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A November to Remember

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Dear Royal Oak Families,

It seems we blinked and November was behind us! It has been a whirlwind of a month, but a fantastic one at that, with wonderful opportunities for families to connect with the school both socially, and to hear of the incredible academic progress of this term. Highlights included discussing your amazing children at Parent Teacher Interviews, meeting with Grade 7/8 parents regarding the Transition to High School, and of course- the Ice Dogs game last week where we connected, laughed, and cheered on both the Royal Oak Choir and the Ice Dogs, who won in a very exciting 8-6 face-off vs. the Barrie Colts!

As we move into the last (and darkest) month of 2022, we look forward to these same opportunities but in different ways. Your child's report cards will be sent home electronically just before the break, and as a school, we will gather for the NOTL Christmas parade, a wonderful social afterward, and then on December 14, to watch Royal Oak's Holiday Performance at the Courthouse. It has been such a joy watching the students' skills develop in so many well-rounded ways over the term- from learning new instruments and songs in Music class with Ms. McMackin, to the progress that daily academic challenge in the classroom brings each passing week.

Reflecting on the last three months, it has been wonderful to see the community partnerships we have fostered over the past 6 years truly flourish. This term, we have created meaningful connections with organizations that are cornerstones in NOTL - from our Halloween Parade and Food Drive with Chartwell's and Newark Neighbours, to our Niagara Pumphouse Art Exhibit and viewing of the Shaw Festival's, "A Christmas Carol" that is coming up soon, these synergies are truly alive for Royal Oak students and deepen our learning and cultural appreciation of our incredible town. I look forward to 2023 and the many more opportunities ahead for us as a community organization and educational institution. Please be sure to read the details below so your family can take advantage of all that lies ahead!


Julia Murray, Head of School

ROCS Remembers

On Thursday, November 10th, the students of Royal Oak observed Remembrance Day at 11 am. Students discussed this important event and listened to some beautiful poetry by the Grade 7/8 class. The ROCS Choir Club sang the song, Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen and Ms. Julia read a book about the poem In Flanders Fields.

After, the classes took a walk to see the wonderful poppy displays around town and at the NOTL History Museum.


On Friday, November 25th, as part of our School Hockey Free Skate and Game Night with the St. Catharine's Ice Dogs, our own school choir club had the opportunity and privilege to sing O’Canada on center ice at the Meridian Centre! It was such a fun evening and the students did a wonderful job, belting out the anthem. We are so proud of our small but mighty group.

Winter Events for ROCS

Royal Oak is taking part in the town's Tree Decorating contest this week. We decorated the tree this week as a school, and it will stay up in town until the end of the Ice Wine Festival in January. The tree showcases our kindergarten and Grade 1/2 classes and their writing pieces about what they like to do at school in the winter. Thank You to our parents who donated and contributed lights and ornaments for decoration. Please go take a look at our tree located just in front of Bistro Sixty-One.

Our Royal Oak School Winter Concert will be on Wednesday, December 14th, at the Old NOTL Courthouse from 6 to 7pm. All classes will be participating by performing beautiful music and songs. We are asking for any donations for our concession stand and bar. Please email if you can donate treats or hard/soft beverages.

December 23rd will be our last day of school before the winter break. This will be a half day with a pick-up time of 12:30pm. All items from cubbies will be sent home to be cleaned and replenished. This will also be the day that you will receive your child’s first term report card.

Christmas Parade and ROCS Families Social!

On Saturday, December 10th, Royal Oak School will be participating in the NOTL Christmas parade. The parade begins at 11 am at the intersection of King St. and Center St. It will then travel throughout oldtown finishing at Queen St. We are asking for students to come to join us in the parade, where we will walk behind our school banner and give out candy canes to the onlookers. Please meet at the beginning of the parade at King and Center for 10:45am. The parade is approximately 1 ½ hours in length, with a Royal Oak School social gathering after, hosted by Kim Elltoft afterwards at 31 Prideaux St. If you would like to participate in the parade and social, please fill in this google doc with your name and how you are able to participate:

Royal Oak Parade and Social Participation

ROCS students to see “A Christmas Carol”

We have the distinct pleasure this year to see one of the best and most beloved holiday shows at the Shaw Festival this year. Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” is being performed at the King George Theater and our school was lucky enough to get tickets to go see it. All students will be treated to a special workshop at the Shaw Festival Theater in the morning and then we will all walk to the theater to watch the performance in the afternoon. To offset the total cost of the tickets each student will need to pay an additional $20, which will be taken off the lunch credit account. If there is not enough money on the account, Ms. Ireri will email parents to let them know. It is such a special treat to attend this wonderful performance and guaranteed to be a highlight of the students' year!

Duke’s Holiday Drive for Pets Alive Niagara

Pets Alive Animal Rescue Niagara Inc strives to make Niagara a safer place for community companion animals. They are dedicated to finding loving forever homes for every cat and dog that they have the honor of fostering.

