Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
We’ve quickly come to the end of the first month at Havergal. Your daughters are all settling well into Boarding, making new friends and becoming familiar with the rhythm of the school. We are excited about another year of wonderful girls. The month has been full of new experiences, as I’m sure you have heard through Skype, FaceTime and text. Here you can read more about the events that the girls experienced in the past month, written by the Boarders themselves. Each month, we have the girls write articles for Boarding at Havergal to showcase their writing skills and so that you can get a sense of what life is like here.
As the weeks progress and the girls finish their assessments and learn Havergal’s academic system, some may find that they may benefit from extra help or tutoring. We offer many different ways to receive additional assistance. Teachers are always there to lend support before and after class and there’s an after-school homework program where students of all grades come together to help one another. This program is supervised by one of our Learning Support Specialists. We also offer peer tutoring within Boarding. Should your daughter require a more formal tutor, I am able to coordinate that for her. If your daughter expresses to you that she is looking for more help with her studies, please advise her to see the Dons or myself, or you may contact me directly at email@example.com. We want all girls to have a successful year. We have already seen how keen they are in participating in sports, community service programs and events, and how well they work with each other in Boarding, so know that there are many avenues for your daughter to explore if she needs extra academic help.
The upcoming months will go by quickly, especially with Thanksgiving and the November Mid-Term Break. We are open during Thanksgiving, but closed for the November Mid-Term Break; so most students will either go home or to their guardian’s house. Please speak to your daughter about her plans.
I want to thank all of the new parents for the great support during your daughter’s transition to Havergal College; it can be daunting for both students and parents. Know that staff are always here to help. I also want to extend my sincere thanks to all of the parents of returning Boarders for the great communication that I see from you with our team. It makes this community work well when we hear from you and work together.
Assistant Head, Boarding
Exhilaration, thrills and lots of screams. On an early Saturday morning, Boarders from Havergal were all pumped-up for an exciting trip to Canada’s Wonderland, one of the biggest amusement parks in North America. With screams, cheers and laughter, these brave risk-takers enjoyed a wonderful day at Wonderland: the extreme 306 foot drop of Leviathan, the 90-degree spin on Nightmare, the unrelenting speed and loops on Dragon Fire… For many of the new Boarders, it was the first time they had ever been on such massive roller coasters. Some chose to spend their time leisurely on the dreamy carousel and experience the beautiful view of the city on the WindSeeker. It was a fun day to escape the stress of schoolwork and explore a local attraction. Despite a little bit of dizziness and the unexpected pouring rain in the afternoon, it was all worth it!
On Sunday, September 12, Boarders of Havergal College embarked on an Amazing Race challenge around the city of Toronto. Each Boarding family was a team and families had to complete the given clues and perform other tasks in order to earn extra points. The purple, blue, red and yellow teams rushed out of the school to complete the challenges. Clues led to City Hall, Yorkville, Chinatown, the Royal Ontario Museum, Queen West and finally back to Havergal. Much to the disappointment of other teams, the blue team (Ms. Cole’s family) successfully arrived first. The Amazing Race was a great opportunity for Boarders to bond with their Boarding families and for new students to get to know Toronto better. We had a lot of fun laughing on the streets, rushing past other families and stopping for delicious food along the way.
On Tuesday, September 15, professional instructor Blythe dropped by to give a group of Boarders an introduction to the practice of yoga. It was already the second week of school, yet new students were still experiencing some jitters and school work was already piling up for every Boarder. It was understandable that we already needed a spa day – and a spa day we got! Well, not quite, but what better way to relax and stretch muscles than by doing yoga? Days prior to the event, names quickly filled the sign-up sheet. When Tuesday afternoon arrived, we pulled on our stretchiest pants in hopes of performing the various flexible moves. As we started doing the downward dog and sun salutation movements, there were a few of us who started to question our level of fitness. That didn’t stop us though! The occasional giggles whenever someone stumbled were drowned out by the soothing music that accompanied us. When it was over, we collectively released exhales, glad that we weren’t contortionists-in-training anymore. It was an amazing stress reliever and we were glad for a peaceful time together.
