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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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February Fun

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday February 8 at 11:26AM
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Work Experience Placement - Winter 2019 Wrap Up

We are very grateful to the 18 different employers that granted Crofton House School students the opportunity to work alongside their staff and clients as part of the 2019 Winter Work Experience Program. These generous people and organizations hosted 19 CHS students, creating experiences that shaped the students’ knowledge in a practical, authentic, “real-world” context.

Among the highlights of this one-week intensive experience were:

  • Filming with a puppeteer, working with a boom and camera, and scouting locations for Ginormous Pictures
  • Ensuring customer service and gaining exposure to the wider hospitality network at Hyatt Regency
  • Working one-on-one and in small group settings with students of varying abilities, and leading creative and innovative activities at GF Strong Daycare
  • Collaborating with global mentorship teams at VGH Radiology to research, edit and publish an article on Gender Disparity in Academic Radiology, in ITN News
  • Designing and organizing spaces for maximum efficiency, analyzing data and subsequent reports, and creating economic seminar packages for teachers at the Fraser Institute of Research
  • Familiarizing themselves with precision lasers in a lab setting, and an all-female research group at UBC TRIUMF
  • Participating in networking meetings and efficiency assessments, and discussing client care needs with Alescent
  • Delivering exceptional customer care, preparing prescriptions and compounds, and logging patient information while meeting tight deadlines at Shopper Drug Mart
  • Shadowing the Business and Marketing team, being part of the “behind the scenes” campaigns at Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Observing root canals, implants and crowns with Fedder Dentistry practice
  • Engaging in task-based teams, engaging in child safety protocol, running knowledge stations, and understanding the interworkings of displays at Science World
  • Learning about law applications and client correspondence at Mary Richter Law
  • Meeting with local politicians and analyzing voter data, designing media campaign posters, and responding to letters of constituents at Vancouver Quadra

As the Work Experience Facilitator, what struck me was the reaction of the employers to the Crofton House students. On the last day of placement, I was left a message. “When can we hire her?”, an enthusiastic employer asked. It was this statement, as well as so many others, which made me realize that a Crofton House student is truly an exceptional student. As part of her time here, she is learning daily about the collaborative work world in which she will eventually belong and the Work Experience Program allows her to affirm this. 

Some words from the employers about the CHS students: 

“....a pleasure to work with! We created a very intense shadowing experience for her at the hotel and she welcomed the opportunity with an open mind.  She had great questions for all of the associates and managers she encountered, and fit in well with our work environment. She was courteous, punctual and professional”

“....absolutely wonderful and we are planning to ask her back for the summer”

Students equally shared their enthusiasm. In the words of CHS students, Work Experience:

“...was a valuable experience that helped me become more interested in pursuing a career in the medical field”

“ ...allowed me to have a great time in the marketing department and I definitely learnt a lot more about that field of work. It’s a great placement that I would recommend to anyone because there are many valuable skills to learn and connections that you can make. 

Parents, too, were also fans of what transpired: 

“...we must also thank you for giving our daughter this opportunity to work in a research setting... Everyone was so supportive and helpful and generous with their time. It was such a great experience!” 

A huge congratulations to our Winter 2019 Work Experience Team, which included: Maya B.(GF Strong), Saara M. (Quadra), Emily B. (VGH), Jady C. (Fraser Institute), Jessica L. (Mary Richter Law), Jasmine L. (Shoppers Drug Mart), Rebecca L. (UBC TRIUMF), Elaine Q. (Science World), Jessy M. (Hyatt Regency), Gio K. (Fedder Dentistry), Catherine M. (Science World), Sarah W. (Vancouver Art Gallery), Jessie W. (Quadra), Lucy A. (Shoppers Drug Mart), Tiara S. (VGH), Esmee A. (Ginormous Pictures), Natasha S. (Ginormous Pictures), Maggie M. (Alescent), and Cathy L. (Fraser Institute).

Additionally, this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our employer volunteers, and for opening the door to their worlds, we are thankful to: Leanna Logan (GF Strong), Caleigh Garland (Vancouver Quadra), Dr. Faisal Khosa (VGH Radiology), Tanya Nelson (Fraser Institute), Mary Richter (Mary Richter Law), Agnes Wu (Shoppers Drug Mart), Jens Larssen (TRIUMF UBC), Rachel Schott (Science World), Kathryn Reynolds (Hyatt Regency), Daniel Fedder (Fedder Dentistry), Mimi Shewchuk (Vancouver Art Gallery), Rosanne Milliken (Ginormous Pictures), Danaka Porter (Alescent). 

