It was a pretty simple question, posed to a group of fourth graders: what did you like most about visiting the upper school campus and seeing what awaits in fifth grade?
The cacophony of answers was tough to hear and write down.
“I liked recess!”
“No, the gym class was the best.”
“Yes! Definitely the gym class.”
“The science fair projects! Yeah, the science fair projects. Did you hear me? The science fair projects!”
Suffice it to say, the four students, Jackson Addison, Catherine Wolff, Avery Bird and Emma Bistrian, along with the rest of their classmates in CM1, enjoyed the visit they took to the Waterview campus. The fourth graders were given an in-depth preview of what life will be like when they move to the upper school next year and they came away feeling pretty excited.
“I feel older there because I’m with the older kids,” Jackson said. “I can learn from them.”
“I really liked it,” said Emma. “We did lots of activities. We switched around. There was one in the library, there were sports and we got to see the science fair projects too.”
The annual event is meant to help students feel comfortable with the campus and teachers before they begin studying there. It’s an introduction of sorts.
“The purpose was to make them familiar with their future campus by discovering the building and what will be new and exciting in their experience at Waterview,” said Franck Philipp, a CM2 teacher who coordinated the project. “It is also a way to make a connection between CM1 and CM2 by participating together in activities they have prepared, like the theater show, quiz games and question and answer session with the students.”
It certainly worked. The four CM1 students interviewed for this story were talking over each other, describing not only the fun aspects of the visit, but also their excitement about their academic future at the upper school.
“I am looking forward to the science classes because I wanted to do a science project board like the ones I saw,” said Catherine. “You get to choose what you want to talk about and learn about.”
“I’m looking forward to chemistry, because I’ve always wanted to do stuff with chemicals and learn more about them,” Avery said. “I hope we get to learn that next year.”
“They have more languages too,” said Emma. “I’m really excited about learning German.”
Philipp wasn’t surprised by these reactions, based on the ones he saw on the tour.
“Most of them seemed pretty happy about their day at Waterview,” he said. “Some liked the activities we did, while others preferred the recess time, playing ball and using the swings.”
The tour not only allowed the CM1 students to get comfortable at Waterview, it also gave CM2 students the opportunity to act as mentors to their younger schoolmates.
“They were really proud to have this responsibility,” Philipp said. “They were really excited about the show they had prepared for their CM1 peers. They were ready to answer every question they had and they participated in different activities together.”
CM1 parents will have the opportunity to learn more about the transition themselves at the DIS Experience event on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the upper school campus.
“They’ll get an overview of what it is to be a student on the Waterview campus,” Philipp said. “They’ll see what will happen for their child in the next year and it will be the time for them to get all the answers to the questions they may have. They’ll also be able to tour the CM2 classrooms.”
Hopefully they have as much fun as their kids did.