5.08    The School’s Program

Date of Review:  April 2017

Expiry Date:  April 2020

Accountability: COO / EC

Reference: OACS Dimensions of Learning, http://www.oacs.org/2015/dimensions-of-learning-in-oacs-schools/ 

The primary goal of our academic program is to help each student grow into an independent person who serves God according to His Word and is able and willing to employ every talent to the honour of God for the well being of all fellow creatures in every area of life.  All activities within the scope of education at ICS grow out of this starting point

We strive to meet or exceed all the educational goals of the Ontario Ministry of Education integrating Bible education both as a separate subject and throughout the entire curriculum. It is the aim of Immanuel Christian School to be CHRIST centered, TEACHER directed, and CHILD oriented.

5.08.01        Devotions

Each day starts with classroom devotions. Songs of praise, the reading of God’s Word, the sharing together of prayers and prayer requests helps to set the tone for the rest of the day. Students and teachers together acknowledge that God is an ever-present part of their everyday lives.

5.08.02        Bible

The Bible is the book of God’s good news to humankind. It is the story of our salvation. It provides sure guidance and comfort for living our daily lives while helping us prepare for our eternal life. Students spend time each day learning more about the Bible as part of their academic study.

5.08.03        Memory Work

Each week memory work is assigned. As much as possible, memory work will correspond with Bible lessons and be either an appropriate Scripture passage or a song. Scripture is the preferred memory work, however at times students may be asked to learn songs based on the annual theme or an upcoming public performance.

5.08.04        Mathematics

Through the study of mathematics, it is expected that students will:

1.   Recognize that God is faithful and reliable in upholding the world through orderly mathematical patterns, laws and structures that He embedded in creation.

2.  Gain understanding of the concepts of number and space and their interrelationships.

3.  Deepen awareness of mathematics as a functional tool in solving everyday problems in diverse settings. Students are taught to use numbers in ways that are honest and responsible regardless of the situation in which they may find themselves

4.  Experience mathematics as a developing science. Mathematics is not a fixed body of knowledge but grows as cultures develop - and is fallible.

Extending from the Ontario curriculum, mathematics at Immanuel Christian School is organized into six strands, and teachers will, whenever possible, integrate concepts from across the strands and apply the mathematics to real-life situations:

Workbooks, textbooks and manipulatives are used to help students learn and consolidate their mathematical skills and abilities, with a current emphasis on the Singapore Math program. Mathletics, or another application, is used to provide individualized practice and tracking of student achievement, as well as to foster increased mental math computation.

5.08.05        Language Arts

 

Language Arts is the study of communication and language. It is language that enables us to listen to each other, to think clearly, to express our thoughts and feelings, to pray, to understand God's Word, and to respond to literature. Even though all people do not seek to serve God in their use of language, God’s work in creation is so pervasive that all people can produce works that may be useful and beneficial for both teaching and learning.

At ICS the teaching of language seeks to develop skills in oral communication, reading and writing. Currently using a Daily 5 methodology, we follow a balanced reading program including group novel studies, media, poetry, drama, public speaking, grammar, spelling and creative writing. For grades 1 through 8, we use Accelerated Reading as a means of fostering independent growth in reading. Students are exposed to a rich variety of texts and media. They understand formal and informal communications in a variety of media.  Students explore both fiction and nonfiction writing in a variety of settings.  Students are taught to discern the language they take in and use. We teach our students to recognize different worldviews in the texts they encounter, and to analyze, question, and discern these ideas.  

Public speaking is another important component of our language arts program. In January and February of each year, students in grades one to three prepare stories for presentation to their classmates. Grade four students recite a poem, while grade five through seven students write and present a speech on a topic of their choice. Grade eight students have the option of preparing and presenting a poem, a story, or a speech.

Handwriting includes both printing and cursive script. Our overall goals are by the end of grade 8, all students have neat, legible printed script, and are familiar with reading and writing cursive script.

Use of information technology and keyboarding is taught to all students in grades one through eight. The program is aimed at use of common information technology, typing, discerning research skills, information sharing, collaborative work, and online safety.

Students participate in a weekly library period. Our library is organized and supervised by our librarian, assisted by volunteers who supervise student book exchanges, as well as provide general care for the books. Our books are divided into recommended reading levels, which are indicated on the spine of the fiction books. The aim of our Library is to provide good material for reference and enjoyable reading. We seek to uphold our Christian values in the stories presented and to encourage children in their growth as Christians. At times we may include books that challenge our senior students with various points of view or different outlooks on life. For more details, see policy 5.04.

