PEI

From kindergarten to Grade 6: Kids reflect on what they've learned on the eve of graduation

As 12-year-old Eva Rashed gets ready to leave West Kent Elementary School, her seven years of lessons and learning can be summed in one word.

'I'm very excited because there's a lot of stuff that I want to try'

Grade 6 class at West Kent Elementary School in Charlottetown. (Sarah Keaveny-Vos/CBC)

As 12-year-old Eva Rashed gets ready to leave West Kent Elementary School, her seven years of lessons and learning can be summed in one phrase.

"The best ... really the best. This school is like a memory that will stay in my mind forever," she said. "It has great staff, great students, great everything."

'Each day my brother comes to my door and he makes me get out of class so I can hug him and I won't be able to do that anymore, which is pretty sad,' says Eva Rashed, 12. (Sarah Keaveny-Vos/CBC)

Rashed is one of the Grade 6 students who will be graduating from West Kent and moving up to Queen Charlotte Intermediate School in the fall.

It's a bittersweet time for many of them, with an equal mixture of nervousness and excitement.

'Very excited'

Golnar Saegh, 12, is looking forward to the new challenges.

"I'm very excited because there's a lot of stuff that I want to try. I think I'm going to either play the trombone or trumpet when I go to Grade 7," she said. 

'I won the jelly bean draft three times in a row. It was grade 2, 3 and 4. One year I split them and gave them to the class,' says Golnar Saegh. (Sarah Keaveny-Vos/CBC)

"I'm going into French immersion and there's a lot of stuff changing and the school is huge and there's a lot of sports teams that I'd like to try out for, and clubs. … Hopefully I don't get into a class of complete strangers."

Golnar feels positive about her move to junior high but didn't want to make any predictions.  "I don't want to jinx anything," she said with a laugh.

'Little bit nervous'

'I hope I have fun. I hope I make at least one of the sports teams. Hope nothing bad happens,' says Zoe Connor. (Sarah Keaveny-Vos/CBC)

Eleven-year-old Zoe Connor is feeling a little daunted but hopeful about the future.

"It's going be fun I think, but I'm a little bit nervous because I'm scared that I'm never going [to] remember my locker combination," she said. 

"I'm scared that none of my friends are going be in the same class. But hopefully I'll make new friends."

'I think the first year in kindergarten is so important because you learn all your life values,' says 11-year-old Ethan Mayne. (Sarah Keaveny-Vos/CBC)

Ethan Mayne, also 11, is leaving elementary school with some solid life lessons.

"Some of the biggest lessons I am leaving with is respect yourself, pay attention, just be nice to others. I think the first year in kindergarten is so important because you learn all your life values," he said. 

"I hope to get the most out of junior high by working hard and trying my best and supporting my friends." 

And Mayne is already hoping to suit up for one of the Queen Charlotte sports teams.

"I'm excited about all the sports I can participate in and meeting new teachers that are all pretty nice."

Looking to the past

Most of this class has been together from the very beginning of their school career.

Six years ago, the class was interviewed about what they learned in kindergarten. Lessons like how to listen, share, take turns and respect others were at the top of their list.

'What makes a good friend? How you get along with them. You play with them and if you get along and don't fight then you make ... a new friend,' said Zoe Connor in kindergarten. (Submitted by Hans Connor)

The importance of building healthy friendships also really resonated with the kids. At five years old, Zoe Connor had a pretty definite idea when asked about what makes a good friend.

"What makes a good friend? How you get along with them. You play with them and if you get along and don't fight then you make … a new friend. That's how you make a new friend. It's very easy to get along, you know."

'It's funner to play with your friends, not alone. Because when you're alone you kind of feel sad and lonely,' said Golnar Saegh when she was in kindergarten. (Submitted by Zahra Saegh)

Recess is more fun with friends, six-year-old Golnar agreed.

"It's funner to play with your friends, not alone. Because when you're alone you kind of feel sad and lonely. So I like playing with a group. We play house. We play tag. We have lots of fun."

'We have listening behaviour, I'll tell you all of them: Body still, hand up, mouth quiet, eyes watching, ears listening,' said Ethan Mayne when he was in kindergarten. (Submitted by Michael Mayne)

Ethan Mayne had lots of wisdom to share after he finished his year in kindergarten at the age of five. 

"We have listening behaviour, I'll tell you all of them: Body still, hand up, mouth quiet, eyes watching, ears listening," he said.

"You can't tattle tale. We can't be mean to people, they're not allowed to do that."

'It's just crazy to see how much I've grown over the years,' says Eva Rashed, now 12 years old. (Submitted by Tanya Rashed)

In the years since kindergarten, the importance of friends has only grown deeper, especially for Eva. When asked what makes a good friend, her answer was simple.

"Loyalty. They keep their words. And you know they don't exclude you from anything, like they cheer you up if you're ever feeling sad," she said. 

"Friends are good people. In life, some friends can even feel like family to you."

These four students are looking forward to joining the Queen Charlotte family next fall.

And CBC plans to check with them again when they graduate in three years time, to see what new lessons they've learned.

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