Half-Way Through the Year!

This week marks the halfway point of the school year! For some students, this meant cumulative midterms. And for others taking half-year courses, they wrote their final exams.

Our Grade 11 & 12 students of Bolton house were busy studying for and writing exams all week. PHEW! Here in the house this weekend, it is clear that students are excited for the week to be over – but they feel proud of themselves for the hard work they are putting into their academics.

This week, our Grade 9 students were involved with our Applied Design, Skills, & Technology program.

The Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies curriculum builds on students’ natural curiosity, inventiveness, and desire to create and work in practical ways. It harnesses the power of learning by doing, and provides the challenging fun that inspires students to dig deeper, work with big ideas, and adapt to a changing world. It provides learning opportunities through which students can discover their interests in practical and purposeful ways.

Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies curriculum includes skills and concepts from the disciplines of Business Education, Home Economics and Culinary Arts, Information and Communications Technology, and Technology Education, as well as rich opportunities for cross-curricular work and space for new and emerging areas.

SMUS students took on a project of developing and improving upon the design of a hand-crank USB charging device for their phones. It was such a neat project!

Here are some photos of our Bolton boys in action!

ADST 1ADST 2ADST 3ADST 4

Technology Education involves students in the design and fabrication of products and/or repair and maintenance services using a variety of materials, methods, technologies, and tools in order to develop their ability to shape and change materials in the physical world to meet human needs.

Using creative and critical thinking, students have the opportunity to work collaboratively to address real-world challenges by exploring materials, using tools and equipment, designing and building, developing processes, and communicating the merits of their work. They learn to critically evaluate the appropriateness of the products and/or services they develop and those developed by others. As they explore the role of culture, including local First Peoples cultures, in the development of practical and innovative solutions to human needs, they develop a sense of personal and social responsibility for the products and/or services they develop and use, and their effects on individuals, communities, and the environment, now and in the future.

Finally, our Grade 10’s continued the work they were doing in the SMUS Experiential Program. Mr. Daly, our teacher coordinator of the program, writes about the benefits of learning outside of a classroom here:

https://news.smus.ca/2020/01/31/unexpected-lessons-outside-the-classroom/ 

Here is a video on sustainability that Eric and Frank created as part of their cohort:

The Bolton boys should celebrate their achievements this week, both academically and experientially. However, the work continues both in and outside of the classroom.

The next few months will bring about the start of our Grade 11 Boarding Leadership Training, the Senior School Musical Production of Disney’s “Newsies”, as well as many more academic endeavours. We can’t wait to update you on all of the great achievements and involvements of our diverse group of Bolton Boys!

For now, I will leave you with a few photos of Alex and some other boarding students who ventured with me (Mr. Fryer) down to Victoria’s Breakwater today. It was super windy, but so much fun! Check out the video too!

Breakwater 1Breakwater 2Breakwater 3

Rain, Rain Go Away!

It has been a soggy week in Victoria with grey skies and heavy rain almost every day.  Friday morning, however, saw a brilliant rainbow over the city that lifted everyone’s spirits. The boys have been busy with sport and school, and certainly look forward to the weekend.

62474658_160468281785776_6985184669156840384_n

Here are some shots of Justin and Matt from the SMUS Police Basketball Tournament.

Justin also helped coordinate the Intercultural Council’s Lunar New Year Chapel on Wednesday and Thursday.  Xavier presented via video and Justin helped with the opening breathes.

While there were no major events during the week, the boys were in good spirits and kept busy with ping pong, studying and hanging out. Not even the rain can get their spirits down!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saturday Activities saw MudMee, Ryan, Eric and Josh working hard to help our local farmer friend to move an impressive 110 wheel barrows of manure to help fertilize his apple trees.  It was neat to see their hard work come full circle as they were delighted to enjoy some tasty apple cider from those very trees and saw their garlic bulbs that were planted and mulched before Christmas starting to pop out!  They also found a small snake to hold and discovered that Brussels sprout and chard plants look a lot like palm trees!

IMG_0719 (1)IMG_0731 (1)IMG_0717 (1)IMG_0726IMG_0727IMG_0733IMG_0732

The chickens were also very intrigued by our visit.

IMG_0729 (1)

Here is a time lapse of some of those wheel barrows

Adam and Ken volunteered to help clean up the beach where we do our Penguin Swim, thanks boys!

IMG_1396

It is Sunday and the sun is shining! Let’s hope it is a sign of weather to come 😉

Just one more

A couple of quick videos from the year end assembly for your viewing pleasure.  Well done to King Ryan on his bravery to sing in front of the whole school.

The 12 days of Christmas song just never gets old!

Jimmy also got in on a bit of prank action in Mr. Anderson’s (the Director of the Senior School) office.  He helped set up a variety of inflatable Christmas ornaments including a 12 foot tall reindeer.  A great way top say goodbye to boarding!

