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February News at ROCS

Updated: Mar 13

Royal Oak School


MARCH 1st, 2023

Dear Royal Oak Families,

This month has flown by faster than any other - we blinked and February was behind us!

A short month and a wonderful, full calendar is likely the reason but it’s hard to believe the March Break and Term 3 is upon us. From March 6-10 and 13-14, Royal Oak will be closed, and we hope you have wonderful plans to rest, restore health and enjoy what looks like beautiful spring days ahead.

If you are looking for childcare at any point, Royal Oak is running our first March Break Camp with Mr. AW and Ms. Karyll, and many families from our own school and those in the community will be joining us here at Royal Oak. Please email if you wish to sign up for any part of the March 13-17 week.

This month, we celebrate new teachers joining the school via our wonderful relationship with Brock University. We welcome Brock Teaching Candidates Emma, Megan and Leah to our fold, and are grateful for the opportunity to mentor these teachers in training, and contribute in a larger way to the world of education through their learning alongside our own students. We are also celebrating wonderful news of a new future Royal Oak student via a pregnancy announcement you will see below 🙂

Looking back, we had wonderful student learning outside of the walls of Royal Oak, with our Grade 7/8’s finishing their personal fitness unit with a trip to our local F45 fitness studio with a tour of the NOTL Youth Collective included, looking ahead, we plan for Camp Wahanowin for Grades 4-8, and an incredible week of Week without Walls for our JK to Grade 3 students.

Term 3 begins our first day back to school on March 20. The third term of the year is always a joy, as students are confident, full of 6 months of learning and knowledge, and amazing things happen in the form of consolidation of learning, final projects, confidence and products. Term 3 also kicks off our re-enrollment process here at Royal Oak, and you will see an email from the school shortly asking you to share your intentions with us for the 2023/2024 school year. We truly hope to welcome back each of our incredible students and families, and also ask that you share your experiences of the school with friends or potential new families. Royal Oak has had the gift of growing through “word of mouth” and your positive recommendations, and we hope to continue to grow in this way to share our incredible school and program with more Niagara families- we have something very special here at Royal Oak, and we appreciate your help in spreading the word!

If you have any questions about the term ahead, or plans for 2023/2024, do not hesitate to reach out and in the meantime, enjoy a wonderful March break and see you in Term 3.

Julia Murray, Head of School

Brock University Teacher Candidates in the Classrooms

Starting on Tuesday, February 11th, Royal Oak teachers again welcomed a new crop of Brock University teacher candidates into the classrooms. Three of our classroom teachers will host fantastic 2nd year teacher candidates, who will teach and learn alongside our wonderful educators. Again, this is a great opportunity for us as educational professionals to pass on our knowledge of the unique outdoor, inquiry teaching practices that make our school so special. Please say hello to the following teacher candidates in our classrooms:

Ms. McMackin ( Early Years/Kindergarten) and Ms. Bigda (Grade 3/4) will host Ms. Tobin

Ms. Nyenhuis (Grade 5/6)will host Ms. Dunn

And….. Mr. W (Grade 7/8)will host Ms. Smith

We look forward to working with these great individuals over the coming weeks.

Congratulations, Ms. Kelly!

We are so excited to announce that Ms. Kelly and her husband are expecting their first child in July. Our wonderful Special Education Resource Teacher will be taking a leave of absence for the next school year, but assures us that she will be back. Although we will miss Ms. Kelly very much during her leave, at the moment we are in the process of finding the perfect person to fill her position and will announce the candidate in late May. We wish all the best to Ms. Kelly, her husband and her growing family.

Second Open House- Friday, April 14th, 2023

​Royal Oak hosted an Open House on Friday, February 3rd from 9:30 to 11 am. We opened our doors to over 10 interested families for grades Pre-K to 8, who wanted to know more about our wonderful growing school. We started with an information session in our beautiful newly decorated reception room at the front entrance. A big thank you to our wonderful parent volunteers, Daniella and Denise, who helped to straighten up and redecorate parts of the school for this event. A group of our Grade 7/8 students played an ambassador role by making such a great impression in touring our prospective families around and sharing their experiences here at ROCS. We will be having another Open House Friday, April 14th from 9 am to 11 am, with a morning Parent Coffee Talk to start off the event. More information to come.

Camp Wahonowin and Week Without Walls Update

This Thursday, March 2nd is our Camp Wahanowin Information Session that will highlight the activities going on during our overnight trip from May 29th to June 1st. Please log onto the google link that was emailed to our Grade 4 to 8 parents that are interested in attending the trip, at 5:30 pm for this information session. A representative from Camp Wahanowin will be answering all your questions about the camp at that time and sharing more about this wonderful experience.

A parent information package was emailed, as well as a permission form that will need to be filled out and emailed back to the school by Monday, March 20th. The trip will cost roughly $475 but the final cost will depend on the number of students attending the trip as well as our fundraising efforts, which we expect will decrease the cost of the trip significantly. A $100 deposit is needed by Friday, March 10th and can be etransfered to . Please add CAMPW in the etransfer memo section when sending the transfer.

