? “If I, were king, of the forrrrrrreeeesst!”
Connor – My favourite scene is my first Tin Man scene where I do my solo. I like the scene because the dancing is cool.

Why should people come see The Wizard of Oz?
Diya – It’s really entertaining; non-stop laughter. It’s like a page-turner for a musical. The costumes are cool, and everyone’s put a lot of work into it.
Duke – Because it’s a funny play.
Lucas –
 It’s going to be a really good time, and you’ll have so many laughs. And, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but there’s going to be technology involved, too, which is going to give people a really big scare.
Connor – Because it’s going to be an awesome experience; everyone’s going to have such a good time, and all the work everyone’s put into it will really show up when we present it.

Tickets for the show aren’t on sale yet, but stay tuned to the SMUS Review blog in the coming weeks for ticket information.

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Squashing the Competition: A Mid-Season Review

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by Chris Hanebury, coach

The 2014-15 SMUS squash season started with a number of amazing results. In November, four members of the team traveled to Yale University to watch the Ivy League Scrimmages. Hedvika Suchankova, Madison Liew, Robert Fisher and Euan Hannigan were able to witness the top collegiate squash players and explore the breathtaking Yale campus. Many of our squash team alumni have gone on to compete at American universities and this trip gave some of our top players the opportunity to see what their future squash and academic careers could look like.

Leading the way, once again thus far, is Grade 11 student Grace Thomas. Grace began the year finishing second at the Shawnigan Lake Tournament, first at the Alberta Jesters, third at the Canadian Junior Open and also recently won the BC Junior Open. Grace will also represent Team BC at the Canada Winter Games next month. Hedvika joined the team from the Czech Republic and has also had some fine results. She finished third at the Shawnigan Lake tournament and at the BC Junior Closed Championships. Madison Liew moved up age categories this season, but has also had some impressive results, including a second-place finish at the BC Junior Open; while Senior Uma Hallea had a good start to her season, as she won the Shawnigan Lake silver event.

On the boys’ side of things, new team member and Grade 9 student Nathan Von Hagen has enjoyed the most success. Nathan won the silver division at the Shawnigan Lake tournament, finished third at the Alberta Jesters and second at the BC Junior Open. Euan has improved steadily throughout the year and displayed his fine form by having two good wins at the Canadian Junior Open to reach the Round of 16. Jason Yoo has had another strong year to date. He finished third at the Evergreen Junior Open, third at the Alberta Jesters and fifth at the BC Junior Open. Lucas Galloway enjoyed a successful tournament at the Evergreen Junior Open, where he won the boys’ under 15B.

Our team has lots of young up-and-coming future squash stars, too. This is evidenced by the success of our Junior boys ISA squash team, which includes Lucas Galloway (Grade 8), Seung Choi (Grade 7) and Christian Yuen (Grade 5). Lucas, Seung and Christian joined forces with Euan and Nathan to win the Junior boys’ category at the ISA Team Championships. Seung clinched the match, overcoming a two-games-to-love deficit and down a match ball to win in extra points in the fifth and deciding game. Our girls team had another strong showing. The team, consisting of Grace, Hedvika, Madison, Uma and Sun-Eui Choi, won all of their matches to capture their second consecutive title. Our Senior boys team, made up of Robert, Jason Yoo, Ryan Cui, Leif Skogland, Matthew Wong and Phillip Sing, finished an impressive third in a very competitive division.

Also up-and-coming is Alex Brown (Grade 5), who finished third at the Alberta Jesters and won the under 13 division at the BC Junior Closed Championship. The SMUS squash program is getting stronger and deeper each year!

There are still a number of big events and titles to be claimed this season. The Pacific Northwest Juniors Squash Championships are here in Victoria (including some games at SMUS) from February 12-15, which draws many of the top juniors from across the country. The Provincials are in March, and the Nationals are in April in Calgary. Follow the team results and updates on Twitter at SMUSsquash, and come out to support the team in the local upcoming PNW tournament.

For more information on our comprehensive squash program, go to our website.

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Transformed Grade 10 Program Opens Doors to a World of Experiences

On Tuesday, we hosted our Course Information Evening to provide insight and information to parents and students about the programs SMUS has to offer in the coming school year. Among the course changes is our transformed Grade 10 program that will extend far beyond what is currently offered and will provide every Grade 10 student with unique opportunities to connect learning with real-world experiences, by focusing on experiential education.

