Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year!

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! We are excited about all that the next eight months holds in store for us. Scroll down to see what our school community has been up to for the past two months.


With the arrival of Fall it has been a perfect time for our Grade 4 class to embark upon their adventure into the Garden Buddy world - and what could be a better fall introduction than marvelling at the great diversity and beauty of seeds! God’s creative imagination and attention to detail are truly mind blowing, and we are left in awe seeing how a small acorn can grow into a mighty oak that lasts for hundreds of years.


The Grade 5 class took the scenic route to the UBC Botanical Gardens . . . a walk through Pacific Spirit Park to explore and study the native plants of southern British Columbia and a picnic lunch was enjoyed by all!


Each year, the students, staff, and parents of ICS walk 10 kilometres from ICS to Locarno Beach and back again to raise money for our sister schools in Vietnam and Haiti. It is a fun-filled day of community building for new families and returning families.

Rounding Out the 2018-19 School Year at ICS!

The end of the school year is always a busy time . . . scroll down to find out how the ICS community spent the final few months of the 2018-19 school year.

Kindergarten was busy planting a spring garden, trying their hand at Science experiments, and releasing butterflies they watched develop through their many stages!

The Immaculate Conception Hockey League (ICHL) completed its season with the Las Vegas Knights defeating the California Golden Seals to win the Immaculate Conception Holy Grail!

Grade Two Celebrated the Sacrament of First Holy Communion

The ICS Track & Field Team finished 13th out of 39 schools and 7th out of 22 schools with student bodies less than 250.

  • the Grade 7 Girls 4x100 relay team finished in first place!

  • we won 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals for a total of 11 medals!

Staff Uniform Day: The students of ICS delight in the opportunity to see staff adherence to full uniform (in most cases)!

Grade Five spent a well deserved day at the beach after a year of hard work …

Grade Six students tried their hands at self portraits after studying about artists, art history, and art movements for several months . . .

The Intermediate students took on the staff in a game of floor hockey . . . a large student cheering section shared in the excitement!

Grade 7 Received the sacrament of Confirmation in May and celebrated with family and friends afterwards…

We wish our Grade 7 students good luck as they leave our Little Blue School to begin a new adventure!

A Bounty from the ICS Gardens . . .

With the warm weather we’ve been receiving lately, our radishes were literally bursting at the seams.  Some were as big as beets!  Students were delighted to see that radishes are not always red.  Easter Egg radishes come in white, red, pink and purple, and French Breakfast radishes are long and red with a white tip.  Both are juicy, crunchy and sweet in the spring with only the smallest hint of spiciness.

We also did some research on an herb, writing down it’s Latin name and common names, magical uses, medical uses, how and where it grows, folklore, and other unique facts about the herb.  

Once students had acquired some basic herbal knowledge, they were sent out to the school grounds to see if they could find a snippet of a herb and bring it back for the group to see.  Students were successful in their search, coming up with herbs such as mint, lemon balm, chives, rosemary, dill, cilantro, thyme, sage, and parsley.  Students then chose herbs to harvest for our cooking session as well as herbs to add to our salad greens. Cooking for the day included making a giant garden salad, herb butter and herb hummus.  Each group created their own uniquely flavoured butter to spread on crackers.  The herb hummus was enjoyed with chips, carrots and celery.

April Activities . . .

What Do You Want Of Me Lord?

On Thursday, April 18, our school community shared in answering the call, what do you want of me Lord? Our students, staff, and parents took part in supporting the needs of a variety of charities, ministries, and community groups by donating, sorting, making, creating, singing, and serving those in our midst who are in need and who we wish to acknowledge for their love and support of us. Some of the organizations we worked with side by side included St. Vincent de Paul, The Door Is Open, Covenant House, Catholic Street Ministries, and Prison Ministry. We also worked on a kindness project which extended to the Dunbar community, hosted a tea for grandparents and the senior parishioners of Immaculate Conception, and took part in a shared art experience about Musqueam culture which is featured in our main hallway, titled “We are one”.

Grade One Released Salmon at Spanish Banks

On Tuesday, April 23, we released our salmon.  It was a sunny day. We went to Spanish Banks creek. The water in the creek was cold, clean, shallow, shady and clear. There were birds that could eat the fry, and trees to keep the water cool. When I released my salmon, I was very excited! I named my salmon “Silly.” When I released the fry, it swam upstream and then it started to hide because it was not use to its new habitat. We released fifty fry.  I was very happy!