It’s an annual tradition at Havergal for the Boarding School to have an event with Boarders from Upper Canada College (UCC) in early September. This year was no different. On September 11, all 55 Havergal Boarders got on a bus to go the Toronto harbourfront for a boat cruise with the UCC Boarders. The cruise started at 7 pm and, as usual, we were right on time while the UCC boys were just a little (about an hour) late. Nonetheless, HC girls had plenty of time down by the waterfront to take photos and show off their semi-formal attire. As the boys started to arrive, we all got on the boat to mingle. As you can imagine, expecting a large group of teenagers who have never met to be immediate friends isn’t that realistic. But as dinner was served, everyone was having a great time! After dinner, Boarders enjoyed a couple of hours of dancing and by 11 pm the boat was docked back at the harbourfront. Through all of the awkwardness, Havergal Boarders made a bunch of new friends from UCC and got to see the beautiful nightlife of the city, all in the same night. Boat Cruise 2015 was definitely a night to remember.
Laser tag is an event we do fairly often, usually twice a year. It was held during the second week of school so that Boarders could take a break from schoolwork. It was a fun event that helped build relationships between the new and old Boarders. Between 20 and 30 people attended, including Ms. Stewart, most of the new students and a couple of Junior Dons (myself included). All of us were split into two teams: red and blue. The blue team won all three rounds, even after switching team members each game. It was a very fun win for the blue team! What I think is most exciting about laser tag is running around in the dark and getting to work together with friends. Events like this really help new students create relationships with other Boarders and build teamwork skills. It was a successful, fun way to start the school year and a way to create friendships to remember.
On Sunday, September 20, a small group of about 10 girls, our Boarding Don Ms. Tao and I went on an indoor rock climbing trip in Markham. The bus ride was about 45 minutes long, so it gave us the time to have a mini nap, read or do a little thinking before we began climbing different walls. Before we were allowed to climb, we had to pass a short safety test. At first we were a little skeptical about taking the test, but it was quite easy. Upon passing the test, we were allowed to climb the walls. The girls had spread out to different areas and test their strength. I personally am not a lover of heights, but I did find something that was at my comfort level. However, after awhile I stuck with being the photographer.
This event helped our little group get to know each other and to experience a region outside of Toronto. We didn’t really get to explore the area, but it was nice getting out of the urban and going to the suburban. We also had the chance to see some hidden talent of new and returning Borders. Our very own Ms. Tao showed us some of her own tricks as a pro-climber. It was a very fun time, and a good way to bond in a small group.
October 8: Event with Bishop Strachan School
October 13: Thanksgiving Boarder Dinner
Monday nights: Hip Hop
Tuesday nights: Kickboxing
Wednesday nights: Swimming
Thursday nights: Yoga
Tofunmi Akinlalu is a Grade 11 Boarder who spent the first seven years of her life living in Nigeria. After Nigeria, she spent six years living in Paris. Since then, Tofunmi and her family have been living in Calgary, Alberta and this year she has joined us in Boarding. Tofunmi takes her academics very seriously, but her passion really lies in her creative writing. Tofunmi likes to write short stories and poetry. We look forward to her contributions to our newsletter this year in this monthly blog, Tofunmi’s Tales.
Ode to the New Kid
By Tofunmi Akinlalu
There’s one in every school,
Not too quiet, never average, for the most part cool,
Drifts through classes like an untimely shadow,
Bounced between cliques like a bow in an arrow,
Always sits on the bus alone,
Independent only, goes through life on her own,
The classroom filled with inspiration,
She can feel little beads of perspiration,
Dripping down her terrified face,
She feels like a bigger disgrace… Than usual.
Ode to the new kid, brave and courageous,
Ode to the new kid, calm and strong,
Ode to the new whom I’ll always be,
Ode to the new kid, her name… is me.
I always find Ini on Sunday mornings doing the dishes in the Common Room. She doesn’t have to do them, she just does. Ini came to the Boarding School last year in Grade 10. She is from Nigeria, but her family lives in Brampton for most of the year. Ini is a Junior Don this year and has taken this new role very seriously.
You will find Ini making sure that all of the new girls are comfortable and settling into their new home, just like she did last year. She’s always asking the girls how they are doing. Ini’s personality has greatly enhanced the Boarding School because she is always caring, compassionate, energetic and sympathetic to those around her. Ini enhances her days with working hard in school, playing sports and volunteering in community partnerships. When Ini is around, there is only one way to describe it: “lively.” She brings so much to Boarding life; it will be tons of fun being around Ini until she graduates in 2017.