IMG_0460IMG_0463IMG_0464IMG_0467

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It seems hard to believe, but we have arrived at the Christmas break and the boys are packing their bags to head home.  The excitement is palpable and the last week has been full of festive fun.

Here are Toby and Jack kicking things off at assembly testing their Christmas trivia knowledge.

img_0395-1

Sunday was a big day with the Bolton Chapel and Boarding Christmas Dinner.

The (almost) full chapel video is here if you would like to watch the boys in action.

The theme was the “Joy of Giving” and the importance of not getting caught up in the materialistic aspect of the holiday season. Special kudos to Ryan S and Fabi for their musical talents, Dat and Ken for their best Men in Black impersonation, Malik, Logan, Garret and Neekan for their heartfelt messages during their speeches, Justin and Said for the lighthearted finish and an extra big thank you to Parsa for stepping up last minute to create the short video.  Of course, no chapel is complete without a song, and it was wonderful to see Matt take on the challenge and join Xavier in their fabulous rendition of Mistletoe.  By all accounts an excellent chapel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The festivities continued immediately after with a walk up the stairs to the Sun Center dinning hall where each house had their decorated tree to light the way. A special thanks to Efosa for his work in getting the Bolton tree decorated.

img_0422img_0424

Dinner was delicious and included a fabulous seafood platter and tasty prime rib.  No one left hungry and a good time was had by all!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After dinner we connected with our sister house Timmis for a Secret Santa exchange.  Each boy had been tasked with finding the perfect gift for one of the Timmis girls and vise versa.  As you can see everyone stepped up and there were lots of happy elves as Christmas came early to boarding.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In addition to all the festive fun, the daily routines continued and classes and sport carried on. Chess has become popular and the weekend was spent in deep concentration for some…

chess1

… while others were a bit more relaxed and social (and hungry)…

cupcakes 1img_0393

… and still others, active and happy!

IMG_0452IMG_0454IMG_0447

Here are Adam and Leo connecting in their basketball game last night…

… and Jack and Fabi connecting on the piano!

We wish all the boys a relaxing and fun holiday break and look forward to their return in the new year and the new decade!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the Bolton families.

Two for One! – Sorry we missed last weekend’s post

It was a busy past two weeks, so I apologize for the missing blog update from this past weekend. A few of the highlights included Xavier introducing world famous Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers who spoke at chapel about reconciliation and the need for new perspectives in how we look at and treat one another.

img_0207

On Wednesday night Logan and houseparent Mr. Slavin spoke at the SMUS Talks event with the theme of Epiphany.

IMG_20191120_200316 (1).jpg

Ryan volunteered to be a line judge at the Senior Boys’ Volleyball island tournament.

img_0199

And the boys had a great time practicing their teamwork in preparation for housegames.

img_0205

On Saturday, Xavier organized a paintball adventure for the boys and a great time was had by all. Kudos to him for organizing and to the boys for braving the cold weather.

Sunday was a big day with the second round of Housegames taking place.  It was basketball and some Minute to Win it challenges which are always entertaining.  The Junior boys basketball won both games and the seniors won one and then just barely lost to a very strong Barnacle team in their second game.  Both teams played very well and showed good athleticism, teamwork and sportsmanship.  Justin earned us 3 extra points with his basketball skills during the challenge round which also helped keep us securely in second place in the standings. Here are some videos of the boys in action.

No fouls there!!

And some photos of the action too…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The community dinner that followed was also quite animated as the boys cheered for the best dressed model (which happened to be Said for our house) to see who got to eat first.  Needless to say Bolton House won!

This week had the grade 10’s out on their second experiential adventures, the website has links to all the action so feel free to explore http://www.smusexperiential.com. Here are Eric and Frank selling coffee they roasted at parent teacher interviews as part of their experiential cohort.

img_0284-1

We celebrated Patt’s birthday with a giant cake.

IMG_1993

Said and Xavier attended the Climate Crisis Protests in downtown Victoria. It is great to see so many young people making their voices heard.

IMG_0285.jpg

Friday was exciting with almost the entire house signing out to go shopping at various locations.  Jason and Malik took advantage of some very high quality women’s basketball as Stanford took on Syracuse in the NCAA Victoria Invitational tournament.  The action was fast paced and very exciting.

IMG_5616

Toby and Adam gave up part of their evening to help set up the Christmas tree for the upcoming Christmas dinner.  A big thank you to them.

IMG_0289IMG_0291

Logan was one of the delegates at the Model UN conference this weekend.He was part of the security council and by all accounts part of a top notch team!  Here he is in action:

image (2)image (1)image

Saturday was again busy with an array of activities.  MudMee and Ryan spent the morning on the farm helping Farmer Jim.  The time lapse shows you how hard they were working!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ryan also claimed that using hands would be faster than using the pitchfork so we put it to the test.  The results are below.

