Athletics Week in Review: October 22


It was a week of high drama, with the CAIS U15 girls soccer honour at stake, Senior girls volleyball visiting Saskatchewan and SMUS hosting its own Invitational Field Hockey tournament.

The CAIS event actually finished more than a week ago, when the U15 girls soccer team traveled across the country to Halifax for the CAIS Championships.

On opening day, SMUS shrugged off any lingering jet lag to defeat The Study from Montreal 5-2, King’s-Edgehill School from Windsor 3-1, and Toronto’s Holy Trinity School 5-0.

Twenty four hours later, SMUS moved into the championship round. The games, versus Halifax Grammar School, The Study (again) and The Country Day School from King, Ont., proved to be considerably more challenging, as was playing on an absolutely enormous field. The players banded together to produce three more victories to move into the tournament final four.

The championship semi-final, a rematch against King’s-Edgehill School, in no way mirrored what had been a straight-forward pool victory. In the end, after regulation time and overtime failed to produce a goal, the teams went to a penalty shootout. Eventually, in the seventh round, Nesha Colgate hammered home a shot to the top corner. When goalkeeper Kaia Gyorfi then made one more save, the Blue Jags qualified for the final!

Funny enough, the final match played on Canada’s East Coast pitted two Victoria schools against each other, with SMUS facing off against GNS. Playing eight games in three days had clearly taken its toll on both sides, with injuries and fatigue being definite factors. Congratulations to GNS, who notched an early marker and then did enough to keep the hungry SMUS team at bay, on their 1-0 win. Similar kudos to all the SMUS players who performed so well, led by the excellent duo of Taylor Noel and Sara Cui. VIVAT!

You can browse and download photos of the U15 girls soccer team’s CAIS Championship win at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

Senior girls field hockey, following the intensity of the Bridgman Cup earlier this month, hosted its own six-team Western Canadian Field Hockey Invitational. The team opened in style, scoring early and often in its opening matches and going on to win all five round robin encounters (versus Brentwood, GNS, Southridge, York House and Ridley College from Ontario).

In the final against Brentwood, in front of a boisterous crowd and being streamed live on the web, SMUS, while dominating first half action, managed a single Olivia Donald tally. When Brentwood equalized late, it all came down to penalty strokes. Fortunately, Aveen Glen, Anna Mollenhauer and Flora Stanau connected from the spot, while Maia Roberts saved three times.

With the win, SMUS extended its hold on the trophy for a fourth consecutive year. Next up are league games versus Mount Douglas and Lambrick Park before Island AA tournament play commences October 24.

The Junior team was not quite as fortunate, still finishing an impressive third in its ISA pool on goal average, after a draw versus Crofton. In winning a cross-over game to finish fifth overall, Abby Fraser paced the attack and was well supported by Alexa Matthews and Meggie Edwards.

You can browse and download more photos of the Senior girls field hockey team’s play at the Invitational Finals at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

And you can watch the complete, live-streamed final game on SMUSTube.

The Senior girls volleyball team competed in the Western Canadian Independent School Volleyball Championships in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. The team finished the event with six wins in nine matches. Unfortunately, a 15-13 loss to Crofton House in the third game of a quarter-final match-up consigned the squad to a fifth place finish. On the plus side, SMUS did defeat host Notre Dame in two straight sets to wrap up the tournament. Congratulations to Thana Fayad, who received the Best Hitter award, while Beta Willeboordse was judged Best Server, and Silke Kuhn was named the team MVP. SMUS looks forward to hosting the WCISVC in 2015!

This week, SMUS hosts league matches against Lambrick Park and Reynolds before moving on to the ISA tournament October 24-25 at Brentwood College.

You can browse and download more photos from the Senior girls volleyball team’s competition at the Western Canadian Independent School Volleyball Championships at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

Senior boys soccer remained on course for an October 23 top-of-the-table showdown versus Oak Bay by winning another two league games. First, not without some difficulty on a wet and slippery track, SMUS downed GNS 4-2. The Blue Jags then journeyed to Reynolds. After an early Roadrunners goal, regular service was restored in a 4-1 SMUS victory. Brian Im, Matty McColl (2) and Alec Keech recorded the goals. With the wins, the team remains unbeaten, running its season record to 10-0.

