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Report cards, amazing field trips, and the seven (not five) senses

The View from the First Floor (highlights from my week):

Report card season is once again upon us, and so I have spent time this week reading teachers’ comments about each child’s progress since November. As always, the comments truly capture how well our teachers know each student, and how intentional they are in highlighting strengths and supporting areas of growth. In areas ranging from peer relationships to scissor skills, CFIS educators have remarkable “tool kits” of strategies to help each child flourish.

On Wednesday, I had a phone meeting with the coordinator from one of the agencies who provides speech and occupational therapy services to CFIS ECE students. (Believe it or not, we were discussing plans for next year already!) In the course of our conversation, she shared how much their therapists love working at CFIS. She described that our teachers are highly responsive to therapists’ suggestions, our families actively work to understand and support their children’s need, and that the therapists always feel welcomed and valued as members of our school family. I was so delighted to hear these details, and to know that these therapists feel how very much we value them, their skills, and their contributions to our students’ growth.

It has been a busy week for field trips at our school, and in looking at the field trip calendar, I was struck by the richness and variety of experiences that are available to our students. In the last week, our Grade 4, 5, and 6 students have been to Winsport for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing; our Grade 1 classes visited a nearby seniors’ home; two JK classes went to a fire hall; preschool and JK visited a grocery store; and some high school phys ed classes went rock climbing...and all of this happened in just five short days! The breadth of these experience truly speaks to what we mean when we talk about CFIS students being well rounded.

Did you know…that humans actually have seven senses, not just five? In addition to the well-known senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing, we also have two lesser-known but equally important senses that relate to neuro-motor development: proprioception (knowing what your body parts are doing without needing to look at them) and vestibular sense (knowing where your body is in space). Both of these senses support the developmental processes that are critical to learning skills such as reading and writing, and they are part of why young children seek out strong sensory experiences like swinging and spinning. The links below describe their importance in detail, and share ways you can help support your child’s sixth and seventh senses:

The Importance of Developing the Vestibular Sense:

What is Proprioception?

Amy Murray
Principal, Early Childhood Education
Calgary French & International School