Leo was part of the knitting activity today and the houseparents are all hoping for knitted toques under the tree this Christmas!

thumbnail_IMG_4985

Skating was also a big hit this weekend, as everyone was feeling the winter wonderland vibe through the recent drop in temperature.

Happy Halloween!

SMUS definitely takes their academics seriously – but did you know that SMUS also takes Halloween very seriously too! Here are some snaps from the day – check out some of these great costumes!

Halloween 1Halloween 2Halloween 3Halloween 4

Bolton House Parent Mr. Shaw usually steals the show with Best Costume every year. Here is his costume this year, featuring a video and his dog Brookie:

Mr. Shaw 1

Logan, our Head of House last week also ventured into the wilderness to Bamfield on a Environmental Science trip. Here are some pictures from his time on the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

The Senior School Musical, Newsies is right around the corner, and Ryan in our house is busy preparing for the show! They did a great rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”. This afternoon, he ventured out downtown to busk with Timmis Sister Alana. Mr. Bell happened to be downtown and catch them in action!

Meanwhile, in Whistler, BC, Nokia and Sebastian participated in Model United Nations.

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches participants speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. It is meant to engage students and allow them to develop deeper understanding into current world issues.

Every day is different at this school, and our Bolton Boys seem to always take full-advantage of the spectrum of opportunities offered to them!

Academically, we are nearing the end of Term 1. At the end of the month, you can expect a written report from all of your son’s teachers regarding their participation in each of their classes. Stay tuned for that!

We’ll leave you this Sunday with a few foggy and gloomy pictures taken from Grade 12 Student Alan this morning from the top of Mt. Doug! Have a great week wherever you may be around the World.

Leaves and Hair Falling

The sunny and warm weather has held for another week as we head into the fall, but the signs are showing that winter is not far off.  The sun is setting earlier and rising later, the temperature is dropping and the dark skies are looming on the horizon. That hasn’t stopped our boys from getting out and getting active though, and it is such a pleasure to see them piling out of the house after school on their way to rugby, soccer, volleyball, rowing, karate, the weight room and many more.

The Junior Boys’ Soccer Team had a solid 3rd place finish at the ISA tournament last weekend in Vancouver and were pleased to come home with some hardware.

SMUS-Athletics-1910-Jr-Boys-Soccer-696x463

Also getting some hardware in the house were Adam and Kevin, one of the 4 rooms to win the coveted Timmis Trophy for cleanest room this week, well done boys!

20191003_220107

We also marked Orange Shirt Day this week. At the Senior School, Elder Doreen Spence with the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Songhees Elder Dr. Skip Dick spoke to students about indigenous rights and their personal experiences.

On Thursday, SMUS was once again a stop on the annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock bike ride. This event, raising funds and awareness around cancer research, especially for children, is an emotional visit that has been a long running tradition at our school.  Over the lunchtime break students volunteered to have their heads shaved and legs waxed as a fundraiser to support the cause. Houseparent (and former rider with the Tour de Rock) Mr. Slavin had his head shaved and Matt helped out on the other end shaving off Will’s hair.

20191003_124115_hdrSMUS-191004-SS-Cops-02-631x420SMUS-191004-SS-Cops-01-631x420

We also celebrated Josh’s birthday with some delicious cake and a rousing (if somewhat off-key) rendition of happy birthday.

Friday afternoon saw a busy common room kitchen as a group of students prepared gnocchi with a butternut squash and walnut sauce from scratch! Xavier, looking sharp in his #1 uniform wasn’t afraid to get involved and managed to keep his tie out of the sauce!

IMG_7745IMG_7748IMG_7744

And finally, Saturday had another full slate of activities including some farming, where we finished off the work started two weeks ago by the grade 9 boys…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

..some board games (complete with costumes purchased last night while downtown!)..

IMG_0008boardgame2boardgame1

Next week is a short one with the Thanksgiving long weekend finally arriving and I’m sure every boy will enjoy a well deserved rest after a fantastic start to the 2019-2020 school year.

Here is a final shot from the Grade 11 out trip with Parsa.

island sampler

 

 

SMUS OutTrips – Getting Out There

This last week has been busy at SMUS, but not only in pursuit of academics in the classroom. In particular, our Grade 10 students ventured into the wilderness last week and traveled across our beautiful province of British Columbia to take in the great outdoors.

Each grade, from Grade 8 to Grade 11, participates in a 5-day outdoor trip — or “outtrip”— at some point during the school year. The goals of the trips include the following: Learn and develop general outdoor and camping skills, Make new friends, Visit new areas of British Columbia, Spending time outdoors in nature, Develop specific activity skills (surfing, kayaking…).

Here are some of the highlights from the Grade 10 Bolton Boys:

Leo: taking a nap on the bowsprit of his tall ship sailing boat and watching all the stars in the night sky during his night watch.