At the Junior level, the team continued its scoring surge, defeating Stelly’s 7-2 and Spectrum 8-2. These victories kept SMUS at the top of the local league with playoffs on the horizon. Ben Keep, Donovan Sturdy and Aidan Kerr have all shown consistently good form.

The last cross country league meet of the season took place at Juan de Fuca on October 14. A record-breaking 39 SMUS runners took part in the event. On the girls’ side, Maia Watson finished 4th in the junior division, while Acacia Welsford also placed in the top 10 in the senior division. More significantly, both teams finished in second place.

In the boys’ competition, all the SMUS runners performed strong, only to see the results voided after course marshals led many competitors the wrong way.

Beaver Lake is the site of the October 22 Island Championships. Good luck to all seeking qualification to the BCs.

Rowing continued its short fall season, participating in the Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society’s October Classic Regatta. The event was the first competitive experience for a number of the senior crews.

Once again, the weather co-operated fully, with sunshine, mild wind, and good water for all races. The development of all the SMUS rowers during the past seven weeks was certainly evident.

Congratulations in particular to the Junior A Novice Men’s 8 and Junior A Novice Women’s 8+, which won gold medals; the Junior B Women’s Novice 8+, which finished second; and the Junior B Novice Boy’s 4X, which placed third.

The season culminates at the end of the month with the inaugural interclub Cake Race at the SMUS Rowing Centre.

You can browse and download more photos from the GVYRS October Classic Regatta at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

photos by Stephanie Anter, Sara Cui and Brady Doland

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Junior Geocaching


On October 16th, Grade 5 students took part in a Geocaching event put together by Mr. Pope at the Richmond Road campus. Students used GPS units to find hidden geocaches throughout the campus. This allowed them to use their mapping skills, which they had learned in class, and apply them to a real world scenario. It was the perfect way to end our mapping unit.

Reflections from Students

by Sam
On Thursday we went on a trip to the Senior School to do geocaching. We were divided into groups of 4 or 5 and we got a GPS, a map of the school and a sheet. We started hunting for 12 geocaches and my group found 10 of them. It used a lot of co-operation and determination to do it. If you try to work on your own you work 10 times slower, so you really have to co-operate. For two of them you got to take a prize. That was fun! For me the hardest one was the one near the gym. It was well hidden in a bush. At the end we talked about how it went. There was a woman that travelled most of North America and found 650 geocaches! At the end we thanked Mr. Pope and then we went on the bus back home. I really liked geocaching and having lots of fun at the same time.

by Olivia
I really enjoyed our trip to the Senior School and geocaching. It was a great opportunity to work together and demonstrate our new leadership skills by leading ourselves to the different geocaches using GPS, a GPS location sheet, and a map. This trip relied on our behaviour and flexibility. Without this the trip wouldn’t have been made possible. It was also an activity of trust. You had to trust your teammates to know which way to go or whether it was the right geocache. We showed co-operation with our teammates and were excited when we found the geocaches. The prizes consisted of bouncy balls, mini mazes, plastic dinosaurs and more. Lots of excitement came from the fact that we got to run around the campus, finding geocaches and discovering new areas of the school. I really enjoyed it and I hope there is more geocaching in the Middle and Senior Schools so that we can have more of the fun we had today.

by Katie
In Grade 5 on the 16th of October 2014 we went on a field trip to the Senior School and we did geocaching. It was lots of fun and Mr. Pope taught us about it. When I came to the Senior School I had no idea about geocaching and now I want to do it again outside of school. To geocache you have to have a GPS or a phone (with an app to allow you to geocache). We were put in groups of 4 or 5 and told the rules, boundaries and so on. When we started it was crazy, everyone was running like a mad man to find their geocache!

by John
Today we went on a field trip to the Senior School to try geocaching. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt. There were a few challenges. Some of them were when you got the right coordinates but still had to look hard for the treasure. The biggest challenge is when my friend got distracted during the game but there were more upsides than down. For example: we got prizes, the thrill of a treasure hunt and the amazing skill of using the GPS.

pictures by Gordon Chan
For more images from the Grade 4 and 5 Geocaching day go to the SMUS photo gallery.

