Tija Dalep and Maya Morgan sifted through the archives to discover the history of Sooke elementary school.

Tija Dalep and Maya Morgan sifted through the archives to discover the history of Sooke elementary school.

Students delve into their school history

A history of Sooke elementary fires up imaginations of two students

When students set out to complete an unassigned project, with no mark or grade as a final reward, you know that the interest is genuine.

Two Grade 4 students, Tija Dalep and Maya Morgan, did just that in a look at the history of their school, Sooke Elementary.

With the guidance of teacher Karen Smyth and the blessing of principal Kerry Arnot, Maya and Tija opened up and sifted through boxes of archived material. The result is the pictured display, which will be put in the school’s display case at the beginning of next year.

Both girls enjoy looking back in time.

“I like learning about history,” said Maya.

“I wanted to learn about the history (of the school),” echoed Tija.

And history is something Sooke elementary school has in abundance.

“Sooke’s first school, built in 1872 one km west on Muir land, was the 2nd public school in BC, after Metchosin,” reads a copy of the plaque on the girls’ display. “In 1891 a new one-room building rose here on Charters Land, with cloakroom, wood stove and well. 1916 enrolment required an adjacent structure, extended in 1919, over a concrete basement and washrooms. 1922 saw three teachers. Many additions and new buildings have followed.”

Kerry Arnot said the girls completed the project on their own time. Lunch times, recesses and even time at home was put into going through the files, choosing the documents, writing briefs, and presenting the information.

“These two are amazing kids,” praised Arnot.