If you can offer the gift of time as a Work Experience employer, we would love to hear from you.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to be part of this valuable, reciprocal learning experience!

Contact: Janelle Caballero: jcaballero@croftonhouse.ca or 604-263-3255 (or CHS ext 7524)

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday February 8 at 11:26AM
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CHS Exchange Program - Arriving Down Under


By Sheyda L.

My first day of school at Saint Hilda's was on January 30th. Similarly to Crofton House, it is an all-girls school but Saint Hilda's is an Anglican school with a boarding house too. When getting ready for my first day I was surprised by the uniform. Saint Hilda’s girls wear a tunic and a hat to school, versus the Gordon tartan skirts with a blouse. A big difference between Australian and Canadian schools is that in Australia every school, even public schools, wear uniforms! The first thing I noticed was how big the campus is. Unlike Crofton House which is one big building, Saint Hilda’s consists of many different buildings for various subject areas, which is why the campus is so big. Because of the heat, all of the hallways and lockers are outdoors. It has been quite difficult to navigate myself around the school, and it continues to challenge me everyday! Another difference is the girls at Saint Hilda’s pack their own lunches to bring to school, and I have also noticed students do not carry backpacks with them from class-to-class, and instead just carry what they need for each subject. I have enjoyed my first couple days here a lot, and I am extremely excited to continue to get to know everybody at Saint Hilda’s.

By Enna S.

Brisbane is literally the coolest place ever. From seeing ibises to bats, I am seriously considering moving here! When I first stepped out of the airport, it was very hot and humid but in a good way (like Hawaii but ten times better). It definitely contrasts Vancouver big time. It’s summer here so everyone is in shorts and t-shirts whereas back in Vancouver everyone’s got their super puff and Uggs on. There are many things that are different at St. Margaret’s compared to Crofton House, but one huge thing that girls at CHS might gasp at how long the skirts are! And to my surprise, they are very comfortable but due to the length and the colour, it can get very hot while walking outside. St. Margaret’s is also a much larger school. There are about four different buildings you can have your classes in and their current grade 10 class has 126 girls. Since the campus is so big, sometimes it can take quite a while to travel from class to class. At Crofton House, we have ten minutes to travel from class to class but here, there is only ONE MINUTE of travel time! So often times I am late for class but so is everyone else since it is kind of hard sprinting to each class in 30-degree heat. Another difference during the school day is the fact that they have seven blocks a day! Sometimes there are double blocks where you have the same subject twice in a row but it would only be 90 minutes total. Also, since this is Australia, everyone is super crazy about sun protection because they have the highest rate of skin cancer. Because of this, the uniform comes with a hat (panama)! I’m super excited to explore Brisbane, visit Sydney, meet new people, and of course, try vegemite. Though I have not tried vegemite yet, I have tried a lamington (cake) and Milo (chocolate drink) which is super good…beyond good. It’s definitely a must for everybody and I hope that you’ll get to try some too!

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday February 8
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Expanding the Crofton House Community

2017 Winter Bazaar


The Crofton House Winter Bazaar has always served as an important opportunity to contribute to the broader community of which Crofton House is a part, while drawing our own School community closer together. The charitable roots of the Winter Bazaar go back to the early 1970s when proceeds raised were donated to the Red Cross and other organizations.

In the words of co-chair Kris Dattani, the Winter Bazaar is about “giving back to your own community in a way that engages people and creates an opportunity for them to connect with each other - and it’s about giving back to the broader community.”

Last year, the CHS Parents’ Auxiliary made a three-year commitment to donate the proceeds from the Winter Bazaar to KidSafe, an organization that offers daytime programming for children at six locations in the city where they are most vulnerable during school breaks.

This year’s event raised an incredible $61,800 for KidSafe. Quincey Kirschner, KidSafe’s executive director says the proceeds will go beyond simply supporting the KidSafe meal program, which provides two hearty meals and a healthy snack each day. “We received a donation that was so much more than expected, so we have plans to augment our summer program,” says Kirschner. “It’s more than keeping our kids fed - it’s about giving them joyful and exciting experiences.”

More than 40 conveners and 900 volunteers generously shared their skills and their time to bring this year’s event to fruition, with volunteer participation from parents and students, supported by the School. Suzanne Chong, who co-chaired the event with Kris, says that the goal for the Winter Bazaar is to involve as many people as possible and make it a true community event.

The 2017 Winter Bazaar saw increased involvement from students in both the Junior and Senior Schools. Senior School students embraced the planning and execution of a gift basket booth, efforts that paid off with baskets selling-out. The Junior School’s craft booth fostered a greater sense of contribution, where girls were excited to make and sell beautiful ornaments.

