Grade 5

In our Grade 5 & 6 program, students are immersed in the critical final years of their elementary education. They benefit from having specialist teachers in all subject areas, including the arts, physical education and science. A key element of the Grade 5 & 6 learning experience is the development of caring and respectful relationships amongst students and between students and faculty. This creates a warm and supportive classroom culture in which students can take risks confidently and explore widely during their learning day. A structured approach is provided in teaching students organizational and time management skills, and their learning is scaffolded when teaching literacy, numeracy and study skills. There is frequent cross-curricular integration in Grades 5 & 6 and technology is integrated throughout the curriculum as well through the use of laptops and iPads.

The English program develops students’ skills in reading, writing and speaking. Through literature circles and group discussions, students develop critical thinking skills and fluency in reading. Novel studies may include The Breadwinner, Underground to Canada, The Keeper of the Isis Light and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. By making oral presentations in many subject areas, students develop both confidence and a sense of audience. Students exercise their creativity and skill by writing narratives, reports and poems. In their journals, students reflect on their learning and forge connections between their school work and personal experience. Grammar, inferential skills and spelling are important elements of the program. Students particularly enjoy gathering all of their storytelling skills together in the creation of their own storybook.

At the Grade 5-6 level the French program uses the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM) to teach the language with gestures, literature, music and dance. In Grade 5, AIM teaches students the 700 most frequently used words in the French language. Students learn how to speak and communicate first, and then they learn to read and write. This imitates the natural way language is learned. AIM helps students internalize vocabulary; they respond to French words kinesthetically, visually and orally. Structured oral responses in large group choral work develop fluency. Specifically designed stories serve as theatre pieces that become the focus for a range of integrated language activities.

The math program is designed to ensure the mastery of numeration skills. Students have the opportunity to work both independently and in groups to solve problems. Students use math manipulatives to help them visualize mathematical ideas. At every level, students have fun building their skills, whether they are playing “Smartie Math” or using food as a math manipulative. Math enrichment allows students to practice critical thinking and logical reasoning. Cross-curricular connections enable students to use their math skills in science and other subject areas.

Students are introduced to the orchestral string instruments; violin, viola and cello. Through class lessons and individual practice, they develop correct playing techniques, sound production and ensemble awareness. The fundamentals of music theory and ear training are also integral components of this course. Students attend live performances and enjoy performance opportunities of their own.

The physical education program provides the students a unique opportunity to become fit, independent learners and to develop interpersonal skills by interacting positively with others. Encouraging participation in and the enjoyment of daily physical activity are the key characteristics of physical education lessons. Students participate in a wide variety of sports, including soccer, touch rugby, basketball, volleyball, skating and softball.

The science program is based in the inquiry process and leads students through life science, matter and energy, engineering, and earth and space systems. Students are encouraged to build and create in this discipline, while performing experiments using fair tests and strong observation skills. Units include properties of and changes in matter, human organ systems, forces acting on structures and mechanisms, and conservation of energy and resources. Highlights of this program include building windmills, making jujube molecules and writing comic books presenting the adventures of human body organs.

The social studies program creates links between individual students and the world around them. Students are taught to think critically about current events, historical influences and modern society in order to understand the world in which they live. Students learn about ancient civilizations, global geography and the political structure of Canada. They have the opportunity to apply their learning by staging a convention of delegates from ancient civilizations and by organizing authentic elections through “Student Vote.” Students are encouraged to make connections between the social studies curriculum and other subjects, including math, art and English.

All areas of the Grade 5 program are supported with state-of-the-art technology. Students have access to a class set of iPads and this technology is used to enhance their learning experience. From creating Keynote presentations to filming their own infomercials, the students have an opportunity to make the most of their learning experience.

The art room is a hive of activity. Here students build confidence, knowledge and skill in three areas of creative study: art production, art appreciation and art history. As students draw, paint and build, they learn to problem-solve creatively. Art history focuses on the art and culture of the ancient Greeks. Art appreciation encourages students to recognize and value art wherever they find it. Studio work is often integrated with other subject areas; for example, Grade 5 students enjoy creating a museum exhibit based on their literature circles.