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Grades 1 & 2

Students engage in six Units of Inquiry each year which have themes of global significance, develop the student profile, develop transdisciplinary skills connecting school, home and the world, and have significant age-appropriate curriculum content. The Units of Inquiry are a vehicle for teaching integrated disciplines.

Grade 1 classroom

Students in Grades 1 and 2 are taught in mixed-ability groups for all subjects except for French. Each day begins with registration and a sharing time. The following subjects are taught by the homeroom teacher: mathematics, language arts, religion, social studies, science and technology. Art, library, music, physical education and swimming are taught by subject teachers.

General summary of academic subjects

Language and Literary Skills are taught daily using high quality materials and resources. Equal emphasis is placed on reading, writing, speaking and listening activities. Reading is taught through a phonics, whole word and sentence approach. Language development is also an integral part of the Unit of Inquiry.

A major aim of the Whole Language Program in these grades is to enable children to communicate effectively facts, feelings, experiences and emotions.

At all levels, children are challenged and enriched to suit their individual needs.

Mathematics is taught as part of the school wide program. It is connected to other school subjects and to the children’s everyday experiences. Investigation and problem solving skills and strategies are particularly emphasized. Computational proficiency, necessary for successful problem solving is developed through activities and the use of manipulative materials. In the course of the year, the concepts of measurement, shape, fractions, time, money and number operations are taught. Assessment is on-going and evaluates what the students know and what thought processes they use.

French courses are designed to encourage and enable our students to progress from the beginning levels of comprehension to near native fluency in order for them to communicate more freely within their host community. These skills are taught four times a week.

French reading is taught in the advanced French group of Grade 2.

Social Studies and Science are taught by encouraging hands-on experience and investigations. In science, our themes reflect the four strands of scientific inquiry: Living Things, Earth and Space, Materials, Forces and Energy. In social studies, the disciplines of people’s relationships to their past, environment and society are explored.

Our school-wide Discover Religion program allows children to explore world religions, cultures, festivals and customs.

Library skills and an appreciation of children’s literature are taught when the students make their weekly visit to the library.

Art lessons are held weekly with a subject teacher. Students are exposed to a variety of media, textures, color and techniques in two and three dimensions. Student work is displayed throughout the school and in various art exhibitions. Students are also encouraged to appreciate the works of other artists.

Music skills encompassing both listening and performing are developed and enhanced in weekly music lessons. The children are encouraged to listen to music of different kinds and to see and understand how patterns can be used to represent the sounds they hear. Performance includes singing and creating music on percussion instruments, and children often have the opportunity to use these skills in assemblies, music productions and concerts. Individual instrumental lessons with private tutors are available and can be arranged through the school at extra cost.

Physical Education in Grades 1 and 2 is a continuation of the skills taught in Kindergarten, but the skills are more complex, and a wider variety is offered. Emphasis is placed on the social aspects such as team work, fair play, etc. The children have physical education twice a week. Grade 2 has swimming. These are lessons that take place at the local swimming pool. Students are transported to and from the pool by private coach. Students are divided into small homogeneous groups.

For course descriptions and information brochures, please visit the Downloads section.