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Project Based Learning: How has Immigration Shaped Canada?

by Tanya Lee, Middle School teacher

On October 6th, the Grade 6 classes took part in a panel discussion as part of their Humanities classes. The panel consisted of four parents who were immigrants to Canada. Students asked the members of the panel some excellent questions with regards to the push and pull factors that brought them to Canada and the hardships they have faced since their arrival. Grade 6 students are currently studying Canadian culture. We are about to begin a project-based learning unit that aims to answer the question, “How have immigrants shaped Canadian culture?” The panel discussion was our launch event for the unit. Students will not only be digging deeply into how immigrants have impacted our nation but they will also be writing short stories from the perspective of an immigrant on their way to Canada.

Reflections from Students

by Amalia
I really enjoyed the discussion with the panel of parents. I think that I learned a lot from them and that hearing about immigration from that point of view was really interesting, especially because it showed us how feelings can be mixed about immigration. It also gave me lots of ideas for my immigration narrative.

One thing that I learned from the panel was that immigrating is not always a choice, for different reasons. For example, Ms. Miller was 13 and had to leave South Africa because of war. She had to leave one of her sisters and brother behind, and had no choice in the matter. It made me think of how lucky we are not to live in a war-torn place and it made me think of immigrants as very strong people for stepping outside of what they know.

I think that listening to the panel of immigrants will make it much easier to write my narrative because now I have some general points of view that I can follow in my story, like being nervous about the new life you are entering, and others like Mrs. Herrman’s, to whom the whole thing was an adventure. I think that we were very lucky to have Mrs. Large with us, having just immigrated with her family to Victoria two months ago, because that gave us a really good “first impression” point of view.

If we had had more time for questions, I would have loved to ask: What were the second thoughts, the reasons to be wary of our country and what made you put those aside? I’d ask that because I think that when moving to a new place, there are some drawbacks and cautions to take.

by Scott
Yesterday, we took part in a panel composed of four parents that have immigrated from countries around the world. I found the panel very interesting and even though I have known some of these parents since I was in kindergarten it was nice to learn more about their immigration stories.

Before I heard these stories I thought that immigrating to Canada and adjusting to our cultural norms would be the easiest thing in the world, but evidently it would still be quite hard when you are used to other things. I think that this panel will help me write my narrative because it will help me understand that some people don’t have a push factor, some people didn’t want to leave their country, and (now that I think about it) sometimes it’s not for their own good.

If we had more time I would have asked the panel this question: Do you regret making the immigration journey or are you glad you did?

by Sienna
I really enjoyed the Immigration Panel discussion that my Humanities class participated in yesterday. Four parents from South Africa, Norway and the UK came to talk to us.

I thought that it was really fun to not only get to know them but also to find out what life in their home country was like and how different it was from Canada. It was really interesting for me because my dad is Australian. I never really thought of him as an immigrant but I think that the panel changed my view of an immigrant’s perspective. I think that being able to talk to immigrants will help for our narrative story because now I know some feelings that my character might feel.

I wish there was more time so I could ask what the biggest thing that they had to leave behind was. Overall I thought it was really fun and a great learning experience.

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Robert DiYanni on Critical and Creative Thinking

RobertDiYanni_SMUSLectureRobert DiYanni, prolific author and NYU professor, held a series of workshops for faculty, parents and students on Thursday and Friday. His topics included critical and creative thinking (a subject he has written several books on) and ethics. He asked questions such as “What words would you use to describe higher-order thinking?”, “What kind of thinking do we expect from our students?” and “How can we foster the development of our students’ critical and creative thinking capacities?”.

If you missed any of Mr. DiYanni’s sessions, we have posted an audio recording his parent workshop below. You can download some of Mr. DiYanni’s resources here (tip: they’ll come in handy for the parent lecture!)


Watch the video of Mr. DiYanni’s lecture on ethics here.

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Athletics Week in Review: October 15


The Senior boys soccer team continued to display impressive form, registering two more comfortable wins to remain on top of the Tier 1 Victoria league.

Belmont, fresh off a 0-0 draw with fancied Oak Bay, provided the first opposition on October 7. Though conceding an early goal to a Callum Montgomery free kick, the Bulldogs lived up to their nickname, defending resolutely for the next hour. Finally, after waves of SMUS pressure, Brian Im connected from in close and scored again just three minutes later. Two more late goals then ensured what on the surface appeared a straightforward victory, even if it had been anything but.

