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Inspired by the many warm-hearted stories and assemblies of Mrs. Hutchinson, former Director, Junior School, banners have now been hung around the building. They continue to encourage students to think positively and uphold the Crofton House values using Mrs. Hutchinson’s most-memorable prompts. Here are a few selections to help remind you of her messages: 

Just Do the Right Thing

It takes courage and thinking to do the right thing. It’s hard, but when we do the right thing together, it’s much easier. We don’t do the right thing for accolades or attention, we do it quietly because it’s the right thing to do. Quite often, the easy things are not the right things. Doing the right thing is about solving problems, facing our mistakes, improving things for others, and keeping our promises. Together, we’ll make the world a better place. 

“There are five words that you should know; 
take these words wherever you go: 
Just do the right thing.” 

Be Like Bamboo 

Bamboo combines strength and grace. It reaches its full height in just one growing season, and is used for all kinds of things from flooring, to tools, and clothing. The roots are what keep it strong, joined together under the ground. We have to be like bamboo—bending and swaying, but not breaking. And then we will return to our upright position. Being flexible is a sign of strength. When we lean into problems like bamboo, we have the capacity to bounce right back. It happens for the bamboo because of all the connections under the ground—that’s like your family, your teachers, and your community. They do for you what the roots do for bamboo, and help you bounce back. 

“Be like the bamboo, 
be flexible, be fabulous, like the bamboo.” 

Get Rid of Your Potatoes 

In the Junior School, when there is a concern—such as a mistake, poor decision, or regret— we call that a potato, like the ones that get lost or neglected in the back of the refrigerator. We encourage girls to get rid of their potatoes by sharing them, and they have embraced this simple image with open arms. They often come forward with the statement, “I’ve got a potato,” and afterwards, they feel untangled and liberated.  Finding the courage to make things right is an expression of growth and an impressive act of bravery. We gave the girls some tips to try to unleash a potato: 

  1. Identify: be honest with yourself by asking, what’s really bothering me?
  2. Pause: take a breath because intentional breathing helps manifest our courage. 
  3. Return: this is the most difficult part—return to the situation or the person. 
  4. Act: do something to make it right, such as an apology.  

This is a significant path in the girls' journey to becoming her best self and developing personal responsibility. We all have potatoes that we hold inside, bothering us sometimes for years. The longer we avoid them, the heavier they become.

Your Words are Like Bubbles

Words are like bubbles; it’s very hard to take them back. Junior School students have reflected on the power of words to impact the world around us. Words cascade out of us frequently without thought or intention. It’s helpful for all of us to consider our words and take a small momentary breath before speaking. This brief practice helps to connect our brain with what we are about to say. We recognize that sometimes difficult things must be said. Hopefully, even challenging interactions can be expressed with care and purpose. It takes courage and strength to create a meaningful apology and remove the outcome of our words.

Special thanks to CHS parent Tracy Harvey-Chan, who designed the banners.

“Imagine being an expert in a domain such as environmental conservation, and you’re able to travel the world and speak to people about it, in their language,” said Maurice Broschart, Teacher, Languages, Senior School. To give his students a sense of efficacy, he decided to give them a taste of what that might be like, now. 

Wrapping up a recent unit, Monsieur Broschart partnered with Tiffany Hui, Facilitator, Design Thinking to assign a special project. Grade 10 students used the French "future tense" to describe and present a building they redesigned using existing technology. Students were challenged to incorporate as much renewable energy and sustainability into their projects as possible, giving them the opportunity to integrate design-thinking with language skills, while also addressing a topic that's important to all of us: climate change. 

“This stems from teaching an environmental unit about three years ago to a group of Grade 9 students at another school. It was pre-Greta (Thunberg), and pre-pandemic, and I felt that at a young age, the students were already feeling defeated,” explained M. Broschart. “That’s why this project focuses on real, ground-breaking technologies that can help us feel excited and hopeful.” 

As part of their presentation, students built models, as well as digital representations and drawings, and presented in pairs or individuals. We saw stadiums, boarding schools, apartment buildings, and hotels, to name a few. Featured technologies included solar panels, water recycling, water-efficient toilets, energy-efficient glass and lighting, composting, and greenspace. The students were thoughtful about integrating multiple technologies systemically in their designs. 

“Design thinking is about being intentional and trying to understand how your work and what you do has an impact on others and the environment,” said Ms. Hui. “In this challenge, the rubric was about French speaking, but the applications and the other learning adds so much more—it’s about building models, learning technologies, and also trying to apply it in a real way.” 

