Grade 8 Students Anticipate Life at the Senior School

ClosingCeremony_Gr8Speech

School is nearly out for the summer at the Middle School. For the Grade 8 students, that means their final days at the Middle School are here – come September they’ll be the youngest students at the Senior School.

Below, four Grade 8 students who’ve thoroughly enjoyed their time at the Middle School share their thoughts on what life was like at the Middle School.

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My name is Connor and I want to tell you about my time at the Middle School. I came to the school in Grade 6 and since then I have had an awesome time here. I have so many great memories, such as sheep heart and cow eye dissections, but probably the most memorable thing was my out trips this year. My out trip was surfing. At the beginning I wasn’t really sure whether I would enjoy this or not but at the end it turned out I really liked it. Our instructors were great and I really enjoyed my group and the food they gave us.

During my time at the Middle School I have seen myself grow a lot. I believe that I have not only grown my academic skills, but also I have become more independent.

The thing I most enjoyed about being at the Middle School was that it helped you make a smooth transition to each grade. At the Senior School, I think I will most enjoy all of the different classes that you can take because I think it will help me think about what I might like to do in the future. During my time at the Middle School I have seen myself grow a lot. I believe that I have not only grown my academic skills, but also I have become more independent.

The biggest thing that I learned at the Middle School is to stay on top of your homework or if you are going to be missing some classes then tell your teacher ahead of time to figure out a plan. During my Middle School life I have had a wonderful experience and I hope I will continue to have an exceptional time at the Senior School.

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My name is Julia and I have spent the past three years in the SMUS Middle School. I came here from Ontario, so everything about this place called Victoria was new to me. I was expecting a school with a few kids, but boy, was I ever wrong. The school was so large, I got lost a lot on my first day. But there were a lot of nice people, eagerly willing to lend me a hand. I didn’t get lost much after they showed me the way. It was these kids that helped me in to the SMUS community. I took it from there, making friendships quickly and discovering my passions through school activities and opportunities, moving quickly and successfully through academics, sports and the arts. Now this year I have been one of the more experienced kids, giving the new Grade 6s a boost, just like the older kids did for me two years ago.

I realize now that when I go to the Senior School I will be starting all over again; becoming like a Grade 6 again in the eyes of the Grade 12s: young and looking for a helping hand. But this time I know how to give myself a boost, and I can’t wait to get started in the new part of my education and discover new parts of myself and people around me.

During my time at the Middle School I have found my likes and dislikes, and I am building off of my passions to become good at what I love. It feels like I have been here forever, but it also feels like my Middle School experience is ending too soon, and now I am moving on the the Senior School, which I am very excited about. I can’t wait to dive into Grade 9 and see what I’ll find.

I realize now that when I go to the Senior School I will be starting all over again; becoming like a Grade 6 again in the eyes of the Grade 12s: young and looking for a helping hand. But this time I know how to give myself a boost, and I can’t wait to get started in the new part of my education and discover new parts of myself and people around me.
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My name is Alex and I have been part of the SMUS Middle School community for three years now. I am currently 14 years old and am about to finish my time at the Middle School and migrate over to the Senior School for grades 9 through 12.

Throughout my time in the Middle School, I have seen lots of events and changes take place and it is really amazing to be a part of such a special group of teachers and students. My greatest memory in the Middle School was working with the CGI team for The Wizard of Oz production this year. It was very fun and a unique experience for me to see what it is like to film and edit green-screened characters for special effects (such as making them fly). It was really interesting to see what such a small team could accomplish with barely any help from actual professionals, but the final product made it seem as if we were all experienced. Everyone involved had lots of fun and even though it was a lot of hard work, it paid off in the end when we got to see the fruits of our labour and really realize how much better we made the play. In the Middle School there were lots of other opportunities alongside what I did for the play, and though I could not possibly take part in them all, having those opportunities available was cool.

What I liked the most about the Middle School was all of the opportunities for service, leadership and enjoyment that all the previous schools I’ve been to did not give me. It is like having a massive platter of food with every different flavour and type, all there for you if you want it. Most of these opportunities were in the form of after-school clubs, but there were also a ton during exploratory block and sports teams. There were leadership councils like student council or committees that pop-up based on events that need to be planned. You are also given an option to be part of Student Ambassadors in Grade 8 or to be a WEB Leader. Though we were provided with lots of opportunities and fun times in the Middle School, I can’t wait to start next year and see what the Senior School has to offer.

My experience at the Middle School was a memorable one and it taught me a lot of things I will need to be successful at the Senior School and in life. Thank you to my friends, family and teachers who helped me. I feel that I am ready to take on what life has in store for me (at least at the Senior School) and it wouldn’t be possible without a place like SMUS always covering my back.