Against Claremont, Ryan Cui notched a highlight reel goal to open the scoring, chipping the ball over the keeper from an almost impossible angle. Matty McColl then continued his scoring rampage, collecting a hat trick. Montgomery, and Jake Wilmott, with his first of the season, also found the back of the net in a 6-0 victory. Ben Edwards and Mitchell Newman shared the shutout.

Next up are games vs GNS and Reynolds.

You can browse and download more Senior boys’ soccer pictures at the SMUS photo gallery.

At the junior level, SMUS likewise remained on top of the City table, producing some fine goals in an entertaining 5-2 triumph over Mt. Douglas. This set the stage for a much anticipated matchup vs highly regarded Oak Bay.

Though the Bays edged the possession stakes and put together some impressive multi-phase attacks, the Blue Jags defence, well marshaled by center backs Bryn Haydock and Jonathan Sudul, coped fairly comfortably, with goalie Jasper Bosley also more than up to the task.

As the game moved past the hour mark, SMUS began to engineer some grade A scoring chances, with one Felix Butterfield effort superbly saved. Then, in the 66th minute, came a simply wonderful goal, as Jim Newman rose in the box to head home powerfully from a perfectly placed cross.

In the end, after a wonderful, skillful display by both teams, this marker stood as the winner.

You can browse and download more Junior boys’ soccer pictures at the SMUS photo gallery.

In Senior girls volleyball, SMUS won both its league matches, starting with a 2-0 decision vs PCS. All around strong play vs Reynolds included a stellar effort from grade 10 Semele Smith, who produced a 12 point serving run to spark a comeback victory over the Roadrunners.

The team moves on to league games at PCS before departing for the Western Canadian Independent Schools tournament in Wilcox, Saskatchewan.

This will be an exciting opportunity for the Grade 11 athletes new to the team. It will be a particularly valuable experience as SMUS hosts this WCIS event in October, 2015.

The cross-country team competed at Beaver Lake October 8 in its second race of the season. In ideal conditions, 38 SMUS runners took to the trails to test their abilities. In the Grade 10 boys’ division, Aubry Williams had a superb race to finish in 2nd place. In the Senior boys’ competition, Michael Wong-Harrison put forth a gritty performance in placing 7th. On the girls’ side, Karla Yanez was the top Junior in 8th place, while Acacia Welsford once again led the Senior Girls by virtue of a 6th place finish.

The league season continues next at Juan de Fuca.

Grade 9 rugby team made the trek to North Vancouver, taking on Collingwood. Despite warm conditions, the heavy Klahanie Park surface limited the open play favoured by both teams, with the game something of a war of attrition in the midfield. Flanker Kason Grewal led a solid defensive effort with some big tackles, while centres Luke Rainier-Pope and Ephraim Hsu, in addition to left wing Adam Gheis, made the most of their opportunities. In the end, a late tally by Hsu, direct from a turnover, was the difference in a 14-7 victory.

Next up is a trip to Brentwood, with a chance to nab the top Island position in the offing.

In field hockey, after a ten day hiatus from games as the public schools got prepared following the labour unrest, the girls Senior A team was back in action. Two convincing wins, 6-1 against Oak Bay and 6-0 against GNS, reflected a balanced attack between forwards and midfielders, and suggested the squad is in a good position to reclaim the Maud Tully Cup, emblematic of Victoria high school field hockey supremacy.

The Thanksgiving weekend break saw SMUS entered in the prestigious Bridgman Cup, the oldest competition in BC and one which again featured a deep and talented field. Pool games vs Cowichan, West Vancouver and Charles Best produced only a 1-2 record, with the middle game of the three a real frustration as the Blue Jags’ poor finishing allowed the Highlanders to escape with a 1-0 win.

In the cross over playoffs, SMUS then fell 1-0 to Island rival Frances Kelsey in a shootout before finishing in style with a 5-0 triumph over Heritage Woods. Kasey Boyle and Abby Fraser paced the attack, with good support from Siri Knudsen, Chloe Keeler-Young and Anna Mollenhauer.

Despite the 11th place overall finish, the event, as always, was a tremendous experience. Playing against powerful AAA opposition has, as in past years, proved to be an important springboard to success in the annual SMUS Invitational (to be held at UVic and GNS October 17-19) and the Island Tournament.

You can browse and download more Senior girls’ field hockey pictures at the SMUS photo gallery.