In order to help with the cost of the trip, the students will be fundraising! Starting right after March Break, "ROCS Coffee Cafe'' will be open every Friday morning from 8:15 to 8:45 am, in the front garden near the ramp door entrance. Coffee and other morning refreshments will be provided for a small fee. Students will help by selling the coffee and providing baked goods to our wonderful ROCS parents and community members. Student sign-up will be with Ms. Dennis on our first day back from the break which will be Monday, March 20th.

We will also be holding our annual Bake Sale on Saturday, May 13th from 9am to 3pm at the front corner of the school parking lot. Students who would like to volunteer for this event will need to sign-up in 2 hour blocks for that day. The information for that will be sent in April. We will be looking for baked goods, drinks and raffle items again this year and we will be only selling on that day.

Please reach out to Laureen Dennis if you have any questions about the camp or the fundraisers and we look forward to seeing everyone online at the Camp Information Session this Thursday.

For our Grades K to 3, Week without Walls information and cost will be provided after March Break. Students that wish to fundraise for their Week without Walls trips can see Ms. Dennis for details.


Our last week of winter clubs is this week. Homework club is still ongoing and will begin again the week after March Break. Clubs that are being offered for the Spring session that begins in April are:

  • Skate club for 4 to 8

  • Creative club for K to 3

  • Track and Field- all grades

  • Forest explorers K to 2

  • Games club grade 3 to 8

Information about club registration will be sent home the week after March Break.


We are excited to announce that we are offering Aftercare 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) Please fill out the form below to indicate the days you will be requiring Aftercare for term 3. We understand that needs might fluctuate from time to time, however, we need to gauge whether aftercare is necessary 4 days a week.

February Fun!

February character traits are kindness and honesty. What a great month to have these 2 traits since we celebrated both Valentine’s Day and Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying day). Getting together as a school, we discussed the importance of being kind to loved ones, friends, peers and citizens in general. We learned how to stand up to bullying and how to be considerate persons. ROCS was treated to assemblies that had us talking, reading books and listening to our very own choir sing. The Grade 1/2 class beautifully demonstrated our character traits in a wonderful way during our character assembly this past Friday. Our February character award winners are:

Kindergarten- Merritt H.

Grade 1/2 - Robert M.

Grade 3/4 - Anhad T.

Grade 5/6- Aspen Z.

Grade 7/8 - Ayla K

On Wednesday, February 15th, our students again participated in the Caribou Contest for a 4th time. We are very proud of all of our students who continue to challenge themselves and persevere through this international online math activity. ROCS students have fared very well during this contest and we are pleased to let you know that a few have made top marks in their divisions. Henry K, Ruby E.,Anhad T, Silas A and Josh C. are top students this month in the Caribou Contest

Well Done!

Grade 7/8 Local Trip

As part of the Grade 7/8 personal fitness unit, students participate in an afternoon of mental and physical health. On Thursday, February 9, Students travelled into Virgil to visit the NOTL Youth Collective, where an ambassador with the program shared information with the students and toured where their drop in program runs for teens in grades 7 to 12. Students then went to the F45 Gym and Fitness centre and participated in their Prodigy youth program. F45 Prodigy is a scientifically-based workout system designed specifically for 11 to 17 year olds! It is the first of its kind in Canada and kids & teens around the globe have been participating in F45 Prodigy since 2018. Mr. Addams-Williams and Ms. Julia had such fun working out with our Grade 7/8 students that day.

For more information, please see the links below.

F45 Prodigy Program

NOTL Youth Collective

ROCS Teachers visit prestigious JICS in Toronto

On Thursday, February 16th, our ROCS teachers were treated to a day of learning at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Studies in Toronto. This prestigious educational institute is a research institute and laboratory school of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. JICS is almost 100 years old and is a Nursery to 6th Grade school whose mission is to provide excellence in elementary education, teacher education, and research in an intentionally diverse environment. Our ROCS teachers had the opportunity to tour, learn and shadow the educators at the Lab School for the day. The institute has similar educational pedagogy to our own at ROCS and having this unique opportunity to learn and share with other colleagues was such a great experience. To learn more about JICS please visit:



Early Years

What a lovely month we’ve had in Early Years! We’ve spent the past few weeks talking a lot about kindness, acceptance, and friendship, going along with the many holidays celebrated in February. We are also extremely lucky to be welcoming Ms.Tobin into our class community as she competes one of her practicum blocks for Teacher’s College! In Literacy, we are reviewing and diving deeper into CVC words and word families. Specifically we’ve been learning about words that use the short a and short o sounds. 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, middle, and end of words, breaking words into syllables. A new skill we’ve learned in our Heggerty lessons is decoding (sounding out) words that are written on the board. In Math, we started the month learning about data and making different types of surveys and graphs. Currently, we are learning how to read analog clocks to the hour. In Inquiry, we’ve been learning about different states of matter, such as identifying solids, liquids, and gasses. Two of the best experiments we’ve done in this unit so far are making Ooblek (or cornstarch mud) and growing crystals! The kids have been working hard and truly deserve their two week March Break! I’m looking forward to seeing what we learn following the break.

