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BSS Summer Academy Math Scholarship

The Bishop Strachan School and Girls E-Mentorship have a Summer Academy Math Scholarship available for young women entering Grades 9 and 10 next year. Last year, Isha received this scholarship. After her summer course, she was offered the chance to apply for a scholarship for Grade 9 at The Bishop Strachan School. The following is an interview with Isha about her experience and why she says she’s always on the lookout for new opportunities.

What made you decide to apply for the Summer Academy Math Foundation Scholarship?

Getting this scholarship was really important for me because I want to be a good role model for my younger siblings and I want to show them how it’s not impossible to do great things in life. Before this summer course I never thought it would be possible for me to ever do something this great in my life. I thought my life would be like my elder sisters, but I always wanted to do something different. I wanted to show myself that it’s possible to change the way life is going, that there are lots of different paths you can choose from. I really like the feeling of not knowing my future, now that I’m on a different path than my sisters. I think this helps you take more risks in life. My parents always said that I wasn’t ever afraid to try new things. They always tell me how nothing will ever stay the same and you can’t ever depend on anyone, that you need to write your own story, a story different than everyone else’s.

What was the Math Foundation course like? What did you learn?

It was like a regular course, but with less people. It was clear what was expected of you and what you need to do in order to be successful in this course. The course was really focused on math, and you had to keep up with the class, otherwise it was really hard to catch up later. The lessons were always well planned and there were always moments when you were allowed to do what you wanted. I thought it was a great course and I got to meet lots of new people. I’m really glad that I was able to get ahead by doing my grade 9 math course before I started high-school.

Why would you recommend the Math Foundation course to other girls?

I had a great time and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this. It’s a one time opportunity. This course opened up lots of new doors for me and made me think about life in a different way. I love math and in my old school I couldn’t ever go ahead and learn new things, but this course made you explore and try new things. My teacher in this course encouraged me to explore grade 10 math.

What other opportunities did the Math Foundation course open up for you?

This course changed my life, and made it possible for me to get enrolled in a school like a BSS after the course was done. After taking this course I’m in grade 10 math, while I’m still in grade 9. Also, it showed me the real world and how there are so many great opportunities in life and you just have to look for them. You can’t ever stay home and just expect a great opportunity coming knocking at your door, you have to go out and look for them. Through this course I met great people, like Ms.Powell, Ms.Dias, Rochelle, Ms.Ranson and my math teacher Mr.Underhill. They guided me through the hardest moments, and were always there for me.

Exam Writing Tips

Years of exam writing has prepped me for this moment: the day I get to share all my exam writing wisdom with you! Kidding. The truth? I didn’t know I had tips. That was until my brother called me a few weeks ago, panicked, half an hour before his high-pressure exam asking for help. This is what I shared with him moments before his exam (he passed!). Note: if you haven’t started studying, first check out our Study Tips blog.

  1. Stop Panicking & Put on Some Gangsta Rap. Yes, it’s stressful, but getting yourself  “In The Zone” will serve you better than a downward spiral. Put in your headphones, turn up some Biebs (or whatever your flavour) and get into it.
  2. Put Away the Notes. You aren’t going to learn anything new in the next half an hour. Studying right up until your exam will just cloud your head. Put down the notes, I repeat, put down the notes!
  3. Don’t Talk to Anyone. Stay away from the other people panicking—not cool energy. You don’t want to be picking up wrong answers from friends or classmates and clogging your mind before going into your exam. It’s okay to be rude right now.
  4. Skip What You Don’t Know. The first time through the exam, skip the questions you don’t know. Answering what you do know will keep you feeling confident and flowing. Come back to those answers you skipped after you’ve worked your way through the exam. Now that you’ve done a first-read you may pick up clues to help you answer those pesky Q’s
  5. Cover the Answers (Multiple Choice). Multiple-choice is designed to throw you off.  Answer the question, in your head, before you look at the prompts and select the answer that best reflects your initial thought.
  6. Get to the Point (Long Answer). Graders can read through filler language. Use key words that will get you marks, bullet your answers where you can. If the passage is graded out of five, be sure to write down five points to your answer.
  7. Stay Calm. You’ve read our Study Tips blog. You’ve prepared. You got this! Stay focused. Remain calm. It will be over shortly.

This article is written by Cassandra Hammett, Project Manager at Girls E-Mentorship. Cass loves to write, loves to laugh and hates when people don’t have a plan. She keeps GEM running like a well oiled machine and always has a helping hand and a cup of tea for anyone on the team that needs it.

Scholarship: Math Foundation Skills with BSS

Partnering with the Bishop Strachan School (BSS), we are excited to offer two full scholarships to their Math Foundation Skills Summer Academy program this summer.

During the week of August 17-21 from 8:30-2:30pm, two lucky young women will attend BSS for an intensive algebra review that is designed to boost their math skills for the upcoming school year.

Topics that will be covered include: linear functions, quadratic functions, systems of equations, graphing and factoring.

What does it take to apply?

If you are a young women entering Grade 10 or 11 next September, simply fill out the application form and send your reference letter to info@girlsementorship.com by June 30, 2015 for a chance to be chosen for this exclusive opportunity.

GEM & Mathnasium Partner

Children don’t hate math.
They hate being confused and intimidated by math.
With understanding comes passion.
And with passion comes growth—a treasure is unlocked.

The Mathnasium method is used globally to teach math skills to students. Their goal is to significantly increase their students’ math skills, their understanding of math concepts, and their overall school performance, while building confidence and forging a positive attitude about the subject.

Kate Murray, owner of two Mathnaisum centres in Toronto, and GEM mentor recently partnered with GEM to offer three group study sessions. These study sessions will prepare our GEMgirls for their January exams. The sessions will take place on December 13, January 10, and January 17 at 2pm at the Don Mills Mathnasium location (189 The Donway West).

In addition to the group study sessions, Mathnasium will also be offering three scholarships for students to receive a customized learning plan and individualized math tutoring sessions. Stay tuned for more information on how to apply!

Kate is a passionate educator, who believes in the value of a good education. Having been a class room teacher, a Learning Strategist, and the Director of Teaching and Learning at an Independent school in Toronto, Kate knows how important a solid foundation in Math is. There are no quick fixes for math, which is why she believes in the Mathnasium Method. For more information on Mathnasium tutoring services, please call (416) 482-6284 or visit their website www.mathnasium.com. 

BSS & GEM Partner

A Note from BSS Head of School Deryn Lavell

As Canada’s oldest day and boarding school for girls in JK to Grade 12, we have a pretty big network of alumnae around the world. They range from those who’ve just graduated to those who have been carving out an inspiring vocation for decades. It’s through a connection with one of our ‘Old Girls’, as we affectionately call them – Girls E-Mentorship (GEM) Founder and Executive Director Rochelle de Goias – that our exciting new partnership with GEM arose. The Bishop Strachan School (BSS) is thrilled to be working with GEM to offer young girls an opportunity to attend without charge an intensive one-week math skills enhancement program through our Summer Academy. Here, GEMgirls will have access to excellent resources and facilities in July or August as they upgrade their skills and expand their experience. We know that when a girl has the opportunity to focus on one subject area with the expertise and support of teachers who care, that student is inspired to reach further. Preparing for the school year ahead in this way will bolster her confidence, and her competence, and will open any number of doors to a stronger future. Reflecting our longstanding tradition of supporting all students, BSS offers a Scholarships and Financial Assistance program, which is designed to encourage and reward students who demonstrate exceptional achievements in specific areas, and to support families who need extra help with tuition costs. We look forward to welcoming GEMgirls to our campus and to building on the ways we can support the outstanding work GEM does every day.