The developmental field hockey team had a very busy week and indeed, was forced to split the squad to meet all the scheduled commitments. Led by another two goals from Kenny Shokoya, one team battled to a 2-2 tie against Claremont before also drawing 0-0 vs QMS. The other lost 4-0 to Brentwood’s junior team and 2-0 to Lambrick Park. The juniors from both groups will now combine for the October 17-18 ISA tournament at Shawnigan.

Pictures by Brady Doland

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A Junior School Tribute to Grandparents


Nancy Richards, Director of the Junior School
Over 200 grandparents and grandpals were honoured at the first Grandparents’ Day in the history of the Junior School! Grandparents from all around the world attended the afternoon event where each class shared tributes to their grandparents and had an opportunity to show them their classrooms.

As educators, we also celebrated grandparents — realizing that a grandchild’s most important lessons don’t necessarily come from the school but are passed down from the grandparents themselves. According to Arthur Kornhaber, M.D., founder of the Foundation for Grandparents, there are many roles grandparents play in a family. Grandparents offer children a broader range of knowledge, emotions and experience than they did as parents. Here are just a few of the special roles grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren:

  • Ancestor: grandparents are the link to their grandchild’s ancestors and the connection to the family history.
  • Hero: grandparents often rescue grandchildren in a time of need.
  • Mentor: grandparents are cheerleaders — inspiring imagination and dreams, nurturing spirit and giving their grandchildren a sense of self-worth.
  • Student: grandparents learn valuable lessons from their grandchildren.
  • Wizard: the simplest task can take on a magical quality to a young child with a little wizardly help from grandpa or grandma.
  • Our special guests also enjoyed “The Joy of Grandparents” video (below) and throughout the afternoon grandparents were celebrated and honoured in many ways. In the words of one child, “every grandparent is absolutely indispensable”.

    To see more pictures from Grandparents’ Day take a look at the SMUS photo gallery. For tips on how to download the pictures you can read this tutorial.

    Grade 3 Tributes:

    “A grandparent is fun when they play with you and caring when they take care of you.” – Abby

    “A grandparent is nice when they give you what you want and caring when they take you places. A grandparent loves you.” – Sierra

    “A grandparent likes chocolate when I eat it with him, fish when we eat it together, steak when we roast it together and candy when I give it to him.” – Dome

    “A grandparent is generous when they give you stuff, caring when they are nice and fun when they play with you.” – Spencer

    “A grandparent is nice when they play with you and funny when they laugh.” – Tiger

    “A grandparent is generous when they give you money, nice when they buy you toys, funny when they tell you jokes and caring when they help you if you fall.” – Allie

    “My grandma is funny when she dances, happy when stuff is fun and caring when she tucks me in my bed.” – Sienna

    “A grandparent is nice when they care, a grandparent is nice when they make food for you. A grandparent is nice when they pick you up from school and a grandparent cares for you.” – Saba

    “My grandparent is generous when she asks you how your school day was, funny when she spills milk everywhere, kind when she sits with me at the table, afraid when she’s biking, brave when she is taking off a spider, super when she lets you watch tv from the wall, adventurous when we go on walks with our dogs and smart with spelling.” – Bryn

    “A grandparent is fun when they play with you, nice when they help you with your homework and helpful when they help you with the dishwasher.” – Lyam

    “Grandparents are helpful when they help with Thanksgiving, happy when they see me, nice when they give us stuff for Thanksgiving and quiet all the time.” – Patrick

    “A grandparent is fun when they play with you and funny when they make funny faces.” – Mia

    “A grandparent is caring when they take care of me.” – Lucas

    “A grandparent is funny when they make funny jokes.” – Rosie

    “A grandparent is nice when they play with you and caring when they help you.” – Jenna

    “A grandparent is awesome when they give me candy.” – Maxx

    “My grandparent is nice when they take me out for ice cream, brave when they kill a spider when I’m afraid, annoying when she pinches my cheek, caring when she listens to my day, kind when she lets me change the channel on the tv, funny when she says the most hilarious jokes, generous when she makes cake for all of us.” – Maggie

    “A grandparent is generous when they take me on walks on the beach.” – Rohan

    “A grandparent likes watching tv with me on New Year’s.” – Michael

    “A grandparent is funny when they make a silly mistake, nice when they bake with me, fun when you go out with them.” – Jennifer

    “A grandparent is nice when he lets me build stuff, nice when she lets me sew stuff, generous when he makes good lunches and dinners and generous when she makes good desserts.” – Alex

    “A grandparent is generous when they give you $100, fun when they take you to a skateboard park, awesome when they take you to your favourite candy store.” – Katie

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    SMUS Field Hockey Goes on the Offence

    Next weekend, the SMUS community will be hosting the 2014 SMUS Invitational Field Hockey Festival and of course, our hockey team will be looking to come out on top.