Grade 1/2

We are at the end of another month! Even though February is the shortest month, it's been one of the busiest months of the school year in the Grade ½ class. The month began with the boys and girls learning about sorting, gathering information through surveys and graphing the data that was collected. The students surveyed the boys and girls of ROCS using Valentine’s Day questions. Then, the Grade ½ students displayed the collected data on giant bar graphs. In Inquiry, the boys and girls have been learning about Matter, Solids and Liquids. To discover that solids remain the same when hit, hammered and cut, we turned our classroom into a science lab and conducted a hands-on experiment. Wearing goggles and using a hammer, the students hammered chalk, ice and chocolate into small pieces, realizing that the small pieces were still the same solids. This was an extremely engaging activity for the students and their excitement was heard throughout the school. Inquiry has also involved the boys and girls learning about Black History Month through the use of literature. In Literacy, the class composed acrostic poems to share at the Character Trait assembly at the end of the month. Our class was responsible for a presentation on the traits of kindness and honesty. Part of our presentation was each student composing a line for the acrostic poem of kindness. We did an awesome job during the presentation. Valentine’s Day was a special day at ROCS. Our class participated in various Valentine Day activities with our ⅚ reading buddies and had a great time. At the end of the day, the girls and boys had fun decorating sugar cookies and handing out their Valentine cards to their classmates. Finally, the boys and girls are enjoying Fresh Air time on Wednesday, which is a time for students to be outdoors, engaged in structured and unstructured math fun.

Grade 3/4

February was a beautiful month in our Grade 3/4 classroom. Our character trait focused on showing KINDNESS which set the precedent for how to treat others in our classroom and community. Equally important was our focus on Black History Month. We celebrated the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada a culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous country. In our Writer's Workshop unit, we began composing and crafting our Identity Collages, in combination with our "The Best Part of Me" which focused on highlighting a personal feature. Through many discussions, we discovered many characteristics about ourselves, and the uniqueness of our bodies, as well as how our 5 senses allow us to interpret the world around us. We are going to continue being "Bucket Fillers" and recognizing acts of kindness as we uplift each other for months to come!

Grade 5/6

Happy February! This was a short but sweet month in the Grade 5/6 classroom. The class enjoyed all the wonderful events that this month has to offer like Valentine's Day, Family Day, and finally Pink Shirt day! Even with all these exciting moments, we still worked hard as we explored a variety of units in Math, Language Arts, and Inquiry. The class has been diving into the diary entries of Fiona McGregor in the novel "If I Die Before I Wake". This novel explores what life was like in Toronto during the Spanish Flu Epidemic in 1918. We have been connecting Fiona's experiences with our own while living through the Covid-19 epidemic. The class has been deep in discussion with our thoughts and opinions about this novel. A top favorite unit of the class was our Medical School Program which wraps up this week. Each week we explored the different systems within the human body and discussed how these systems work together. While we are sad to wrap up, we are excited to start all our new units after the March Break with our Brock Teacher Candidate, Meagan Dunne! Ms. Dunne will be joining our classroom until April. We are looking forward to learning and growing with her during her 6-week placement in our classroom community. Have a wonderful March Break everyone!

Grade 7/8 Grades 7 and 8 have been digging in and wrapping up so many fun projects this month. The students have made it through their second literature circle and are in the process of making some wonderful personal projects based on their connections with David A Robertson's The Great Bear. Before their algebra unit (and highly successful unit test), the students have also finished their Geometry unit with some beautiful art based on triangle properties and angle relationships- math really is beautiful! In science, the students explored mechanical systems- lots of creativity with the STEM aspect and another round of well-made presentations. Last but certainly not least, the students should be very proud of their visual art projects. The students have done a lot of learning both from a two-point and atmospheric perspective. Way to go!


A Look Ahead at ROCS

Offerings in the Community

Yellow Door Theatre Project

Tickets available online February 7th, 2023.

Please watch for up-dates!

Suitable for ages 3 & up. Family Entertainment

Run-time: 70 minutes. No intermission.

Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts gang explore life's great questions as they play baseball, struggle with homework, sing songs, swoon over their crushes, and celebrate the joy of friendship.

Niagara On the Lake Public Library

F45 Prodigy

F45 Prodigy is a scientifically-based workout system designed specifically for 11 to 17 year olds! It is the first of its kind in Canada and kids & teens around the globe have been participating in F45 Prodigy since 2018. We are thrilled to be able to offer it here in our own studio and help improve the health and wellbeing of children in our community!

Reserve Your Child's Spot by emailing

Niagara Pumphouse will be offering a March Break Art Camp

from Mar 13-17

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

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