top of page

Welcome back, Royal Oak Community!

Updated: Sep 30, 2022


September 30, 2022

Letter from the Head of School, Julia Murray

Dear Royal Oak Parents’ and Families,

It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to write this first newsletter of the school year and to share what an incredibly beautiful first month of school we have had.

From the first day of school at 9:00 am as I walked around the halls, a calm, focused flow was evident, and this has continued each and everyday. The students are hard at work already learning new material and reaching up to their new grades and classroom expectations, and it is wonderful to see! Our Specialties (Music, Drama, Info Teach and Art) in full swing each week, with Mr. AW and Madame Chaudoreille challenging the students in Physical Education and French regularly. Homework started this week, and we encourage families to reach out to classroom teachers with any feedback or information as we tailor this work to students’ individual needs.

It has been a very busy first month of school with Curriculum Night, our Terry Fox run that raised almost $1000 for this important cause and today, with our first Field Trip of the school year to the Landscape of Nations Memorial at Queenston Heights to honour Truth and Reconciliation Day. Each class has been talking about the history, contributions and experiences of Indigenous peoples’ in Canada throughout the month, and we will bring this learning together in a hands-on exploration of the LON monument today. I have had the opportunity over the past 4 years to act as a Lead Educator on the Landscape of Nations Indigenous Initiative, and to be involved in writing curriculum and creating learning modules for teachers across Niagara. It makes me so proud to see Royal Oak honouring one of the most important Calls to Action for the Truth and Reconciliation Report, number 64, which calls for schools to implement Indigenous learning in the curriculum and deepen our appreciation and understanding of the Indigineous experience in Canada.

As we look forward to the week ahead, we have the opportunity to come together as a school community outside the school walls on Wednesday to support Royal Oak’s main fundraiser for the school year at our Golf Day on October 5. Money raised from this tournament, dinner and auction go towards scholarships and bursaries for students at our school, and special initiatives that deepen learning experiences for each of our children. Royal Oak is offering childcare at the school until 5:30pm for any family who wishes to golf, so please email to sign up for this free care! If you cannot attend, please consider a donation, or hole sponsorship to support this initiative. Thank you to each of our parent volunteers and especially, Kim Elltoft and Robin Ridesic, for the incredible work to make this event a reality!

Next week is a short week with a Professional Development Day on Friday, October 7 and the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, October 10.

This newsletter is FULL of important information for the weeks ahead, so please read carefully, enjoy, and reach out if you have any questions. This newsletter will be posted on our school site for the rest of the term in case you need to access any information at any time.

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather, the weekend ahead and I look forward to seeing many of you next Wednesday at our Golf fundraising event! Julia

Royal Oak Terry Fox Run

Again this year, Royal Oak students came together to participate in the annual school Terry Fox Run to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. Under the leadership of our Grade 7/8's, we discussed as a school the importance of Terry to Canadians, and of his self-less journey to raise millions of dollars to help others. We decided as a school we would always do our best and "Try like Terry" and this was evident as students ran their hearts out to raise money and show perseverance through challenge.

On September 19, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of outdoor fun, ending at the gazebo and the play structure to enjoy some refreshments and reflect on this most important event. Students raised a total of over $875 for the foundation. Well Done Royal Oak students!

Truth and Reconciliation Education

Field Trip to Landscape of Nations

On Friday, September 30th, the students of Royal Oak School travelled up to Queenston Heights to observe Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Day at the Landscape of Nations Memorial. Students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 listened to Indigenous creation stories, walked the memorial route and learned about what Truth and Reconciliation means and why we observe this day. Royal Oak teachers have been discussing topics in a grade appropriate way so that the students could understand and appreciate this beautiful monument.


Homework has started to go home this past week for all classes from Grade 1 to 8. Homework is a vital part of the school/home connections and helps to solidify concepts that are being reviewed and taught in class, making it more meaningful and personal. Reinforcing good study habits is key for academic and personal success. Students should be doing a little of the homework every night, coupled with at least 20 to 30 minutes of reading. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions or comments about homework.

Clubs and PD Camps Starting at ROCS

Now that we are in the midst of our second month of school, Royal Oak Staff are gearing up for our Fall Club season. Clubs begin on Monday, October 3rd and run until the week of November 7th. Please keep a lookout in your email for more information about the clubs that you have signed your children up for.

Royal Oak is very pleased to announce a new PD day camp initiative for our community members that attend DSBN and NCDSB schools. We are offering a day-long camp for Kindergarten to Grade 8 with fun outdoor and art activities. These will be held on the following days for $35 per day: October 24th, November 25th, January 20th, May 19th and June 9th. Please spread the news and contact for more information.

Royal Oak in the News

Cyber Legends Promo Video - Starring Ms. Dennis & Ms. Julia

Cyber Legends is an online learning and game platform that teaches cyber safety to children and parents. Through games and teaching resources, it prepares kids to safely navigate an evolving digital world. By continually working with a team of educators, game creators, and researchers, Royal Oak was part of a pilot project to bring this cyber safety curriculum into Ontario Schools. Ms. Dennis and Ms. Julia feature in the video above to share why Cyber Safety is so important for our children, so please take a look! We will be using the Cyber Legends curriculum in our classroom this year to teach the fundamentals of online safety to our own Royal Oak students.

Cold and Flu Season: What to do

It’s that time of year again!

Several of our staff and students have already been affected by the cold and flu starting to circulate with being back together and the change in weather.

Please be vigilant and stay home if you are not feeling well or your child is not feeling well. We can prevent transmission by staying at home and resting, wearing a mask until symptoms have improved and screening your symptoms using the Covid-19 school screening .