    Over the last five years, SMUS Field Hockey has grown in leaps and bounds. With amazing coaches that have competed at elite levels, an inclusive, developmental environment, and access to world-class facilities, the girls in our program have a distinct advantage.

    At the helm of the senior team, David Kerr (a former Canadian Premiere League player) and Nancy Mollenhauer (a three-time field hockey Olympian), are building a program to be reckoned with. The senior girls have placed 4th in the province the last two years and are the dominant team in Victoria. Coach Kerr says this comes down to a large pool of girls to choose from (50 came to tryouts this fall) and a second-to-none developmental program. With five tournaments each year and plenty of league play, the girls have lots of time on the pitch and plenty of opportunity to receive the coaching they need to bring their game to the next level. For those not quite ready for the Senior team, there are two developmental teams that introduce the sport and offer girls the practice they need to improve. Field hockey veterans Raechel Marchand and Graham Lily head up that program.

    With practices and matches held on the internationally-acclaimed water turf at the University of Victoria, our girls have a leg-up. The turf was originally built for the Commonwealth Games. In 2006 it was renovated and replaced with a water-based artificial playing surface and is regarded as one of the best of its kind in Canada. In May 2008, the turf hosted the World Hockey Olympic Qualifier tournament and later that summer hosted the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team pre-Olympic training camp. In the fall of 2013, UVic was host to the CIS Field Hockey Championships. SMUS girls receive the benefit of living in a “field hockey town” and the unique opportunity to play on turf that elite players love.

    Girls on the Senior team and some that are called up from developmental play have the chance to travel with the team as well. Independent School Championships in Vancouver as well as Nationals in Ontario are consistently on the list for the SMUS teams. The future may include tournaments abroad in places like California and Bermuda. It’s not only the experience of playing that these travel opportunities offer, either. The SMUS field hockey teams are an open, inviting community and this is reinforced when on the road. The girls and coaches spend time together, learn about each other’s cultures and build life-long friendships. Pre-tournament team dinners are a tradition and a chance to share a meal with teammates.

    Although field hockey is only one aspect of the well-rounded education SMUS offers, the opportunity to be coached in an inclusive, friendly and fun environment is unique. Playing games and travelling to tournaments help cement friendships and help build confidence in other areas of life.

    The score results will be published on the 2014 SMUS Invitational Field Hockey Festival website and we also encourage you to check out the schedule and go along to the games to cheer on our girls.

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    The Diversity of Living Things: A Visit from SeaQuaria

    SMUS Middle School SeaQuaria

    Recently, SeaQuaria, a local organization that brings sea life into the classroom, visited the Grade 6 classes to introduce the new critters that will live in the aquarium for the year. SeaQuaria aim to connect students with sea life so they have perspective on what lives in the ocean and perhaps ignite a passion for the environment. After the session Mrs. Hyde-Lay’s class wrote reflections on the visit to solidify their learning and you can read three of them below.

    To see more pictures of the SeaQuaria visit go to the SMUS photo gallery.

    by Lauren
    On September 24 we got to see, touch and learn about really cool sea creatures that will be in our tank. The people that brought us our animals are Valerie, Blake and Chris.

    The first creature that I will tell you about is the jellyfish. There are many different types of jellyfish and we have one of them. This is a non-poisonous jellyfish, so if you touch him (do not) you will not get stung. The jellyfish is in the Cnidaria section of sea creatures. Did you know that jellyfish can live forever? They will technically decompose and become a larva again and repeat that cycle until something eats them.

    Also, we have a blood red sea star in our aquarium. Guess how many types of sea stars live in the world? 314 different sea stars! The one we have can be found from the coast of Alaska to California. blood red sea stars are in the Echinodermata section of sea animals. Did you know that sea stars eat by sticking their stomach through their mouths? It’s true, they suction their prey — clams — and with the suction cups on their limbs they pull the shell off and eat the insides. Yum!