Fabian: was similarly impressed by the trip and said swimming in the ocean was by far the highlight for him, though not being woken for his final night shift was also rather enjoyable as everyone fell asleep!

Frank: found the climb to the top of the main mast exhilarating

Eric: thoroughly enjoyed rowing to one of the small islands to pick apples.

Malik: loved the third day of his rock-climbing trip as he zip-lined, free climbed and rappelled his way through caverns and along rock faces.

Pablo: also on the rock climbing trip, claims there were some near-death experiences as he contemplated the rope that held him suspended high above the ground!

Jason: was chef supreme as he partook in the Island Sampler and managed to avoid having his food and tent raided by the raccoons (a fate not spared some of his companions).

Adam: enjoyed relaxing at the Eco Village and didn’t even mind participating in the compostable out house.

Gavin: was very pleased to make some new connections with his group while surfing as he felt he was able to really get to know some of his fellow grade 10’s.

DSC_0971

Our Grade 11 students are currently off on outtrips right now – we can’t wait to hear the tales from their adventures. For more information about the SMUS Outdoor Education program, you can check out the website at www.smusoutdoor.com.

In Bolton House, we had some other activities this week.

For Saturday Activities, Ryan ventured outside to help rid a local eco-system of the invasive species called “Broom”. It was hard work, but it makes such a difference to the community. PLUS it was a beautiful day today in Victoria.

Ryan So

Harry sharpened his culinary talents tonight by cooking a Pan Seared Tenderloin, with a side of puréed potatoes and radishes covered in mustard and mayo sauce. Unlike Mr. Danskin last week, Mr. Fryer was jealous that there were not enough plates to go around. Harry’s cooking is a hot commodity in Bolton House.

Sebastian, Gavin, and Pablo returned back from Fraser Academy in Vancouver where the the Junior Boys Soccer Team competed in the Independent Schools Association finals. They won a game against Shawnigan Lake school, which was the highlight of their tournament.

Upon their return, Pablo and Gavin lost a bet to each other and some of the girls from Timmis House promptly brought out their straightening irons to the common room. I think they liked the new style!

Sometimes it is great on a Saturday night to just laugh and hang out in the common room in an effort to pause and find balance with all of the endeavours at SMUS. After our first full month, I would say that Bolton is starting to feel like a second home for our new students.

It has been a full and rewarding September and we can’t wait to see what’s in store this Fall!

Just another week of running, rugby, farming and some political debate…

The week began with the annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday. This event is a nation-wide run that raises money and awareness for cancer research and has been held annually for over 30 years. The run in Victoria is held along the beautiful and scenic Beach Drive and the weather cooperated this year with cool temperatures, but no rain. The boys walked, jogged and ran, with Flavius finishing the 5K run so quickly that he had to ask the police motorcycle leading the race to move out of the way! We also had some boys volunteering to keep the runners safe.

Thursday was an important day as the Politics Club, led by Head of House Logan, hosted an all candidates forum in preparation for the upcoming federal election.  Candidates from the Liberal, Green and New Democratic Parties attended and shared their views and ideas on topics ranging from climate change to post secondary education. It was well attended, and very well mediated by Logan.

DSC_1411DSC_1466

Speaking of Heads of House, there is an excellent article written by Bolton Houseparent Mr. Slavin featuring Logan.  Here is the link to the article: https://news.smus.ca/2019/09/13/building-a-student-community-in-boarding/

heads.jpg

Thursday was also a very exciting day for the Grade 9 rugby team as they played their first game of the season.  Benny, Jason and MudMee all featured prominently in the game with thundering runs, crushing tackles and excellent attitudes. The team went 1-1 with a big win over Brentwood and close loss to Shawnigan.  Here are the Bolton boys post game, the smiles say it all!

20190919_171344

There were also lots of moments of individual creativity like Harry cooking up some superb steak sandwiches in the common room kitchen (Mr. Danskin was obviously a big fan!)…

…and some moments of relaxation and fun.

20190920_193158

Finally, Saturday morning found the grade 9 boys heading out into nature to do some service work helping a local farmer with some of his heavy lifting.  Xavier jumped in to join as well and enjoyed the fresh apple juice and picking apples and tomatoes fresh from the vine. Nokia and Sebastian had a chance to help with the beehive and learned lots about these amazing little creatures. This was by far the hardest working group to have attended the farm and the before and after photo will give you an idea of how much was done in a short period time.  Well done boys!

20190921_12030320190921_132432

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Grade 10 out trips were a huge success by all accounts. Each boy had their own highlight, but the overall report was that every trip was fabulous and fun, and that the guys feel connected to their groups in a way that they had not expected. Pictures to come in next week’s blog post.

The grade 11’s are off on Wednesday for their own adventures so check back next week for some more highlights.