Big Ideas & Highlights

List of 13 items.

  • Art

    Kindergarten 
    Big Ideas: 
    The kindergarten art program develops drawing, painting and sculpting skills using a range of art materials, and explores specific artists and movements in art history. In addition to technical skills, students develop creativity and a passion for the arts through activities that often complement other curricular studies. Student artwork is collected in a portfolio to be taken home at the end of the school year.   

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas:
    The grade 1 art program develops students' drawing and painting skills, using various media and applications, while nurturing their creativity, self-expression, and passion for the arts. Student portfolios are taken home at year end. Highlights include exploring colours, lines and shapes through drawing, painting and collage; exploring patterns and textures through drawing and printmaking; and exploring various art media, including clay. 

    Grade 2 
    Big Ideas: The grade 2 art program focuses on developing students' drawing, painting and sculpting skills using different art materials and by examining specific artists and movements in art history. Student artwork is collected in a portfolio to be taken home at year end. Highlights include exploring colour, shape, texture and superimposition through painting and collage; exploring line, multiplication and fragmentation through drawing and printmaking; and exploring radial balance through various art media. 

    Grade 3 
    Big Ideas: The grade 3 art program focuses on developing students' drawing, painting and sculpting skills using different art materials and by examining specific artists and art movements. Student artwork is collected in a portfolio to be taken home at year end. Highlights include exploring colour, shape, texture and superimposition through painting and collage; exploring line, multiplication and fragmentation through drawing and printmaking; and exploring radial balance through various art media.
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  • Choral

    Big Ideas: The aim of the choral program is to encourage children 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 during the year. Highlights include singing foundations and techniques with a healthy, well-produced tone; standard notation; best practices and habits of ensemble singing; and concert polish and etiquette.
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  • English

    Kindergarten 
    Big Ideas:
    Through a multisensory approach to accommodate different learning styles, children engage in reading, writing, speaking and listening activities daily. Phonetic activities reinforce a different letter each week, and students learn to blend sounds to develop reading skills. Children practise holding pencils with a tripod grasp and learn appropriate upper and lowercase letter formations. Incorporating Reading Power strategies of connecting and visualizing, students develop a deeper understanding of literature and respond to stories in meaningful ways. Highlights include letter-sound correspondence, letter formations, rhyming, predictions, digraphs (sh, ch, th), sentence structure, and story elements.

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas: 
    Develop each student's confidence and ability to read, write and express ideas. Our multisensory spelling program is based on learning patterns and grammar rules. Highlights include sentence writing, guided reading, Dr. Seuss/fairytale book studies, and story writing/elements.

    Grade 2
    Big Ideas: Nurture students' critical thinking, creativity and confidence through continual opportunities for speaking, reading, writing and presenting using various media and learning tools. Students read fiction and nonfiction texts, demonstrating comprehension through written and verbal discussions, and create meaningful content. Highlights include sentence and story writing, reading and book clubs, and spelling/grammar study. 

    Grade 3 
    Big Ideas: Using Reading Power strategies, students further develop literacy comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students write paragraphs, using a structured format to convey information and applying spelling, grammar and syntax rules. In exploring the writing process, they learn to express better clarity, detail and creativity in their writing. Highlights include paragraph writing, novel study, cursive writing, spelling/grammar, and oral presentations.
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  • French

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas: 
    During their weekly French class, students learn basic vocabulary and become familiar with French culture. The focus for this age and development is oral expression and comprehension; lessons follow a routine and include activities such as singing, creating art, playing games, reading stories and making class books. Highlights include self-descriptions, seasons and seasonal celebrations, counting to 20, colours, dinosaurs, body parts, dance, alphabet, Paris, artist study, food and weather. 

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas: 
    Ensure each student's ability to initiate and respond to basic greetings and requests, annunciate words, and count to 50. The focus is oral and aural comprehension rather than written. Highlights include self-introduction, numbers (20-50), alphabet, colours, body parts, holidays, family, transportation, days, months, seasons, weather, food and animals.  

    Grade 2
    Big Ideas: 
    At this stage, the learning focus is oral and aural rather than written. As they develop vocabulary, students exchange information and engage in set dialogues, using visual and contextual clues to decipher meaning. Highlights include clothes and accessories, directions, holidays, weather, nature, food and drink, summer activities, at the table, cities and countries.  