“Everyone at Crofton House is so grateful for that opportunity to make a difference. As a result they feel a sense of pride at being a part of this community. Everybody is pitching in because it’s meaningful to them,” says Suzanne. “It’s an opportunity to contribute to our community and the wider community through an event that’s part of the fabric of Crofton House.”

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Monday January 28 at 11:27AM
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Taking Leadership Into the World

The Ivy Compass Program

From organizing a Canadian citizenship ceremony on campus to going to school ‘Down Under’, Crofton House Senior School students demonstrated remarkable personal growth, leadership development and citizenship in their journey through the Ivy Compass Program this year.

Crofton House School’s Ivy Compass Program puts girls at the centre of their learning by giving them the time, guidance and opportunities to discover their passions and challenge themselves through real life experiences beyond the classroom. Since each Crofton House girl is unique, her Ivy Compass experience is tailored to support exploration of her area of interest and to help her turn ideas into action.

Susan Barzo, Assistant Director, Ivy Compass, Senior School, believes that making connections to communities outside the school is important for the girls, but even more important is the ability to reflect on the effects of their efforts. “It’s important to think about how we connect with the community, and what we gain when we give,” she explains. “Students are getting so much back from the partnership, service, or coaching they engage in. Far more than time they spend, is what the girls gain when they reflect on the lessons learnt.”

Leadership opportunities through Ivy Compass take many forms, and sometimes find alignment with study happening in other areas of the School. For example, Grade 11 students organized and hosted a Citizenship Ceremony for new Canadians at CHS in January 2018. As one of the six organizers, Saira Suleman ’19 was responsible for raising awareness of the event to drive attendance, including inviting Grade 5 and 6 students to attend to enrich their studies about citizenship and global immigration.

Saira says she was motivated to help celebrate the important milestone of receiving citizenship, but she also benefited personally from the experience. “I definitely learned how to engage people as a leader, and to collaborate and communicate with people inside the school, the citizenship office, and new citizens,” she says.

On the other side of the world, Grade 10 student Lucy Ava-Pointon ’20 travelled to the Australian Gold Coast on exchange. Beyond making friends and trying new things, she says she found discovering other cultures and learning processes enriching. “Ivy Compass gives us a lot of new opportunities to try things in a safe environment, but also pushes us to grow personally,” she explains. “It teaches you independence, leadership and helps guide you in the direction you want to go.”

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Monday January 28 at 11:21AM
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Happy 2019

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday January 25 at 02:20PM
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Festive Celebrations

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday December 7, 2018 at 11:19AM
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Building Community

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday November 23, 2018 at 02:29PM
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Why Work Experience Placements are the New Ace in the Hole

By Janelle Caballero, Work Experience Placement Facilitator and Career Education Teacher

Who got hired - the student with a work experience opportunity,  or the student holding the picture perfect resume that lacked practice in the field? This chicken and egg analogy is commonplace these days, with an unspoken employer desire for work experience, but a job being necessary in order to obtain said experience. With this shift in traditional requirements, it is no wonder that baffled students are standing, edited and plumed resume in hand, wondering why they are unhirable even though they have the education and the grades.

With the ongoing conundrum of how to gain work experience in a field in which you are educated, yet unable to secure work within, Work Experience Placements are gaining momentum as a practical program at earlier career junctions. We have seen, and continue to see, the valuable shift to Co-Op programs in multidisciplinary post-secondary degrees, satisfying prospective employers by providing direct field experience, and giving students a one-up against their competitors by placing them directly in career-specific roles.

So when is the best time to start students in the field of work? It has been argued that the time is now, and the sooner the better. With over one-third of our lives estimated to be spent at work, matched only by another one-third of our lives in sleep, it is important we don’t confuse the two. That is to say, students can’t be passive about career choice opportunities.  Where we consciously spend our days, if we are lucky enough to have the privilege of being able to choose, is arguably one of the biggest - and most impactful - decisions we can make.

Work Experience Placements, unfortunately, have had a bad rap, and perhaps unfairly so.  Years ago, the Work Experience Program was a catch-all for the student who couldn’t get the grades, who somehow was seen as unable to achieve in class, or was thought to be someone who could never succeed at a higher rung on the employment ladder. Unbeknownst to many, significant learning, which was unable to be replicated in class, was taking place for this student in these placements, right beneath their noses. Students were gaining valuable experience that gave them insights into the field, taught them lessons about themselves, and gave them access to other professionals. Meanwhile, the subject field was benefiting by sharing their line of work with the next generation, securing potential up-and-coming candidates, and allowing their passion for the profession to be shared.  Today the Work Experience Program is an essential (though optional) component of the high school experience, and is no longer simply viewed as a way to pad a resume. With a cooperative Work Experience Placement, businesses, employees and students alike all emerge ahead of the game.

