Big Ideas and Highlights

List of 15 items.

  • Art

    Grade 4 
    Big Ideas:
     The grade 4 program focuses on developing students' drawing, painting and sculpting skills using different art materials and by examining specific artists and art movements; activities often complement other curricular areas. The theme for the year is nature. Highlights include exploring form and animation through drawing and sculpture; exploring serialization and stylization through drawing and printmaking; and exploring contrast and emphasis through a variety of art media. 

    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: The grade 5 program focuses on developing students' drawing, painting and sculpting skills using different art materials and examining specific artists and art movements; activities often complement other curricular areas. The theme for the year is eye-catching art. Highlights include exploring movement, rotation and reversal through drawing and printmaking; exploring rotation and reversal through a variety of drawing techniques; and exploring tone and value through painting and other art media. 

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: The grade 6 program focuses on developing students' drawing, painting and sculpting skills. Students examine specific artists and art movements and are introduced to commercial art applications. Projects incorporate various media including drawing, painting and collage; activities often complement other curricular areas. Highlights include planning and imagery design, including space, point of view, magnification, and asymmetrical balance.  

    Grade 7
    Big Ideas: The grade 7 program focuses on creating art that is personal and expressive. A range of influences, including specific artists, art movements and commercial art pieces, will be examined prior to compiling ideas into individual sketchbooks. Projects often complement other curricular areas. Highlights include imagery planning and design, including unity, exaggeration and distortion; and 2D and 3D forms. 
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  • Band

    Grade 4
    Big Ideas:
     As they develop musical skills and perceptions, students learn basic sound production and practise technique on two wind instruments. Students are exposed to different musical styles and movements through repertoire, listening exercises and guided activities. Highlights include an introduction to clarinet or trumpet, basic music literacy, fingering skills and tone production, composers, advanced skills on first instrument, introduction to second instrument, dynamics, tempo, and genres and styles. 

    Grade 5
    Big Ideas: Students develop their musical skills and perceptions within a hands-on, performance-based ensemble, and put learned concepts into practice as they explore sound production and technique basics specific to their new instrument. Through performance and guided listening, they become familiar with various musical styles, periods and influences. Highlights include instrument selection, fingerings, tone production, method book activities, music literacy, composers and styles/genres, with progression to full band arrangements and more advanced skills and band scores. 

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: Students develop their musical skills and perceptions within a hands-on, performance-based ensemble, and put learned concepts into practice as they explore sound production and technique basics specific to their new instrument. Through performance and guided listening, they become familiar with various musical styles, periods and influences. Highlights include note reading review, scales, rhythmic awareness, articulation, historical periods in music, concert preparation, music composition, enhanced instrumental techniques, and exploration of music cultures. 

    Grade 7 
    Big Ideas: In their performance-based ensemble, students continue to study on an instrument, and explore more advanced music theory, structure, styles and techniques, including technical facility, music reading fluency (rhythm, pitch and expressive markings), complex harmonies and rehearsal practices. Highlights include review of rhythmic reading, scale warm-ups to grade-level standard, historical periods in music, extending technical and physical range, complex rhythmic figures, mastery of chromatic scale, music from different cultures, and distinguishing characteristics and identification in repertoire examples.
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  • Choral

    Grades 4-7 
    Big Ideas: Students are encouraged to use singing as a means of self-expression and discovery. Students study standard notation, develop music literacy, and practise performance etiquette through informal and formal concert settings throughout the year. Highlights include foundations of singing and technique with a well-produced tone, standard notation, best practices of choral singing in an ensemble, and concert polish and etiquette.
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  • Drama

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas:
     The intention of this program is to develop the whole child–emotionally, intellectually, imaginatively and socially--through acting, and to provide an outlet for feelings and thoughts. Students are expected to participate in class activities to the best of their abilities. Highlights include producing a class video commercial, to be screened to a student audience: this involves script writing, collaboration, rehearsal, self-evaluation, and the ability to follow acting direction. 

    *Drama is part of the grade 6 robotics-art-drama rotation, with each class taking one term of drama.
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  • English

    Grade 4 
    Big Ideas: 
    Structured to foster an appreciation and knowledge of the written and spoken word, the program focuses on developing students' written and oral communication skills and their ability to understand and analyze text. Highlights include creative story writing, reading comprehension, vocabulary building, public speaking, nonfiction writing, independent novel studies, and reflective writing. 

    Grade 5
    Big  Ideas: 
    Using a range of engaging materials, activities and strategies, including comprehension strategies for fiction and informational content, students expand their written and oral communication skills. Reading selections and language activities are integrated with other course areas and blend material from the three language strands (reading, writing, oral/visual communication). Highlights include literature circles, creative and narrative writing, Reading Power strategies, informational writing, speeches, Camelot and King Arthur, and persuasive writing. 