The organization fosters cats, kittens, and dogs, and helps to place them in loving, responsible, and committed forever homes. They also raise funds to provide supplies & vet care for at-risk animals, as well as make pet food donations (for families in need) to local organizations such as Community Care.

Royal Oak is so pleased to choose Pets Alive Niagara as our designated philanthropic event for this holiday season. Duke, our school dog, is hosting this year and asks that you follow this link: Pets Alive Niagara-Donate for the wishlist of items that the organization needs (puppy pads, dog and cat treats, kitten wet food etc.) or you can donate online at: Duke's Holiday Drive for Pets Alive Niagara

Donations are due either at the school or online by Thursday, December 22nd. Please note your child's name and class on the donation and the class with the most donated items will get to have lunch with Duke and play with him at recess.

We thank you all for your continued support in helping raise awareness, items, and money for this important cause.

Grade 7/8 Ridley College Tour

The Grade 7/8 class has an opportunity to visit and tour Ridley College in St. Catherines on Tuesday, December 6th at 3pm. Interested families can sign up here for the tour that will highlight their Upper School (High School) program. If we do not have at least five participants, we will not attend so please be sure to sign up and express your interest using the RSVP above.

Royal Oak Soccer Club

Royal Oak Soccer Club ran for 6 wonderful weeks with Coach AW, Coach Bigda, and Coach Moodley (Laya's dad) as our wonderful coaches! Students from Grade 2 and up focused on learning skills such as passing, shooting, ball control, and soccer-specific rules and strategy. This wonderful club season wrapped up in such an exciting game- a competitive match against Wheatley school in St. Catharine's.

The game was Royal Oak's first competitive game in our history, and our Grade 3-8 students should be SO proud. The students played their hearts out and showed grit and determination in two solid halves where they surpassed even their own expectations. Though the score was 4-1, every ball was hard fought and we cannot wait till next year to face off again!

Winter Season Reminders

We wanted to pass along some important updates for the weeks ahead as we navigate winter weather once again, and also the respiratory viruses that come along with the season. Masking indoors and in all public settings is highly recommended, and as a school, we also highly encourage this. Absentee rates have been incredibly high over the last few weeks and using every layer of protection we have at our disposal is the best way to navigate a very difficult cold and flu season ahead. We will carefully monitor students for symptoms at school and ask that all families continue to keep children home if they are sick.

As we move into December and the wintery weather, we want to remind families that Royal Oak's policy on these potential snow days is to open if we can safely ask our families and staff to navigate the roads. We check Niagara Regional Police reports on road conditions, speak with staff members by 6:00 am who come from areas like Fenwick and Port Colborne and also watch the weather reports closely. With that said, if Royal Oak needs to close for a snow day due to unsafe road and weather conditions, you will receive a full school email by 6:45 am and a class DoJo, alerting you to the closure. On the first day of a closure, we will have a true "Snow Day" with no online school operating. If inclement weather goes beyond one day, we will activate online learning and use google classroom for remote lessons, and your child's classroom teacher will be in touch the evening before to share the plan.

Royal Oak Character Award Winners for November

This month’s character trait focus was Courage. The Grade 5/6 class presented an assembly all about these character traits this past Friday. Each class was asked to contribute their own ideas about what it means to be courageous which will be compiled into a book that will be displayed in the school library. Certificates were presented to one student in every class who was nominated by their teacher for showing exemplary character to their teachers and peers. Congratulations, Winners!

Early Years: Abel J.

Grade 1/2 : Scarlett H.

Grade 3/4 : Anhad T.

Grade 5/6 : Vivian H.

Grade 7/8 : Mia P.

ROCS Students shine at the Pumphouse Art Exhibition

ROCS students have been working hard on Art work for submission to the Pumphouse Winter Art Exhibit. As a school, we have 18 beautiful pieces that will be displayed at the art gallery from December 8th to January 29th along with a few other schools in the area. Please take the opportunity to view these wonderful works of art that will be displayed until the end of the Ice Wine Festival. A big thank you to Ms. Bigda and Mr. W for making all this possible. Well Done, ROCS students!



Early Years What a fun November in Early Years! We were so lucky to welcome Ms.Brown into our class community as she completes her second teaching block. In Literacy, we’ve continued learning about our Letters of the Week, working through Literacy centers, and discussing word families. We’ve also continued our daily Heggerty lessons, where we are learning to listen to words and identify if they rhyme, what sound they hear at the beginning and end, breaking words into syllables, and much more. In Math, we wrapped up our Numbers unit and started talking about probability. In Health and Inquiry, the kids learned about different emotions and how we can make ourselves feel better and “get back to the green zone” when we are having a tough day. We also started talking about the four seasons. We are excited to see what the next 4 weeks have in store as we prepare for the Holidays! I’m sure Early Years will be bursting with Holiday Cheer!

