September News


Memory Matters

Text by Ms. Erica Pflug, Middle School Teacher

posted: Monday, September 28, 2015

Last week, Ms. Pflug’s Grade 8 Social Studies class worked on a memory game to help them examine the introductory question "What is History"?

Ms. Pflug is hoping they begin to see and understand that using memory is incredibly helpful when studying and analyzing history. By learning the way memory shapes how stories are expressed, recorded, and understood.

The students learned that their memory is like a muscle and that teaching and training our brains to use memory can help us recall important events in the past.

Students were given one minute to study 20 items on a tray and then they had one minute to recall everything they saw on the tray. During the second round, four items were removed, and then the students examined the tray again for one minute and had to write down the four items that had been removed.

This was a fun exercise that was meant to deepen their understanding of the study of history. 


Shaping Canada

Text by Mrs. Alison Carrey, Middle School Teacher

posted: Monday, September 28, 2015

With scissors in hand, Grade 6 students prepared the shapes of Canada’s provinces and territories. In anticipation of studying Canada’s government and history, students are reviewing the names and locations of our provinces, territories, their capital cities and the correct abbreviation for each province/territory.

It’s important to go beyond memorizing a list of places; this activity helps students see and feel what a map of Canada looks like. For many students, this hands-on approach helps them to better retain the information learned. Although the cut-out pieces are not proportionately accurate, the activity helps students to shape an image of Canada in their minds.




Embracing Creativity

Text by Kasra, Grade 12

posted: Monday, September 28, 2015

On Friday, September 25, 2015, Grade 12 English students welcomed a special guest to their class. Sean O’Byrne ’75 – back at SJR for his class’ 40th reunion at this year’s Homecoming Dinner – joined the students for a talk on creativity and the process of finding your creative voice. 

Sean O’Byrne, who is an actor, writer, producer and director based in Los Angeles, discussed the concepts of storytelling and creative writing. He explained how, with the proper mindset and motivation, anyone can find their inner creativity and develop a brilliant story.

In discussing the value of storytelling along with his own writing experiences, Sean taught us that any sequence of events can be turned into a magnificent story if the writer is willing to work towards developing that story. As part of the talk, he shared a picture with us and encouraged us to come up with a storyline based around the single image. By encouraging us to share our ideas with the rest of the students, he motivated us to become more creatively expressive.

In Hollywood, Sean uses his creativity to write gripping accounts of true stories; we learned that not all fascinating stories are necessary fictional and that it is essential to convert true events into creative writing as a means of making the events more understandable and relatable. He taught us to become more open and expressive in our writing – we will use his suggestions to help us express our creative ideas more freely and to ultimately become more creative, imaginative individuals.




A Day to Celebrate Success

posted: Friday, September 25, 2015

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, Senior School students and faculty attended this year's Honours Day Ceremony to recognize the achievements of our students over the 2014-2015 academic year. Scholarship presenters were in attendance to hand out the awards to recipients and it was a great occasion to mark the accomplishments of our Senior School students. More photos from the event can be viewed online at




Leading the Way

Text by Erin, Grade 11

posted: Thursday, September 24, 2015

During the weekend, students who enrolled in the Leadership Diploma Program travelled to Pinawa, Manitoba for the annual Leadership Retreat at the Wilderness Edge Conference Centre. In daily workshops we discovered our values, discussed what leadership meant to us, and shared personal life experiences. This time together aided us in finding out more about ourselves and each other.  We conquered water fears at the Pinawa dam and bonded over campfires. After the weekend both Grade 11s and 12s came back with new friends and experiences to last a lifetime, giving a great start to the 2015-2016 Leadership Diploma Program.




Exploring the Wetlands

posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Grade 12 students visited Oak Hammock Marsh this week in order to participate in two programs related to wetlands ecosystems. Students in the Biology program participated in a day of wetlands ecology exploration, taking part in such activities as testing marsh water samples for chemical compounds, identifying typical wetland plant and animal species, and surveying the marsh for invertebrate diversity in the ever-popular "Critter Dipping" activity. 

Meanwhile, students in the Global Issues program had an opportunity to tour the marsh and participate in a wide range of seminars and discussions related to the sustainability and importance of marshes and wetlands in the broader biosphere, the use of wetlands in flood prevention and mitigation, and the role of marshes in "filtering out" nutrient pollution of lakes and major waterways. A hands-on day of exploring, experiencing and learning for all involved!




A New Perspective

posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This week, Senior School students had the chance to experiment with a different style of photography: "forced perspective". This type of photography is a photographic illusion in which the photo subjects appear to be a different size to their size in reality. The single lens of the camera, unlike the human eye, has no depth perception and so the photos appear flat, distorting the perspective.

The students spent some time around the School campus taking some imaginative photos using "forced perspective". Some of the creative results of their photography can be seen below!




Sucessfully Chaired

posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Senior School students took part in this year's 'Chair Your Idea' competition - a "crowdsourced and crowdfunded" contest aimed at generating innovative and creative urban ideas for our city. Participants submitted their ideas (captured in 140 characters or fewer) along with a single white chair, used to represent their submission.


Of the numerous submissions from SJR students, the suggestion put forward by one group of Grade 10s made a big impact. Their idea for 'Fun Holes' - a pothole with colouful grout designed to add character to Winnipeg's streets while also improving our streets - captured the attention of the judges and saw them gain a place in the top 10 submissions. An impressive achievement and great display of creative innovation from our students!

Read more about the project at




A Colourful Chemical Reaction

posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015

Students in the Grade 12 AP Chemistry program had an opportunity this week to review key concepts and lab skills from the Grade 11 year in a colourful series of chemical reactions. Students were provided with a set of sixteen different solutions and were required to react them with one another looking for the formations of precipitates (insoluble compounds).  For each precipitate that was observed, the students are required to write a net ionic equation, which is a critically important skill in preparation for the AP Examination in Chemistry.  Critical thinking, collaboration, and chemical communication skills were all on display in this fun lab activity.




A Star Amongst Us!

posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015

For playing, coaching and promoting the sport of Ultimate Dean Wright has been named the CTV Sports Star of the Week.

Watch CTV’s report here:

SJR’s Director of Athletics, Dean Wright, is often called the father of Ultimate in Canada by the organization, Ultimate Canada.  Dean has dedicated 25 years to coaching and building the sport. Dean’s passion for the sport can be seen in the dedication of SJR’s students. Rain, sleet and yes, even snow, our students show up with great enthusiasm at practices and games.

Dean was recognized for his dedication in 2011 when he was inducted into the Ultimate Canada Hall of Fame as a builder of the sport.

Dean has also been the coordinator of the annual Hold Back the Snow Tournament which has been held every October for the past 22 years. This tournament often draws over 600 student athletes from across North America to Winnipeg.

Congratulations Dean, well done!