Crofton House School
Calendar & News

Croftonian Crumbs

Croftonian Crumbs was the title of the first edition of the spontaneous and playful school publication, started by Miss Ellen Bryan in 1954. Similar to how today's blogs offer writers a creative and casual space, Croftonian Crumbs originally provided CHS girls an opportunity to put pen to paper without the constraints of a conventional format. We are pleased to revive the spirit of Croftonian Crumbs, in its 21st century digital edition.

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A Legendary Year

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday June 15 at 11:46AM
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Time of Celebration

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday June 8 at 01:44PM
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Building Community

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday May 25 at 10:30AM
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Hello, May

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday May 11 at 12:10PM
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In Gratitude for The Gift of Failure

By Lois Rowe, Deputy Head

The release of Jessica Lahey’s book, The Gift of Failure, was met with praise from the media in many countries including the New York Times, authors such as Susan Cain, the author of Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking, as well as educators and parents around the world. Her candid and well-researched message about how a fear of failure is undermining children’s autonomy, competence, motivation, and their relationships with the adults in their lives, is more relevant today than on the day her book was first released. It is time to hear her message. On Thursday, September 27, 2018, the Crofton House community will welcome Jessica Lahey as the sixth speaker in the ‘Whole Girl, Whole World’ speaker series co-hosted by the CHS Parents’ Auxiliary. She will be spending time during the day with students in grades 4-12 and their teachers, and speaking to parents in the evening.

The Gift of Failure speaks to everyone. Parents, in particular, will find in its pages research, experience, ideas and quotable statements that will resonate with the dilemmas and worries they experience each day. In Ms. Lahey’s words: “Today, parenting is less oxytocin-soaked rosy glow, and more adrenaline-fueled oncoming-headlight glare.” The vulnerability and voices of all parents are captured and reflected back from the pages of The Gift of Failure.

In The Gift of Failure, Ms. Lahey takes the reader on a journey through each age and stage of development, from toddler to post-secondary, illustrating through examples how navigating a challenge or recovering from a setback positions an individual to be an autonomous and competent adult. Her examples of “desirable difficulties” cover a wide range of arenas such as chores in the home and struggles with friendships to those that accompany school life such as sports, grades, homework and relationships with teachers. Through each chapter, she invites the reader to welcome failure into the experience of our children. Her rationale for why and how to step back and allow the lessons from failure to be learned is compelling and, in closing the final chapter, the message is clear - failure is a gift.

My copy of The Gift of Failure is full of marked pages and highlighted text. I particularly valued the opportunity to read the perspectives of those who were interviewed by the author and were willing to shared their experiences. The words of an adolescent psychologist, Jennifer Hartstein, shares what she is increasingly seeing in children who are never allowed to struggle on their way to emerging adulthood: “When these kids are not allowed to fall and pick themselves up, they never learn how to tolerate disappointment, manage their relationships, take responsibility for themselves, or cope with the anxiety of not getting what they want. I frequently pose this question to parents who are afraid to let go: “How do you expect them to be an adult if you never let them learn how.”” In addition, comments from Barnard College president, Debora L. Spar re-enforces the long-term goal of allowing students to learn through failure at every stage of life.  “Give me a kid with a passion for learning, a kid who has demonstrated some measure of autonomy and motivation. Give me a kid who knows his or her mind. But these things are harder to come by if the child has been tutored and handheld from birth.” Finally, the words of one of the parents quoted in this book: “I had a terrible time letting my children fail … He grew up believing he should be “perfect,” and “perfect” meant that he never skinned a knee and never broke a sweat.”

I encourage you to join us on September 27 for Jessica Lahey’s presentation and to pick up a copy of her book, The Gift of Failure. Her empowering messages gives parents permission to step back and value the character shaping experiences of skinned knees, failed tests, dissolved friendships, and rejection letters.  As Susan Hutchison, Director of the Junior School, often encourages us to say “Hello disappointment! I have been waiting for you.” Ms. Lahey’s work and the Whole Girl Whole World series will certainly add to the professional learning of the community. I am grateful to the Parents’ Auxiliary for making this opportunity available because speakers and authors such as Lahey strengthens our collective understanding of CHS girls and our values of courage, creativity and citizenship.

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday May 11 at 12:10PM
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English 8+ Students Visit Chinatown

By English 8+ students 2017-18

Over the last three months, we have learned about Chinese culture in Canada. To better understand this unique demographic, we read, discussed, and analyzed the novels The Jade Peony and White Jade Tiger. Throughout this unit, we had opportunities to share stories of ourselves, and we invited guests (Mr. Eng and Mrs. Schwartz) to our class to share with us their personal stories about being Chinese in Canada.

Over the last three weeks we applied what we learned from the novels to our research of Vancouver’s Chinatown with the goal of leading each other on a tour of Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown. To be successful as tour guides, we had to research and prepare a presentation that we could give while walking the class through our section of Chinatown. Throughout this process, Ms. Wilde and Ms. Gibb taught us how to research and cite our sources and how research can be used to give interesting tours.

