Changes are coming to the Gifted Program! Updates to follow…..

Over the next two weeks, the Enrichment Team teachers are working diligently and quickly to ensure the Gifted Program is running by the beginning of October. 

There will be some changes to the program for the 2017/2018 School year:

  • Jennifer Deans has joined our team as an Enrichment Teacher (Kristy Luker left for a different position)
  • There are THREE teachers (in 2015/2016 there were two teachers)
  • There are TWO gifted Centres for students who will be attending the Enrichment program. One at Holbrook School and one at Dr. Davey School. (In 2015/2016 there was one Centre)
  • Grade 6, 7 and 8 Students will have ONE ENRICHMENT teacher assigned to them (in previous years, it was 2).
  • Schedules will be out as soon as possible and will include a variety of locations (both centres, library, art gallery, etc.)
  • There will be classes made up of Grade 7 and 8 students from the same school (last year Grade 7 and 8 Students attended separately
  • We are going to try to arrange a school bus (last year they were provided taxi or parent driver) for schools with many students
  • Enrichment Teachers will be visiting schools regularly (last year this did not occur often due to schedule)
  • There are TWO self-contained Gifted classes (there were THREE last year)

Please stay tuned for further updates!

~Gerry, Zoe and Jenn


Changes to the Gifted Program: Farewell and a Welcome!


The Enrichment and Innovation Program would like to say goodbye to Kristy Luker who has been with the Program for the past two school years. Kristy will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best in her new position as a Reading Recovery Teacher with the HWDSB!

Jennifer Deans has joined our team, along withZoe Branigan-Pipe and Gerry Schaefer at the Enrichment and Innovation Centre and she brings with her a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in Special Education, Gifted and Innovation in teaching and learning.




Join our Makerspace for some Maker fun!

MakerDays at the Enrichment Program





Students/FAMILIES, together, may participate in a variety of ST-E-A-M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Arts) activities throughout Open Classroom Session at Holbrook school between 3-5. Please Register. 

Available Kits at the Centre

  • Arduino Kits and Project Books
  • Breadboard Activities
  • Raspberri Pi Project and
  • Python Coding projects
  • Cubelets Robotics
  • Ozobot Robotics
  • Sphero Robotics
  • NXT and Vex Robotics
  • LilyPad Electronic SEWING kits (COST $10)
  • Green Screen
  • Ink and Paint Circuits
  • Knitting (COST $2)
  • Hand-sewing  (COST $2)
  • Crocheting
  • Sewing Machine
  • ART (WaterColours)
  • Makey Makey Kits


Critical Literacy- It’s hard, but let kids talk about the news.

What is your lens?

Maureen Wilson, from Hamilton, Ontario shares her experiences at the Women’s March of Washington

We had to be ready to change our pre-planned lesson…Students wanted to talk about what was happening in the world. The following posts describes why we altered our plan and shares the alternate lesson!

Critical literacies involve people using language to exercise power, to enhance everyday life in schools and communities, and to question practices of privilege and injustice. (Comber, 2017)

Flag at Dr. Davey school is half mast to pay respect to victims at Mosque shooting

Huge events unfolded across the world over the past two weeks which prompted our teaching team to change a “pre-planned lesson” to focus on current issues of Social Activism – locally and globally.  On January 20th, Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration took place. The next day, January 21st, together, over 60 countries – men, women, and children, joined in solidarity to March for human rights – “The Women’s March on Washington” was declared the largest global protest – ever. Then, on January 28th a Mosque in Quebec, Canada was brutally attacked and many innocent people were killed. January 30th – Thousands join together to show support and to honour the victims of the Mosque shooting.


Knowledge Circle at Enrichment Centre 

It is difficult for the most well-rounded, emotionally and socially strong of people to handle the immense mix of emotions resulting from these events. Regardless of your point of view of Trump (or the platform), or if you are a woman or Muslim – we are all impacted – not just by injustice, hate and fear – but also by the joy, and relief that comes with solidarity and community actions. We are affected by the conflicting and confusing media.


Our young people are especially affected.

People in positions of respect and power have made accusations about journalists not being truthful and Journalists have made accusations of people in power not being truthful to the people. The idea of “fake news” has been spread across the inter-webs like wildfire. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds are overwhelmed with political posts and emotions are high.

After watching the powerful poem by Royce Mann, we started our INQUIRY through a discussion of “Privilege and Power”. 

The following lesson is an overview of how we approached these topics as an Inquiry:

We started with the “Big Idea/Inquiry Question”:

  • How can global events impact local/community action and local/community events impact Global action?
  • What is my lens when approaching these issues?
  • How am I privileged?
  • What does it mean to be “in Solidarity?”

We shared the “Culminating task” what  will students do by end of lesson?:

  • Complete a Blog post that focuses on an idea or concept that uses the Women’s March on Washington as a prompt. Write through an optimistic lens, utilize a variety of media and provide questions for further thinking/discussion
  • Create a short podcast that focuses on one aspect of Social Justice and  Solidarity and the impact of positive activism.
  • Create a video that uses a specific lens/perspective showcasing the positive aspects of humanity, people, and social activism.