In this way, students have the chance to explore future career paths, learn new ways to express themselves and their ideas, and uncover different skills or technologies they’re passionate about. Teachers are excited to collaborate this way as well, and these types of design-integrated projects often come together because of a shared spark of an idea they’re excited about. 

“I think this was quite innovative because we had a lot of freedom and we got to decide how we were going to incorporate the theme, so it turned out to be unique in the end, said Amy, Grade 10. “Doing it in another language meant we were that much more familiar with our research, since we had to practice it a lot.” “It left a lot of space for us to add ideas because it’s such a broad topic,” added Viela, Grade 10. “I really liked that we could connect it to our different skills,” said Sammi, Grade 10. “Some people are really good at speaking, some can write, some are really creative with design—everybody got to express their talents through this project.” 

Though this is the first time he has tried this assignment, it is safe to say that the experiment has been a success. “I wanted the students to explore some bigger themes in their second or third language—that’s really what senior school language teachers hope to do,” said M. Broshcart. “It’s not all verb conjugation.” 

Every year, Grade 9 students have the chance to work with black-belt self-defence instructors, Louisa and James from Hit And Run, to learn strategies and techniques to protect themselves. They learned practical tips to avoid trouble, empowering strategies to defend themselves (e.g. if you’re carrying a travel mug, throw your drink in their face), and helpful advice to help identify their attacker (e.g. tell the police to look for the person with a drink on their face).  

The annual session is memorable and popular. With a few tweaks, James and Louisa were able to visit campus and deliver the training at a distance to respect COVID-19 guidelines. “Their task is to get students away from attackers, so it’s all about creating space,” said Karlene Headley-Cooper, Teacher, Physical & Health Education, Senior School. “My Grade 10 class who took it last year, wanted to have a repeat when they saw James and Louisa; they remembered the key points a year later.” 

After some demonstrations, girls had the chance to put day one’s lessons into action by miming on each other, and by attacking BOB—a life-sized ‘body opponent bag—sticking to the TEEN targets: Throat, Ears, Eyes, Nose. They were a fearsome group. “These are vulnerable areas,” said Louisa. “You can’t exercise or strengthen these no matter what size you are.” Girls practiced using one other tool: their voices. “Just showing them that they can do something, starting with yelling aggressively, is nine out of ten times enough to show an attacker it’s not worth it,” said James. 

The Grade 9 students were enthusiastic. “I thought it was very beneficial, and valuable. I learned not to be afraid to just go for it,” said Zoey. “My takeaway is to be intentional,” said Hannah. “Go for the sensories!” added Isabella. 

James and Louisa spend two sessions with the students, teaching elements from two martial arts they’ve blended to Krav-Jitsu: Krav Maga and Combat Jujitsu. They have worked as a team for decades helping students of all sizes, ages, and fitness levels to feel confident, and have a sense of safety. 

“We love coming here, the students are amazing and well-disciplined,” said James. “We get through the curriculum efficiently, everyone is on point, asking questions—it’s fantastic.” 

Grade 10 students studying textiles had an opportunity to create their own fashion collection, inspired by current issues and events. From inspiration board to final drawings, girls embraced the chance to share their style, and sensibilities. “I gave them free rein to choose their cause and dive in,” said Sarah Kenny, Teacher, Arts and Applied Design Skills & Technology, Senior School. 

Other project parameters included staying out of the realm of costume, and more towards the practical, wearable side of fashion. They were challenged to use inspiration images depicting aspects of the cause they’re drawn to; students pulled from ocean waves to scenes from protests, wildfires, the US election, and more. “It’s really interesting what they chose,” said Ms. Kenny. “I assigned this because there is so much going on and I felt it would be good for them to channel how they feel about these things through a medium that they enjoy.” 

We heard from a few students who participated: 

McKenna, Grade 10: 
Project: Our World is on Fire 
Inspiration: Climate Change 

“Climate change affects everyone. I focus a lot on reducing my personal waste (for example, I walk to school, make my own clothes), so I wanted to include that. I felt like I was able to put my vision—how I interpret climate change--into a physical representation.” 

Mimi Grade 10: 
Project: Polaris
Inspiration: Climate Change 

“Mine is about the ice caps melting. That’s where I drew my inspiration because I think it’s really important to reduce our carbon footprint. I have seen how fashion can also raise awareness and I wanted to put my own spin on it.” 

Sam, Grade 10: 
Project: Two Sides of Our World
Inspiration: Climate Change 

“I love the world that I get to grow up in and I want that for the future generations. Usually, we do a lot of reading and research on a project so getting to draw how I felt was really cool.” 