Written By A Grade One Student

All-Stars Badminton Team Brought Home Medals

The ICS All-Stars had a remarkable 2019 Badminton season. It was highlighted by an excellent work ethic, sportsmanship, and teamwork.  The All- Stars finished 3rd overall in aggregate points in the CISVA Championship! With such amazing team success, we had many athletes enjoy individual and team success. The athletes qualified through tournament play to reach the finals. Despite the tough competition we had many teams qualify for the Championships, and further, had both singles and doubles players win medals! We had a Bronze Medalists in Grade 7 Boys Singles and Grade 6 Mixed Doubles. Silver Medalists in Grade 7 Mix Doubles. Finally, we had Grade 6 Boys and Grade 7 Girls Gold medal winners.

 Congratulations All-Stars on an amazing season!

Garden Buddies Are Germinating!

Garden Buddies is germinating in every sense of the word - in our understanding of garden concepts; in our application of garden techniques; in our ability to problem solve; in our ability to work together; and most importantly in our little plants growing!

Grade Six Visited the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre to Supplement Studies About Japanese Canadian History

As part of a unit of study about World War II, and specifically, the internment of Japanese Canadian citizens in British Columbia, Grade Six took their studies afield to learn about some Japanese culture and to witness through pictures, artifacts, and testimony, the experiences of the Japanese Canadian people during World War II.

Busy Times at ICS . . .

Student Led Conferences

Students proudly share their learning with their parents during Student-Led Conferences in February.

Grade 5 Visits Historic Chinatown

Our trip to Chinatown was really fun and exciting. Our knowledgeable guides taught us many interesting facts about Vancouver’s Chinatown. For instance, we learned that it is one of the oldest and most populated in Canada. We also learned that the restaurant itself which we were sitting in, was the oldest restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown! We explored the different Chinese Clan Associations and their buildings. In one building, we saw four Chinese elders playing Mahjong. Some of the students in our Grade Five class found it really interesting and amazing to see the narrowest building in Canada and perhaps in the world! I personally really enjoyed seeing different meeting rooms in the Clan Association buildings. According to our guide, all of the Chinese people who first founded Vancouver’s Chinatown spoke Cantonese, which surprised most of the class, for we all thought that they spoke Mandarin. After the tour, we went to eat lunch at “Jade Dynasty,” which was super delicious. We had fried rice, dim sum, and jasmine tea. The servers had noticed how hungry we were, so they gave us more fried rice, which ended up being MORE than we paid for!

Written By a Grade Five Student

Hitting the Trails in Early Spring

Our intermediate classes hit the trails at Cypress Mountain’s Nordic Area in early March for some cross country skiing lessons and and afternoon of practicing new skills, exploring, and sharing lots of laughs!

Senior Girls Basketball

ICS had an amazing 2019 basketball season! We are so proud of the accomplishments of our teams. Our Grade 5-7 boys’ teams finished with 22 wins and 15 losses overall. We would like to highlight two teams in particular that had exceptional seasons. The Grade 6 Girls went undefeated in the regular season and finished in the Top 8 in the CISVA. Additionally, our Grade Seven Girls went undefeated in the regular season and finished 4th place in the CISVA out of 34 schools! Thank you to all the parent and teacher sponsors and coaches who put in all the hours with our athletes!

Writer-in-Residence, Ellen Schwartz,

Visits Grades 4-7

Our Intermediate classes have had the great opportunity to learn about the craft of writing from local and prolific author, Ellen Schwartz these past months. She visits each class three times to share her research, writing process, collaboration with her editors, and great joy upon the publishing of a book. She delivers engaging instruction, and comes back to conference individually with each student about his or her writing. We feel so lucky to have this opportunity and welcome Ellen back to ICS each year!

Speech Arts Competition

The spoken word forms a significant component of the learning experience at ICS, both in the classroom and as an extra-curricular activity. All grades participate in our school and regional Speech Arts festivals. Everyone is encouraged to participate in Bible Reading, Poetry Recitation or Storytelling. The ability to feel comfortable speaking in a public forum is a skill that cannot be undervalued. At ICS we not only address the Ministry of Education requirement that listening and speaking comprise one third of the Language Arts Curriculum, we enrich it profoundly for every child walking through our doors. We are proud to note that all of the ICS students who participated in the Archbishop Carney Speech Arts Festival received gold medals.

Term One Highlights from Our Little Blue School

As the first term comes to an end, we would like to share some of our memories …

Grade Six visited the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre to supplement their studies on the solar system . . .

Kindergarten and Grade Four Buddies Celebrated Halloween at Chaldecott Park

The Annual Hallowe’en Costume Parade Entertained All!

Grade Six Visited the Orpheum to hear the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Celebrate its 100th Season

Immaculate Conception Students Remembered Canada’s War Veterans . . .