We used the Curriculum Standards as a guide:

  • Critical Literacy: Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills in language learning to wider contexts, both across the curriculum and in the world beyond the school, motivate students to learn and to become lifelong learners. (The Ontario Curriculum, Language, p. 12)
  • Students must be able to differentiate between fact and opinion; evaluate the credibility of sources; recognize bias; be attuned to discriminatory portrayals of individuals and groups, including women and minorities; and question depictions of violence and crime. (The Ontario Curriculum, Language, p.13)
  • Reading – Point of View identify the point of view presented in texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts; give evidence of any biases they may contain; and suggest other possible perspectives (e.g., determine whether an author’s choice of voices to include seems justified and suggest how the meaning would change if different voices were chosen) (The Ontario Curriculum, Language, Grade Seven,  p.128)
  • Point of View – Demonstrate understanding that different media texts reflect different points of view
  • Making Inferences/ Interpreting Messages -Interpret increasingly complex or difficult media texts, using overt and implied messages as evidence for their interpretations

We made connection to UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 5 – Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 10 – Gender Equality
  • Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

We made connections to ISTE Standards and 21st Century Learning:

  • Knowledge Constructor: Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
  • Digital Citizen: Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
  • Creative Communicator: Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.  

We invited community members to join our class and share their experiences:

Mary-Louise Pigott shares her experience attending the March on Washington

For the lesson…. Read on!!  

Grade Six Program coming up!! Interconnections and Journalism

We’ve had to change the format of our upcoming Session Three for Grade Six Gifted Students over the next two weeks. Due to logistical challenges, this will be a one-day session rather than a two-day session.

This session will be at the new Enrichment & Innovation Centre at Dr. Davey School and will be scheduled as follows: 6C Monday Feb 6; 6B Tuesday February 07 <–change of date, from Feb 14)6D Wednesday Feb 8 ; 6E Thursday Feb 09; 6F Friday February 10; 6A Monday February 13; .

Please visit the Calendar at: for future dates.

In order to dive into the Big Idea – Is Interconnectedness essential for our survival? –  We will be looking at the Inquiry topic- Is biodiversity, interconnectedness, and environment?

*How does the interconnectedness of anything change its course or direction in life?

*Does using our VOICE or hearing someone else’s VOICE connect us more deeply?

Session Three will advance our Journalism Program where students will use podcasting software. Podcasting is nothing new as journalists have been using this MEDIUM for many years. The radio is a form of podcasting.  Please BRING EARPHONES and/or a MIC if you have one.

Snack/Nutrition: Salad Bar

We always appreciate  (when possible), community involvement in our program. It is what makes it work so well. Thank you for your help.

  • For Lunch, we will be preparing a Salad Bar.  This is an opportunity to engage students in conversations around Indigenous values and the relationship between humans, community, and nature. Through food we will continue to explore how we balance what we take and give to the Earth in our daily living. The salad is meant to supplement lunch, please also your own snack/lunch!

Why daVinci Kids?

It’s a new year and that means a new batch of students have arrived at the Enrichment Centre to start their 4 year enrichment program. Each of these students went through testing by the HWDSB and has been identified using very specific criteria as being a gifted learner.


The intent of the program is to supplement the learning that is already occurring in their home schools, enhance student awareness of themselves and their abilities, to provide opportunities to work with like minded individuals and to collectively push the boundaries on learning, creativity and possibilities.Hence, the use of Leonardo daVinci as the figurehead on which to base our Grade 5 programming.


DaVinci was born April 15th, 1452 and during the course of his lifetime accomplished many things. As we gathered as a large group with our grade 5 students, during only their second session at the Centre, students rambled off an extensive list of the things daVinci was including: mathematician, artist, writer, scientist, botanist, inventor and city planner. It is daVinci’s extensive list of skill sets that allows us to dive into a variety of topics during our daVinci Kids year.  Our goal is to expose the students to a wide variety of topics, ideas and skills and to have them start to ponder where their own skills and talents lie.


During session 2, we started to look at who daVinci was. We discussed as a group the concept of perfectionism and how it can sometimes aid us in creating great work and on other occasions cause us to not complete a task or not see the value in the work that we create. Did you know that daVinci never considered the Mona Lisa painting complete? There is so much mystery and debate surrounding this painting! It is a painting that daVinci never gave to the person who originally commissioned it.


Students were also introduced to the fact that daVinci kept a journal.There are many reasons for keeping a journal. It can stretch your IQ, evoke mindfulness, aid you in reaching your goals or assist in growing your emotional intelligence. In addition to these personal reasons, society can benefit from reading your thoughts. Centuries after daVinci had written in his journal, Mark Rosheim was able to use daVinci’s journal to build a version of daVinci’s Robotic Knight. Technology described in daVinci’s journal was then used by NASA in planetary exploration. WOW! Centuries later we are still learning from daVinci! During this session grade 5 students were encouraged to get and start a journal of their own. Entries can be whatever length they want them to be and about whatever they want them to be about.We may not have the technology now to make your ideas a reality, but in the future – who knows?


In the afternoon, we dove into daVinci as an artist as an opportunity to bring the students together. This was only their second time as a team and team building still needed to be developed. Students were given a section of the Mona Lisa and were asked to use pastels and pencil crayons to colour match to the section they had been given. Each student was asked later in the day to place their piece on the grid as we built our Mona Lisa’s. These paintings will hang in the Centre as a reminder of what we can create when we work together and that we all bring different skill set, abilities and talents to the group.



In addition to looking at daVinci as an Artist, we also looked at daVinci as a Mathematician. Students and teachers discussed, explored and played with the Fibonacci Number Sequence. The Fibonacci Number Sequence exists so many places in nature! The ratio between any two successive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence is very close to the number 1.618, also known as the Golden Ratio. This ratio was said to be used by daVinci in the painting of both the Mona Lisa and The last Supper.


This session only touched on a little of the knowledge and skills that can be explored through the lens of Leonardo daVinci. During the remainder of their first year at the Enrichment Centre, students will have the opportunity to further explore daVinci as a Mathematician, an Artist, a Writer, a City Planner and an Inventor.

All of us here at the Enrichment Centre look forward to continuing to learn and grow with our new group of daVinci kids over the next four years!