Grade 1/2

November was a quick month at Royal Oak. It seems like yesterday that our class joined the 5/6 class to carve pumpkins for Halloween. That was a great day to help us celebrate some of the traditions at Halloween. This month we have been fortunate enough to have a Brock Teacher-Candidate join our class. Ms. Berry has been a wonderful addition to our room this month. She has been teaching math, inquiry and literacy lessons to the students over the last few weeks. Before our November Break, the students began to understand the importance of Remembrance Day. They listened to a story about this important day of history, made poppies, completed a writing activity and created a colour poster with Mrs.B. We then walked to the Niagara-on-the-Lake History Museum with all of the students of the Lower School to view the display of crocheted and paper poppies placed in memory of the soldiers who gave their lives for us. In inquiry, the students finished their study of their roles and responsibilities within their families and classroom. With the help of Ms. Berry, the students are engaged in activities to learn about local and global communities. Math has the students learning about estimating and comparing numbers. With Ms. Berry, the students made a human number line to help them understand how numbers are arranged on this math tool. To help prepare for the upcoming holiday season, our class decorated ornaments for the Royal Oak School tree on display on Queen Street in NOTL. The student’s decorations are awesome-the children took a lot of pride in completing them! We ventured down to the tree and each child was able to place his/her ornament on the tree. Thank you to Mrs. Dennis for all her hard work in making the ROCS tree look beautiful! All this in a short month. I cannot wait to see what December brings.

Grade 3/4

In November, the Grade 3/4 class welcomed River as their newest member! We have continued to grow as a classroom community, and our adventures have only brought us closer like six peas in a pod. The warm November days allowed us to take advantage of outdoor activities, such as walking to COWS dairy to order ice cream ‘en francais’. We began this month by introducing our two new character traits– Courage and Bravery. These traits certainly set the tone for our small yet mighty class. To commemorate Remembrance Day, we remembered the brave soldiers who fought and served in many wars. We proudly designed and illustrated our Royal Canadian Legion posters that portrayed Canadian symbols of peace. During our trip to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum, we learned about the war of 1812 and its significance within the NOTL community. In reading, we kicked off our highly anticipated novel study called, “Fish in a Tree ''. It has enabled us to have open and honest conversations as part of our Social-Emotional Learning. We’ve been able to share our personal stories and struggles, such as navigating learning disabilities and the stigmas associated with neurodiverse learners. We look forward to welcoming December and all the winter festivities that lead up to our holiday break!

Grade 5/6

November has been a tiny, but mighty month filled with wrapping up units with final assignments. For the past month, the Grade 5/6 class has been exploring forces, structures, and machines. The crew is exploring how societal and environmental forces impact structures and creatures. Did you know that there are bolts in some homes that can be tightened to brace houses against earthquakes? In Math class, the crew has worked hard on learning various ways to solve multiplication problems, they can all confidently tell you 3 different ways to solve 13 x 24! These problem-solving strategies have been helpful to us as we start our new unit on Measurement. We had fun going around the school comparing lengths, such as did you know Mr.W has a foot length of 30cm while Ms. Bigda’s foot is 25cm long? In Language arts, we have had the pleasure of starting a persuasive writing unit with our Brock Teacher candidate, Ms. Wright. Ms. Wright is teaching the class about the differences between fact and opinion as well as how to apply both to a persuasive argument. Not only are we having fun writing with Wright, but she has also been leading the class in Morning Meetings with challenges such as mystery drawing and debate discussions. Ms. Wright will be joining us until December 16th as she completes her second teaching placement block for Brock University. We are looking forward to spending time with her as we wrap up Term 1 and 2022.

Grade 7/8

Grade Seven and Eight have been busy this month with many engrossing projects and fun activities. We have also had the great opportunity to welcome a Brock Teacher Candidate into our classroom. Ms. N has brought many thoughtful ideas into the Math, Literacy, History, and Art lessons since the term holidays. In Literacy, the class has gotten into a groove with their Literature Circles, created Remembrance Day poetry and pose, analyzed TED Talks, and deepened their understanding of what makes a great presentation. Their oral presentation skills have been well demonstrated in their History presentations on different battles from the War of 1812. In Math, the students have finished their probability unit and have become graphing gurus. As this is written, Ms. N and I have enjoyed observing them find, analyze and apply data to create infographics as the culminating project for the unit. Along with all this hard work, the students have loved morning and afternoon meeting activities, reading buddies with the Early Years and their take on Four-Square: Eight-Square!


A Look Ahead at ROCS:

Offerings in the Community

Winter Art Camp on Jan 2- 6, 2023 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The in-studio camp for ages 5 - 12 will be held at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, 247 Ricardo St., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. Registration is now open and can be done online at

For more info, our office can be contacted by phone: at 905-468-5455 or by email:

PD Days for NON-Royal Oak Students- Share with your friends!

Niagara-on-the-Lake is hosting "Santa" for Palliative Care at the Community Centre on Sunday, December 11 from 10am to 12pm. There will be free chocolate milk and cookies

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