Project Based Learning
In K-8 we use Project Based Learning and inquiry methods to teach knowledge and skills. Students are engaged in real life problem solving using important 21st century skills of collaboration, communication and creativity. The students work with experts in the field of study and present their projects and designs to authentic audiences.
As Grade 3/4 students studied engineering, they tackled the problem of designing learning areas in our school that would meet our mission and vision. They consulted with educators, builders, engineers and architects throughout the process. They presented their revised designs to the school board.
Grade 7 and 8 students studying the reformation invited local pastors in to discuss the doctrine of various denominations. Students then wrote their own creeds of faith and presented them to ministers from the local ministerial association.
Our Bible program covers the central themes presented in Scripture following the curriculum developed by C. S. I., entitled The Story of God and His People. God’s faithfulness and love, His care, grace, and mercy extended toward sinful people, and His continued call to come to salvation through Christ, provide the framework for our Bible classes. Students are challenged to see our sinfulness and God’s forgiveness so that they may come to know and accept God’s gift of salvation and meaningfully apply the story to their own lives as passionate disciples. Then, as each opens his or her life to Christ, students are challenged to enroll in God’s story as if it were their own, and accept their role in His service and the stewardship of His world. The New International Version of the Bible is the standard translation used.
Since Canada is a bilingual country, French is taught as a second language in grades 1 to 8. Through the study of French, the students are challenged to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the language itself, its structure and its role. The study of French helps our students grow in the awareness that each language follows a set of laws and that it is indeed a wonderfully created, orderly structure. French is taught through themes that capture the interest of the students. For example, in the junior unit, Au Cafe, the students will learn the language associated with food, restaurants, menus, and ads. The students create and operate and authentic cafe.
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” Abraham Kuypers
Creation Studies points to a world of orderliness and regularity, created and maintained through the powerful word of God. Students will be drawn to awareness and a sense of peace in recognizing that nothing happens by chance. Through God’s design for the world, his natural laws are continually revealed. Every part of creation obeys his laws faithfully and completely.
Students will recognize that not only did God speak creation into being; he also imposed his covenant on it. In doing so, God planned to have an ongoing relationship with his children. Creation is in essence a medium for this friendship. A goal of Christian education and in essence the Creation Studies program is … to restore to the realities of creation their God-intended meaning and thus to use them as a means for bringing students into touch with the living God (Greene, Albert). This image of God daily desiring to commune with his children is what students will be led to understand as they unwrap and discover the awe of creation.
Creation Studies includes the following strands:
God is the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe in which we live. All of creation witnesses to the mighty acts of the Creator and to his care. Through a well developed science program the students will grow in their relationship to God, increase their understanding of the world they live in, and prepare them to serve stewardly and effectively in an increasingly scientific and technological world. Scientific inquiry into the natural and physical universe expands our knowledge of creation and is a significant tool to equip us to wisely care for the earth and its life. Science differs from other conventional subjects in that it is, by definition, an inquiry. Although students can absorb scientific facts, a sense of awe and wonder at God’s majesty, revealed in His creation, is nurtured within them. A curious mind, thinking skills such as analysis and abstraction, as well as laboratory skills are cultivated in the teaching of science.
Social Studies focus on humans in relationship to God, self, to others and to the rest of creation. This is accomplished by studying these interactions. Students in the primary division experience their immediate environment and begin to explore our heritage. In the junior division, the students study the historical and geographical aspects of their own country, Canada. In addition, the study of other cultures and civilizations provides a contrast to their own experience. In the intermediate division, students begin to think analytically, and are presented with the further division of the social studies content into the disciplines of geography and history.
In our geographical studies, students are encouraged to respond with awe and wonder at the vast variety of land forms, flora, fauna, and human cultures found in the world today. They are led to consider the appropriate and stewardly use of the natural resources provided for our use in the creation, as well as to begin to understand the need for environmental justice, so our natural world can be protected from misuse and irreparable damage.