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: 
    The comprehensive curriculum, which includes developed reading, writing and oral literature activities, teaches students that language can be a source of creativity and joy and a way to better understand themselves and others. Students read texts of personal interest, create unique texts and communicate their perspectives through various writing forms. Highlights include twisted fairytale writing, nonfiction research for the Ology project, literature circles, and essay writing. 

    Grade 7 
    Big Ideas: The grade 7 program focuses on nurturing strong readers, independent writers and critical thinkers. Students explore the writing process extensively, developing writing goals and editing checklists to create short stories, essays and poetry, and apply literary concepts and conventions to tailor their writing to the intended audience. Highlights include reading comprehension, short story analysis, expository essays, literature circles and literary terms, personal response essays, and the Night of the Notables literary event.
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  • French

    Grade 4 
    Big Ideas: Students develop their French through AIM (Accelerated Integrative Method), which uses gestures to help communicate the meaning of high frequency words.  This engaging contextual method allows students to learn the language by studying a play; in grade 4, students study "Trois Petits Cochons" and "Comment y Aller." AIM incorporates speaking, reading, writing and listening, and each play builds on the skills and vocabulary learned in previous levels.

    As well as using AIM in the classroom, students learn to retell a story verbally and in writing, to count to 100, to describe clothing, and to express ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.) Students continue to learn a variety of verbs and become familiar with some verb conjugations.

    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: The grade 5 curriculum continues to use AIM (Accelerated Integrative Method) to review and learn new vocabulary associated with the stories “Les Animaux du Bayou” and “Louis La Grenouille.” Through the use of story, students learn to ask and answer simple questions and to describe familiar features. Students learn to take risks and challenge their oral and written skills, in the context of the story, in a supportive environment, and are encouraged to interact with their teacher and peers in French whenever possible.

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: Students continue to further their French comprehension using the AIM (Accelerated Integrative Method) stories “Veux-Tu Aller au Carnaval?” and “Un Frère Pénible.” In developing a keen awareness of francophone culture in Canada, students learn to describe common elements of cultural festivities and celebrations. Students are encouraged to demonstrate and communicate their learning in a variety of ways using technology and tools such as Apple iMovie project, pictures, posters, props and other digital media assignments.

    Grade 7 
    Big Ideas: In French 7, students study increasingly complex stories, such as "Le Chandail de Hockey" and "L’arbre Ungali" to build proficiency and communicative capacity in French in all five competency areas: speaking, interacting, reading, writing and listening. In focusing on strategies, such as using cognates and context clues, students learn to derive meaning of new language situations, and work toward mastery of basic skills and automaticity to communicate more effectively and efficiently. In addition, students learn about Francophone and Métis communities in Canada and around the globe. Students have the option to write the DELF language exam at Alliance Francaise. 
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  • Information Technology

    Grade 4 
    Big Ideas:
     Building on the Digital Passport Program, students learn to safeguard private information and manage a digital footprint. They also explore progressively advanced software for project design work. Highlights include 3D modelling and computer animation to complete a major project called "Welcome to the Web."

    Grade 5
    Big Ideas: Building on the modules in the Digital Passport Program, students explore copyright and crediting Internet sources, and are introduced to computer programming and how logic, design and code influence software. Highlights include videogame programming: designing, coding and debugging an original game using Scratch. 

    Grades 6-7 
    Big Ideas: Building on the modules in the Digital Passport Program, students learn to investigate the authenticity and validity of Internet information. They also explore image manipulation and the graphic design process. Highlights include robotics and design: program and build Lego robotics; evaluating online information sources for accuracy and reliability; image manipulation with Photoshop; and graphic and layout design for a magazine spread in InDesign.
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  • Japanese

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: Students are able to introduce and describe themselves orally and in written Hiragana form, initiate and answer questions, participate in songs, and maintain an understanding of Japanese traditions through stories, photos and crafts. Highlights include Katakana writing system; reading and writing in Hiragana; counting system; shopping; talking and writing about families, daily routines and personal abilities; Japanese culture; and role playing. 
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  • Mandarin

    Grade 4
    Big Ideas: Through a variety of language activities, students improve and reinforce their grammar and spelling skills and expand their active vocabulary. Students work on diverse themes and mini projects; lessons are based on a set of textbooks and workbooks designed by their teacher. Highlights include Moon Festival, polite expressions, food, pets, Chinese New Year, skits in Mandarin, Canada and Canadians, emotions, hobbies, sentence structures and characters writing.  

    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: This course is structured to enable students’ understanding of different sentence patterns, using various activities such as storybook creation, and to develop and showcase their comprehension of personal and familiar topics, often in small groups. Highlights include Moon Festival, sports and activities, describing others, nationalities and languages, Chinese New Year, telling time, making appointments, health and lifestyles, week and weekends, classroom and school, jobs and dreams, and Chinese art workshop.  