Here’s more about that exciting transformation from Becky Anderson, Director of Leadership:

Within our school mission is the statement “providing outstanding preparation for higher learning and for life.” Staying true to our mission and reflecting our understanding of learning, effective educational approaches, and the ever-changing world in which we live, it is important to adapt and remain innovative.

Starting in the upcoming 2015-16 school year we will implement a new approach for all Grade 10 students with a focus on experiential education. We will do this by offering a variety of hands-on learning expeditions in and out of the classroom that will be connected to the curricula of individual courses, as well as provide opportunities for interdisciplinary study throughout the year.

“By connecting learning to life … we are helping students find that essential spark not only to build their academic resumes but also to be creative, caring, engaged human beings.”

– Michael Brosnan, editor of Independent School Magazine

Drawing on the model and success of the Experiential Program and extensive research, highlights of the new program for every Grade 10 student will include an outdoor education week, a series of afternoons out of the class each month in a variety of interest areas, integrated reflection, embedded experiential education in course work, and an interdisciplinary June expedition.

Upon arrival into Grade 10, students will have an orientation day. This is a day when seeds are planted and expectations are set for the year. As has been a long-standing tradition, students will head out mid-September on various nature-based adventures. When they return, students will be given time to reflect on their experience and prepare for the year ahead. Within their courses, each student will notice that there is a greater emphasis on project- or problem-based tasks; that teachers are weaving activities from outside of the class, inside.

Four afternoons each month, students will participate in afternoon expeditions chosen from a variety of options within the themes of Career/Life Skills, Arts and Humanities, Fitness/Wellness, and Global Citizenship. These afternoon expeditions are connected in an interdisciplinary way to the curriculum and give students ownership in their learning, build on previous knowledge, and happen outside of the classroom. Addressing big questions such as, “How can media be used to communicate to a local, national, or global audience?” or “How can I use YouTube to spark an important conversation?” students may find themselves working alongside an expert for the week and producing something to share with the wider SMUS community. Another student may choose to participate in an internship to gain clarity on a possible career path. Some students may want to put their passion for technology and creativity to work with an app designer or get their hands dirty working in our community garden. We will be partnering with professionals and organizations in the city to allow students to make connections and utilize facilities we have access to in Victoria.

Building reflection time into the schedule will allow students to find the connection between what they are learning in and out of the classroom, identify their own discoveries and hopefully prompt them to ask more questions.

To conclude the year in June, students will ​embark on a week-long expedition that will take them further afield, both literally and metaphorically. Students will be presented with a variety of options, such as hiking the Nootka Trail or heading to the Lower Mainland to experience the post-secondary athletics and sports science world, or possibly living in Quebec for the week for a cultural and language immersion.

Each element of the year emphasizes the importance of academics and critical thought while providing students the time and space to have real-world experiences. Making time for these experiences will deepen their understanding of academic content, spark personal interest and gain valuable real-world experience.

If you have further questions about the Grade 10 program, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

For a complete read of our 2015-16 Senior School Course Selection Guide, check it out online.

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Athletics Week in Review: January 27

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Squash took centre stage this past week with a highly competitive ISA Tournament at Shawnigan Lake School. After three days of relentless action, the Junior boys team of Nathan Von Hagen, Euan Hannigan, Christian Yuen, Seung Choi and Lucas Galloway claimed the gold medal. Likewise, Grace Thomas, Hedvika Suchankova, Madison Liew, Sun-Eui Choi and Uma Hallea combined to win the Senior girls event. Finally, Jason Yoo, Robert Fisher, Ryan Cui, Leif Skogland, Matthew Wong and Phillip Sing finished third at Senior boys level.

In basketball at the Junior boys level, SMUS continues to more than punch its weight against some of BC’s heavy hitters.

In a wonderful game full of cut and thrust, the team saw a last-second shot versus Oak Bay just fail to force a second overtime, in what finished a 59-56 loss. Then, in the Collingwood Invitational, after opening with a 49-41 victory over Handsworth, the Jags overturned a four-point deficit in the final 45 seconds to scramble past Notre Dame 52-50. Hours later, in the final versus provincial No. 7 Port Moody, a gallant effort fell just short in a 50-45 defeat. Ben Keep and Jasper Bosley performed superbly in all four games, with Jamison Schulz-Franco, Ephraim Hsu and Gabe Kingsley-Nyinah also contributing a great deal.

