Grade 6

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.

Through reading, writing, speaking and listening, Grade 6 English students learn to become aware of the many purposes for which language is used and the forms it takes. Lessons are comprised of thematic units, novel studies, creative writing tasks and a grammar program. Class and small group discussions allow students to express their feelings, opinions and ideas. Program highlights include creating myths and fables and picture books for publication, and the “Into the Wild” thematic activity about people’s relationship with nature. Novels read are A Wrinkle in Time, Call of the Wild and The Root Cellar.

At the Grade 5-6 level the French program utilizes the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM) to teach the language with gestures, literature, music and dance. AIM teaches students the 700 most frequently used words in the French language. Students learn how to speak and communicate first, followed by reading and writing. This imitates the natural way language is learned. AIM internalizes vocabulary and helps the students to experience and respond to it kinesthetically, visually and orally. Structured responses in large group choral work develops fluency and students also interact in partner and small group activities. Specifically designed stories serve as theatre pieces that become the focus for a range of integrated and scaffolded language activities.

The Grade 6 mathematics program focuses on developing the students’ understanding of mathematical concepts, operations and application. Throughout each unit, students are introduced to mathematical language and operations via teacher instruction accompanied by problem-based learning tasks. Through practical and relevant activities, students use technology to develop mathematical understanding and problem-solving skills that they can apply in their daily lives. Students are required to work individually, in partners and in small study groups to complete hands-on mathematical problems.

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. Music theory, history and ear training are also integral components of this course. Students will attend live concerts, and present performances of their own.

The Grade 6 program focuses on the development of both athletic and social skills. Participants are encouraged to take leadership roles, to respond to others with patience and respect, to follow the rules of fair play and to learn to identify and participate in peer teaching opportunities. Drills and modified games are used for skill development in the following activities: soccer, swimming, lacrosse, volleyball, low ropes initiatives, rugby, pickle ball, netball and basketball. Health topics include: personal safety, healthy eating, self esteem and body image, substance abuse and healthy growth and development.

The Grade 6 science program incorporates a hands-on and theoretical approach to science and technology. Students delve into the highly engaging units of “Properties of Air and Flight,” “Astronomy,” “Electricity” and “Biodiversity.” The curriculum builds skills and knowledge for critical thinking and problem-solving in a changing world. Design challenges and research projects, both individually and in small groups, foster creativity and collaboration.

This course begins with the study of Aboriginal Canadians and important explorers. Students then work to identify our relationships and connections to the world through culture, trade and international organizations. They investigate Canada’s participation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief programs. Emphasis is placed on research and oral and written communication skills, and Grade 6 students enjoy creating Haida totem masks and “Famous Explorers” trading cards, and travelling to Ste. Marie among the Hurons for an overnight trip.

All areas of the Grade 6 program are supported with state-of-the-art technology. Students have access to wireless laptops throughout the Junior School and this technology is used to enhance their learning experience. From building their own webpages to being exposed to basic programming with robotics, the students have an opportunity to make the most of their learning experience.