As a reminder, Royal Oak is not offering virtual learning this year, and we recommend resting when you are sick so you can get back to full health, more quickly!


Classroom Updates for September

Early Years

September in Early Years has been very busy with a lot of learning, exploring, and playing happening! The kids have all quickly picked up on routines and expectations and are doing extremely well! We started the year off with important topics like getting to know each other, building a classroom community, and reminding ourselves of the importance of sharing and working together. In Literacy, we’ve been learning about our special names and have started focusing on Letter(s) of the Week, as well as utilizing our new Heggerty Phonemic Awareness program. In Math, we’ve been learning all about different numbers from 0-20, including number recognition and learning how to write them. Our current Health unit is learning all about the different family structures we see in the world around us, including right in our own classroom. The students are all loving their different specialty subjects and teachers. It is so lovely seeing them come in everyday excited to hear what they are going to learn about and what fun things we will be doing as a class! I cannot wait to see what this school year will bring us!

Grade 1/2

September has been a busy month in the Grade 1/2 classroom at Royal Oak. From the first week of jelly bean activities to the last week with our Indigenous lessons, the students have been engaged in meaningful and interactive lessons, discussions and activities. The first week of school saw the children listening to a story, “How Many Jellybeans?”, where the characters counted to one million jelly beans. The book actually included a fold-out page that had one million jelly beans on it. The students then painted and constructed a school with jelly beans. They had so much fun! During math class, the students have been learning about patterns. For one of our lessons, the class went for a walk around the neighborhood and collected items from nature to use to make patterns. While we were walking, a community helper, a police officer, stopped and chatted with the girls and boys. He showed us his police car and took a picture with us. On this walk, we were also looking for patterns in nature. Our literacy program is up and running. The girls and boys are learning how to work in a Daily 5 setting, rotating through various reading, writing and word work activities. The students are learning how to be independent learners while engaged in various literacy tasks. Inquiry has involved lessons about families, roles and responsibilities. To end the month, the students have been engaged in lessons and thoughtful discussions about the significance of Orange Shirt Day, Residential Schools and Truth and Reconciliation Day. The month of September has been an amazing start to the school year and October looks like another event-filled month.

Grade 3/4


The month of September in the Grade 3/4 Classroom has been filled with laughter, team-building, and world exploration! We have welcomed new members into our classroom. Each student has displayed their kindness and generosity as we learn not only to discover the Royal Oak Community, but also the greater Niagara-on-the-Lake region. We learned that as a group we cohesively shared many curiosities surrounding culture, community and our environment, which meant our September Inquiry flourished into exploring natural and man-made landmarks around the world. Through our Inquiry, we have had the opportunity to virtually visit places such as Paris’s Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, and most recently, the Taj Mahal. For example, we were astounded to learn that it took 1000 elephants to help transport materials when building the Taj Mahal! In the near future, we plan to apply our inquiry-based learning to map-making and investigating local landmarks in Niagara-on-the-Lake. To commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Day, we seamlessly integrated our worldly knowledge into Indigenous culture and turned our focus to learning about the significance of Orange Shirt Day. Our group is extremely creative and on Fun Fridays we take every opportunity to create art! As part of our daily literacy, we have built a warm and accepting classroom community by practicing our listening skills, while taking time to make personal connections. Our conversations have often led us to make realizations about our similarities and differences. In Math, we’ve paved a strong foundation for number sense by demonstrating our knowledge of patterning, and representing patterns through pictures, number-lines and 100s charts. We look forward to more collaboration and community field trips together in the month of October!

Grade 5/6

Wow! Hard to believe that the first month of the school year has flown by! It has been a great kick-off to the school year in the Grade ⅚ classroom. We started off the year with getting-to-know-you activities and team-building challenges. We worked with one another through STEM challenges, like saving the gummy worm Fred, and writing silly stories about the school being found empty. As the month progressed, we launched exciting new units like our Readers and Writers workshops which is where we work to improve our literacy skills. The students enjoyed personalizing their notebooks to help inspire them to write creatively while representing the dynamic personalities and interests in the class. We have also started the novel “Safe as Houses” by Canadian author Eric Walters which follows three children as they experience hurricane Hazel in 1954. This connects to our inquiry unit of Forces, where we will be exploring how forces, like a hurricane, affect structures and flight. The class has enjoyed their time with their specialty teachers as they have been introduced to wonderful new things like Pop Art and rhythm sticks. I have been so impressed with how excited the students are to try new challenges and explore new concepts. It has been a wonderful kick-off to the 2022/2023 school year and I look forward to seeing what next month brings!

Grade 7/8

The students in Grade 7/8 have started the year off in such a wonderful way! They are eager to dig in, have fun, work together and help each other. They have been busy this month in all their subjects. In Literacy we have had a lot of meaningful conversations surrounding current events, world issues, and reading habits. The students have reviewed sentence structure as well as expanded their understanding of compound and descriptive sentences. We are mid-process of our first writing piece- persuasive essays for seating arrangements. In math we have gotten some baseline assessment out of the way and are nearly finished with our first unit focusing on rational and irrational numbers. In Inquiry we have set the groundwork for a fantastic dive into Canadian history. The students have looked at personal and media bias as well as the criteria for determining historical significance. I am very excited to see how the year develops with a group of such amazing students!

A Look Ahead at ROCS:

October 2022

Community Offerings

To download a PDF copy of this newsletter, please click this link:

ROCS September Newsletter 2022 (4)
Download PDF • 22.18MB

bottom of page