Intermediate Division - December 6, 2012 RSS Feed
Message from Derek Poon

Derek Poon

Dec 7: Festive Marketplace, Lett Gym, Hewitt Athletic Centre, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 10: Principal's assembly, Laidlaw Hall, 8:30 a.m.; first dress required

Dec 14: Year 1 boys at iThink Workshop, Branksome Hall; buses depart at 7:45 a.m. and return at 3:30 p.m.

December examinations for IB2 students begin tomorrow and continue until Wednesday, Dec. 19. December exams for Foundation Year and IB1 students begin on Thursday, Dec. 13 and end on Dec. 19. Intermediate Division boys are reminded to be quiet in and around examination areas of the school, which will be clearly marked. Even though there are no formal exams this term for iDiv students, classes will continue as scheduled and teachers will deliver lessons, assignments and assessments as usual, right up to and including the final day of classes on Dec. 19. Parents are reminded that the College's vacation periods are very generous and extended vacations are strongly discouraged.

There's a significant one-day workshop for Year 1 boys, Grade 8 girls and faculty members called Integrative Thinking (a.k.a. iThink) scheduled for Friday, Dec. 14 at Branksome Hall. This will be the fourth consecutive year for this groundbreaking program that's catching on with boards of education across Ontario. Please read the details below and remind your sons to return your signed parental consent form by the deadline.

Student-led conferences will take place on the afternoons of Monday, Dec. 17 and Tuesday, Dec. 18 for all Y1 boys and their parents. Student-led conferences are an important event in the life of a maturing UCC student and give him the platform to show how he sees himself as a learner, how he assesses his organizational skills and reveals much of what motivates him. The boy chairs the meeting, it's his agenda and it's not to be mistaken for a parent-teacher interview. Parents will be asked by their son's form adviser via email to book appointment times.

Have a nice weekend, and thanks for reading.

Year 1 integrative thinking workshop

Download available:

I-Think Branksome Permission Form

Integrative thinking is the capacity to think and act productively in the face of multiple and often conflicting perspectives of oneself, the world and others. While most of us like to think we're open-minded, we often struggle to break free from the way we see the world.

This day-long program will give students an opportunity to challenge the way they think about complex problems and learn new tools for broadening their points of view and becoming better critical thinkers.

This program draws on content from the integrative thinking curriculum at the Rotman School of Management with a focus on two areas of interaction from the Middle Years IB curriculum: “Approaches to Learning” and “Human Ingenuity.” The areas of focus include:

Learning to learn: How does the brain process information? Why do different people perceive similar things differently than us? What can we learn from those who disagree with us?

Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills: Are there multiple ways to approach the same problem? What are the processes we go through when we try to solve a complicated problem? Are there more or less effective ways to approach problem solving?

Our creative minds: How does creative thinking help us become better problem solvers? How can opposing ideas lead us to innovate and create new solutions?

This will be a co-educational experience with the Grade 8 girls at Branksome Hall on Dec. 14. It’s a full-day program at Branksome and delivered by faculty from both schools along with professionals from the Rotman School of Management.


Take the UCC holiday concerts home

Download available:

Holiday concerts order form. Dec. 2012

Make your son's memories last forever by purchasing a DVD of the 2012 Festival of Christmas and Music Readings concert.

Did you miss an important part because you were juggling your video camera or you couldn’t get close enough with your phone? Don’t worry, you can enjoy the concert over and over again for a small price. Please see the above download for details.

Many thanks for your support,

Zoe Mahony, Prep Parents' Organization special events coordinator
Jody Howe, Prep Parents' Organization chair

A week in the iDiv

The Intermediate Division Wernham West Centre for Learning hosted a lunch and learn session on effective study skills for Year 1 boys on Dec. 3. This pilot program was born from survey responses asking students and faculty members to consider the areas of learning they would most like to improve upon. An overwhelming number requested extra assistance when preparing for tests and quizzes.

The session, devised by Ms. Gransden, provided the boys with practical means of organizing study materials, retaining information and making effective study notes. Feedback has indicated that the boys found the tips and strategies provided helpful, so keep an eye out for updates on upcoming sessions in the new year.

St. Clement’s School hosted a Grade 7/8 dance that was attended by many independent schools last Friday. It was a fantastic and fun social opportunity for the boys. The next dance is coming up on Jan. 18 at Sterling Hall. We've been assured that although the host school is a boy’s school, there will be plenty of girls in attendance.

The new iDiv leadership committee headed by Allison Macrae and Terry Denstedt, which meets Fridays during lunch, has spearheaded an initiative to breathe new life into the iDiv lounge. Facilities workers have hung five new bulletin boards that students on the committee have delegated to represent various aspects of student life: service, action, creativity/literacy, boarding and brain teasers. We all look forward to the addition of these bright ideas into the space. Thank you to all the boys who've put tremendous effort, thought and care into making this shared environment welcoming and fun for all.

Eleni Gransden, film teacher and CFL

Theft, bullying and food for thoughtlessness

Dear Upper School parents:

This message was sent to the boys before Thursday's group advising sessions:


After a quiet first couple of months of term, there has been a recent increase in disappointing events at the College: food trays left scattered around the second floor, bullying and other altercations between boys, and students stealing things (iPods, wallets, clothing) from fellow students. We have asked in many different ways for your help in quelling this kind of poisonous behaviour, as recently as in Monday’s assembly, when Mr. Cowie asked each of us to be a Good Samaritan.

At any time, any one of us may need some support or moral guidance to do the right thing. If you find yourself struggling to do good (or at least not do harm), reach out to a friend for help. If you see someone else at such a crossroads, please reach out to them. If the trouble continues despite your best effort to intervene, consider asking your adviser or a teacher for some insight.

If you still find that things aren’t improving, please talk to me or contact me by email or even anonymously by phone (416-488-1125 ext.3416) and I will try to help, too. By reporting the continuing misbehaviour of a student whom you have already tried to help, you are not getting him into more trouble, but you are actually keeping him out of even bigger trouble...and saving the community some trouble to boot. Think of it as an investment in his and our future.

Thank you very much for your kind attention,

Evan Williams

Dean of Students"

Coffee with Dr. Power

Y1: Friday, Dec. 14

Dr. Power is hosting a series of coffee mornings for Upper School parents. You're invited to attend the student assembly beforehand and then enjoy an informal conversation with Dr. Power and other parents.

Student assembly: 8:30 a.m. in Laidlaw Hall

Coffee: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., following the student assembly in Dr. Power's office

Please RSVP year representative Lori Barnes to reserve a spot.