    Grade 3 
    Students develop French language skills through materials and situations designed to mimic everyday language use, and build a solid understanding of the basics: alphabet and French phonetics, greetings and interactions, and asking questions in oral and written form. Songs, stories, videos and games enrich class learning and cultural awareness. Highlights include alphabet and phonetics, calendar, greetings and introductions, numbers, preposition of place, masculine/feminine nouns, simple verbs, adjectives, and simple questioning and answering.
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  • Information Technology

    Kindergarten-Grade 1
    Big Ideas: 
    Develop students' understanding of the Internet and school technologies and how these tools communicate information in different ways. Highlights include an introduction to keyboarding technique, interactive storybook creation, file management, and computer/network organization.

    Grade 2
    Big Ideas: Introduce students to sound/video editing and robotics. Through project-based work, students explore music creation and computer animation systems, and become familiar with logic and design processes. Highlights include an introduction to programming with visual programming tools, robot simulation design and function, and using loops and samples to create music.

    Grade 3 
    Big Ideas: Introduce students to Digital Passport, a key component in WPGA's digital citizenship program. Students complete five modules in the areas of communication, privacy, cyberbullying, search, and creative credit. Highlights include concept mapping and designing an interactive fiction story.
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  • Mandarin

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas: 
    In their weekly lesson, students learn basic words, phrases, vocabulary songs and games, and use visual clues to attach meaning to words, count to 20, sing simple songs and learn about Chinese culture. Lessons follow a routine so students feel comfortable using learned expressions. Highlights include Moon Festival; family members; Chinese New Year; Zodiac story; simple characters; body parts; food; dragon boat festival; crafts and songs; and art workshops. 

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas: 
    Introduce basic vocabulary and simple questioning through meaningful communication contexts, including games, songs and stories. Singing songs is an especially useful tool in retaining vocabulary for this age group. Highlights include Moon Festival; about me; name and age; siblings; hobbies; counting to 50; Chinese New Year; Zodiac story; crafts and songs; mini role plays; nature; bingo and dice.  

    Grade 2 
    Big Ideas: Students use learned vocabulary, count to 100, answer yes/no questions, and construct simple sentences. Through games and other interactive activities, students develop a basic awareness of Mandarin sounds while developing a curiosity and respect for Chinese culture. Highlights include Moon Festival; likes; vocabulary songs and games; Chinese New Year; Zodiac story; crafts and songs; simple adjectives; mini role plays; art workshops; and Chinese characters. 

    Grade 3
    Big Ideas: Students learn vocabulary, simple characters and basic linguistic structures by engaging in stimulating activities such as stories, festivals, role plays and games, and by working on different themes and mini projects. They also develop an appreciation for Chinese cultures and traditions. Highlights include  Moon Festival; Pinyin; family; pronouns and adjectives; Chinese New Year; food, birthdays, skits; picture books, simple questions; negative forms; likes and dislikes; and animals and nature.
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  • Mathematics

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas:
    By providing integrated numeracy experiences using objects, quantities and relationships, children develop a solid sense of numbers and flexible mathematical thinking. Lessons incorporate literacy, hands-on exploration, technology and reinforcement games. Concepts are explored through manipulatives (concrete), diagrams and pictures (pictorial), and symbols and numbers (symbolic); an understanding of numeracy and memory strategies for math facts to 10 is a key program component. Highlights include sorting, patterns, graphing, numeracy, measurement, addition, subtraction and problem solving. 

    Grade 1 
    Big Ideas: 
    Foster positive attitudes toward and conceptual understanding of numeracy and mathematics by providing opportunities for students to explore different materials, tools and contexts. Students engage in classroom discussions and activities that link concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations and real-world connections. Highlights include sorting and patterning; graphing and data analysis; number operations and problem solving; and measurement, geometry and place value.

    Grade 2
    Big Ideas: Introduce concepts that enable students to develop a conceptual basis of mathematical processes. Using hands-on activities, small group work and interactive tools, including iPad applications, students apply learned knowledge to symbolic numbers and formulas. Highlights include numbers to 100, place value, patterns, inequalities, addition/subtraction of 1-2 digit numbers, word problems, measurement, calendar and graphing. 

