Student Life

Grade 8 Sorting Hat Ceremony

The student journey at Shawnigan is a carefully crafted one, and for our youngest students, our Grade 8 program offers an experience unique to any other boarding school. From the moment they arrive on campus, the specially designed Grade 8 Houses, Stanton for the girls and Levien for the boys, welcome these students into an environment where they will be nurtured and cared for as they learn the ropes of Shawnigan and experience being away from home for the first time. These students get the opportunity to bond and create close friendships, an essential foundation for them as they finish their first year.
A favourite part of the end of the year – and now a magical school tradition – the Sorting Hat Ceremony for Grade 8s took place on Saturday. During this ceremony, each student finds out which “big House” they will be joining in the fall, representing the completion of the first step of their Shawnigan journey. Presided over by the much-loved Gaynor Samuel, Executive Director of Admissions, the ceremony is a fun adaptation borrowed from a popular book and movie series and reveals to these young students which House they will be entering in the fall upon their return to campus. She explains, “the Sorting Hat decides each student's destiny. The Sorting Hat, in all its wisdom, will choose the House best suited for each of them.” 

The Grade 8 program is intentional in its design in that it is a safe landing pad for students as they find their way in a new environment. Most importantly, it creates a grade culture, forming friendships that will shape and support them throughout their Shawnigan journey. As the School embarks on its strategic plan, Project Future, this model's success has led to the creation of the recently announced Samuel House, the newest and pioneering co-educational boarding house for Grade 8s. It is named after Rhodri and Gaynor Samuel, two long-time staff members who have worked tirelessly to support and contribute to the design of the new Grade 8 House and the development of the Grade 8 experience. The students who will start their Shawnigan journeys in Samuel House after its completion will continue having a solid foundation to carry with them through their high school years. 

We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.