November News

Debating Success Continues!

posted: Monday, November 23, 2015

SJR's debating success continued this weekend with our debaters making it to the semifinals of the Oxford Cup in Calgary. Meanwhile, back in Winnipeg, our Grade 10 and 11 debaters attended the Rupert's Land Tournament. Between them, they won top school, top debater and three of the top four individual speakers overall. All in all, a fantastic weekend for SJR debating!


CSI comes to Middle School

By: Ms. Alison Carrey

posted: Monday, November 23, 2015

Grade 6 students donned their detective hats in Social Studies class on November 19 in a CSI workshop (Cultural Scene Investigation) presented by Barry Hillman and Bonita Hunter-Eastwood, from the Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia. Students enhanced their visual literacy skills by learning how to read a photograph and become photo detectives. They discovered how history researchers and crime investigators use a similar approach to solving mysteries.
In small groups, Grade 6 students used white gloves to carefully examine photographs, looking for clues. Many types of clues became apparent when students used their critical thinking skills and asked questions like these:

  • Where and when was the photograph taken? What season/year?

  • What was the event?

  • What are the emotions of the subjects?

  • What is the relationship of the subjects to one another?

After studying the photographs, students eagerly shared their findings. They were impressive detectives, observing many different aspects of a photograph that even our presenters had not noticed. Well done, Grade 6!


Hakuna Matata!

posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Kenyan Boys Choir dropped by SJR today for two performances that had our students out of their seats and dancing!

Primarily performing traditional Maasai and Samburu chants, the choir also embrace contemporary African and European classical pieces including a cover from Nelly Furtado. The boys starting singing together in 2004 as a way to raise money for pay for their school fees, since then they have had a record deal, travelled the world performing and have collaborating with famous musicians including Demi Lovato and Shawn Desman.



REDress Art Installation

posted: Monday, November 16, 2015

Students may be playing in the background but the reason why the red dresses are hanging from the trees at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School is not lost on them.

On November 3, 2015, a group of SJR students attended the Truth and Reconciliation Centre’s Education Days at the Winnipeg Convention Centre and walked away with a mission…to take action. They heard from a daughter of a residential school survivor, who said that “this country must be shaken out of its indifference.” They also learned about the generational impact Residential School has had on Indigenous communities, as well as the impact it has had on non-Indigenous communities.

While learning about reconciliation, they heard about the REDress project. The REDress project was started by a local Metis artist, Jaime Black. The lifeless dresses honour missing and murdered indigenous woman. The artist wants public installations in the community to promote understanding and education of this pressing issue. The dresses remind us that these women are no longer present with us, and although it is somewhat haunting when you see the dresses, the truth must be shared in order for reconciliation to be fulfilled.

After leaving the event, five Grade 8 students were so inspired to do something that they spoke to their teacher, Mrs. Aaron Russell, about hanging red dresses up on trees on the SJR campus and were granted permission. In a letter sent home to parents the students encouraged “members of our community to communicate with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the importance of a national inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous woman and hold him to his campaign promise. Another way you can take ‘reconciliACTION’ (a term coined at Education Day) is by doing what former Olympian Clara Hughes suggested we can all do when she spoke to us at Education Day. She encouraged us to ‘tell the truth, when untruths are told.’” The students asked parents to talk to their children about why the dresses are hanging on the trees and how they can help to raise awareness. They noted that “our multicultural community has an opportunity to show our support for the Indigenous community in Winnipeg and work towards reconciliation.”

When asked why this topic was so important to them they explained that “when you educate yourself on the mistreatment of people it helps to prevent this from happening again”.



A ‘Soup’tastic Evening

posted: Monday, November 16, 2015

SJR High School Girls’ Hockey team spent their Sunday evening working hard making jars of soup with the organization "Soup Sisters". These soups will help women and children at Willow Place, formerly Osborne House, that have been affected by domestic violence.



