Monthly student activities go a long way towards developing school spirit and solid interaction between senior and junior students at Tuugaalik High School in Naujaat.

Physical education teacher Gary Minauda instructs a group of students in the art of the Pumpkin Smash during a Halloween activity at Tuugaalik High School in Naujaat this past month. photo courtesy of Julia MacPherson

School vice-principal Julia MacPherson said she devised a list of monthly events a few years ago that Tuugaalik tries hard to accommodate throughout the school year.

She said the events don’t always include a theme, per say, but staff members work to fit in a school-wide activity, sometimes two, every month classes are in session.

“The students really look forward to them and they really help in our team-building efforts,” said MacPherson.

“We range in activities such as science, engineering and technology (the SET Challenge) to Embrace Life, Halloween activities, big breakfast morning, the Terry Fox Run, land trips, elder visits and a Celebration of Education Week being held in Nunavut.

“We try to arrange every activity so that they’re fun for the students and also contain an educational element of some sort in most cases.”

MacPherson said the activities boost school spirit at Tuugaalik.

“We usually hold them on a Thursday or Friday afternoon to, kind of, give the kids a little bit of a break from whatever they may be working on in their classes,” she said.

“The activities also help students learn to work with their peers and they get them up and moving around to be physically active.

“It really boosts student morale and the activities, especially ones we hold every year, have become something the kids really anticipate and look forward to.”

MacPherson said the activities promote interaction between the older and younger students in the school.

“It really helps the older students step-up in a leadership role,” she said “and it helps the younger students model their overall behaviour, because they look at the older students as role models and a number of them anticipate the year when they may be picked as a group leader.”

“We’re very blessed with the students we have at our school because they’re so helpful and always go out of they way to see if they’re needed for anything, whether it’s moving things, looking out for the younger students, or helping fellow students of the same age complete a task they may be struggling a little.”

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