From what I’ve seen, the Senior School is packed with stuff for me to do there. I’m really excited to be transitioning over and seeing what it is like to be in a university-style learning environment. It requires lots of responsibility, but it makes me feel more adult like and more mature. Also, I am excited to see what the new classes are like and how much different they are to what’s at Middle School. I feel I am ready to make this transition though, because the teachers and my friends at Middle School really helped me change for the better, so that I could grow accustomed to changes in my learning environment.

During my time at the Middle School, I have seen myself change a lot thanks to the help of my friends and teachers. The teachers at the Middle School are really quite flexible in terms of homework and supplies brought to class. They helped me realize by the end of this year that in Senior School I need to keep my act together more than before because I won’t be able to just go back to my locker and get something I left there (shout out to Mr. Williams!).

I remember in Grade 6 how my locker looked like a disaster, and how I was barely able to get my backpack out of it at the end of the day without pulling every binder out with it. Mrs. Hyde-Lay really helped my with this by reminding me to clean my locker all the time to the point that I realized that it would just be a lot easier to not have it disorganized it in the first place. Without her motivation, I would probably have lots of problems in Senior School.

And my friends really helped me understand what was going on in class and made me more comfortable with joining in on class activities and other activities in general, and they  also supported me whenever I had tough times. Even though all these great people were all there for me, I also had to learn lots of things by myself by trying.

Overall, in Middle School there were many struggles along with lessons I had to learn. For some of these I really had a hard time and I greatly appreciated the fact that lots of people were there to help me through. I think the biggest lesson I had to learn in the Middle School is to be prepared. In a way it is like life; as a baby everything is there for us in our reach, but as we grow older everything is moved farther and farther away from us, making it more and more of a struggle to get used to doing what it takes to get what we need.

My experience at the Middle School was a memorable one and it taught me a lot of things I will need to be successful at the Senior School and in life. Thank you to my friends, family and teachers who helped me. I feel that I am ready to take on what life has in store for me (at least at the Senior School) and it wouldn’t be possible without a place like SMUS always covering my back.
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My name is Georgia. I was new to the Middle School this year and I am going into Grade 9 next year at the Senior School. I have had a great SMUS Middle School experience, one that I believe everyone should have. Many aspects of the school have made this year more enjoyable and comfortable for me, such as the community, the experiences and the opportunities the school provides us with.

Being a new student, there was one main thing that made my year so wonderful: the community that I was welcomed into. Moving to a new school can be very difficult sometimes, but I felt welcomed and supported by everyone. Not only were the teachers the most amazing teachers I have ever had, but the students included me and made me feel at home as soon as I got here.

Moving to a new school can be very difficult sometimes, but I felt welcomed and supported by everyone. Not only were the teachers the most amazing teachers I have ever had, but the students included me and made me feel at home as soon as I got here.

To start, the teachers are impeccable. They taught me in a way that really helped me learn how to learn. That includes taking notes, doing experiments and asking questions. Every teacher’s style of teaching was different in its own way, but that is what made the learning more interesting and fun. The teachers not only taught well, but made you feel welcome and happy to be there. Secondly, the students were lovely. Everyone at the school, even from all different grades, was nice to me. In fact, they are nice to everyone. Everybody is nice to everyone and is friendly with all the students and faculty. The students have a great respect for the teachers and their fellow classmates.

Other wonderful aspects of SMUS were the experiences and opportunities they provided me with. The Middle School experience made me feel a great deal of self assurance and safety as I move forward. I feel prepared to move on to Senior School next year. Rather than going straight from Junior School to Senior School like most schools do, Middle School gives you the chance to become familiar with things that occur in the Senior School, like exams. I have just finished my exams and I am very grateful to have gotten the chance to do them, as it gives me a taste of what Senior School may be like. Helping us prepare was definitely part of the experience, but I do strongly believe that the community has a huge part in the overall feel of the school.

The Middle School experience was accompanied by many great opportunities. Free the Children was a group I joined within the school that helped provide basic needs to people who had nothing. For example, we did a backpack project where my group put together a backpack for the downtown homeless shelter. Doing things for other people and succeeding is a great feeling. Being given the option to participate in these sorts of experiences made the vibe of the school even greater.

Overall, the SMUS Middle School has been a great privilege and I have loved every moment of it. I have never felt so welcomed and accomplished at any other school. Thank you SMUS for providing me with an unforgettable experience.

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Kyle Slavin
Kyle Slavin is the school's storyteller. Through words and photos, he shares with the community all the amazing things that happen on campus.

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