Georgia, Grade 10: 
Project: Breaking the Boundaries
Inspiration: Gender Equality
“Men now have the opportunity to wear more feminine clothing, especially in the workplace. I think I could have done a little bit more, but I didn’t want it to be too overwhelming and distract from the topic; I’ve seen lots on social media about this so I thought it would be good to cover.”

Lena, Grade 10: 
Project: Black Lives Matter
Inspiration: Social Justice

“It was all over my social media feeds and it was a huge movement this year. I was inspired by trends that are rooted in black culture, but that black culture doesn’t get a lot of credit for because it gets swallowed up into ‘western’ culture. My second outfit was a protest outfit, that would keep you safe in a protest.”  

Christine, Grade 10: 
Project: Domestic Terrorism
Inspiration: Social Justice 

“I saw an article that popped up in my email from the New York Times that was about how the last (US) government was, shockingly, encouraging violence in protests. I think this is an important issue, and I just like this kind of military look and clothing you can wear that’s protective.”  

Kelly, Grade 10: 
Project: Pandemic Pleats / Street Masks
Inspiration: COVID-19

“I thought it would be a good issue to work with because it’s so prominent, and it’s also so stigmatized to be “bad” that I thought if I could do something nice and fun and creative it would alleviate some of that aura. Make it more okay visually.”

Maddie, Grade 10: 
Project: Quarantine Couture 
Inspiration: COVID-19

“COVID-19 affects all of us. Mine showed that everyone needs to help or we’re not going to get out of here. The pandemic weighs on me; it’s in the back of my mind when I walk down the street or go to the grocery store. A creative outlet helped. There is so much more you can put into a drawing than into words.”

The Crofton House Winter Bazaar is a cherished tradition that embodies our values. We are grateful to the parents, staff, and students who work tirelessly to bring this event to life. Like many traditions at Crofton House, in 2020, we’ve had to find a creative way to continue with the activities that have meaning for us. In that spirit, in 2020, the Bazaar moves online, where our school community may purchase DIY craft kits, sweet and savoury pies, as well as the traditional selection of plants and wreaths. 

Proceeds from the Crofton House Winter Bazaar will go to support KidSafe, an organization that supports vulnerable children and youth in the Vancouver area with nutritious meals, educational programming, and safe space during times when schools are closed for breaks. To learn more about our partnership with this amazing organization, please read this guest blog post from KidSafe.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy a look back at Bazaars from the past!

The tradition is rooted back in 1942, when Crofton House established its own Junior Red Cross association. The first Bazaar was held in May 1943 to raise funds for the Red Cross.

Photo: The first Red Cross Bazaar, May 1943. Photo was taken by Evelyn Runcie (nee Scott), a Grade 1 teacher at CHS from 1930-1954. Items pictured were made by Grade 1 students.

A "Christmas Bazaar," held in the first week of December, was introduced in 1950. This meant two Bazaars were held each school year; one in the spring and one in the winter.

The "Christmas Bazaar" moved to late November in 1953, and by 1955, the Spring Bazaar was phased out, making the winter Bazaar the focus each year.

Photo: Grade 12 stall at the Bazaar. Taken by Eleanor Puckering (nee Matheson) '47 on May 31st, 1946.

Photos: the 1975 and 1976 Winter Bazaars 

In the early 1970s, parents became involved in the organization of the Bazaar and it began to grow in size and scope over the next four decades. In 2007, during the Campus Master Plan and the rebuilding of campus, Bazaar was put on hold as construction limited the physical space needed to hold this event. We were excited to welcome the return of the Winter Bazaar in 2015, and thankful to our dedicated community, led by the Parents’ Auxiliary, for their efforts in bringing back this tradition.  

Inspired by the courage of a small group of parents who take on the huge task of organizing the event, the CHS Winter Bazaar is an inclusive event that engages the entire community. Parents volunteer time, along with their creativity, and organizational skills, to make this event a success. Working alongside their daughters, they demonstrate a commitment to citizenship

Photo: The 2018 Winter Bazaar in the new Manrell Hall

The Winter Bazaar’s charitable donation is a demonstration of our School’s desire to teach our girls to see the world through a lens of compassion, develop relevant and meaningful relationships, and take action to make a difference in our community.

TAP IN! a podcast that explores topics that are important to Teachers And Parents - making it easy for you to be part of big conversations. Hosted by Susan Hutchison, director, Junior School, and assistant director Wendy Macken.