5.08.06        French

As citizens of a bilingual country we ought to have grounding in and an appreciation of French, one of our national languages. French is introduced in grade one and is taught through grade eight. Through the study of French the students are challenged to gain a better appreciation and understanding of language itself, its structure and its role. The study of French is one more way that our students are challenged to grow and develop their God-given gifts so that they can model God’s love in a broken world: “L’instruction pour le service chrétien

5.08.07        Creation Studies

God has placed us in a wonderfully complex and exciting world. If we are to be effective citizens, and if we are to fulfill Jesus' mandate to "Go into all the world and make disciples", we need to understand our world, its people, its places, its environments, its past and its problems.

In our primary grades, social studies and science are combined into Creation Studies. A variety of units lead the students through a study of animals, plants, community, other cultures, water, land, air, etc.

During the junior grades, our program divides into Social Studies and Science. In Social Studies each year, the students study one Canadian unit, one Peoples of the Past unit, as well as one unit focusing on another culture. In Science, various areas of creation are studied such as Plant and Animal life, Physical Science, Ecology etc.

In the intermediate grades, students begin to take Geography and History. Our Geography units have the students learn about the various biomes that God has created around the world. Canadian History as well as Old World History is covered during these years.

5.08.08        The Arts

Music. We are excited to offer a music program to every student. At ICS, students learn the basics about music and they have the opportunity to try a variety of musical instruments.  We aim to help our students learn to appreciate music as a gift given by God in order that we may praise and glorify Him.

  1. Learning Sequence. From Grade 1 to Grade 6, our music program focuses on beat and rhythm, music notation, composition, music appreciation, music around the world, vocal and instrumental performances.  In Grade 2-4, students have the opportunity to play the recorder and handbells. Students in Grade 5 and 6 learn how to play the ukulele. Grade 7 and 8 students participate in our concert band program with each student learning to play one instrument.
  2. Music Performances. We believe that it is important for students to share their musical gifts with the school community.  Performance opportunities include; Grandparents Day, Christmas Program, Spring Celebration of the Arts, Graduation ceremony, music class talent shows and weekly chapels.  We also try to get out of the school to perform at local nursing homes and seniors residences as well as a year end music festival.
  3. Private Music Lessons. ICS is blessed with experienced musicians interested in providing music lessons during the school day!  These teachers take students from their classrooms to have private lessons right at school for an additional cost (see policy 5.06).  

Art. As God created people with the ability to create, students are taught visual art with the purpose of learning techniques, developing skills, and appreciating arts from past and present. Art is taught using the Creative Process, including imagination, planning, experimentation, preliminary work, refinements, presentation and reflection, all with feedback from peers and teachers.

Dedicated time is provided for visual art each week, and is also often integrated  into  other areas of the curriculum.

5.08.09        Health and Physical Education

God has created our body. We were bought with a price and therefore we should treat our bodies with care and respect. In Health, we focus on the basic issues of healthy living such as nourishment, safety, community living, growing, and grooming. We make extensive use of Christian Schools International's health curriculum entitled Healthy Living. Puberty and the physical changes of adolescence are introduced to the students during the spring of their grade five or six year. Students in grades seven and eight study human reproduction and sexuality in more detail. Permeating these lessons and discussions is the acknowledgement that we are image bearers of God, that the Bible is our guide for moral living, and that we must honour God with our bodies as well as our minds.

 

Physical Education program offers a variety of challenging and stimulating activities that emphasize:

·             Social interaction, cooperation and sportsmanship

·             Fitness and skill development

·             Acquisition of basic fundamentals through concept learning.

Our school also participates in various sports tournaments organized by the District Christian Schools Sports Committee. We field teams in soccer, cross-country, track and field, volleyball, basketball, badminton and hockey.  Throughout the year, students in grade 1 to grade 6 have the opportunity to participate in intramurals.

5.08.10        Integrated Studies and Electives

Once a term, students participate in thematic integrated studies and electives. Integrated studies explore one curricular theme in depth on Friday afternoons, either in a grade-level or multi-age (K to grade 8) grouping, depending on the particular study. Electives are thematic studies of a particular gift or skill found in our community. More details are found in policy 5.05 - Enrichment.

5.08.11         Special Education

When, following consultation, the resource teacher and the classroom teacher believe that a child's educational needs are best met by means of some individualized programming, the child's parents are consulted and permission is requested for the student to receive some resource room assistance. If necessary, a request may be made to have the student complete some evaluative academic testing. Results of these tests are used to help develop appropriate programming for the student. When necessary, referrals may be made to other professionals so the needs of the student will be better met.

Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are prepared for students needing assistance in an academic area. Students with physical needs may also receive assistance and therapy by qualified nurses, occupational and physical therapists and/or speech and language pathologists. Depending on the need, personal support workers may also be assigned to a student. Some services are currently funded through the Community Care Access Center, which receives funds from the Ontario Ministry of Health.