grade 4

A New Crew of Garden Buddies

The first unofficial Garden Buddy session was on a fitting day as it was the first day of Fall!  Our study of the day was seeds - their adaptations for survival as a species, the great diversity found in seeds, seed dispersal methods, and the basic structure of seeds.  We enjoyed finding seeds in our gardens and had a little fun playing with our seeds (who doesn’t enjoy playing with helicopter maple seeds!?)

Another of our recent experiences had us visiting Pacific Spirit Park and the Camosun Bog!  It truly was a magical day exploring, learning, touching, smelling and listening to God’s beautiful creation. We started our day learning about the “web of life” and how intricately everything is connected to each other in the forest ecosystem.  

Our main outdoor tasks in our first sessions included dismantling last year’s trellises, removing all garden refuse and chopping it to small bits to add to the compost.  We even discovered that some compost soil was ready to add to our garden beds.

Highlights of the 2016-17 School Year: Garden Buddies Share Their Bounty!

To sum up our final months of Garden Buddies, this parent shared her family’s experience with us . . .
"Our child has loved, loved, loved this whole gardening experience! We have had so much information on the process of planting and harvesting, the progress of the group’s vegetables, the challenges of the trellis, the making of the “keep out” signs, etc. And yesterday was clearly the best day of all!  We enjoyed the butter on bread at dinner last night, and are looking forward to picking up some radishes and baguette so that we can experience (with some trepidation!) a French breakfast!  Thanks for providing the students with this rich learning experience – a great combination of group work, problem solving, self-reliance and sustainability."

Garden Buddies Care for Our Common Home

The Grade Four class at ICS is in its third successful year of Garden Buddies, a co-curricular effort shared by students, staff, parents, parish volunteers, and community Master Gardeners. Here is what our students have to say about this comprehensive and very special program ...

“We do Garden Buddies because it teaches us not only how to plant but to work as a team and try our hardest. Most importantly, it helps us know how to care for our common home.”

“We have done lots of planning about where and when to plant the plants. We planted a cover crop in November and have turned the soil many times and we have planted potatoes in tubs. Additionally, each group picks the seeds that they need and plant these. We have also made the trellises.”

“We have the opportunity at Garden Buddies to learn about nature and seeds, how to garden, how the ecosystem works, and why gardening and bugs are important.”

“Some of our roles in gardening are tool cleaning, compost monitoring, watering the plants, hilling up the potatoes, planting, and helping each other.”

Cross Country Stars!

Many of the students of ICS participated in a Cross Country meet on Wednesday, October 5.  Grades Two through Seven took part in a fun run or a race for their grade.  Everyone did a fantastic job and finished the race strong. ICS placed 15th out of 34 schools and we received two gold medals and one silver medal. In addition, our Grade Seven team members came 3rd in the overall aggregate. Bravo Team ICS!

Cross country is a a challenging sport. Competitors are crammed in at the start line,  and once the staring gun sounds, each runner finds his/her place. After what feels like far longer than it is, many runners start thinking “When will this be over?  When will we see the finish line?” Finally, you hear the cheering crowds as you approach the finish line.

It was so much fun, cheering our schoolmates on, watching the Grade Twos take part in their first Cross Country meet, and feeling the satisfaction of crossing the finish line. We had a great meet and everybody should be proud of themselves for completing this challenge!

Written by a Grade Seven Student

Grade Four School Gardeners!

Last week, we harvested our lettuce to make salad. We shared our salads with the school. We harvested arugula, head lettuce, carrots, kale, basil, pea shoots, and kohlrabi for our salads. The classes thought our salad was amazing!

Many students asked for seconds and one student asked for our dressing recipe. One girl said she didn’t like salad before she tried ours, but now she does now.

We also learned about bolting. Bolting is when the plant gets too hot or too dry and it thinks it might die, so it makes seeds. Sometimes bolting makes the vegetable taste different.

We had a fun time in the garden and making salads. We are really grateful to our garden buddies who volunteer to garden with us.

Written by Grade Four Students

Sharing Musqueam Culture


Nora S. spent several weeks teaching Grade Four how to weave in the traditional Musqueam style. She told us about the Musqueam people and how they wove quarter bags. The quarter bags held quarters that would be given to people who helped during ceremonies and Potlatches.  Quarters would be given to people who cooked or sang for the ceremony.  Four chiefs of different tribes promised that they would remember the Potlatch day and would tell their children and grandchildren and anyone who asked. They also were given $ 0.50 –  it was quite an honor to be given that!

Instructions for Weaving a Quarter Bag:
Begin with a base for the quarter bags which has fourteen, one centimeter cuts. Tie a knot and weave down and straight back up and keep repeating the same action. After that weave in the opposite direction.  The yarn is always woven from left to right. When you are done a row you would twist the yarn and keep going until the end.   Next you take the little loops at the top and take them off and slide it off but it will be inside out you just put it right side out then you’re done.

Above Blog Post Written By Grade Four Students

When the quarter bags were all completed, each Grade Four student invited a special person to attend a Sharing Ceremony in which he or she would give the quarter bag to the attendee as per the Musqueam tradition, in which the first of anything one makes is given away. Nora led the Ceremony and we had many wonderful speakers, including Deborah Sparrow, who shared Musqueam history and song with the students. We are so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grown in our knowledge about Musqueam tradition – thank you Nora for leading the way!

Grade Four Garden Buddies


The Grade Four students have taken on the great responsibility of planting and tending to the ICS gardens over the course of this school year. Several times a month they meet with a group of Master Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts to learn about the fine art of planning, planting, tending to, and harvesting vegetables and flowers.  It has been a wonderful experience in which they have involved the rest of the school community in the areas of composting and taste testing. They have harvested and tasted many micro-greens and the most recent and deliciously crunchy harvest was radish. Thank you Grade Four for your dedication and hard work with our gardens!

The following excerpts were written by two Grade Four students:

Garden buddies are people that come to work with us when we garden.  They help us plant seeds in the garden.  The garden is in the back of the school.  Our buddies come every other Tuesday.  I feel happy and excited to work with our Garden Buddies.

This picture is about a group of students building a trellis to support the peas they’re about to plant. They’re going to plant Arugula. I chose this because they used teamwork to build the trellis. Each student is trying to do his or her best. I really like my garden buddy because she’s really nice and she tries to help when we need help.