In one week we will be opening our doors to a swarm of re-energized, excited students and families. The Hollyburn Learning Team is buzzing with delight for another fantastic school year. We are pleased to welcome back everyone, and excited to meet the new families joining our school community. We are also thrilled to welcome some tiny, new, busy members to the Hollyburn family. This past year, as part of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and sustainability initiative, we were invited to pilot BeeWatch, an inside honeybee viewing hive (The Hollybee Hive). This exciting, secure and safe hands-on viewing experience has endless learning possibilities and curricular connections, but we thought we would use the metaphor of the honey bee to describe some of the amazing tenets of Hollyburn. As always, we pride ourselves in creating a safe, caring and warm school environment that is inclusive of every student. The “Hollyburn Hug” has always been such a great “buzz” phrase to describe our climate and culture, and we will continue to practice the universal design philosophy that “all means all”, as the whole Hollyburn Learning Team believes they teach and support all our students. We look forward to launching the new school year on September 4th (students in Grades 1 – 7 from 8:45am – 10:00am) and welcome our new Kindergarten students on September 5th for the beginning of their gradual entry. There are so many new and interesting learning opportunities awaiting the learners at Hollyburn, but what are some of the ways that we can “bee”?
Educating the heart and the mind is a main tenet at Hollyburn. We know there is much research around the benefits of Social Emotional Learning, having positive self-identity, and a strong understanding of our abilities. We value and honour student voice, and know that formative assessment practices drive our instruction and how we deliver the curriculum in a personalized and engaging manner. We are a diverse school with a wonderful tapestry of culture and creative and innovative minds, and we strive to honour all so that students know there are multiple adults who care and who believe the children are going to be a success! At Hollyburn students and teachers build an educational relationship of care and trust, and this transcends to the classroom and beyond, where students are able to spread their wings and take risks with their learning, develop deep friendships, and help others and our environment.
Within our learning community, much like the honeybee hive, we are all members of the Hollyburn family. We respect and care for one another, know how to be good friends, are responsible and dedicated learners, and ensure that we are respectful to not only each other, but also to our world. We will continue with our “Pack It In and Pack It Out” initiative, where all students and staff bring home their garbage and recycle appropriately, and we are so grateful to have strong connections to nature with our Hollyburn garden and with our proximity to Ambleside Beach. At Hollyburn we are a team of learners, both young and old, and love working together to solve real life problems and inquire into our passions. We believe that being part of a team means working together in ways that are positive and collaborative. This includes our strong connection to our friends from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation and how we are routed in the First Peoples Principles of Learning. We know that learning takes patience and time and we value the connections we make and lessons we learn from all our community partners.
We know that learning isn’t always easy; in fact, there should be times where we are stretched to reach our goals. Perseverance and developing resiliency is so core to who we are at Hollyburn. We know that we all have different abilities and skills and we need to help each other and share and value these abilities to be a community of dedicated learners who are continuously improving. As we believe in a strong foundation routed in the literacy and numeracy, we are dedicated to find the balance between the core competencies, skills, and knowledge needed to engage with the curriculum, along with the understandings unpacked with each big idea/subject investigated. We are dedicated to help students transfer these skills and knowledge to new and relevant situations – something we all strive for as educators and learners. All learning is valued in our community and we look forward to sharing not only the great successes, but also the failures, as they are powerful opportunities to continue to stretch ourselves as learners.
Next week we start a new year with buzzing excitement. Our students will be flying into our Hollyburn School full of joy, hope, and will begin to make those important connections with students and staff over the next month. We are ready to welcome everyone back, and while we get settled, please know that your little honeybee is of the upmost importance to us. We are here to help create a learning environment fit for any type of learner, and we know that the honey sweet reward of learning is something we have to do together. Welcome back everyone!