A return to the BC AA No. 1 ranking for the Senior boys proved to be a poisoned chalice for the Senior boys, who were out-hustled and out-muscled by a big and talented Semiahmoo team. An indifferent Blue Jags defensive effort and continued shooting woes resulted in an 81-63 defeat to a thoroughly deserving Totems squad. Next up, the squad heads to Claremont for a key January 27 league game before travelling up Island for the Countdown to the Playoffs tournament, to be held at Brentwood and Shawnigan.

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Pitch Perfect: Large Ensembles Concert

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If there’s one thing that’s certain about attending a SMUS concert, it’s that your ears are always in for an outstanding auditory smorgasbord. From pitch-perfect pop music and movie scores, to wondrous wedding marches and symphonic sonatas, this week’s Large Ensembles Concert was no exception.

The concert, at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium, showcased the Senior School’s musically inclined students who participate in our concert bands, orchestras and choirs.

The String Orchestra, led by Ms. Donna Williams, kicked off the show with all four distinctly original movements of Jean-Marie Leclair’s Sonata for Strings. The woodwinds and brass joined for the second piece to make up the full orchestra, as they performed Modest Moussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain, made popular by Disney’s original Fantasia.

Watch Sonata for Strings, performed by the String Orchestra, below.

The Junior Concert Band followed, performing a set of songs familiar to movie buffs. The group began with Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova. While you may not recognize the name, you’d know it if you heard it; it’s more recently known as the upbeat theme music from the Austin Powers films. Led by Mr. Gordon Clements, the Junior Concert Band finished with the stirring Concert Suite from Dances With Wolves.

The Grade 11/12 Concert Band, performing one of the more unique pieces of the night, wowed the crowd with Derek Bourgeois’ Serenade Opus 22. The composer wrote this song as a wedding march for his own wedding, but he made it challenging music to march to. Written in an 11/8 time signature (most popular music is written in very straightforward 4/4 time), the Concert Band’s performance sounded beautiful and waltz-like, but it’s naturally almost impossible to tap your toes to the beat.

Watch the Concert Band perform Serenade Opus 22 below.

Also taking their cues from the big screen, the Senior Concert Band performed a medley of music from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, composed by Alan Menken.

The Concert Choir ended the show with four very different pieces. Led by Mr. Peter Butterfield, they began with Hymn to Freedom. Accompanied by Ms. Margaret Skinner on piano, this Oscar Peterson tune uniquely mixes his signature jazz stylings with choral music. The group’s second song was Battle of Jericho, an impassioned piece that allowed all voices a chance to be heard, accompanied by Grade 9 pianist Sean Finamore. The mixed choir was joined onstage by talented Grade 12 students to perform the Josh Groban hit You Raise Me Up, by Brendan Graham and Rølf Løvland. The concert finished with the choir singing Paul Halley’s Freedom Trilogy, with Grade 10 student Aaron Gelmon on percussion.

Congratulations to all the bands, their teachers and the support staff that help put on such a great show every year!

Watch You Raise Me Up, performed by the Concert Choir, below.

You can browse through and download more than 350 images of the concert at the SMUS Photo Gallery. You can also watch the whole show on SMUSTube!

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Navigating Your 21st Century Career

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by Jake Humphries, University Counselling

Students graduating from high school today face a world of unparalleled opportunity that requires careful navigation and constant attention to skill-building. For the most part, gone are the days when one attained a professional qualification and then worked in that profession for 30 years. Today’s graduate needs to be flexible in the approach taken to post-secondary education, training and career building. Careers are now multi-faceted tracks through our busy and exciting world. Many human resource consultants believe that a high school graduate will now walk on half a dozen career paths in his or her working life.

In light of this reality, SMUS hosts its 6th annual Career Day on Wednesday, January 28. Launched in 2010 as a joint initiative of the SMUS Alumni Association and the school’s University Counselling Department, Career Day has grown from a selection of ten lunchtime sessions involving 15 presenters, to this year’s 20 ​sessions involving 35 presenters.

Presentations for SMUS students include the usual high-interest specialties of medicine, law and business. In addition, students have the opportunity to sign up and hear about a career in film-making, dietetics, property development, IT and big data, athletics, book publishing, clinical psychology, spiritual leadership, urban planning, engineering and more. Presenters will describe their post-secondary education and their career paths up to the present day. One interesting discovery for students every year is the remarkably circuitous paths taken by many of the presenters to arrive at the job they presently have. Students have an opportunity to ask questions in each presentation.

