which help them in all other subjects. Besides developing practical skills such as comprehension, spelling, sentence structure, vocabulary, logical reasoning, and other analytical skills, reading is the key to a vast treasury of enjoyment and learning.
Our Reading Program:
We focus on literary classics in the form of short stories, poetry, novels, and plays. Some authors include C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Shakespeare, and Christina Rosetti.
Poetry: The study of poetry is an integral part of our curriculum, building an interior treasury of beauty and inspiration. The children have regular opportunities throughout the year to recite poetry in front of other students.
Our formal reading program is supported by a “Book Bag” program in the younger grades, by a Reading Buddies program, and by ample silent reading opportunities for the students.
Writing is an essential skill for all students to develop, and our students are provided with abundant opportunities to practise. (Their Spelling and Reading Programs having an excellent writing component.) In Writing class, students are taught both expository and creative writing. They have formal lessons which focus on developing specific writing skills: proper sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation, vocabulary development, and creating tone and voice. Students are inspired and challenged to be imaginative, to write stories, poems, and to give other written reflections. In the older grades, the students write longer pieces and short essays with more complex sentences, attention to detail, logic, fluidity, proper grammar, and clarity of expression.
Our spelling program helps students develop solid spelling skills through weekly spelling tests, reviews, and written exercises. Weekly lists are organized according to common word features–etymological, phonetic, thematic. The systematic study of spelling and application of acquired spelling skills to other written work equips the students in all subject areas.
For our students in Grade 1 and Grade 2, our phonics program provides additional support for novice readers, with abundant practice and review provided by the classic Modern Curriculum Press “Plaid” Phonics.
The skills which the students develop through the Writing and Spelling programs are further reinforced from Grade 2 onwards with the formal study of English grammar. In addition to learning to identify parts of speech, the students study syntax and are provided with detailed exercises to practise their analytical skills and to learn English writing conventions.
In addition to their readers, the primary students are fortunate to participate in a special literature program which exposes them to some of the great literary children’s classics which are read aloud to them or played on dramatic audio recordings. Some authors include Oscar Wilde, Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, and Aesop. Through the dramatization and illustration of famous poems, nursery rhymes, stories and fables, the students sharpen their listening skills, increase their vocabulary and truly delight in good stories. They are given an opportunity to mime these, to act them out to the recordings, and to illustrate their favourite parts. This program is designed to truly “enkindle the imagination” and to inspire a love of reading and of good literature in our students.
Regular instruction to develop solid handwriting skills is provided through our Printing & Cursive Writing classes which feature ongoing instruction and thorough drill and practice.
A variety of mathematical games, puzzles, and critical-thinking activities are also used as incentives and challenges.
Classes often participates in province-wide and Canada-wide mathematics contests with excellent results!
Beginning in Grade 1 the students are exposed to Canada’s second official language through songs, skits, and dialogues, gaining exposure to the sound of French and learning correct pronunciation. More formal study of written French begins in Grade 5 with the formalities of French grammar and vocabulary.
The students are first exposed to the formal study of Latin in Grade 5. For the first two years, there is an emphasis on learning common Catholic prayers in Latin, highlighting the importance of the language in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, and on learning common Latin phrases and mottos, highlighting the importance of the language in the history of western European civilization. The study of Latin vocabulary, grammar, and syntax is introduced in Grade 7, complementing the students’ study of English and French.
Music has a central place in our school life! Our music program introduces the students to music appreciation through listening to classical music and learning about famous composers. The students study music theory and vocal music. They sing a variety of children’s classics, folk songs, and sacred hymns. The sound of music fills our school throughout the day in beautiful pieces sung in harmony, in rounds, and canons. The students perform for special guests, in concerts, pageants, at nursing homes, and their joyful voices greatly enrich our daily life of prayer in song.
In their weekly Art class, the students are introduced to working in a variety of mediums from clay to charcoal, to acrylic paints, and water colours. They study great artists and their famous works, and learn to imitate a variety of their techniques. Each year, the students’ creativity is highlighted at the annual Art Show.
In our Physical Education classes, the students are provided with the opportunity for exercise, fun, active games, and skills development, helping them grow in fitness, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. They often play soccer, volleyball, floor hockey, basketball, and badminton. They enjoy a variety of active cooperative and team-building games. (Parachute games!) The younger students especially enjoy their active free-play with hula hoops, balls of different kinds, scooper toys, skipping ropes, and a number of other imaginative activities.