From the ages of about five to eighteen, most people in our society go to school. In truth, our school is a big part of who we are now and for the rest of our lives. At St. Jerome’s Catholic School, we have important subjects taught, enjoyable extracurricular activities, and the best school event of all time: Gymnastics Day. These things are only part of what makes St. Jerome’s the school it is.
Usually, as grade eight students, we have two classes of Language Arts, one class for Math, one for Social, and one for Science every day. We have other classes as well, but they aren’t core subjects. In our first Language Arts class, the one with Mr. Sader, we read books for a while and then we can go on to the school’s forum to write about our book. The students each have a blog which they can customize to be their own and put their writing assignments onto. The next core subject we have is Social Studies with Mr. Whelan. So far this year we‘ve learned about the Renaissance and we are almost done our Aztec unit. By the way, did you know that the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice? It’s gruesome and hard to believe, but it’s true. Later this year in Social we will learn about Japan. In Science with Mrs. Elphick/Mr. Lewin, we have learned about different topics, for example Fresh and Saltwater Systems and now we are learning about Light and Optics. Math Class is the next core subject and we have it with Mrs. Dieken. We finished Volume a couple of weeks ago and now are working with integers. In our other Language Arts class we’ve done speaking in front of the class, a novel study, and essay writing.
Here at St. Jerome’s School, we have many excellent extracurricular activities throughout the year. Our school sports include volleyball, golf, cross-country running, basketball, badminton, and track. Our team name is the Spartans. Volleyball starts right at the start of the school year and anyone from grades six to twelve can play. Golf is close to the start of the year too, but doesn’t go on for very long in our school. Anyone from grades seven to twelve can golf for our school. Cross-Country Running is in the Fall as well, offered for students from grades six to twelve. Basketball is offered for grades six to twelve students and is played from about November to March, depending on your grade. During the springtime we play lots of badminton, mostly in March and April, and we do Track and Field after badminton is over. Anyone from grades seven to twelve can play badminton and anyone from grades six to twelve can go to after-school Track and Field practices. We have other extracurricular activities as well. For part of the year we have a Drama Club where you can play games and even try doing improv. We also have a Games Club for part of our school year where people meet after school to play a game and maybe have a snack. We have the yearbook committee for students who want to help take pictures and edit the yearbook.
If you want to see real school spirit, you should come to St. Jerome’s on Gymnastics Day. Every year for decades, the three houses of St. Jerome’s compete against each other on this fun-filled day and the winner is announced at the end. All students from grades four and up belongs to one of these houses, which are named Fraser, Cartier and Mackenzie after the explorers of the same names. Each house chooses a theme for their performance, which could be a movie, an event, a poem, etc. The houses start the event by taking turns doing a Swedish Drill. During the Swedish Drill, the people in the house line up and do what their house leaders tell them to, with the commands based on their theme. When the house is all doing a command, they repeat it, yelling out the letters to spell their house name. The next part of the event are the pyramids, and again the houses take turns performing. During this performance, a house leader (or house leaders) will read a story while most of the other people make human pyramids. At certain points in the story, certain pyramids will collapse. Sometimes houses make shapes other than pyramids and there are sometimes walking pyramids. The next part of the event are the individual gymnastics, when people do handstands, dance routines, and many other stunts. Next, while the judges decide the first, second, and third place, the houses have tug-of-war matches. Tension is high when the judges come back in, and then Mr. MacMillan announces the third place and, after a bit of stalling for fun, the winner of Gymnastics Day.
Every school has its good parts, and every school has its bad parts, but the important thing is that it has more good than bad. St. Jerome’s has a special sense of school spirit involved in it, which is definitely a positive. It has essential subjects, amazing extracurricular activities, and the event of Gymnastics Day to make it a great school. Students who went to St. Jerome’s will never forget their experiences and adventures. As the saying goes here: “Once a Spartan, always a Spartan.”