    Grade 3
    Big Ideas: 
    Enable students to apply learned math skills to daily interactions in and out of the classroom. Using hands-on, interactive lessons, students apply abstract concepts and mathematical thought processes; a supportive classroom environment fosters higher-level reasoning and critical-thinking skills. Highlights include place value, addition/subtraction, mental math strategies and word problems, shapes and space, graphing, measurement, multiplication, division, fractions, time, patterns and relations. 
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  • Music

    Kindergarten 
    Big Ideas: 
    Students learn about music so they can explore the world and to communicate musically. Students learn basic musical sounds and elements, and are encouraged to use their voices and classroom instruments as they learn songs together. Highlights include beat, tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, listening skills, pitch matching, rhythm instruments, and the use of nontraditional and traditional code.  

    Grade 1

    Big Ideas: Encourage children to explore musical sounds and to develop musical skills in singing, moving, listening, reading and writing music. Highlights include beat, rhythm and pitch awareness; introduction to solfege; audience manners; echo and rhythms; terms relating to tempo and dynamics; active listening; ostinati, traditional code for music literacy; and pitched and unpitched instruments. 

    Grade 2 
    Big Ideas: Through songs and games, children explore musical sounds, learn about different musical genres, and develop musical skills in singing, moving, listening, reading and writing music. Highlights include basic music theory, concepts, rhythm, solfege singing, active listening, percussion instruments, reading music notation, body percussion, composer studies, pitched percussion, ear training, polyphonic music, and music genres and cultures. 

    Grade 3 
    Big Ideas: Through hands-on activities, students explore musical sounds and elements, and develop a connection to the language of music through active participation, critical listening and public performance. Highlights include an introduction to recorders, singing, movement, basic music literacy, genres/styles of music, developing recorder skills, tempo and dynamics while playing instruments, audience manners, music literacy and composer studies. 
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  • Orchestral Strings

    Grade 3
    Big Ideas: The strings program offers students the opportunity to explore the art of string playing by learning note-reading skills, string techniques and level-appropriate repertoire. The class orchestra performs formal and informal concerts throughout the year. Highlights include instrument set-up, string techniques, repertoire study, orchestral set-up, rhythm integration with note reading and repertoire study, and practice skills in combination with visualization for successful performing. 
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  • Physical Education

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas:
    Provide students with a variety of foundational movement activities that develop their ABCs (agility, balance, coordination)--the building blocks of movement. Through fun and imaginative play, children develop confidence, social and emotional skills, gross motor skills, and an understanding that an active lifestyle is important. Highlights include music and movement, ball skills, swimming, soccer, gymnastics, yoga, skipping, run jump throw, and cooperative games. *Daily PE classes 

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas: 
    Develop children's fundamental movement skills (running, jumping, throwing) and promote the joy and benefits of daily physical activity through inclusive, fun, collaborative sports and activities, many of which are outdoors. Highlights include ball skills, cooperative games, swimming, gymnastics, dance, soccer, run jump throw, skipping and tennis. *Daily PE classes 

    Grade 2 
    Big Ideas: Students continue to develop locomotor, nonlocomotor and manipulative movement skills. Participating in inclusive, fun activities, children follow safe procedures, demonstrate teamwork and leadership, enjoy opportunities to be innovative and strategic, and understand the benefits of daily physical activity. Highlights include cooperative games, cross country, dance, gymnastics, soccer, ball skills, swimming, run jump throw, tennis and striking/fielding games. *Daily PE classes 

    Grade 3
    Big Ideas: By participating in fun, inclusive, multisport activities, student develop and refine locomotor, nonlocomotor, manipulative and sport-specific movement skills, and enjoy the benefits of daily physical activity, including improved aerobic and strength fitness, coordination, cognition and mood. Highlights include soccer, volleyball, cross country, dance, gymnastics, basketball, run jump throw, tennis, swimming, and track and field. *Daily PE classes
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  • Science

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas: 
    The kindergarten curriculum is based on three concepts: life science, physical science, and earth and space science, all integrated with thematic studies. The emphasis is process skills development: observing, measuring, communicating (oral and written), inferring, interpreting, investigating, identifying, classifying and predicting. Through active participation in fascinating experiments and investigations, children discover how our living world operates. Highlights include senses, seasonal characteristics, rainforest animals and plants, healthy living, ocean, recycling and insects.

