It is probably not a surprise that this year’s centenary is a theme that will permeate all that we do until June. As we flip through the calendar of 2017-2018, we will be reminded of this important milestone at every turn, as we mark traditions, introduce new ones and focus on the learning and social development of our students. Matthews Hall is the oldest elementary school of its kind in London, Ontario, predating many of the most significant events of the last century. A school with a rich heritage and a 100-year track record deserves to celebrate!
As the tragic aftermath of World War I was becoming fully realized in 1918, Kate Matthews was beginning a project whose mission would be the education and inspiration of children – an undertaking of care and dedication to her students and her community. At the heart of our school, there has always been a deep commitment to academic excellence, personal growth, and the enhancement of programs and facilities that support character development and self-confidence in our students. While our school has relocated several times over the years, it was Kate Matthews’ vision that endured.
For those who are new to our school, you will see reminders of these important pillars in published materials, on our website and throughout our buildings. Our values are the guiding beliefs and principles that inform our decision-making from the boardroom to the classroom. When we consider the goals of our students and the professional aspirations of our teachers, we encounter the values inherited from our Founder each year.
Ultimately, a school like ours is focused on offering and sustaining the kind of learning environment that promotes inclusion and joy of effort. We value the contributions of each member of our community reflected in our diverse Canadian family. We honour our similarities and differences and believe our strength and potential comes from our united identity, as well as from our commitment to a safe and welcoming learning environment for all.
Over the course of this historic year, we invite your participation, feedback and assistance as we move forward with confidence, respecting our students as individuals and working to preserve an approach to school life and learning that is engaging, enriching and fun. We won’t always get it right, as perfection is not attainable. However, if we chase perfection together, we might just catch excellence.
We want our students, and you their parents, to join us in recognizing that hard work should be a labour of love inspired by commitment and dedication. As teachers and parents, we are all at our best when we focus on respecting and lifting up the unique talents of one another.
The first month of school is always like a “shiny new penny”, full of potential and possibility. At Matthews Hall, we pledge to discover our students’ potential, inspire them to learn, and prepare them for a successful future. We do this in partnership with you as parents – the first and most important teachers of your children.
Our main purpose is the foundational preparation of children for academic, social and civic success in high school, but it is so much more than marks, accolades and resume-building. Elementary school is a fleeting time of life (…for kids and parents) during which the foundation is laid.
And, along with these indicators of achievement, “…education is [about] teaching our children to desire the right things” (…by the way, it was Plato who said that!).
We are so pleased that you have joined us for our centennial year. Let’s hold hands and stick together!
Ric Anderson, Head of School