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: Students further develop their speaking, comprehension and writing skills with fun, engaging activities, such as creating a mini film, and demonstrate and articulate their understanding of familiar topics in interactive situations, eventually linking simple phrases to compose full paragraphs. Highlights include food, weather, holidays, countries and travel, asking for directions, skits in Mandarin, expressing opinions, characters writing and Chinese art. 

    Grade 7 
    Big Ideas: Through fun, engaging activities, students merge and apply new content with previously learned structures, grammar and vocabulary. They also learn to identify and extract information from written texts for communication purposes, and undertake a deeper analysis of grammar differences between Mandarin and English. Highlights include the Great Wall, main cities, daily routine, past and future, paragraph writing, geography and population, clothes and shopping, cultural differences, Chinese celebrities, characters writing and Chinese art. 
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  • Mathematics

    Grade 4
    Big  Ideas:
     Through a framework of developmental skills and processes, to be expanded on in later grades, students apply mathematical concepts to a range of real life situations. Emphasis is on mathematical discussion, writing and representation. Highlights include data analysis, graphing, patterns, place value, addition/subtraction, multiplication, division, measurement, fractions, decimals, geometry, and multiplication of larger numbers.
     
    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: With activities tailored to diverse learning styles, such as hands-on lessons, game creation and word problems, students make connections between math concepts and real life situations. The Brain Breakers program and computer lab activities help develop math literacy, creativity and problem solving. Highlights include number concepts, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, geometry, patterns, fractions/decimals, measurement, and statistics/data.
     
    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: By participating in hands-on activities, students develop problem-solving skills, mathematical processes and computational abilities. Emphasis is on developing mathematical reasoning using verbal, concrete and symbolic representations. Highlights include decimals, fractions, percents, order of operations, area, perimeter, volume, patterns and equations, graphing, transformations, multiples, factors, mixed numbers and improper fractions, ratios, angles and triangles.  
     
    Grade 7
    Big Ideas: Through experiential, hands-on activities, students further develop their problem-solving skills, mathematical processes and computational abilities. Emphasis is on developing mathematical reasoning through creating bridges between verbal, concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations. Students explore different mathematical concepts to describe and understand our world. 
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  • Orchestral Strings

    Grades 4-7
    Big Ideas:
     The strings program offers students the opportunity to explore the art of string playing by learning note-reading skills, string technique and level-appropriate repertoire. The class orchestra will perform formal and informal concerts throughout the year. Highlights include instrument set-up, string technique, repertoire study, rhythm integration with note reading and repertoire study, and practice skills in combination with visualization for successful performing.
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  • Physical Education

    Grades 4-7
    Big Ideas: By participating in fun, inclusive, multisport activities in daily PE classes, student develop and refine locomotor, nonlocomotor, manipulative and sport-specific movement skills. Students enjoy the benefits of daily physical activity, including improved aerobic and strength fitness, coordination, cognition and mood. Highlights include dance, soccer, cross country, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, basketball, fitness, track and field, and tennis. 
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  • Science

    Grade 4
    Big Ideas: Through engaging lessons, students develop the skills and processes to work and communicate scientifically. Students participate in scientific experiments and hands-on labs that foster a greater understanding of living and nonliving organisms and environmental practices, and learn to classify information and draw conclusions based on their observations. Highlights include exploring the phases of matter; investigating the motion of Earth and the moon that cause observable patterns affecting living and nonliving systems; dissecting an owl pellet; and designing experiments that reflect students' discoveries about matter and energy transfer.
     
    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: Students further develop the skills that allow them to work and communicate scientifically, participating in engaging scientific experiments and activities that allow them to analyze and share data they have collected. Highlights include human body systems (digestive, respiratory, circulatory, musculoskeletal); properties of simple machines and their force effects; solutions and solubility; and BC's natural resources, such as observing how Earth materials change as they move through the rock cycle and can be used as a natural resource.  
     
    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: This course introduces the foundations of biology, chemistry and physics. Using inquiry, comparison and problem-solving skills, students improve their scientific literacy and investigate the relationships between science and technology. Highlights include how body systems interact and specific functions of the nervous and endocrine systems; mixtures and their uses in society; exploring space, including the Milky Way and space-related technologies; and developing and applying Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.
     
