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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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Hello Fall

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday October 12
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Future Design School Professional Development Session

By Wendy Macken, Assistant Director, Junior School

The Redesigned BC Curriculum brought the concept of design thinking to the forefront for BC educators. Specifically, the Applied Design, Skills and Technology curriculum (ADST) provides a platform for students to grow and learn through the use of the design thinking principles (BC Ministry of Education, 2018). To support teachers with this new learning, Crofton House School recently welcomed Future Design School for a day of exploration, inquiry and practical learning. Through the application of the design thinking framework, teachers came ready to ‘hack’ an upcoming unit with an objective to embed future ready skills. Units were selected based on opportunities to apply real-world connections, such as entrepreneurship, global and future vision, as well as  environmental awareness and stewardship. Our facilitators, Arianna Lambert and Rachel Franks were passionate, articulate and well informed. Their energy and enthusiasm for design thinking as a tool for educational transformation was evident and this high energy duo kept our group motivated and focused throughout.

The design thinking framework offers adopters an opportunity to re-imagine and redesign outcomes and experiences centred on the needs and perspectives of the user - in our case, the learners. Used widely in the design and business world, this framework is surprisingly versatile and can be applied to a diverse range of problems and experiences. FDS empowers educators to leverage design thinking to deeply understand their students and create meaningful learning experiences incorporating rich opportunities to develop the skills and mindset needed for the future.

Our day comprised of a number of key stages as we worked through the design thinking framework to re-imagine a learning experience for our students.

  1. Unpacking the Problem: Developing How Might We Questions

  2. User Discovery: Uncovering the unique needs of our students and summarizing our design challenge for the day

  3. Ideation: Developing ideas for learning experiences in our classroom

  4. Critiques: Gathering feedback on our ideas from our peers

  5. Design Thinking & PBL: Using design as a framework for inquiry-driven, project-based learning

  6. Iteration & Prototyping: Putting it all together using process maps

  7. Sharing our ideas and gathering feedback from peers

Teachers worked on a range of topics including our middle school discovery experience, reimagining our after school programming, as well as increased community connections for our ECE students. Time was taken throughout the day to share our initial ideations and process maps, fueling rich discussion and providing opportunities for meaningful feedback. We look forward to sharing more about how this work unfolds.

Ideation Boards - silent feedback

Ideation board - group sharing

Process map - sharing and feedback

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Tuesday October 9 at 03:37PM
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Starting the Year Off Strong

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday September 28 at 02:00PM
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Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Friday September 14 at 12:33PM
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Introducing our next Head of School

Dear Members of the CHS Community,

The Board of Governors of Crofton House School is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Ena Harrop as the next Head of School effective August 1, 2019. Ena was selected following a rigorous and far-reaching process led by the Board’s Head Succession Task Force and supported by Perrett Laver, a leading international search firm.

Guided by the criteria that emerged from the community-wide consultation in the fall of 2017, the Board set out to identify an outstanding head with a passion for teaching and learning and the ability to lead a dynamic school in a fast-changing world. Attracted in particular by her knowledge of and belief in all-girls education, her track record of achievement and innovation, and her enthusiasm and interpersonal skills, the Board was unanimous in its conclusion that Ena is the right person to lead CHS forward. Her views on education are well aligned with our strategic plan and her naturally open approach and curiosity are a strong fit with the culture of the School. Born and raised in Spain and having studied and worked in the UK for over 20 years, Ena brings a breadth of experience highly relevant in our global society.

Ena currently serves as Head at the City of London School for Girls (CLSG) and the Executive Head, City of London Primary Academy. She is also a director of Lancing College. Founded in 1881, CLSG is a highly selective academic school in the centre of London for almost 700 girls, ages 7 to 18. During her time at CLSG, Ena has furthered the academic and co-curricular programs while placing wellbeing firmly at the heart of the school. She has also concentrated on developing a culture of professional learning and research among staff, creating opportunities for student leadership across the school and in the wider community, and growing their bursary program.

“I am utterly delighted to have been appointed as the next Head of Crofton House at this exciting stage in the School's history. I was thoroughly impressed by the strength of the School and its history of excellence and ambitions for its future”, says Ena. “Girls can be such a force for positive change. It is a real privilege to play a part in girls' education, and to see them step into their lives not just fully equipped to deal with the challenges ahead but also ready and willing to make the world a better place for all.” Ena was motivated in her decision to join Crofton House by the School's emphasis on curricular excellence and innovation and the opportunity to further develop the bursary program. She adds that “I have long admired from a distance the Canadian education system and its research.”

Ena is an exceptional linguist, fluent in English, Spanish, French and German. She holds a BA (Hons) in Classics from the University of Salamanca (Spain), an MA in Classics from the University of Salamanca and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Germany), an MPhil in Classics from Cambridge, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from University College London, and an MA in Education Management from King’s College London.

Ena is moving to Vancouver with her husband, Glenn, a math teacher and sports coach, and their three daughters, aged 6, 10 and 14. “As a family who loves the outdoors, we are really looking forward to all that’s available in British Columbia. My husband and the girls are as excited as I am, if not more so!”

Ena will succeed Dr. Dawson, following her 19 years of outstanding leadership and service to Crofton House School. The Board is very appreciative of Pat’s commitment and dedication to the School, and she will lead CHS through the 2018-19 academic year as engaged as ever. Ena will be at Crofton House periodically during the next several months in order to get to know the community, working closely with Pat to ensure a smooth and successful transition in the summer of 2019. The first of these visits is scheduled for the final week in October. As additional support, the Board has established a Head Transition Task Force.

I am most grateful to all of you who contributed to this important exercise. We look forward to welcoming Ena and her family to Crofton House School and to Canada.


Richard Wood 
Chair, Board of Governors

Posted by Stephanie Chow on Tuesday September 4 at 12:54PM
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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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