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas:
    The grade 1 science program endeavours to nurture each child's curiosity, promote environmental stewardship, and develop students' understanding and respect for science and its relationships to technology, society and the natural environment. Highlights include Earth Watch (weather, let's move, forces, motion) and It’s Alive (needs of living things).

    Grade 2
    Big Ideas: In the grade 2 science program, children learn and apply core scientific skills, including inquiry, problem solving and informed decision making. The significance of science in students' lives becomes increasingly apparent as they gain a greater understanding of the relationships between science, society, technology and the environment. Highlights include solids, liquids and gases; air, water and soil; weekly science labs; and an animal research project.

    Grade 3
    Big Ideas: The grade 3 science program focuses on life, Earth and physical sciences. Students study plant growth and changes, materials and structures, stars and planets, and the relationships between living organisms. They develop the skills to communicate scientifically as well as an attitude of inquiry to explore the relevance of science in their world. Highlights include plant growth and characteristics; environment materials and structures; and astronomy.
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  • Social Studies

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas:
    Students learn about themselves, their roles and their responsibilities as members of the classroom and school community, and identify and demonstrate responsible environmental behaviours. Children participate in groups, gather information from different sources, and present knowledge in varied and meaningful ways. Highlights include school responsibilities, family, community helpers, cultural celebrations, environmental care and community service.  

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas: 
    Using social responsibility, guided enquiry and active empathy as touchstones, students develop an interest and understanding of history, geography and world issues. Highlights include roles, rights and responsibilities; an introduction to mapping skills; and symbols of Canada. 

    Grade 2 
    Big Ideas: In understanding their rights and roles as responsible citizens, students become thoughtful, action-oriented citizens who consider different perspectives and cultures and acquire information through various sources. Highlights include heroes; roles, rights and responsibilities; family and school communities; Canada; mapping; urban and rural communities; environment; producers and consumers; and goods and services. 

    Grade 3
    Through hands-on, interactive activities, students reflect on their own cultures and country relative to others. Building on their mapping skills, students explore continents and oceans, Canadian provinces and territories, and First Nations, Metis and Inuit cultures. In travelling back in time to pioneer days, students become experts on their own province of British Columbia.
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  • Spanish

    Kindergarten
    Big Ideas:
    The purpose of the kindergarten program is to introduce vocabulary, phrases and simple questioning through meaningful contexts, including games, songs, dialogues and stories. Students learn vocabulary with games and role playing, and become familiar with sounds and accents through guessing games and listening activities. In learning about Spanish cultures, students develop an enthusiasm for foreign languages and cultures. Highlights include greetings, alphabet, colours, days, numbers, animals, holidays, likes and dislikes, clothes, body, sports, seasons and nature. 

    Grade 1
    Big Ideas:
    Through fun, engaging contexts (games, songs, dialogues, stories), students learn simple vocabulary and phrases, and explore the cultures and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world. Highlights include greetings, classroom, alphabet, colours, numbers, animals, holidays, birthdays, seasons, family, food, likes and dislikes, Latin American foods, days of the week, clothes, body, sports and nature. 

    Grade 2 
    Big Ideas:
     Through games, songs and listening activities, students become familiar with basic vocabulary, sounds and accents. In celebrating the holidays and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries, students develop an appreciation for Spanish culture. Highlights include greetings, alphabet, colours, animals, birthdays, numbers, family, food likes and dislikes, days of the week, clothes, body, seasons and nature. 

    Grade 3 
    Big Ideas: Through hands-on, active activities, such as role plays, games and songs, students are encouraged to experiment freely with sounds and rhythms to develop ownership and confidence in Spanish, and enjoy celebrating the holidays and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries. Highlights include alphabet, school, calendar, birthdays, family, and describing oneself, people and pets.
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Kindergarten-Grade 3 Overview

The primary program is the foundation for learning at WPGA. Literacy and numeracy are key priorities, with teachers using interactive digital applications and active, kinesthetic tools to support inquiry and comprehension across all subjects.

  • School hours: 8:20am-3pm (kindergarten); 8:20am-3:30pm (grades 1-3)
  • 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 in encouraged, with parent-teacher conferences, student sharing sessions, parent education workshops, grade socials and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.