    Grade 7 
    Big Ideas: Building on their understanding of scientific procedures, students participate in numerous experiments and hands-on activities, and engage in scientific discourse and critical analysis based on conclusions from their research and experiments. Highlights include preparing for the grade 7 science fair and exploring the following concepts: global climate change from a scientific perspective; how Earth developed and has changed; the relationships between elements, compounds, atoms and molecules; and the relationship between electricity and magnetism.
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  • Social Studies

    Grade 4 
    Big Ideas: Students explore historical and contemporary issues from different perspectives, analyzing such events to examine the present, make connections with the past and consider the future. The focus is on mapping, First Nations cultures, and the Europeans' exploration of Canada. Highlights include mapping skills: hemispheres, continents and oceans; European explorers; Inuit and Coastal First Nations peoples of British Columbia; and Interior First Nations peoples of British Columbia. 

    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: Designed to encourage independent thought and increase awareness of Canada's diverse historical, cultural, political and environmental landscapes, the course also outlines strategies for reading and researching informational texts, developing comprehensive arguments and analyzing data. Highlights include timelines, mapping, immigration, gold rush, railway, fur trade, immigration, government and the constitution, prominent Canadians, resources, sustainability, and the Industrial Revolution. 

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: This course introduces the concept of responsible citizenship: materials and discussions explore current world events and challenging societal issues, such as human rights, child labour, poverty, media use and resource management, in Canada and around the globe. Students are expected to participate in class discussions. Highlights include global citizenship, cultural identity, ethnocentrism versus multiculturalism, United Nations, global trade, child labour, settlement patterns, population distribution and economic systems, government and judicial systems, quality of life and environmental problems. 

    Grade 7
    Big Ideas: Students embark on a visual and kinesthetic journey through the ancient world, beginning with the evolution of early humans and ending with Imperial Rome. With an emphasis on how different ancient cultures fit into the overall timeline of prehistory and history, students focus on noticing patterns in material culture, learning to make inferences about meaning and function from ancient evidence, appreciating the origins of cultural artistic and literary paradigms that one encounters today, and developing critical-thinking skills through the analysis of current and historical events. Highlights include an introduction to archeology; evolution of hominids; invention of farming; Mesopotamia; newspaper projects on ancient Egypt, China or India; bronze age Greece; and ancient Greece and ancient Rome. 
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  • Spanish

    Grade 4 
    Big Ideas: Students develop their listening comprehension, conversational skills and writing abilities through hands-on activities, games and songs. Written expression is emphasized to ensure students are familiar with sentence composition and structures. Students learn about and celebrate the holidays and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Highlights include verbs (to be, to have); giving information about oneself and friends; describing family, pets and classroom objects; personal pronouns; prepositions of location; and asking and answering question regarding quantity. 

    Grade 5 
    Big Ideas: Students continue to develop their listening comprehension, conversational skills and writing ability through engaging activities, games and songs. Written expression is emphasized to ensure students are familiar with sentence composition and structures. Students enjoy celebrating the cultures and holidays of Spanish-speaking countries. Highlights include classroom vocabulary, prepositions, verbs (to like, to know), activities and sports, present continuous tense, using first and third person to describe oneself and others, time, daily routine, clothes and seasons. 

    Grade 6 
    Big Ideas: Students build on reading, writing and speaking skills learned in previous grades and are introduced to "we," "they" and "you" (plural) verb formats. Throughout the year, students celebrate the holidays and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Highlights include family and self, addresses, countries, nationalities and languages, jobs and professions, characteristics and habitats of wild animals, school, daily routine and extracurricular activities. 

    Grade 7 
    Big Ideas: The grade 7 curriculum builds on ideas and concepts learned in previous programs. However, since Spanish 7 is a beginner course, new students to the program will easily adapt. Students communicate primarily in oral form while developing written expression, and enjoy learning about traditions and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Highlights include home, neighbourhood, transportation, directions, prepositions, food shopping, restaurants, numbers to the 1000s, feelings, illness and weather. 
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Grades 4-7 Overview

In the intermediate program, students build analytical and problem-solving capacity through applied skills learning and are offered varied course offerings, for example, grade 7 electives include engineering design, math inquiry and social justice. Interdisciplinary collaboration ensures a balanced, highly relevant educational experience.

  • Specialists teach French, a third language (Mandarin or Spanish), music, art, library skills, daily physical education, and information technology using school and family-owned devices, such as iPads, Chromebooks and laptops.
  • Our character education program, CARE, under the guidance of our counselling department, fosters students’ personal development, leadership skills and social awareness.
  • From grade 3, students choose band or strings for their music stream, and work with professional music teachers to develop superior technique and performance ability.
  • From grade 3, students can join athletic teams, including cross country, swimming, soccer, and track and field, with a focus on fitness and skill development.
  • Off-site activities, outdoor education trips and guest presenters offer unique learning experiences.  
  • Over 20 clubs, including debate, public speaking, theatre and difference makers, help students explore and develop new interests.
  • Parent involvement is encouraged, with parent-teacher conferences, student sharing sessions, parent education workshops, grade socials and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.