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Our January Update

Royal Oak School

January 31st, 2024

Dear Royal Oak Families,

2024 is here, and with it, a wonderful month of learning at the school. Term 2 has kicked off many beautiful units, novel studies and rich learning in each classroom, which you can read more about below in the "Classroom Updates" section of our Newsletter. Clubs started last week, and winter activities of “Hot Cocoa Club”, “Yoga Club”, “Good Vibes Tribe” and many more are already well underway. We met with children in each grade to gauge their interest in Winter Clubs but parents, please reach out if you have expertise and time you could share to support these, or upcoming Spring iClub nitiatives. We love learning from our parents who in the past, have hosted “Chess Club”, “Soccer Club” and more in collaboration with our teachers.  Along with Club input, we are always looking for ways to be responsive and improve, and we would love to hear from you. Please fill out this simple, three-question form to share any feedback you might have with us: Help us improve

We look forward to a very full February here at school.  On February 16, Parent Teacher Interviews occur, which will be scheduled with you via email through your child(ren's) classroom teacher shortly. With our new reporting schedule and platform this year, a full Report Card encapsulating most of Term 2 will be sent home on February 23, to follow the Progress Report sent home in December. We also celebrate “Jump Rump for Heart” on February 14, Family Day on Monday, February 19, and of course, move into the final weeks of rehearsals for our incredible production of “Moana” which will take place on February 29 at 6 pm at the Community Centre.  It goes without saying that putting on a full school production takes an incredible amount of time and dedication, and we thank parents who attended our Moana Volunteer meeting on Wednesday, January 24 for their efforts, as well as Ms. Nyenhuis, our Director, and Ms. McMackin, our Musical Lead. Please do read carefully for costume updates, volunteer requests and schedule adjustments as we near the big day! As you will see below, many of our costume pieces are required to be at the school no later than February 12- which will be here before we know it!

This month, I will also be sending out Re-enrollment Packages to each family, as well as our revised tuition schedule for 2024/2025. We ask that families do take the time to let us know their intentions for the 2024/2025 school year through the re-enrollment process. We have three full classrooms for next year, and your input will help us to determine which spaces we can open up to new families. You will notice in our Re-enrollment package that we have a new tuition assistance program at the school, called FAST (Financial Assistance for School Tuition). FAST is an improved system to Apple FInancial, and has lower fees for applying, as well as more accurate assessments which we know will help our families who require this financial support. If your financial situation has changed, please don't hesitate to reach out to speak with Admin here at the school to discuss how FAST might be able to help support your child's tuition costs.

Finally, before our March Break which falls early this year (March 4-15 inclusive), consider signing your child up for our March Break Camp which will run March 11-15 at the school for Royal Oak children as well as children from the community. It will be run again this year by our amazing Royal Oak teachers, and focus on academic skills as well as outdoor play, sports and fun! The sign-up information can all be found below.

Until next month, please take good care, enjoy the winter activities this weather is finally affording us, and stay in touch!

Warm regards,


Julia Murray, Head of School 

Meet Ms. Andrea!

Andrea brings a wealth of administrative and leadership knowledge with her as the new Administrative Assistant here at Royal Oak. With over 15 years of owning and operating family businesses, she has a passion for organization, anything admin-related, and multi-tasking!

As much as she loves office related duties, and checking off to do lists, Andrea loves people more! It has been pleasure welcoming her to our staffing team, and welcoming her to the Royal Oak community.

Andrea grew up in the Niagara Region, attended school in British Columbia, and then moved back, and has now been working and living in Niagara for the last 20 years. She is a local resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, where she raises her 3 children, and is very actively involved in the community.

Valentine's Day:

Jump Rope for Heart and Stroke Fundraiser

This February, ROCS students will be participating in "Jump Rope for Heart" to empower kids to build healthy habits for a healthy life and learn the importance of giving. Our school community will be participating on February 14th as part of our Valentine's Day activities. So many of our families are affected by Heart Disease and Stroke that we at ROCS feel it necessary to make this one of our yearly fundraising initiatives along with the Terry Fox Run in September. Please follow the link below to donate on our ROCS fundraising page. A little goes a long way to help fund research and treatments for heart disease and stroke. If there are any questions please contact Ms. Dennis.

Character Awards and Caribou Front Runners

January’s character trait of focus at Royal Oak was Resilience. The Junior Middle class presented to the school how to be resilient and reflect on our personal challenges for the brand new year of 2024 during our monthly school assembly. Here are our Character Award Winners for this month who are awarded a free dress down day.

Early Years: Malcolm H.

Primary: Ahmad S.

Primary Junior: Seren K.

Junior Middle: Aspen Z.

Upper Middle: Alp R.

