Grades 1-8

The curriculum for Grades 1 through 8 has been selected and carefully developed to provide the students with a rigorous but balanced academic program.  It makes the most of a wide variety of resources, including special visitors, informative and engaging texts, and audio and video materials.

The teachers are continuously trained to ensure that their methods of instruction are effective and that they meet the specific needs of each child.  The content of the program is transmitted directly by the teachers and explored by the students themselves in projects, presentations, class discussions and activities, regular homework, and tests.  Manipulatives are used to advantage in subjects such as Science and Mathematics and are especially useful in helping the primary students to grasp concepts.

The children are taught to think critically and to ask questions and have ample opportunity to express themselves.  They are encouraged to pay attention to facts, as well as to their own impressions and the deeper meanings of what is studied.

The school has an outstanding reading program! Students at the school develop strong reading skills 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:

  • Enkindles the imagination
  • Inspires through the examples of heroic and virtuous characters
  • Teaches us a moral and helps to form us as persons—we learn from the experiences of the characters and see the consequences of good and evil
  • Delights in its humour, entertains us
  • Is thought-provoking: making us think about important themes, truths, and subjects
  • Gives us a glimpse of different times and places—both imaginary and historical
  • Enchants us with beautiful language and well-crafted sentences, providing us with a model for our own writing
  • Tells us a great tale with colourful characters, settings, and plots

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.

The school has an excellent Mathematics program with textbooks which have been carefully selected to provide students with ample practice of basic facts and drills, problem solving, and advanced mathematical concepts. Classes begin with mental Math drills, speed tests, and oral math challenges to equip the students with the ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently.  Memorization of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts help sharpen the students’ math abilities without the use of calculators.

Manipulatives, models, and other real-life examples are given when possible to help the students understand concepts concretely.  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!  

In order to understand the physical world around them, to be exposed to the beauty of nature, and to learn basic biology, chemistry, and physics the students are introduced in Grade 1 to the study of Science.

Through hands-on activities, formal lessons and textbook work, and formal science labs in Grades 5 to 8, the students are introduced to a number of themes and scientific topics, including among others simple machines, the human body, the solar system, the mechanics of flight, life cycles of different animals, and the structure of plant and animal cells.

By Grade 7 and Grade 8, the students are introduced to the use of laboratory equipment as they conduct labs and learn to complete formal lab reports.

In the younger grades the students are introduced to the study of history and to the geography of the Earth through a study of themes, beginning with their family history and an introduction to the study of their country.  In subsequent grades the students study ancient and modern cultures and the countries of the world, learn to read maps and use atlases, and are introduced to the study of Civics.

Starting in Grade 7 and Grade 8, the study of History and Geography are separated into two different subjects.  In History class, the students study the history of Canada from the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century down to the Statute of Westminster.  In Geography class, the disciplines of physical and human geography are introduced.

Formation in faith is essential to the definition of education at Mary, Mother of God School. Drawing from the riches of the Catholic tradition, staff and students join in daily prayer (including the Rosary), weekly Mass, and monthly Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and celebrate the annual cycles of the liturgical calendar.

This communal life of prayer is supported too by a systematic exposure to the riches of the Catholic Faith through the two components of our Religion program, Faith & Life and Faith In Action

The Faith & Life component is at its heart formal catechesis using the Faith & Life series published by Ignatius Press.  This is supplemented by an exposure of the beauty of the Faith through music, drama, mimes, and art in the Faith In Action component which helps the students bring to life the stories of the Bible and of the lives of the Saints.

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.

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Going to Mary, Mother of God School was more than just going to excellent classes. It was coming to a place where I felt loved.


Faith is the greatest gift we could give to our children.  We are very happy to send our children to this school where faith formation is emphasized and the teachers strive to be examples of our Catholic faith.


At FSC, I received an education, that, by exposing me to great works of literature and classical teachings, inspired me and helped me begin to understand what it means to be human. I was always excited to be in an environment of true learning, alongside classmates who became good and lasting friends.


This school taught me to love studying. It taught me the importance of my Catholic Faith. And most of all, it taught me to love and care for others.


At FSC there is a sense that the teachers are on your side. I valued learning about our faith in an in-depth way, which is a basis for knowing Christ and growing closer to him.


The bonds I formed at FSC could not have been formed anywhere else. Not only do I have countless memories that can make me cry with laughter to this day, but the atmosphere at FSC offered a place where friendships could truly flourish.


Our family is truly blessed to have found Mary, Mother of God School.  We have been able to watch as our children have grown in faith and knowledge through the careful direction and the tireless work of the staff.


We decided to send our two children to Mary, Mother of God School because we want them to receive the best truly Catholic education.  Through the dedication of the teachers, my children are nurtured in a loving and respectful environment which strikes a balance between spiritual nourishment and academic excellence.


The Francis de Sales Centre has not only given me an education, but it has given me a code to live by for the rest of my life. It has taught me to serve the poor, the homeless, the dying the elderly, and the mentally ill.


It usually takes our son quite a bit of time to adapt to a new environment.  We were impressed that my son felt at home even on his first day at Mary, Mother of God School.

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February 2024