Highlights of this project included dividing the workload, which we all found very helpful. Dividing up the work also allowed us to cover more details about the unique history of Vancouver’s Chinatown. The fact that we got to see actual sites in Chinatown instead of just looking at them on the internet made the research come alive. We especially found it interesting to look at the gentrified buildings and compare these to the older buildings in the area. In one of these older buildings, the owner of a Chinese herb store waved us in with a smile and a dried gekko on a stick. This was quite funny, and we liked the queer herbs inside his shop.

For us it was really interesting to compare the similarities and differences between the actual China and the Chinatown of Vancouver. The buildings in Vancouver’s Chinatown have some similarities to buildings in China: they are of a Hong Kong style and similar to some areas of Mainland China. Also, during the tea serving, we noticed differences between how a non-Chinese person serves tea compared to how a Chinese person from China would do the tea ceremony. All in all, we had a lot of fun during this project, and learned a lot about the evolution of Chinese culture in Canada.

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday May 11 at 12:03PM
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Happy Spring

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Thursday April 26 at 02:40PM
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Joys of Spring

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday April 13 at 03:42PM
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Making Lifelong Friendships

By Lauren B.

After being in Hamilton, New Zealand for six weeks, the best experience I had was making lifelong friendships and living the Kiwi lifestyle while staying with my host family. As soon as I arrived in New Zealand, everyone was very welcoming and made me feel comfortable in a foreign country. Even at school, the teachers were quick to make me feel welcomed and were willing to help me with any work that I struggled with. Everyone at school was very friendly, regardless if I knew them or not, and they all smiled at me in the hallways which made me feel less nervous about being in a new and different environment. My host family and exchange partner have been so kind and generous to me by opening their home and arranging their schedules so that I could have the best New Zealand experience. I will definitely miss the school, the friends I have made, my host family and of course, my exchange partner. I will also miss everything that New Zealand has to offer, especially the warm weather!

While on exchange, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to different places in the North Island and experience the lively Kiwi culture. I can definitely say that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and exciting places I have ever been to. From the stunning sceneries of the landscapes to free falling from great heights towards the crystal clear Waikato River, New Zealand is definitely a place that I will never forget. Heading back to Vancouver, I am looking forward to catching up with family and friends, but I am not really looking forward to the drastic weather transition. Although I will miss everyone in New Zealand and all the friendships I have made, I can’t wait to share my amazing experience with everyone once I come home!

By Natasha S.

After all the challenges, weird experiences, and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, saying goodbye will be the hardest thing I've had to do. Since my arrival here I have gone in the outback in a group of 10 girls, canoeing during the day under the burning sun then to camping at night, while it sprinkled rained, however according to the Australians it rained A LOT. The crickets, biting ants, and spiders were so close however even though the outback terrified me I have made lifelong memories and friends during that trip. I've been from camping in extreme weather around loads of bugs to lying on a beach and walking around cute little aesthetic markets in the city.

I have had many favourite experiences so choosing one is hard, I do however reckon that holding a koala and feeding the roo's (kangaroo) was the best. I have fulfilled my lifelong dream of holding a koala! The lady handed me the heavy 6 kilograms of koala; to sum up the koala it was a lively beautiful grey ball of scented eucalyptus. Feeding the kangaroos was breathtaking and amazing; imagine feeding your dog by hand and feeling the teeth on your hand, then imagine that again but this time with the knowledge that the animal you are feeding can do boxing at a very high level.

During my stay, I have been able to make lifelong friendships within the boarding house walls as well as with the day girls. I will miss most the "Family" I have created overseas, it has been an amazing experience coming "home" from school and having a yawn (talk) with the friendly girls in boarding. The girls in boarding can walk up to the grocery store or Maccas (Macdonald's) to buy nutritious food and lollies (candies) in a group of three, in the arvo's (afternoons). I will miss the way my mates obsess over their fairy bread, fairy floss (cotton candy), bikkies (biscuits), vegemite and karamello koalas. This exchange has allowed me to expand my knowledge of cultures, develop friendships, and learn about the animals and bugs in Straya (Australia).

Even though I will miss my mates here in Straya, I am looking forward to returning home seeing the beautiful mountain views and seeing my friends and family. The landscape and environment are very different in Straya than in Vancouver. Looking out across the water in Straya it looks never-ending, and the water is warm and rough, the colours are stunning and there are so many shades of blue and white crashing together, even though it looks amazing the saltwater sure doesn’t taste amazing. In Vancouver, the mountains create a more enclosed atmosphere and the water is much darker, and colder however it doesn’t burn your eyes.

Australia has been an amazing experience that I will never forget. I will miss the way the girls call each other Hon, Darling, and Doll and I will truly miss the mates I have made here and the social experience of boarding.

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday April 13
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Spring Celebrations

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday March 16 at 11:33AM
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