The benefits of Work Experience Placements are wide-reaching and varied, and this small investment of time in the human aspect of your career field will undoubtedly find its way back to you. Here are just a few of the many advantages of becoming a member of the valuable Crofton House Work Experience Program community:

  1. Primarily, as an employer, you can benefit from the opportunity to touch base with the next generation of employees who will populate your workplace. We often hear that their energy and enthusiasm are welcome additions to the environment, and that they are invaluable sources of feedback about resources and trends that are shaping their current teenage experience.  

  2. Additionally, you can be a witness to an essential growth process for students, and you can facilitate the learning environment in which it takes place, simply by being present and accessible. Students who reach you will be well researched in their area of interest. In an inquiry-driven education system, the world is their oyster - and they have selected you. Your company and career path has relevance with this new generation.  This is something to celebrate.

  3. You can guide students through day-to-day coping skills as they navigate a legitimate work day - from the basics of setting an alarm, waking on time, finding the best route to work (and navigating public transit and/or traffic) to hitting the wall at 2pm and requiring a mid-afternoon snack, or that second cup of coffee. Discussing the realism of the workplace and workforce is key. Some of the best learning takes place at break time, discussing the challenging aspects of the job.

  4. You can facilitate good employee-employer relationships by holding students accountable and responsible, reporting to a supervisor, checking in on task completion, and meeting set deadlines. You can assist them in making multitasking decisions in terms of completing one task while waiting for a response, or triaging which the items are of utmost importance and what can wait until tomorrow. In this way, you allow students to learn about time management and autonomy.

  5. You can model stylistic changes in spoken voice, tone, written communication, phone skills and email writing to demonstrate professionalism and competency while representing a company.  Just allowing them to be part of your environment, as an observer, can leave a lasting impression about your job and area of expertise.

  6. By working alongside you, you can help students make connections to what they learn in school, and the relevance of these particular subjects when set in a career framework.  

  7. You can help students make meaningful connections and understand the relationships that exist within the workplace.  Students can see, first-hand, different styles of leadership and community, as well as make note of workplace dynamics and diversity (or lack thereof).  

  8. By opening the door to your workplace, you can allow students to ask questions, wonder, and think about many things that otherwise would not be relevant, as school cannot provide the same stimulus.  Self confidence can soar when students are in touch with the real career world, empowering students to continue to reach for the top, and to know that their goals are attainable.

  9. Lastly, you can provide valuable experience for a resume. That’s right - lastly. You opening the door to this experience, just a crack, allows the metaphorical foot in the door. And although this will be excellent resume fodder, the reality is that the aforementioned skills you have allowed them to hone will have much more bearing and impact on a student than the resume blurb alone.

By participating in Work Experience Programs, additional media and public relations exposure are surefire bonuses. The real ace in the hole, though, lies in the experience, learning, and growth that you provide, as the key to deeper understanding of one’s self and her relationship to the career world.

Crofton House School will be celebrating 10 years of its Work Experience Program. Almost 500 girls have benefitted from the unique, structured 1-week opportunities that have been afforded to them up to three times throughout the year.  Through seminars, resume building, interview skills and follow-up reflections, Crofton House students are well prepared for the experience by being willing to observe, question, participate, and take on responsibility once designated.

Students, parents, and the wider community are all grateful for the many businesses that have opened their doors to create partnerships with CHS.  We are actively and continually seeking to add to our growing list of partners for the Crofton House School Work Experience Program, in all areas, particularly those in the increasingly popular area of STEM. We thank you in advance for considering creating an opportunity for a Work Experience Placement student with you and your company. If you are not located in Vancouver and cannot partner with Crofton House School, we strongly encourage you to investigate opportunities at another school in your district that offers a Work Experience Program.  As a wider community, supporting these opportunities demonstrates not only our professionalism, but our growth mindset, and our commitment to fostering opportunities that build character and resilience, along with experience - because more than ever, that’s what this generation needs.

For more information about the Crofton House Work Experience Program, or to get involved, please contact Janelle Caballero at jcaballero@croftonhouse.ca or 604-263-3255, ext. 7524

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Thursday November 15, 2018 at 10:40AM
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Time of Celebration

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Thursday November 8, 2018 at 02:53PM
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