Big Fish in a Small Pond

What do the Grade Sevens really think of the Senior School?

By: Evie Tomita (Grade 11)

As a new school year comes to a close, a new journey is also beginning for the class of 2024, who will be making the move up to the Senior School next year as Grade Eights. Because it has been a while since many of us have been in the Junior School, and few of us vividly remember what it was like, I decided to sit down with three Grade Seven students. I wanted to ask them what they really think of the Senior School; all their preconceived notions about the school building, the subjects, and even the teachers….

Let’s meet some of our soon-to-be Grade Eights: Pippa Tomita, Cindy Zhu, and Vivian Lui. All of them are eager to come up to the Senior School and take advantage of all the new people, programs, and experiences the school has to offer. To start the conversation, I asked what they are most looking forward to in the Senior School. Their answers were pretty standard: freedom, independence, access to new facilities (such as the off-limits Senior Drama room), new students and teachers, and the rumour that the Senior students don’t need to tuck in their shirts. But the most significant change they are excited for is the fact they don’t need to lunch monitor the younger students anymore. Finally, they told me, they will be able to eat their lunch in peace.

I decided to pick their minds further, and asked if they were intimidated by the older students (as I know I was when I was in Grade eight). I was surprised by the overall response: no, not really. They know older students; them being either friends or siblings, and know there’s nothing to be intimidated by. Vivian however, seemed very concerned about the height of some of the older students, and with a concerned look, told me “…some of them are really tall…”.

The new staff in the Senior school is sometimes a controversial topic among the Junior students, and I asked the three of them what they know about the teachers in the Senior school so far. All three seem very intimidated by Mr. Ito, as they had all recently taken the Advanced 8/9 Math test for next year. Pippa once encountered Mr. Bendl when she was skipping school, and so she is apprehensive about having him as a teacher next year. However, it was a consensus among all three that – after seeing him at Tech X – Mr. Bohnen is hilarious.

In general, all three of them think the Senior school is small, and puzzle how all the students can actually fit in the building. After taking several tours of the building, they were impressed by the quality of the artwork displayed throughout the school, including on the ceiling! They seem worried about AP courses, which I assured them was something they didn’t need to worry about for a while. None of the students knew what they wanted to do after the Senior school: but all of them have a favourite subject, which I assured them, was a start. For Pippa, that is PE and Art, for Cindy, Science, and for Vivian, it’s recess (and possibly English, she added).

As our interview was coming to an end, I asked one last question: will you miss the Junior school? All three reflected and came to the same conclusion: although they are leaving their past experiences behind them, they are eager to make new ones in the Senior school, and feel they are ready to become part of the Senior School community. Except for Cindy, who feels she will miss her classroom’s fish very much.

So there we have it: dive inside the mind of a Seventh Grader, and the Senior School is a very different place. In this place, Mr. Ito is a mean Math teacher, AP’s are a nightmare (although admittedly, they still are) and the biggest problem is not being able to take your fish to the Senior School with you.

As the Wolf Pack of 2024 makes their way up here next year, let’s help them realize that more often than not, their preconceived notions aren’t true: and that even though they may now be the small fish in the big pond, we are and continue to be the welcoming school body we pride ourselves in being. They have nothing to worry about.

Until next year, Grade Sevens!

 

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