The Importance of Movement

2013_14_Terry_Fox_Run_036An interesting message landed in my in-box last week from a national educational list-serve. A headline declared that new research shows that kids should definitely move more. Movement brings more blood flow to the brain, making us more alert, engaged and focused on learning.

To be honest, I was a little stunned. I wondered why this was actually a headline as I considered it simply a statement of the obvious.  For generations our school has focused on the old adage that “a healthy body leads to a healthy mind”. In fact, it’s in our school’s mission statement, “…the fullest development of students in mind, body, and heart…” But when I thought about it for a moment, I realized that we don’t always see the obvious. Sometimes we stare right past important information. We all need reminders about how to do better as well as practical tips about how to chip away at diminishing bad habits.

Our teachers received some great reminders along these lines during a workshop the week before school started. We all heard from acclaimed molecular biologist, researcher and brain expert, Dr. John Medina. He has written an influential book emanating from his recent research, called Brain Rules. He offers 12 important brain rules: practices that enhance brainpower and function. According to him, brain rule number one is the importance of exercise. Not only is exercise good for the body, but the current research is irrefutable – physical movement also significantly and directly enhances brain function.

On his website, Dr. Medina states, “exercise zaps harmful stress chemicals, it boosts problem-solving, planning and attention”. Medina reminds us that the brain evolved under conditions of nearly constant motion. We have been designed to function, think and complete tasks more effectively after exercise. The increased oxygen flow to the brain simply leads to better mental sharpness.

This current research has made us ask a lot of questions at LCC. We include PE and athletics in our programmes, but should we also adapt our academic programmes and schedules to include more movement for students? This is a question we will review during the coming school year.

This week I urged our Middle and Senior School students to move more during recess in the morning and after lunch. If they actually want the latter half of their day to go well, it’s a good idea is to go outside regularly and run around during their breaks. For many teens it’s time to rediscover the sheer fun of play and exercise – nothing organized by teachers – just running around for fun. And yes, the likelihood is that this will actually help them do better in class. In the process, many will say goodbye to that awkward post-lunch nap on their classroom desks. Less zoning out and more zoning in!  — Chris Shannon, Headmaster


Port-au-Saumon: Observation des baleines

Une activité où je me suis amusée aujourd’hui est quand nous avons fait l’observation des baleines. Lorsque nous étions sur le bateau, nous avons vu des phoques gris, une baleine bleue et une baleine à bosse.

Ma baleine préférée était la baleine à bosse, car elle a fait un saut dans l’air et c’était extraordinaire! Nous avons aussi vu la queue de baleine à bosse. Il y avait beaucoup de phoques autour du bateau et la baleine bleue était gigantesque! J’ai essayé de prendre des photos, mais le « zoom » de mon appareil photo était défectueux. Plusieurs images ne sont pas très réussies. – Makena Rivard ’20

Port-au-Saumon: Mes attentes pour la classe nature

Mes attentes pour la classe nature sont surtout surprenantes, mais surement excitantes.

De l’allée au retour bizarrement l’autobus fait partie de mes attentes. Je ne sais pas pourquoi je suis excité par le voyage en autobus, il y a quelque chose qui me donne envie de le faire. Probablement, car je vais avoir une compétition de iPod avec mon ami. Deuxièmement, j’aime beaucoup parler avec mes amis, car je découvre toujours des choses que je ne connaissais pas d’eux et que j’aurai de la difficulté à croire.

Toutes les années où on a eu une sortie d’école, j’ai toujours été enthousiasmé par une chose. Ceci est notre chambre. Les chambres sont le mystère de toutes les sorties. Ça m’excite tellement de découvrir quels camarades seront avec moi que je sens que je vais exploser! J’ai hâte aux nuits où on ne cessera pas de parler. C’est si amusant! Ainsi, je me ferai de nouveaux amis. C’est ce qui m’est arrivé l’année dernière lors de la classe rouge.

En conclusion, ce sont deux des choses dont j’ai hâte. Mais j’en ai 1…2…3… au moins 25 autres choses à faire à la classe nature qui m’enthousiasment et qui font que je ne peux plus attendre! - Maxwell Kaspy ’20

South Africa: Amazing Experiences

Over the past two weeks that I have been in South Africa, I have done many amazing things. As soon as I met my exchange, Luke, and his mother, I knew that I had made the right choice about where to go. Right away, Luke and I set off on a safari, where I saw many animals, including four of the big five (lion, rhino, elephant, and buffalo). I would only see the last of the big five, the leopard, a week from then. The last couple of days before school, Luke and I built a robot with drills, using the skills that I had learned last year in robotics.

When I started at Stanford Lake College, I made friends immediately. The classes were similar except they had longer days and more classes. Also, in geography class, they study maps and then go on wilderness treks. Living at a boarding school is very different though. I have never woken up for school surrounded by my friends and without my family.

One of the reasons I came to South Africa was to experience something new. So, later in the week, I practiced cricket and on Saturday I watched a cricket game. I prefer to play cricket as the game is quite long, lasting from 10 am to 5 pm, with a lunch break of 15 minutes…probably one of the longest days ever!

As the weekend rolled in, so did time for adventure. On Sunday morning, Luke and I went to a game farm to see and pet the cheetahs. We also finally saw two leopards, the last of the big five. On another zoo trip, I also got to play with baby tigers and baby lions…as if they were household pets! – Jamie Bekins ’17, LCC exchange student at Stanford Lake College, South Africa

Australia Exchange: Reaching New Heights!

This week I went to the Eureka Skydeck, the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform, which I loved! It was rather amazing to see all of Melbourne from a height of 88 stories and as we went at night, I was able to see the city all lit up. We went on the Edge, a glass cube suspended 300 metres above the ground, where at first the glass was foggy so we couldn’t see anything. The glass cube started moving outwards, hanging three meters off of the building and then the fog on the glass disappeared and we were able to see the whole city and it was AMAZING! However, due to the fact that I have a fear of heights I was really scared.

I also saw the play, Wicked, in a historic theater that has been around for more than 100 years. Wicked was an amazing production and I couldn’t believe the power in the voice of the main character. I also got to see a netball game due to the fact that Sianna plays and I thought it was rather similar to basketball but looked more difficult. I am still loving Melbourne and I can’t believe that I’m half way through my exchange.

Morgan Folkerson ’16