About kcsstudent

Kingsway College School. Where students learn the habits that matter most for success in life.

Orange Shirts & Student-Driven Leadership

As one of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reminds us, education is an important aspect of reconciliation. At KCS, we are working hard to educate ourselves so that the future looks better for everyone. On September 30th KCS took part in the nationwide Orange Shirt Day for the first time ever. It was all thanks to Liesl and Vivian, two young grade 5 students who decided to make a difference at their school and in their community. This is their story, told in their own words…

Liesl’s Story

My name is Liesl and I am 10 years old. My friend Vivian and I learned about the history of residential schools and the inequalities faced in education in Canada today. We made a presentation to educate our classmates last year, and this year we decided that it would be a good idea to think about Orange Shirt Day.

Our first job was to get our school ready for KCS’s first Orange Shirt Day, which is a day to remember the impact of residential schools on Indigenous people. We had to do a lot of preparation for Orange Shirt Day, but we got help from Ms. Gaudet and our parents. We got together during summer to work on a slideshow about Orange Shirt Day, which we would later present to grades 5 to 8 in Chapel. We also made a slideshow that wasn’t as intense for grades 1 to 4.

We then met up one weekend during the school year, where we made our own handmade orange ribbons for students and teachers to wear on Orange Shirt Day. We used orange ribbon and cut it 18cm long. Then we glued the ribbon to look like a breast cancer ribbon. Finally, we put safety pins in the middle of the ribbon, so students and teachers could wear the ribbon on their shirts. We also had a lot of fun making announcements on the P.A. system and at Chapel to remind students and teachers to wear an orange shirt school on September 30th.

I am so happy that I am able to help educate KCS about Indigenous peoples, their history, and their culture. I hope I can do this until grade 8, because it is so much fun!

Vivian’s Story

Orange Shirt Day is a day for honouring Indige

nous people. Indigenous people had to go to horrible schools, where their personality was unwillingly changed. Their long hair was cut, and they were forced to change their original names to English names. Liesl and I educated the grade 5 to 8 students about these terrible residential schools. For the younger kids, we talked about how amazing our school is and how lucky we are to be at KCS. We also created Orange Shirt Day colouring sheets to get everyone into the spirit, and to help everyone remember the date.

We realized that not many people have an orange shirt, so Liesl and I went through the process of making approximately four hundred orange pins. First, we had to decide what kind of pin we were doing, and decided on doing a breast cancer-shaped ribbon. We cut an enormous amount of ribbons, then we had to glue them all. Unfortunately, at our first get together we only made 77, so we had to make more at our houses. We ended up making enough for all the students and 27 extra ones for the staff.

Orange Shirt Day was an amazing experience for Liesl and me. It took a lot of work to research and plan the special day, but it paid off when we watched our work unfold. It was incredible when everyone came to school wearing an orange shirt!

Everyone at KCS is incredibly proud of Liesl and Vivian’s leadership. By taking on this challenge, they reminded us that we can all work together to do what is right. We’ve begun the good work that is required on the journey toward reconciliation. For example, our grade 3 students will soon benefit from a visit with Talitha Tolles, Community and Capacity Development Coordinator at the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council. We are proud that our students are passionate about learning more and are willing to take on leadership opportunities in this area. To read more about student-driven leadership at KCS, check out these blogs about student-led projects, the power of student voice, and student-run clubs.  

Learning from Paddle Tennis

Starting in April, twenty lucky grade 7 and 8 students joined a Paddle Tennis elective at Kingsway Platform Tennis Club. We’ve enjoyed the elective and have learned many new skills. We wanted to share some of the Habits of Mind, Body and Action we’ve learned during our time playing Paddle Tennis.


Persist

During Paddle Tennis, all of the students had to persist. Whether we were new to the sport, or had played many times before, we all had to persist to play Paddle Tennis. If you were new to the sport you had to persist during drills and rallies to keep up to more advanced players. If you already knew the sport you had to persist by being patient and encouraging to new players.

Share what you know

During Paddle Tennis, we also had to share what we knew about the sport. All of the students had different things they were great at and things they could improve. Drills helped improve things we didn’t know and when we had already mastered something, we would help students who were still having trouble. Rallying with players at all levels taught us different techniques and strategies. More advanced students were a great help during games.

Overall, Paddle Tennis has been a great experience for everybody and wouldn’t be the same without our amazing teachers and instructors: Ms. Marcynuk, Ms. Silverberg, Ms. Gibson, and Mr. Rogers. We hope to continue Paddle Tennis in the future at KCS. We have made memories and learned things we will never forget. We can’t wait to return to Kingsway Platform Tennis Club to grow on our knowledge of the sport. See you on the courts!

Sing a Song of KCS

SongwritingThis year has been the grade 6s first year with electives and we weren’t sure what to expect. Every Wednesday, for two hours, our group of three girls go down to the music room and try to write a KCS school song. Most people might think that songwriting isn’t very interesting (that’s what the three of us in the elective thought before) but it is the most amazing and fun grade 6 experience that we have ever had. All week we look forward to sitting down with all the instruments and playing whatever we want because there’s no wrong answer. Our goal is to write the KCS school song within 10 weeks and our progress has been incredible. The first three weeks, we brainstormed ideas of what KCS felt like, looked like, smelled like and meant to us and we came up with many sheets expressing our feelings. The fourth week, a singer/songwriter named Jennifer Foster came in and helped us a lot with how to write a song and which notes to use to give the overall warm feeling that we wanted for the song. Some of the words that the four of us kept coming up with were: warm, family, community, friendship and laughter because these words all describe KCS. We also wanted to include that you don’t have to be someone specific and you don’t have to change yourself to go to KCS. This experience has been one of the most educational, interesting, and fun experiences that we have ever had. None of us can believe how much work you can get done even while laughing and having so much fun.

Why KCS is the best

There are so many wonderful things about KCS! Let me tell you about a few things that make our school so special. First of all the teachers are so kind because they help you when you need it, they make you feel better when you’re sad, they have a great sense of humor and they will spend their time at recess to help you finish something. The students are also amazing because they are so enthusiastic to learn, they help other people, they are willing to spend their time at recess to finish up something or help someone else finish up something and they always follow the three school rules. The athletic programs at KCS are great because every single person always tries their best, shows good sportsmanship and they show their school spirit. The students are also very welcoming to visitors and if it is your first day they make you feel that you have been here for your whole life. That’s why KCS is the best school ever!

Kiana
Grade 5 student