Career Day 2015 begins with a keynote address by Dr. Jacqueline Hudson ’97. Dr. Hudson is an anesthesiologist who has extensive experience leading wilderness expeditions. Following Dr. Hudson’s address, students will attend two sessions of their choice and will then have the opportunity to attend an after-school networking session for further conversation with presenters, peers and SMUS faculty.

With so many choices, Career Day at SMUS is an exciting opportunity to prepare for life after high school.

If you want to learn more about Career Day, you can read Alison McCallum’s reflection “Life Lessons From a Career in Media” about media personality Susie Wall‘s session last year.

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Grade 8 Girls Serve Up Competitive Volleyball Season

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by Brady Doland, coach

The Grade 8 girls volleyball season started off swiftly, with 26 girls committing to team try outs. After three tryout sessions, coaches Mrs. Benfeld and I, along with Grade 11 volleyball superstars Silke and Thana, shuffled the girls into two teams, Team White and Team Blue.

With only one practice before their big opening game, Team White learned a brand new 4-2 volleyball system and executed it seamlessly in their first couple of matches on Wednesday night. While the girls didn’t win, I was extremely impressed at how fast they caught on to the new system, and I’m excited about helping them expand their understanding of the great game of volleyball and teaching them the FUNdamentals. I believe it is important to develop an early understanding of sportsmanship and teamwork, and focus on improving together throughout the season.

With Week 1 finished, White Team looks forward to four more weeks of the season before playoffs commence. The Blue Team looks forward to their three big Jamboree games on February 4, 18 and 25!

The main goals of the season are staying focused and working hard in practice to develop FUNdamental skills, while having FUN learning and improving together. I’m looking forward to a thrilling year, girls!

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Reflections from Grade 8 Athletes

“It’s nice to be part of a team with people from your class; it’s a good time. I like the sport this year because we’re learning about set positions, like bumper or setter. Right now I’m power, which means you’re the last person to touch the ball by spiking it or hitting it. It’s my third year being on the volleyball team; we put in a lot of work throughout the year, so it’s really rewarding at the end when you either do really well or come out in a good position and you get to do it with close friends and you’re representing your school. My other sports are soccer and field hockey, which are very similar because they’re both positional play, with a lot of running; one’s with a stick and one’s with your feet. But volleyball’s a lot different; there’s not as much running as there is tactics, and it’s very mechanical. It’s interesting and a lot of fun learning.” – by Emily J.

“I started playing volleyball on the school team in Grade 6 because it was something new to try, and I just ended up liking it. I also play basketball and softball, and I’m in cross country, and I like that volleyball’s so different from the other sports I play. I like the satisfaction when your team works together because you have to depend on each other to get the ball over the net, so it feels good when you work together.” – by Isabella L.

“I played on the Grade 6 team and the Grade 7 team, but this is the first year where I’m playing competitively; it’s the first year of taking it really seriously for me, and I think I want it to be my second sport. I just think volleyball is such an interesting sport. Some people perceive it as just smacking a ball over a net, but it’s so much more. We just learned to spike, which is by far my favourite part, and we’re learning positions. It requires so much talent that people don’t expect. I’m quite a competitive person, so getting to play games competitively is really a plus for me. However we do in the games, I’m just glad we get the opportunity to face off against other schools. Because we’re still in Grade 8, but it is a competitive team, everyone’s in the same spot; everybody’s just generally learning together, and everything new that you learn you get to absorb as a team, and I think that’s a great aspect. Even though we lost this week, it just makes everyone more excited to be able to practice. One game doesn’t set your season; we have a chance to improve and learn more, and everyone’s going to take it and everyone’s going to be excited for it.” – by Georgia H.

“I like how everybody has to work together in volleyball; it’s really fun. Being on the competitive team is definitely a big commitment. You have to make sure you make each practice, and the games are more competitive and more intense. We’re learning a lot of new things, too, like we’ve learned a new type of rotation. I like learning new and more complicated things in volleyball because it’s a change to what we’re used to and it gives us a new opportunity to show our skills in different ways. It’s really fun to be with your friends because, say you’re outside of school on the weekend and you’re bored, we can get together and play volleyball!” – by Carly S.

See photos of the Grade 8 girls volleyball team in action on the SMUS Photo Gallery.

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Junior School Students Go Crazy for Science!

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by Nina Duffus, Grade 2 teacher

It may not be the most common of career paths, but there are now 49 young sleuths at the Junior School itching to become secret agents when they grow up. They’re getting a taste of what it’s like to be a spy thanks to an after-school Mad Science program at SMUS.

