School Spotlight: LCC’s Junior School places strong emphasis on students’ well-being

At Lower Canada College (LCC), a genuine sense of pride and belonging is shared by students across the four school divisions. This is cultivated by the many opportunities offered, the school’s outstanding resources, as well as its focus on well-being, one of LCC’s six core values. 

Junior School Director Alison Wearing explains the latest initiatives in the area of well-being: 

How do you help Junior School students develop, not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well?

Academia is important, but so are the social and emotional aspects that contribute to a child’s development. We strive to create a home-school partnership. In kindergarten, for example, we meet the students and parents before the first day of school. We understand that this is a significant transition and this effort personalizes the experience and sets the students up for success.

We also have a New Student Orientation Day before school starts, during which new students entering grades 1-6 are paired with a buddy so that they feel more comfortable on their first day. 

In addition, teachers contact parents within the first two weeks of school to answer questions or discuss concerns.

Last year, you made the decision to designate a counsellor exclusively to Junior School. How has that been going? 

This initiative has been very well-received. The Junior School counsellor works with the students both in and outside of the classroom for social and emotional learning, For example, in class she helps students learn more about emotional regulation and independent conflict management by supporting them in identifying the problem and strategies to resolve it. After recess, students are given an opportunity to debrief about an event or conflict that may impede their ability to focus on their learning. Along with the classroom teacher, our counsellor helps them work through the problem so that they can concentrate on their academic tasks.  

The counsellor meets regularly with our other two school counsellors, as well as the Junior School wellness team. This group, composed of our full-time school nurse, school counsellors, learning support coordinator and myself, meets weekly to share information about students so that we can best support them, whether academically, socially or emotionally. We also plan co-curricular activities, classroom yoga or movement, and “brain breaks” for moments of calm or reflection. The school is truly invested in every child’s well-being.

LCC is holding a Kindergarten Open House on Tuesday, October 29, from 9 am - 11:30 am. Visit their website for more information.