    In addition, we have three sea cucumbers, but the one I am telling you about is a red one. These leathery-skinned animals are quite goopy, so when you pick it up it is like a cooked piece of spaghetti. They have tiny tentacle-like feet that stick to the bottom of the tank/ocean. They also use their tentacles to get food such as plankton. How they eat is very weird. Sea cucumbers have two mouths, one at the front end and one at the back end. If a tentacle near the back has food on it then it will go there. If the tentacle is near the front end it will go there. This creature is an eco-friendly animal. It is like an underwater tree in how sea cucumbers will sift the oxygen from seawater. Aren’t they eco-friendly? Those are the animals I think are most interesting.

    by Sahib
    Last Wednesday, Valerie, Blake and Chris came to let us look at the creatures that are currently in our tank for us to study. My favourite three animals were the sea cucumber, the sea slug (Frank) and the jellyfish.

    The first sea creature I am going to comment on is the sea cucumber, which is classified under the Phylum of Echinodermata. It looked like an very thick sausage with spikes. None of us were brave enough to pick it up, but when I did I found that the spikes were, if anything, very squishy. It started to droop and I was told to put it back before it stretched too much out of shape. It didn’t move that much but when it did, it was very cool.

    The jellyfish was also really cool. We were not allowed to touch it because it could have stung us. However, it was still young and very small so its sting would have not hurt that much. When they put it in the tank it had to be in a box, so that the crabs would not hurt it by pinching it and the fish would not peck at it. So putting the jellyfish in a box was more for its own safety than the other animals’.

    The last one I am going to comment on is the sea slug Frank the nudibranch. He sort of looked like a sea anemone/barnacle. He was very sensitive and we were not allowed to touch him because he might have gotten aggravated.

    by McKenna
    We have recently filled the large aquarium in our Science classroom with sea animals from the ocean. Valerie, Blake and Chris came in from SeaQuaria help put the animals safely in their new home. Before they put the animals in the tank they took time to let us touch them, while they explained what they were.

    My favourite sea animal was the sea urchin. I liked it because it’s closely related to the starfish. Although they have sharp needle-like points, they also have tube-like feet that help them move and grab food.

    I also enjoyed seeing the stickleback fish. It is special because it has three spines instead of one. I thought this type of fish was neat because of its defense mechanism. When it becomes frightened it raises its three spines so that its back becomes jagged and spiky. It uses this to ward off predators.

    I thought the kelp crab was also very interesting because of its capabilities. Something that it can do is create a glue-like substance and stick small pieces of kelp all over its body. When you can see a kelp crab in the ocean, you may not be able to see it clearly at first because it looks like piece of kelp.

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    Athletics Week in Review: October 7


    A large group of interested athletes came to rowing tryouts and were measured in a series of fitness events. They also went through an orientation at the SMUS Rowing Centre and enjoyed the cool waters of the Gorge for the annual swim test. Following three weeks of land and water training, the team competed in the Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society September Sprints, a series of races over a 500m course. Sunshine and flat water made for perfect conditions. Congratulations to all those who competed, but in particular to the gold medalist Jr. A and Jr. B Novice Girls 8+ crews, and also to the Jr. B Novice Boys 4X who finished third.

    October shapes up as an exciting month. SMUS will race at the GVYRS October Classic before hosting the inaugural interclub Cake Race.

    Senior girls volleyball participated in the Camosun High School Volleyball tournament October 3-4. The team topped its pool, defeating Reynolds, John Barsby and St Margaret’s in straight sets. In the playoff round, SMUS battled well but went down to Timberline, before bouncing back — behind strong play from Beta Willeboordse and Silke Kuhn — to defeat Crofton House.

    In the final match, the Blue Jags slipped by Dover Bay 2-1, finishing the competition 9th out of 24 teams. Seniors Megan Harrison, Jen Shan, Alex Nesnidalova and Keeley Copeland all provided energy and strong leadership in advance of upcoming league matches on October 7 vs PCS, Reynolds and Lambrick Park.

    The Junior girls volleyball team traveled to Nanaimo to take part in the Vancouver Island University Invitational event. An excellent effort by all players was capped by an exciting three-set victory against St. Thomas Aquinas in the Silver tier final.