Every month, ROCS students from primary to upper middle take part in the Caribou International Math Challenge. The students use this opportunity to extend their abilities and to engage in thought-provoking and “out of the box” application questions that are geared towards their levels.

Our Caribou Math Challenge Class Leaders are:

Primary: Scarlett H.

Primary Junior: Seren K.

Junior Middle: Jack M.

Upper Middle: Marlo H.

Paul Davis visited Royal Oak School in December to speak with our students in Grades 4-8, followed by an event with our parent community. His talk was eye-opening in so many ways! Our students learned about their responsibility to protect themselves and others online, and how technology really works. Our parents learned about the ways that children can be taken advantage of online, and strategies to prevent this. His top tips included: 

  • No screens in the bedroom (unsupervised spaces where screen time cannot be monitored), 

  • Using monitoring apps such as Qustudio to allow transparency of children’s screen time usage and content

  • Open discussions about what children are viewing, who they are talking to, and assurances they can always come to you if they are in trouble

Paul also shared this link with us to support continued Parent Education. Please check it out if you are interested in learning more!

Clubs Began Monday, January 22nd

Just a reminder that clubs  started on Monday, January 22nd!!!

We have some great offerings this Winter term: 

  • Cocoa Club (Primary and Upper)

  • Comic Book Club

  • Yoga Club

  • Good Vibes Tribe 

  • Ball Hockey (beginning on Feb. 8th)

Whole year clubs, such as  Homework Club and French Club (Wednesday and Friday) can also be joined by emailing with Ms. Dennis, Ms. Robin and Mme Chaudoreille. 

Camp Wenonah and Week Without Walls Update

Our annual overnight camp and Week Without Walls trips are fast approaching again this year! This year the Primary Junior, Junior Middle and Upper Middle students are invited to attend Camp Wenonah from June 4th to June 7th, while our Early Years and Primary students will be staying for Week Without Walls. We will be fundraising again this year to bring down the cost of these trips.

Last year, our "Coffee Cafe" Friday mornings and our big Community Bake Sale in May helped us to raise $2500! We are again fundraising and we hope to make just as much money to offset the cost of these opportunities for our families.

A necessary part of planning a large trip like Camp Wenonah is understanding which students and families are planning to attend. Please fill out the google form below if you are a parent of a student in Primary Junior, Junior Middle and Upper Middle so that we know how many students will be attending camp this year. The cost will roughly be the same as last year at $450 per student for 4 days, 3 nights, with all meals and activities included.

An information session will be available via Google Meet at the beginning of April with Camp Wenonah staff and Directors, but please reach out to Ms. Dennis if you have any early questions about camp.

More information about Week Without Walls will be sent at the beginning of April.

Moana Jr. : Important Information

The Moana Jr. production is quickly approaching (Thursday, February 29th at 6pm). Tickets will be on sale at the door for $10 per ticket. There will be 2 dress rehearsals before the performance at the NOTL Community Centre. The first will be on Wednesday, February 28th from noon to 3:30pm- Pick up will be at the NOTL Community Centre at 3:30pm that day. The second will be on Thursday, February 29th from noon to 3:30pm. Pick-up will also be at the NOTL Community Centre at 3:30pm. All students will need to be back to the Community Centre that day for the performance by 5:15pm in costume. 

The student costume list is attached HERE . Some parts will be made at school but the base shirt and pants and specialty cast items will need to be at the school no later than Monday, February 12th .

Please reach out to Ms. N ( ) if you have any questions or can volunteer to help out with the production.


Early Years

Happy New Year from Early Years! We came back from the break ready to continue growing and learning at tremendous rates. It was so nice getting to see all of the students again after a restful break.

In Literacy, we’ve continued to learn about different letter sounds, have started working on decoding Vowel-Consonant (VC) and Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) words, as well as reading books from the Fountas and Pinnell reading system. 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, and much more. In Math, we’ve been working hard to sort objects in various ways, including by size, shape, colour, and more. We started off the New Year with an exciting Inquiry unit on Dinosaurs, and are just starting to dive into a unit about Space. We look forward to next month and all of the fun things it will bring, including the school production of Moana!