And had a visit from an Immaculate Conception Parishioner who shared her uncle’s World War I Silver Cross Medal…

Grades Three and Four Took Gym Class on the Road With a Visit to the UBC Thunderbird Ice Arena

Kindergarten Lead Our School Outreach to Support the St. Alban’s Shower Program

Our Whole Community Shared in the Celebration of our 2018 Christmas Fair . . .

And finally . . . we celebrated our feast day with a “Jazzology” performance from Tiny Islands

A Blessed Advent Season and Merry Christmas to Our ICS Family!

Volleyball All Stars!

The ICS All Stars have just completed their 2018 Volleyball season. Over 60 Girls and Boys from Grades 5-7 participated on the volleyball teams. The athletes exemplified what it means to be an All-Star, demonstrating excellent teamwork, determination and sportsmanship. Special recognition is owed to our Grade 6 and 7 girls’ teams who made it to the first round of the playoffs, but were defeated in close matches. Additionally, the Grade 7 boys were able to qualify for the final tournament and finished 5th place in the CISVA Championship! Well-done, All Stars! Thank you to our parent and teacher coaches for all their hard work with the athletes this season. Go All Stars!  

Grade Four Garden Buddies in Full Swing!

Garden Buddies is a program that offers the Grade Four students at Immaculate Conception School an opportunity for hands-on experimental learning that can be integrated into a wide variety of subject areas.  Students learn that healthy and sustainable living starts with our soil as they make their own compost and study the organisms working in it.  Teamwork, relationship with others, physical activity, and improved life-skills are all benefits from the activities of designing a garden plot, to building a trellis, to harvesting potatoes, to tending the gardens.  Best of all – we eat what we grow!  Good nutrition is reinforced as students are introduced to new tastes, smells and textures picked straight from the gardens.  Their produce is proudly made into delicious food by the Garden Buddy students to share amongst all the students at Immaculate Conception School. 

The weather in October was beautiful so we took full advantage and spent our time outdoors digging, hauling, chopping, snipping, lifting, watering, and tidying.  The cleanup job was enormous and it took incredible team work, lots of muscles, and willing spirits.  Our main job was to prepare our garden beds to plant our cover crop, which will protect them for the winter.  Before we’re able to plant the crop, we had to dismantle last season’s trellises (those were built by the former Grade Four class to survive a hurricane!)  We then had to clear away all the debris, chop it into little pieces, and add it to our composts.  Lastly, we had to thoroughly dig and turn over each bed.

As we anticipate cooler, wetter, winter weather, we have also worked hard to plant garlic and to put our garden beds to rest. Each student had the chance to plant a garlic bulb which will grow over the winter and into the next year coming to fruition in early-mid July.  If all goes well, the garlic can then be pulled, dried, and saved to sell at our annual Christmas Fair!

 Finally, we set out to protect our valuable topsoil in the garden boxes.  Farmers know that it is far better to plant a cover crop to cover their soil during the winter months than to rotate crops and leave the soil bare when not in use.  Cover crops have many benefits - they protect soil from erosion, they improve drainage and water retention, they add organic material and replenish nutrients back into the soil, they are a natural weed suppressant, and they increase soil microbial activity.  As a result of all this, they also reduce the need for use of herbicides and pesticides.  The Garden Buddy students planted a mixture of fall rye, crimson clover and field peas into their garden beds.  The fall rye naturally produces its own “chemical” that discourages weed growth, and the crimson clover and field peas fix nitrogen to their roots thereby replenishing the soil. We will wait and watch throughout the winter as our garden beds show us their winter look!

Stay tuned for Garden Buddy developments!

A Busy September at ICS!

Our first few weeks at ICS have been filled with so many different activities for the whole school to take part in. The Terry Fox Run, Orange Shirt Day, and our annual Walkathon all contribute to building the strong community found within our Little Blue School and in the wider world.

“It’s got to keep going without me” - Terry Fox, 1980

38 years later . . . ICS continues to support Terry’s commitment

to raise money for cancer research.

Every Child Matters . . . ICS supports Orange Shirt Day.

Every Child Matters . . . ICS supports Orange Shirt Day.

Students and parents walk 10 km to Locarno Beach and back. Some of the funds raised support our sister schools in Haiti and Vietnam.

Celebrating a "New" School and a New School Year!

We are thrilled to be back in our seismically upgraded “Little Blue School” with familiar faces, and to be welcoming all of our new community members. We wish to express our immense gratitude to all those who have played a part in the planning, construction, moving, and putting back together of ICS these past months. Our first day of school was filled with the excitement of a ribbon cutting ceremony, a procession into the school, and the opening of the new intermediate playground.

Our Grade Seven students lead us in prayer during the first assembly of the year and a member of the Seismic Upgrade Committee gave a presentation to the students about the changes made to our school building over the summer so that we will be safe in the event of an earthquake.

We wish everyone a joyful 2018-19 school year!