Grade 7

In the Grade 7 & 8 program, we build upon the solid foundation developed in our Grade 5 & 6 classes, with an intentional shift of responsibility from the teacher to the student. As our students enter adolescence, faculty members work closely with them to develop skills which will be crucial for success in high school including: organizational and study skills, academic goal setting, guided and independent problem solving and the ability to make ethical decisions. Our teachers exude enthusiasm and competence that inspire students to excel. Curricular and co-curricular programs encourage students to shift the focus from themselves to the world around them as globally-minded learners who are adept with technology and are flexible, creative and articulate citizens.

This course focuses on writing, speaking and reading skills. Students respond to different forms of literature by writing compositions, poetry, short stories, plays and persuasive paragraphs. They develop their speaking and listening skills through involvement in research, speeches and debates. Vocabulary, spelling and grammar are reinforced through formal instruction and regular testing. Throughout the course, students strengthen their understanding of formal, structured writing. The end goal is a firm grasp of the basic essay format and the development of an editing routine. The second term is devoted largely to a Shakespeare immersion unit that introduces students to the world and the writing of the Bard, preparing them for full play readings in future years. The third term features an independent novel study that prompts students to pursue their comprehension of theme and how it is developed through setting, plot and character.

Although assuming that students entering Grade 7 have already had three or more years of French, this course also accommodates students with no previous instruction in the language. It presents a pragmatic and varied approach to the teaching and learning of French as a second language, using the AIM program. Instruction involves systematic development of communication skills, with special emphasis on listening comprehension and oral skills, with the help of drama, music, theatre and stories. A specifically designed play becomes the focus for a range of integrated language activities and is designed to accommodate various learning and teaching styles. Listening skills are enhanced further through the use of diverse forms of technology such as websites and DVDs.

Topics covered in Grade 7 mathematics include number theory and geometry (in two and three dimensions), perimeter and area, fractions, ratio and rate, percent, statistics, integers and algebra. The Grade 7 mathematics course consolidates students’ computational and problem-solving skills and introduces them to new aspects of the subject. The course emphasizes mental math, and students develop their process skills where multistep problems are addressed in most lessons. Students learn to apply their knowledge, reason logically and work collaboratively in math class. With small class sizes, the needs of all students are met whether they are in need of remedial work or enrichment. Regular use of Smartboard technology and laptops is a key component of the program in Grades 7 and 8.

Students are introduced to woodwind, brass and percussion instruments in this course. Correct posture, breathing, tone production and articulation are stressed. Playing technique is developed through class instruction and individual practice, employing method books and appropriate repertoire. Students are expected to maintain a regular practice routine. Music theory, history and ear training are also integral components of this course, using both classroom and online resources. Students will attend live concerts, and present performances of their own.

Grade 7 physical education emphasizes active participation in a wide variety of physical activities, so that students can better understand the importance of physical fitness and health. The aim is to develop a personal commitment to physical activity and also to develop basic locomotion, manipulation and stability skills for a variety of sports. These include tennis, basketball, soccer, swimming, skating and cooperative and field games. Students are also provided with opportunities to develop leadership skills in class, by leading warm-ups and games periodically throughout the year. The healthy living component of the course focuses on equipping students with the knowledge and skills to make positive and informed decisions about nutrition, substance use and sexuality.

This multidisciplinary course – a mosaic of ecology, chemistry, physics and engineering – emphasizes practical scientific inquiry, requiring both individual and group experiences. The curriculum encompasses the scientific method (which is integrated throughout the course); environmental issues and interactions within ecosystems; pure substances and mixtures; heat and the environment, structural form and function. This last unit introduces a design-based activity in which students amalgamate their science knowledge, creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities to build and test the strength of a piece of furniture.

Grade 7 social studies includes both Canadian history and geography. The history component covers the period from the early European explorers to the 1837 Rebellions, while geography concentrates on physical features. In this course, students have the opportunity to demonstrate multiple intelligences through many different types of oral and written reports, debating, mapping and graphing. A particular strength of this course is an emphasis on role-playing activities and the opportunities for cross-curricular integration with other subjects such as art, physical education and English. Critical thinking, note-taking and questioning are also important strategies in Grade 7.

In Grade 7 students continue to build their skill, knowledge and confidence in visual art. In art studio, students increase their creative problem solving skills through drawing, making prints, creating collages and painting. Students learn to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of art by looking carefully and thoughtfully at exemplary works. In art history, students explore culture-shaping movements like the Neolithic Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Information Age. Cross-curricular integration is achieved when students research and create Elizabethan puppets in conjunction with their study of Shakespeare in English.