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Taking action through Colour House debating

One the goals of Colour House debating is to provide Middle Division students with an opportunity for real world learning, so four boys from the White, Blue and Black Houses and four from the Yellow, Green and Red Houses took opposing viewpoints on whether the Toronto Port Lands should be returned to their natural state to ensure the well-being of the city.

The boys practised their oral language skills, learned deeply about a local environmental issue and presented findings to a real audience. This was a collaborative effort with the Prep history department and the Centre for Learning (CFL).
CFL Middle Dividion coordinator Susan Elliott taught lessons in all Form 7 classes on the issue through current events in history classes. She also worked with the "Eco Warriors" so that they could facilitate the debate in Form 6 classrooms after the debating final on Tuesday. We give thanks to Tina Jagdeo, Marion Paxton, Kassie Dwarika and Year 1 student James Coady for coaching the teams.
We congratulate our debaters on their fantastic display of public speaking skills and well-researched arguments: Rohan Monga, Cooper Mendelson-Grasse, Alexander Quinn, Matthew Jagdeo, Alexander Jain, David Zhu, Brent Leung, Evan Zucker and Daanyal Chaudry.
Huge thanks also to our "Eco Warriors," who facilitated the debates in the Form 6 classrooms: Carson Lamont, Anthony Hua, Peter Liu, Jacob Young, Matt Mountford, Sevion Da Costa and Nathan Lee.
Visual & Information Literacy

The Wernham West Centre for Learning has developed a Blackboard course where all students are enrolled.  The ‘course’ offers and provides many resources for topics such as: organization tips, time management and planning tools, study strategies, etc.
Each month, we will feature a ‘Skill of the Month’, which will be sent home in Heads Up and posted on the Blackboard site.  The ‘Skill of the Month’ is meant to offer a basic overview and let the boys know the types of support we offer through the Centre for Learning.  If they would like more information on any of these skills, or others, all they need to do is email me at

The skill this month is "Visual & Information Literacy".   Following is a PowerPoint slideshow on how to ‘Critically Evaluate Online Information’.   There is also information on ‘How to Develop Your Visualization Skills’ and ‘10 Ways to Improve Your Visualization Skills’.

Jody McLean
Senior Division Coordinator – Wernham West Centre for Learning
Fitness for learning and the brain

Fitness for learning and the brain

The Wernham West Centre for Learning has developed a Blackboard course in which every boy is enrolled. The "course" offers many resources and ideas ranging from how to study, how to organize and how to plan your time. We'll feature a "skill of the month" which we'll send home in Heads Upeach month. The skill of the month is meant to offer a basic overview and let boys know the types of support we offer through the Centre for Learning.

If boys would like more information on any of these skills, all they need to do is email me
The skill this month is "note taking on your laptop" (click for pdf). We included a few subject-specific examples, but have more information on every subject and encourage boys to speak with their teachers or come to the Centre for Learning if they would like to develop their note-taking skills.
Mary Gauthier
Executive Director, Wernham West Centre for Learning
Support for all students starts at the CFL

Support for all students starts at the CFL

The Richard Wernham & Julia West Centre for Learning provides everyone in the Preparatory School with an introductory session outlining the support that's available to students.
With so much going on around campus, students are given strategies to stay on track. A major component of being successful in the Prep relates to proper use of the student agenda. Tina Jagdeo, the centre’s Primary coordinator, guided the lesson in this video clip with Form 5 boys in the centre’s new learning space.
Learning in our own backyard

Learning in our own backyard

Where the Wild Things Are... that's where you'll find the boys during Earth Week!

Boys of all ages will be out in force all four days next week planting in two new sites on campus!
The grade 7 Eco-Warriors have created a Wild garden in a wooded space beside the bubble.
Now it is ready for tree planting by more than 14 classes of students from both the Prep and Upper School.
Inspired by one of their favourite books, "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, the boys designed a boat made by logs found on campus. Last week, they came out to watch a Chainsaw Sculptor carve the logs into a boat shape and make an armchair out of a stump soon to be placed in a sunny spot. School gardeners Edgar Friars and Lori Burnison have organized a planting plan and help lead the work next week.
A second garden--the Butterfly and Bird Reserve--will start to take shape next week as well on the west side of the bubble.
The seeds and plants have been selected to attract birds and butterflies and provide another spot to bird watch, explore and learn from the natural world right here on campus.
Senior Kindergarten boys will be out every day in the Learning Garden next week with Ms. Jagdeo and Mr. Carr. reading, writing and doing math: all part of planting the sunflower path.
This year, our casual dress Earth Day funds will be directed to forests not only at home but in our city partners, national forests and international community. Peter Charnvarnichborikarn, Sustainability Steward will speak about his community service trip last summer to Sri Lanka to help elephants and their habitats protection. Some of our funds will be help support this work. We will also make a contribution to the greening program at one of our Horizon partners and to our boreal forest in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. The beautiful poster for the week was designed by Jonathan Lorimer.

These many acts of green literally breathe life into our learning each day.
All we need now is a little sunshine!

Susan Elliott
Lisa Bonney
Sustainability Fellows 2010-11