    In Senior boys soccer action, SMUS made a very strong opening league statement, roaring out of the blocks to beat St. Andrew’s. In a first half blitzkrieg, the Blue Jags registered eight goals en route to an unexpectedly one sided 9-1 victory. Some clinical buildup work allowed both Matty McColl and Brian Im to notch four goals each before intermission, while Callum Montgomery also tallied. To the Sabres’ great credit, they stabilized after the initial onslaught and converted a well deserved PK to draw the second half 1-1. SMUS continues in league play October 7 and 9, hosting Belmont and Reynolds.

    On the Junior boys’ level, SMUS, behind good interplay, accurate crosses and solid performances by Duc Khuong and Donovan Sturdy, won 5-0 at St Andrew’s. Jim Newman, Ben Wingert, Max Goodyear and Finn Goodyear (2) were the goal scorers. Next up for the team are league games at Mt. Douglas and Oak Bay.

    With the Senior girls focused on a heavy practice week, the Developmental field hockey squad managed two games, battling impressively to draw 0-0 vs GNS, before falling 2-1 in the final minute to Oak Bay. Kenny Shokoya continued her fine play, adding another goal to her growing season total.

    Eighteen members of the Senior squash team competed at the Vancouver Island Open October 3-5. In the Men’s B event, Euan Hannigan won four of five matches, including a quarterfinal battle vs teammate Robert Fisher. Mark Felea-Motet, Matthew Wong and Nathan Von Hagen also performed well.

    On the Women’s side, Grace Thomas reached the final of the Open Division while Madison Liew did likewise in the A flight. Alex Brown, Flora Feng, Sun-Eui Choi and Uma Hallea also played strongly and continues to develop.

    SMUS now begins preparation for the Evergreen Junior Open, scheduled for Vancouver in three weeks’ time.

    The cross country season opened October 1 at Lambrick Park with 35 SMUS runners taking part. In the 4k girls race, Grade 9 standout Maia Watson paced herself extremely well to finish in second place, while Acacia Welsford battled hard to claim third place. In the boys’ 6k event, Lucas Simpson stuck with the lead pack and eventually placed third, while David Cunningham ran steadily to place 11th.

    Overall, SMUS, in addition to fielding the largest team, were first in the Grade 10 girls competition, second in both the Senior girls’ and Grade 10 boys’ divisions, and fourth place in the hotly contested Senior boys’ category. The next race is set for Wednesday, October 8 at Beaver Lake.

    photos by Stephanie Anter (rowing) and Brady Doland (field hockey).

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    Tolmie’s Rugged Hill: A Grade 7 Perspective

    by Angelina & Josh, Grade 7
    On Thursday, September 11th, the Grade 7 Science students at the Middle School went with Mr. Floyd, Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Lloyd on a field trip to Mt. Tolmie to study a Garry Oak meadow.

    It was beautiful atop Mt. Tolmie, the sky was blue with slight winds; it was the perfect day for a walk up a short mountain for observation. It was quite rocky and never completely smooth (except for the trails that had been walked on quite a lot). The ground was quite dry. There were many Garry Oaks around, although I think that the most plentiful plant would have to be wild grasses (specifically Orchard Grass and Sweet Vernal Grass). It was everywhere, covering most of the ground (except the trails).

    The view from the mountain was so gorgeous I felt like I could see the whole city. Some geographical features of Mt. Tolmie include the huge grooved rocks from the ice age period, the many Garry Oak trees and beautiful wild flowers including the White Fawn Lilly, the Shooting Star, the Western Buttercup and Sea Brush. The most common tree on Mt. Tolmie is Garry Oak but it is also home to Arbutus trees, blackberry bushes, mosses and licorice ferns. Looking out from the summit we could see quite a few landmarks such as Trial Island, Mt. Douglas, and Mt. Baker.

    Some Grade 7 Reflections

    “It was quite a fun experience.”

    “I quite liked going and seeing all the plants and looking at the view.”

    “I had a great time and would do it again if the choice was given to me.”

    Take a look at the video from the Mt. Tolmie session below. You can also find high resolution, downloadable images at the SMUS photo gallery.

    Video and photos by George Floyd
    Video music by Adrian & John, Grade 7

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