The Grade 1 and 2 students are registered in Spy Academy, a six-week course that touches on the science of detective work, while also getting a chance to test out and build spy gadgets. The program teaches scientific concepts through the spy-themed activities and experiments, which has so far included chromatography, uncovering secret messages, using a metal detector, and practicing observation and deduction skills.

The young spies are loving the program – so don’t be surprised if they ask to be called 007 from now on.

Grade 2 Reflections

“I love Mad Science because the teachers explain everything really well, and they always try their hardest to make it fun for the kids.” by Chelsea L.

“I enjoy Mad Science because in the second session we got to go through a fake mine field and wear awesome night vision glasses and uncover secret messages.” by Owen S.

“Mad Science is awesome because we get little science stuff and science toys. We got spy glasses and real face matchers.” by Willow T.

“I enjoy Mad Science mostly because I really enjoy the undercover work we do when I am there.” by Everest M.

Learn more about all the extra-curricular opportunities at our Junior School by checking out the 2014-15 Athletics and Activities Guide.

See more photos of the Mad Science program at the Junior School on the SMUS Photo Gallery.

(photos by Gordon Chan)

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Athletics Week in Review: January 21

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A busy January week featured, as usual, a lot of squash and basketball.

This past weekend 16 members of the Senior School squash team traveled to the Jericho Tennis Club in Vancouver to compete in the BC Junior Open. The team had a number of impressive results. Grace Thomas won the girls U19 division, while teammate Hedvika Suchankova finished third. Alex Brown won the girls U13 without dropping a single game. In the girls U17, Madison Liew finished second.

Our boys also had their share of top finishers. Nathan Von Hagen lost a tight 3-2 match in the finals to end up in second place. Jason Yoo won the consolation and finished fifth in the U17. Also of note was Christian Yuen, from the Junior School, who finished second in the boys U13.

The squash team will compete on Friday at Shawnigan Lake for the ISA Championships. The team will be looking to repeat last year’s success where the girls and Junior boys won, while the Senior boys finished second.

On the basketball front, the Senior girls and the Senior boys were both involved in the Victoria City Police Basketball Tournament.

With SMUS hosting this prestigious event, the Blue Jags performed well. Both teams reached the final, though neither were able to capture a title.

The Senior girls opened up with wins over Spectrum and Nanaimo District Secondary, and then, giving their best performance of the season, upset fancied PCS. Although the subsequent final, against a well-balanced Southridge side, proved a bridge too far, the team displayed plenty of grit and determination. Leah Sparkman and Robyn Noel, along with tournament All-Stars Olivia Donald and Aveen Glen, led the way.

The Senior boys, thanks to victories over David Thompson and West Vancouver, also reached the championship game. A fine start against crosstown rival Oak Bay saw the Jags open up an early 13-4 lead. However, a very wobbly patch on either side of the first-quarter break then allowed the Bays to gain back control. SMUS battled hard the remainder of the game, closing to within three points on several occasions, but eventually falling 63-55. For a full recap, go to smusbasketball.blogspot.ca.

The Senior Boys Final Game

See more photos from the Victoria City Police Basketball Tournament on the SMUS Photo Gallery.

The Junior boys, after straightforward league wins versus Vic High and Belmont, traveled to Vancouver for the ISA Tournament. Jasper Bosley, Ben Keep and Jamison Schulz-Franco combined for 37 points in a 59-35 opening round win over Collingwood, setting the stage for a much anticipated meeting with St. George’s.

Despite a very slow start, SMUS clawed back, getting within four points in the last few minutes. But some missed free throws then proved costly, with the Saints advancing to the final. The Blue Jags did recover to beat St. John’s in the bronze medal game.

​The Grade 9 boys, at the Esquimalt Fire Basketball Tournament, rode a strong performance by Edwin Kim to beat Duncan Christian 39-17. With Amos Chen and Kason Grewal also well to the fore, the team then on to meet Vic High in the final. Though the Totems proved a bit too strong, SMUS played a solid game, reflective of the significant improvements made in recent weeks.

Rugby ​practices are also well underway, with the Senior XVs having started preparations for what promises to be an exciting spring break tour to Spain and Portugal. In particular, seniors Noah Pryce-Baff, Carson Smith and Owen Sudul have been in fine form.

Vivat!

(photos by Brady Doland and Kyle Slavin)

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