Acts of Reconciliation

posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

On November 4, 2015, a group of Middle and Senior School students attended an ‘Education Day’ at the Winnipeg Convention Centre to celebrate the Official Opening Ceremonies of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR).  In the past six years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) have gathered the stories of Residential School Survivors, thousands of documents and countless gestures of reconciliation, as well as organizing seven national events to inform Canadians of the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools. Education Days, consisting of full-day programming designed specifically for youth, were held in various cities across Canada as key components of the TRC National Events. As the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation officially receives the torch from the TRC to symbolize the everlasting responsibility of ensuring that this truth is acknowledged and former students honored by all Canadians, the NCTR has taken on the responsibility for hosting Regional Education Days.

The event – the first NCTR Education Day – was hosted by the NCTR in partnership with Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning, the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Association of School Superintendents. Teachers from schools across Manitoba were invited to bring students to participate in this important historic event.

The students had a fantastic time at the event – they had the opportunity to ask important questions about this portion of Canadian History and were also fortunate enough to meet former Olympian Clara Hughes, a TRC honorary witness who spoke publicly about the importance of standing up for the truth of residential schools and committing positive acts of reconciliation. All in all, it was a truly worthwhile event and insightful experience for all involved.


Singing for a Good Cause

by Karen Kozier, Junior School Music & Choir Specialist

posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

On Sunday, November 8, 2015, more than thirty Junior School students performed at Project Peacemakers’ annual fundraising concert “Sing For Peace.”  In addition to the SJR Ensemble, the program featured inspiring performances by Miles MacDonnell & Grant Park High School. Our young singers used the power of choral music (which requires true teamwork and listening to each other) to help raise money and awareness to pertinent issues like the global refugee crisis, and the importance of taking action to create peace. It is an honour to be invited to perform at this community service, and our students did a wonderful job representing SJR. A special note of thanks goes to the parents and family members who took time out of their busy schedules to support our young singers and attend this beautiful event!



SJR Embraces the Moustache

posted: Friday, November 6, 2015

For the ‎7th consecutive year, team Ravensbro is ready for Movember! With several new members involved in the month-long moustache-growing celebration, it looks to be another successful fundraising effort for our team.

The Movember movement aims to tackle men's health issues by raising awareness and funding research. You can support the Ravensbro team by visiting The SJR community is invited to get involved, support our team and help us raise money for this great cause!

How to get involved:

  • Get your prostate checked‎ or convince a friend or family ‎member to get checked‎.
  • Grow a marvellous ‎(‎or even mediocre‎) ‎moustache‎!
  • Drop a moustache‎-‎growing Mo Bro an encouraging word‎!
  • Donate to the Movember cause‎ at
  • Join ‎"‎Ravensbro‎"! ‎Everyone is welcome‎!
  • Women and non-moustache growers can "mo" as well, by committing to getting active and moving every day in the month of November.

Happy Movember‎!‎


SJR IS Debating

posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On Thursday, October 30, five Middle School students participated in the St. Paul's Junior Debating Tournament. The participating Grade 8 students were Jonah, Lillian, Roene, Spencer and Mitchell. The students did quite well and had a great time debating.

The results include:
1. Top Novice Team Overall – Lillian & Roene
2. Second place Overall – Spencer & Mitchell
3. Top Novice Individual – Mitchell
4. Second place Novice Individual – Lillian
3. Third Place Individual – Roene
4. Sixth place Individual – Spencer




SJR ‘warrants’ another win in Debating

posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Congratulations to Disha, Alek and Kasra, SJR debaters who represented the School at the Internationals Independent Schools Public Speaking Championships at the York School in Toronto, ON last week. They did extremely well. At this competition students compete in three events; Disha qualified for the finals in all three of her events, while Alek and Kasra were each in two of the finals. Kasra won the Championships in Persuasive Speaking and Alek qualified for the Canadian team at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Pittsburgh, PA at the end of March 2016.