From Four Tiny Acorns a Mighty Oak Stands Strong

Kim Sillcox
An interpretation of CDS’ history by the Grade 1V Class

Jenn Vipond has been teaching Grade 1 at CDS for nearly 10 years and holds a true appreciation for the School’s 46-year history. So much so that, earlier this year, after being inspired by the words of our Head of School, John Liggett, she decided to take action and share the history with her young students. In an effort to simplify the story of our founding for her Grade 1 students, she chose to blend art with a favourite tale, and then animate the final product with her students voices overlaid on top.
“It was something Mr. Liggett said to a group of Junior School teachers a year ago that moved me to do this,” explained Ms. Vipond. “He likened our founding families to the roots of an oak tree, from which CDS has continued to grow.”

This metaphor blended nicely with a favourite book Ms. Vipond reads to her students in class, Leo Lionni’s The Alphabet Tree. In the story, a fierce wind blows the letters out of the alphabet tree and the leaves quickly learn they must band together to make words and then phrases in order to stand up to the wind.

In Ms. Vipond’s and her students’ version of the video story, each of the roots represent a founding family or person that one of CDS’ four houses is named after: Dunlap House (in honour of Co-founder Moffat Dunlap and the late Margo Bindhardt Dunlap); Eberts House (in honour of Co-founder Edmond G. Eberts and the late Daphne Eberts); Taylor House (in honour of one of CDS’ original teachers, the late Peter Taylor); and Ross House (in honour of CDS’ 2nd Headmaster from 1976-89, Robert Ross).

As their story of the CDS tree unfolds, each of the tree roots play a roll in teaching the tree to become a little stronger with every passing windstorm. Some of the words found on our crest like integrity and purpose appear at one point, and then phrases of encouragement, including Be kind, Never give up, Dream big, and Work hard.

“CDS is very grounded … I believe that is our greatest strength,” explained Ms. Vipond. “While the way that education is taught continues to evolve, I believe that by respecting and understanding our history and traditions, we continue to remain grounded. Traditions like Terry Fox Day, Junior School Play Day, and even the House banners hanging in the Dining Hall, all help evoke immense pride among our students.”

To watch Ms. Vipond and her 1V students’ thoughtful interpretation of our 46-year history, click here. From four tiny acorns a mighty oak stands strong. Indeed it does.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
(905) 833-1220
Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.