In our Pink Shirt Day Assembly on February 28th 2018, students and teachers gathered to commemorate an important message: kindness knows no bounds. Pink Shirt Day was founded on the premise of a boy attending his first day of school, followed by being mocked and ridiculed by his peers for wearing a pink shirt. After this, other students, the “bystanders” decided to speak up on his behalf, and use social media to draw attention to supporting this downtrodden student. As a result, many students returned to school the following day wearing pink shirts to lift this student up. The results were staggering, as many students supported one another by wearing pink shirts; forever referred to as the ‘sea of pink.’

 

The founding principles of Pink Shirt Day is important because children were responsible for making a difference. In our Pink Shirt Day assembly and throughout the day, students symbolized kindness by wearing pink shirts and worked with their parents and teachers to write thoughtful messages to one another on a giant ipad in the foyer.

 

Mr. Bouchard shared the meaning of bystanders with the audience and invited students to participate in demonstrations reflecting how impactful the actions of a bystander can be. Kindergarten students interviewed one another, with an aim to teach the audience all about ‘Kelso’s Choices,’ which is an array of solutions for encouraging proactive problem solving strategies in children. Kindergarten students also performed skits and showed the rest of the school how they use their words and actions to solve problems with one another. Teachers showcased students work on the projector on how to be a friend along with photos of students working together and solving problems. Our assembly concluded with a poem on ‘How to Be a Pal,’ in which Kindergarten students sang and acted out this poem for the audience.  

Grade 3 Field Trip

 

Before spring break, Grade 3 students went skating at Richmond Olympic Oval. These out-of-school excursions are an important part of our PE program!

 

We are all children, or at least we once were children. But we all grow up. Don’t we? What if we could live in a land of make-believe and live in a world where we never grow old? Where each day we have the opportunity to fight pirates, learn from the first nations, swim with mermaids – oh and fly!! On February 2nd, 2018, Pythagoras Academy gave our audience this chance!

Our journey to Neverland began in September 2017. The auditions were held in the second week of the term and created such a buzz of anticipation down the halls. I believe the success of a cast member should be based on merit and that is why the auditions were open to all age groups. We saw over sixty students auditioning for main parts, which is amazing for our school size! Once we had the main cast, we started the rehearsal process. Every Tuesday after-school, the forty main cast students worked through the script and prepared their lines/choreography with Miss Smith and I. This year the students were also lucky enough to help Miss Masi with the scenery and set design and had extra choral/solo song practice with Miss Welk. 

 
 

After five months of rehearsal, the students were ready to showcase their talents. This year, due to the sheer size of the cast (101 students to be precise) we needed a lot of rehearsal time. Scenery/propand dress rehearsals were held in the school gym to give the students an idea of just how big the actual stage would be. On Wednesday the 31st of January, we invited the Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students to watch our final dress rehearsal. The students were enthralled throughout and left feeling inspired. One Kindergarten student even stated, ‘I thought I was IN Neverland, it was soooo good!’. With this encouragement from their audience, the cast were ready to take to the bigstage!

We had two days of technical rehearsals at the ‘Gateway Theatre’ and once again the students rose to the occasion. They were extremely professional backstage and they understood the expectations. It was wonderful to see grade one students and grade seven’s share dressing rooms, encouraging one another and to see all students working positively with their teachers. This team work culminated in one truly amazing performance! The students left the stage smiling, the audience were captivated and the teachers left feeling extremely proud of what their students had accomplished. Although directing a production like this is a lot of hard work and comes with a lot of stress, it was all worth it!

This year, I have been swept away by the power of the Pythagoras Academy community. ‘Peter Pan’ was a collaborative effort and one in which the cast, crew, production staff, carpenters and our many parent volunteers worked tirelessly to bring to life. I have total gratitude for all the amazing people who came together to make this show the labour of love that it was. Thank you. I would also like to thank our sponsor ‘ASPAC’. Without their support, the possibility of extravagance and greatness would not have been possible. To ‘Children’s Choir of Richmond’ for donating the costumes. Thank you for your generosity. And to Paul Bhangle from ‘West Coast Signature Homes’ for providing the set design and carpentry. Thank you for your time and care. Finally, a huge thank you to the parents. Thank you for learning the lines with your children, putting up with the addictive songs and your overall encouragement and support.

Here at Pythagoras Academy, the staff understand that ‘Musical Theatre’ (and arts in general) are not just ‘fun’ subjects, but that they also have very real and measurable, educational and social benefits. Time and time again, we see that students who participate in the arts have better attainment levels in other classes as well. Considering the show was only last week, I have students already coming to me asking what the next show will be. This is a testament to how much these experiences enrich students’ lives. Through these experiences, the students create friendships, understand the importance of responsibility and develop into well rounded individuals. Musical productions inherently allow students to create special memories. Memories that they will cherish forever. The students of Pythagoras Academy should be very proud of their accomplishments and of the family they’ve created. It has been an awfully big adventure…

 

Last week, February 5, the grade 2 students visited the Telus World of Science in connection with their science unit about forces and how objects move. Students were able to explore the many exhibits in Science World. There also was a workshop called Tinkering Catapults that students participated in. Students created a catapult with basic materials and had to design, build, and test their model. It was interesting to see the many unique designs!