We offer both junior and senior kindergarten, full-day or half-day. Kindergarten is the first year some children are in a school environment, and we treat it as a transition year to the formal education process.
The children work on number, colour, shape, and language skills, but these are balanced with lots of attention on social development among peers and with teachers. We also use this time to teach basic skills that lead to success in reading and mathematics. In kindergarten, we introduce foundational ethical ideas: helpfulness, teamwork, caring for the environment, respectfulness, and safety. Children of this age are also delighted by conversations about heaven, the presence of a loving Creator, and the constant care He provides through parents and angels.
This is a time to lay academic foundations in language and mathematics, but even more it is a time to instill a delight in learning. Making school fun is achieved through tons of movement, excursions to the creek and beyond, building and creating, telling stories, reciting poetry, and singing.
We work hard to help students experience success and master the process of working toward success, rather than only the results. We do this by pacing work to the individual student’s interests and abilities, and avoid stressing the student through high pressure expectations.
Primary (Grades 1, 2 & 3)
The grade 1, 2 and 3 classroom is an active environment that promotes questions, inquiry and learning activities. We cultivate a team approach between parents and teacher through regular communication and dialogue about student progress. French is taught starting from kindergarten, so our grade 1 students are already starting to use another language to describe the world around them and communicate with each other.
The children become increasingly socially aware at this stage of life so the teacher spends time modelling and coaching them in communication skills and in building healthy relationships with their peers. We especially support the development of kindness and respect at this age.
As pivotal math and language concepts are learned, the grade 1, 2, and 3 classroom matches these with further development of fine and gross motor skills. The students still tend to be very literal thinkers so their academic learning is purposefully grounded in tangible examples and experiences which support brain development and a thorough understanding of Ontario Curriculum concepts. The goal is not only to cater to individual learning styles, but also to help each child develop with the context of his or her physical, emotional, academic, social, and spiritual growth.
As the scope of subject matter expands, we employ a holistic approach. Physical development continues through PE, recess and purposeful movement during academic lessons. Students work on the floor, at the board, and at their desks, and regularly measure, interview or investigate throughout the building. Activity keeps children engaged and increases retention of material at hand.
Emotional growth is as important to future success as academic growth. In order to support emotional development, the teacher models appropriate emotional identification and sharing and coaches the students to find language for and effective responses to their emotional states.
The holistic classroom approach, which brings together intellectual, emotional and physical development, is all set within the concept of spiritual education. A spiritual focus teaches students:
- To see themselves and others as having intrinsic, God-given value which transcends any flaws, differences and limits.
- To pursue purposeful contributions in life which go beyond the pursuit of personal gratification.
- To recognize their connection and accountability to a higher being.
Senior (Grades 4 & 5)
In our highest grade, we continue to build a solid, in-depth foundation of knowledge through individualized attention. The teachers provide detailed answers and discussion as questions arise. Students at this age are becoming more aware and are excited about learning about the world around them.
An enriched Ontario curriculum in science, history, geography, literature, grammar, math, art and writing is important, but it is Christian values that keep learning focused on the application of knowledge. How can our students make a positive contribution to their communities, their country and the world?
We challenge our students to move beyond a mere knowledge into understanding where the students are looking for useful applications for what they are learning. For example, we had students work with an electrical engineer to build a working transistor radio as part of their electricity unit.
In addition to frequent excursions and opportunities to test new skills and knowledge, the students work hard on presenting material confidently and articulately. This is one of the many advantages of our small classrooms which allow each student opportunities to present material and practice leadership in the classroom.