Foundation Years Program

Bearing Gifts

Westside teachers Torrie and Sarah gather up the bears to gift to the Kindergarten students.

Westside teachers Torrie and Sarah gather up the bears to gift to the Kindergarten students.

The opening ceremony began with Westside's Kindergarten class entering the assembly, each new student hand-in-hand with a Grade 12 student.

The oldest of students welcomed and introduced the youngest of students to their new school. As the kindergarteners left the Great Hall, after the ceremony, they were holding onto another new friend: a Westside Bear.

The tradition of gifting each new member of the Kindergarten class with a Westside Bear began six years ago.

The new bear friend helps students feel more comfortable in their new space. Students are encouraged to bring the bear to school whenever they like, to name their bear, and to take good care of it. The Westside Bear has another valuable attribute: it bears (pun intended) the promise of a beautiful future.

Students who complete their schooling at Westside and bring their Westside Bear to the closing ceremony in Grade 12 will receive a scholarship towards their university studies.

While we know that not every student who begins in Kindergarten will graduate from Westside - life happens and families move - it is nonetheless our wish to see every student at Westside grow and flourish for as long as they're here.

The Westside Bear is a symbol of our commitment to our new students' well-being and growth as we welcome them to the Westside community.

Mathematic Brilliance: Westside's Contest Winners

Mathematica Centrum National Math Contest Results

BY JANICE CUNNINGHAM, Director, Westside SuperC

Westsiders show what's possible with hard work and perseverance! 

In April of this year, after just ten weeks of preparation, twenty-three Westsiders from Grade 3 and 4 wrote the National Mathematica Centrum.  It's a tough contest!

Students must answer thirty questions in 45 minutes, and the oncepts are well beyond those required for their grade level.    

Here are some highlights from the contest:

  • Sofia Keung and Ian Yin earned public recognition on the national Honor Rolls. 

  • Over half of Westside’s competitors earned Certificates of Distinction. 

  • Both of Westside’s teams exceeded the national average!

    • The Grade 3 team scored 16.6, beating the national average by 22%.

    • The Grade 4 team scored 16, beating the national average by a half point.

First place within our school went to Sophia Keung and Ian Yin. These two Westsiders also earned public Honor Roll recognition by ranking in the top 5% of all participants nation-wide!

  • Sofia scored 22 (73%) placing her in the top 317 students out of 6,855 

  • Ian scored 25 (83%) placing him in the top 520 students out of 11,628.

Another thirteen Westsiders earned Certificates of Distinction for exceeding the national average score. Westside will be recognizing all these achievements at the closing ceremonies on June 26.  


Demonstrating Perseverance and Hard Work

After week two, the students did their first practice exam and many discovered just how tough it would be to get even half the questions right!  Yet they kept working on their exercises. They kept taking the practice tests. It was more than a pleasure to watch them demonstrate growth in qualities these contests help nurture beyond math skills: 

  • The ability to work under pressure

  • Perseverance and a commitment to working hard

  • The courage and capacity to push one's limits

Thank you Math Athletes for being an inspiration and showing us what can be done with hard work, commitment and courage!

Thank you Dr. Mousavi for all you did to help our students prepare.   


Grade 3 Team  

  • Aydin Asna-Ashari

  • Chloe Pang

  • Emily McCarthy

  • Gabriella Mendez

  • Klara Novakovaj   

  • Loius-Oscar Holowaychuck

  • Marcus Blackmore

  • Peter Alavidze

  • Sophia Keung   *HONOR ROLL

Grade 4 Team  

  • Arianne Casey

  • Ben Darbar

  • Harvey Yang

  • Hisa Kawai

  • Ian Yin  *HONOR ROLL

  • Jacob Billard

  • Kishi Marina

  • Lily Couper

  • Maddy Ashbee

  • Miuccia Yang

  • Naia Sanghera

  • Nicole Javadyan 

  • Nicole Ng

  • Viola Abley

Westside STEM Fair

From Sticky Sand to Marble Races, Grade 3 & 4 Amaze!

The Grade 3 and 4 classes were tasked with a unique and challenging project: create interactive STEM activities for their fellow students in the FYP, and then present them. They succeeded beautifully in this year's STEM Fair, produced by the incredible duo of Mrs. Jones and Ms. Munro.

The students' projects ranged from blindfolded engineering and a marble maze to building with sticky sand and magnet races. The broad spectrum of creativity and design on display was impressive. 

The STEM Fair day began and ended with a gathering in the Learning Commons, first to discuss STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and then to do a virtual activity where students had to ask 20 questions to another school that was streamed in live. Both schools were trying to determine through design-thinking where the other was located. Students were fascinated by this activity! 

The Grade 3s and 4s demonstrated their leadership and teamwork skills throughout the day as they presented their projects, ensured everyone was participating and following the guidelines, and shared their duties as facilitators with their project team members. 

They even encouraged participants in K to 2 to use the school values while doing the activities. "Remember to use teamwork for this!" instructed one student to her group of sticky-sand builders.  

{Click on the photos below to view as a slide show.}

Learning the Art of Cursive

Mrs. Jones' Grade 3 Class Learns Letter Writing

"I asked for a boy!" exclaims one student. 
His disappointment in "getting a girl" doesn't last long though as he begins to read the handwritten letter from his Senior Pen Pal.

Mrs. Jones' Grade 3 students are learning to read and write cursive. Do you remember practicing your handwriting as a kid? Connecting each letter to the next - creating the kind of elegant writing worthy of formal correspondence.

The Power of Positive Affirmations in Grade 3

Of all the colourful pieces of art on Ms. Munro's wall, the line of white paper envelopes is the most intriguing. It looks like a small post office. But inside the envelopes are powerful words. Words of affirmation.  

The words we use to talk to each other, to ourselves, and about ourselves and others all matter. These words create a culture that can be positive, life-affirming and transformational. Or these words can create a culture of fear, silence, and loneliness.