The building of early literacy skills begins in Kindergarten and remains the focus throughout Cycle one. One of the most important strengths of our program is the ongoing close monitoring of each and every students’ progress. Early detection for those students who need extra support is crucial in ensuring that all students succeed. Formal evaluation is done three times a year to ensure that all learners are meeting appropriate benchmarks. Resource support is offered to those students who need it.
The English Language Arts program itself is multi-faceted. It is an inquiry based learning approach. Learning is student driven. The role of the teacher in the classroom is essentially that of facilitator, guiding students through the process of learning. In keeping with our Challenge Based Learning approach, students are presented with real life questions and challenges. Students engage in meaningful discussions. They collaborate and apply newly learned skills in an authentic learning environment in order to resolve real life problems.
Students continue to gain essential skills as they move through Cycles 2 and 3. Students become adept at making important connections between that which they read and interpret to their own lives and the world around them. The challenges presented to them have real world meaning. They begin to view and respond to texts with a critical eye. Fluency becomes a strong focus as fluency builds independent reading comprehension and is an important part of student success as they move forward. Writing skills progress from simple sentences, to paragraphs to the multi paragraph essay. Media and technology are fully integrated into the program. Whether using Google classroom or Google docs, tweeting, and Skyping with students or professionals from around the globe, our students are adept at using technology.
The classroom is a safe place to ask questions, share ideas, take chances, make mistakes, and learn. Respect is modelled, practiced and valued. A student’s emotional growth is as important as their cognitive growth.