Published: Jun 3, 2024

Around the district is a monthly update that includes a collection of stories from Richmond schools. These stories highlight Richmond's vibrant learning community, which fosters student engagement, creativity, and well-being in inclusive learning environments.

A group of secondary students geared up their creativity as they participated in the 2024 Pedal Car Challenge, an innovative event powered by the Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) through its AutoCareersBC program. This province-wide event offers students the opportunity to design, modify and paint an antique pedal car (human-powered toy car) while encouraging them to consider the automotive industry as a viable career choice. 

This year marked the first time a Richmond school joined the province-wide competition, which included nine schools across BC. The Pedal Car Challenge ignites students' passion for the automotive industry through a team-based project to design and construct a pedal car. Beyond just creativity and engineering skills, this event also served a philanthropic purpose as the completed pedal cars will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting charity.

Under the guidance of their skills exploration teacher, these students successfully submitted their pedal car design. Their hard work and creativity shone brightly, reflecting the district’s commitment to trades education and community involvement. 

Pedal car challenge

Richmond's secondary schools track and field program continues to exemplify inclusivity with participation from all 10 secondary schools and nearly 600 student-athletes this year. Renowned for its accessibility, the program engages a diverse group of students, highlighting the district's commitment to making sports available to all.

More than just a display of athletic ability, track and field fosters a strong sense of community and support within the district. A dedicated committee of passionate volunteers ensures the smooth running of the season, which includes two "fun" meets designed to promote both competitive spirit and community engagement.

The highlight of the season, the Richmond Secondary Schools Athletic Association (RSSAA) Championships, saw stands filled with enthusiastic supporters. Fans cheered for every athlete, from the first to the last across the finish line, celebrating the spirit of inclusivity and community that defines Richmond's approach to athletics.

Track and field

During the month of May, students graced the stage at Gateway Theatre, filling the air with the energy and passion of their music. These unforgettable performances marked the annual Music in our Schools (MIOS) concert series. MIOS serves as a platform for young musicians to shine, offering them the opportunity to perform on a professional stage and share their talents with the community.

Participation in music ensembles helps students form lasting friendships and find a strong sense of belonging. Joining the school band is not just about making music; it is about sharing laughter, overcoming challenges together, and building memories that will last a lifetime. Each rehearsal and performance creates connections that go beyond the music itself and becomes a cherished part of their school experience.

Music in our schools 2024

To celebrate Mental Health Week in May, many schools organized activities centered around this year's theme: A Call to Be Kind. The focus was on demonstrating compassion towards others and embracing self-care, which encouraged students to prioritize their mental well-being through a variety of engaging initiatives.

Wellness fairs offered valuable opportunities for students to explore topics such as mood and anxiety, effective treatments, and self-care practices. Representatives from community partners, including Richmond Addiction Services, Foundry, Adolescent Support, and Vancouver Coastal Health, were on-site to share their expertise and engage in conversations about promoting positive mental health.

Additionally, participation-based activities and contests unfolded during breaks and lunches, providing students the opportunity to learn about mental health support resources within their school community.

By emphasizing kindness, support and self-care, our schools aim to cultivate a culture of mental wellness, while empowering students to prioritize their mental health.

Mental Health Week

A secondary school hosted a successful Road Safety Day for over 600 students, filled with engaging activities and presentations aimed at enhancing road safety awareness. The event featured various road safety stations, including Richmond RCMP, ICBC, Richmond Fire & Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services, and Transit Police.

Grade 11 and 12 students began the day by listening to remarks from the Richmond RCMP and City of Richmond officials, followed by a powerful presentation from an ICBC road safety speaker. This presentation described what a crash scene might look like, how paramedics attend to patients, what to expect at the hospital, and how peer pressure impacts youth.

Simultaneously, Grade 10 students received a presentation on road safety and the graduated licensing program from a member of the Richmond RCMP Road Safety Unit and an ICBC driver examiner. These sessions sparked lively discussions and insightful questions, showcasing students' eagerness to learn and engage in road safety education.

The event ensured that all students had meaningful and relevant experiences, reinforcing the importance of road safety in a comprehensive and impactful manner.

Road Safety

A group of elementary students recently completed an enriching exploration of Northwest Coast Indigenous Art, focusing on the styles of the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwagiulth peoples. Immersing themselves in understanding and creating traditional Indigenous art forms, the students embarked on a journey that was both educational and transformative.

Their exploration began with learning about the fundamental elements of this art style, such as ovoids, split U's and S shapes. Through a series of activities, they progressed from drawing their own original designs to carving them onto a cedar plank using simple hand carving tools. 

This hands-on learning process fully engaged the students, allowing them to appreciate the artistry and cultural heritage behind these intricate designs. They enhanced their artistic skills and deepened their understanding and respect for the rich cultural traditions of the Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples. 

Indigenous Art

An elementary school celebrated the unveiling of a new mural, the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort. Renowned Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow was commissioned to create this artwork, which was designed to illustrate the meaning of the school’s name, serve as an act of reconciliation, and share the history of the Musqueam in the neighborhood.

The students played a significant role in raising funds through various projects, including a recent Makers' Market. Classes from kindergarten to Grade 7 participated in applied design, skills, and technologies projects to create items for sale. After school, families were invited to the market to view the students' creations and support their fundraising efforts.

The completed mural brought immense excitement to the school community. It stood as a testament to the collective learning and collaborative spirit of the students, teachers and families, all working together towards a common goal.

school mural