2024 is off to a great start in Primary! Ms. Kennedy has been with our class for the entire month and she has been an amazing addition to the classroom. Her enthusiasm, love of teaching and engaging lessons have been enjoyed by all of the girls and boys in our classroom. January began with the students learning about 2-D and 3-D Shapes and Solids, congruency, angles, and symmetry in Math. As a culmination of this unit, Ms. Kennedy organized a Math Olympics, in which the students rotated through various activities to demonstrate their learning. At the end of Math Olympics, all the students played “Pin the Tail on the Symmetry”! Everyone laughed while playing this hilarious game together! Addition and Subtraction are presently being tackled and conquered by the children with Ms. Kennedy and Ms. Robin team-teaching to ensure that the students are learning the various strategies of these mathematical operations. Number lines, number charts, counting on, ten-frames, pictures and counters are all being used to help the students accurately add one digit and two digit numbers. Winter Festivals in Canada have been the focus of Inquiry in Primary this month. The students are learning about the provinces and territories of Canada and winter festivals celebrated within each province/territory. After learning about a province and one of its winter festivals, students are engaged in a related hands-on activity to solidify their understanding of the festival. Students have made “ice sculptures” after learning about British Columbia and canoes and ice slides after learning about Alberta. We will continue eastward in our learning of the rest of our beautiful country. Finally, during our Literacy blocks, students have been busy playing Sight Word games, listening and discussing Charlotte’s Web, guessing and building Sound of the Day word lists to expand their knowledge of our Vowel Valley and Consonant Wall, and reading decodable and sight word readers. Royal Oak School is a unique environment and outdoor learning and exploration is very important. The return of snow during the last week of January has been enjoyed by all the students! Looking forward to the rest of 2024!

Primary Junior

Happy New Year! Your classroom updates have so much exciting learning to share. In Math, the "Salad Day" division activity is making learning practical and enjoyable. The Decision Movie Theater Project is also underway and set to wrap up next week, bringing a creative twist to our studies.

In English Language Arts, the Cereal Box Projects are gearing up for presentations, promising a memorable experience. We're also focusing on spelling in Literacy, adding to our well-rounded language development approach.

The holistic approach to education, including Pumpkin PJ's reporting and discussions on staying healthy, is commendable. We've taken a step further by starting composting in Pumpkin PJ to see what happens, adding an environmental aspect to our holistic learning journey.

The focus on creating Moana props in Art is fantastic, showcasing the students' growing artistic talents.

Thanks for your commitment. Here's to a productive February and continued success for your fantastic students! If there's anything specific you'd like to discuss further, feel free to let me know.

Junior Middle

Happy 2024! We are so happy to be back in the Junior Middle classroom for the new year. With the new year, we started brand new in class with new units. We have said goodbye to our Harry Potter Unit and are excited to begin our new novel study "Bridge to Terabithia". In this unit, along with reading the novel, students will create their own imaginary countries! They will be responsible for creating a government, designing a flag, currencies, and maps, and even deciding what resources will be available in their country.  At the end of the unit, we will have a meeting of the imaginary countries where students will discuss how they would solve issues that Canada is involved in. This immersive unit will take us until April to allow the students to deep dive into economies and politics. Another exciting new event in the Junior Middle class is our "Wake Up Wednesdays". Every Wednesday morning, students get cozy with their Bridge to Terabithia novel and a cup of tea to kick off our day. This has been a highlight in the class as students are excited to try out the various herbal teas available. The most popular vote has been the Peach Mango Tea! We have been enjoying being back together as we learn and play. The class has been enjoying the few snowfalls we have had with their wonderful snow creations. 

It has been another great month in the Junior Middle classroom! 

Upper Middle

We have had a warm welcome back to school in the Upper Middle Class despite the cold weather outside! Our class has dived right back into the groove of learning starting off the year with new units and learning experiences! 

In Math we have begun exploring patterning and algebra utilizing both new digital resources and hand-on learning activities to understand. Students created their own patterns using Mathigon Polypad and participated in a simplifying polynomial relay. Students are working ever so diligently to understand these new concepts in math. In Inquiry we have spent the month of January exploring Pure substances and mixtures. Students are currently working on powerpoint presentations to educate our school community on the importance of separating substances through the process of recycling to ensure the sustainability of our planet. Within LA we continue to practice our summarizing skills as well as beginning to look into the process of writing News Articles. We look forward to writing a newspaper book report following the completion of our current class novel Motorcycles and Sweetgrass written by Drew Hayden Taylor. 

We are so excited to continue our weekly Coffee Cafe fundraiser! Come see us every Friday morning for some sweet treats, coffee with a new addition of hot chocolate! In other news our class is working very hard in preparation for the upcoming Moana performance in Drama, Music and Visual Arts to bring the production to life! Outside of the classroom our class has had fun in the snow as well as enjoyed a great trip to Sunset Grill for a special Local Lunch! We are looking forward to everything that February has in store for the Upper Middle Class! 

A Look Ahead at ROCS


Please share widely with any interested friends and family!

Offerings in the Community

March Break And ROCS Summer Academy

Registration is now live on our website.

Please visit to learn more or to register our day camps.

Niagara on the Lake Soccer Registration is OPEN!


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