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March 2018


In the month of March, we are focusing on being balanced.  As balanced people, we “understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical, and emotional – to achieve well-being.”  We also “recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.” (

Many of the students at Southlands are well balanced.  They work hard at school, inquiring and completing assignments, and they also play hard during the recess and lunch breaks.  Students at Southlands nurture their artistic sides through art and music activities. Their athletic sides are strengthened through PE activities, sports teams, and playing self-initiated games during recess and lunch breaks.  All day, the students at Southlands practice being caring and principled, knowledgeable and open-minded. They are good to their friends, and they solve their problems.

Families can help their children become more balanced at home. Encourage your child to participate in a wide variety of activities. During less structured time, be aware of the activities that your child is participating in.  Active children should take time for quiet activities, and children who spend a lot of time drawing or reading should be encouraged to also exercise and play.

Encourage your children to take care of their health by getting enough sleep, regularly bathing and brushing their teeth, and eating mostly healthy food. Spend a few minutes during mealtimes to discuss whether or not what your family is eating is balanced.

Role model balance to your children, and spend time as a parent or family doing many different things.  As adults it’s easy to get caught up in all our responsibilities and forget that we need to be balanced! We need to do the things that make us happy as well as the things that make us accomplished. We need to care for everyone else, but to do that well we need to take care of ourselves. Being balanced is an important life skill, and it’s one that the students of Southlands strive to exemplify!

Click here for a fantastic list of books which illustrate aspects of balance (or imbalance).

Book Donations

We are continuing to expand our small collection of multilingual books, and we gratefully welcome donations of new or gently used books in languages other than English.  This is an ongoing project, and we really want our collection to represent the languages spoken by our school community.


Classroom Volunteers Needed

Classes are immersed in their fourth unit of inquiry.  As always, we are looking for parents and community members to visit our school and share their expertise with our students, as well as for field trip opportunities.  If you, or anyone you have connections with, are able to share with our students, please contact Ms Wood or the appropriate classroom teacher.


The current units of inquiry are:

  • Divisions 9 & 10 (Ms King & Ms. Swain): Patterns and cycles occur on Earth and in the sky.  (focus on day/night, tides, seasons, etc, including traditional explanations for these patterns and cycles)

  • Divisions 6, 7, & 8 (Ms Prins, Ms Beck, Ms Mok): The history and geography of a nation shape its culture (focus on Canada)

  • Divisions 3, 4, & 5 (Ms Lightburn, Ms Scott, Ms Kim): Indigenous knowledge and values are passed on through oral history and traditions (focus on weaving and storytelling)

  • Divisions 1 & 2 (Ms Eichhorn & Mr Lee): Knowledge of scientific principles promotes innovation (focus on electricity)

PYP Written Curriculum

In the Primary Years Programme, the written curriculum incorporates five essential elements.

Knowledge: What do we want students to know?

Key Concepts: What big ideas do we want students to understand?

Approaches to Learning: What do we want students to be able to do?

Attitudes: What do we want students to feel, value, and demonstrate?

Action: How do we want students to act in response to their learning?

Approaches to Learning (from Making the PYP Happen)

The search for understanding is central to the PYP; however, the emphasis on the development of conceptual understanding does not preclude a recognition of the importance of developing skills. The construction of meaning and, therefore, of understanding is complemented by the students acquiring and applying a range of skills.  In order to conduct purposeful inquiry and in order to be well prepared for lifelong learning, students need to master a range of skills beyond the traditional 3Rs: reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic. These transdisciplinary skills, referred to as Approaches to Learning, are valuable, not only in the units of inquiry, but also for any teaching and learning that goes on within the classroom, and in life outside the school.

Thinking Skills: acquisition of knowledge, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought, metacognition

Social Skills: accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision-making, adopting a variety of roles

Communication Skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, presenting

Research Skills: formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording data, organizing data, interpreting data, presenting research findings

Self-Management Skills: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behaviour, informed choices​