Geography units for students in grades seven and eight are structured on the basis of biomes which are areas around the world where people and their interactions with the natural environment are somewhat similar. The units studied over a two year cycle include People in the Rainforest Biome, People in a Changing Biome, People in the Grasslands Biome, People in the Coniferous Biome, Living in the Tundra, This is My Father’s World, and Living in the Deciduous Biome, all published by O. A. C. S. Climate, topography, soils, drainage, flora and fauna, industry, urbanization, and the human culture of the people in the biome are all topics examined for each biome.
History is “His Story”, the story of God and His world. It is also a human story of how people have responded to God throughout time. It is the story of how humans have been busy in creation since the beginning of time, either responding in obedience to God’s command and living in fellowship with Him and each other or going their own way, building empires and civilizations that did not acknowledge Him as their Lord and were contrary to His laws. Despite these sinful motivations, God has used many different people over the world to unfold His plans. A knowledge of history, the past story, should be remembered for it often influences and determines the present and the future.
History is taught to students in grades seven and eight on a two year cycle. Key resources for Canadian History include a number of units published by O. A. C. S. – The Story Begins – Canada up to 1763, The Story Unfolds – Canada 1763-1815, The Story Intensifies – Canada 1815-1838, The Story Crests – Canada 1839-1867 and The Story Continues – Canada 1868-1896.The Renaissance: Redefining Christendom, and The Reformation: Redefining Christendom, The Roman Empire: The Rise of Christendom, The Middle Ages: The Establishment of Christendom published by O. A. C. S. are the main sources for our Old World history.
The world and all that surrounds it belongs to God who created and upholds it. Through scientific inquiry we can learn much about God’s creation in the realms of physical things, plants, animals, and people. We see the complexity and orderliness of God’s world and stand amazed at the goodness and power of our Creator.
Hands on learning experiences are used whenever possible. Observing, classifying, measuring, experimenting, building, writing, reporting, and discussing lead the students to see the majesty of God’s creation and to praise Him for this beautiful gift.
Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are the basic components of our language arts program. It is through the development of all of these areas, that a student grows in his/her ability to praise God, think, exchange ideas and feelings, read and create stories, and enjoy the sounds of words. The gift of language enriches every aspect of people’s lives as they commune with God and others.
Our teaching of language is interactive with all areas of language skills being included. This approach recognizes that the various areas are interdependent and they need to be taught that way in class. Students are taught phonics, word attack, grammar, vocabulary and spelling as part of language studies. Comprehension sills are developed, using short stories, novels, media studies, writing, drama, and poetry. Some of the novels that are important components of our program are The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, From Anna, Underground to Canada, I Am David, and The Bronze Bow. Independent reading for pleasure and for information is also an integral part of our program. The school’s library is a place where the love of reading is stimulated and encouraged. A wide variety of reading material, both Christian and secular and at various levels is available to our students for their reading enjoyment and pleasure, as well as reference.
Mathematics can and should be used to serve God and others. Students are taught to use numbers in a way that is both honest and responsible in whatever walk of life or situation they may find themselves. They are encouraged to use their mathematical knowledge and skills to help them find solutions to problems in their daily lives and to make appropriate decisions based on those solutions.
In recognition of the Ontario Ministry of Education guidelines, the mathematics curriculum at BCS is organized according to the following six strands:
- problem solving and inquiry
- number sense and numeration
- geometry and spatial sense
- patterning and algebra
- data management and probability
Mathematics: Scope and Sequence and Recognizing Number and Space: A Celebration of Mathematics for each grade level published by O. A. C. S. are resources for our staff as well.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1
God calls His people to know, enjoy, and evaluate the visual aesthetic in His creation and the visual expressions of others. “If from this world around us we can learn anything about God’s character, surely it is that we have a creative God, a God of diversity, a God whose interest in beauty and detail must be unquestioned when one looks at the world which He has made around us, and people themselves as the result of His craftsmanship.” 1
Every child lives in a world full of beauty–of patterns, shapes, and wonderful creations. One of the challenges of an art teacher is to lead children to discover art, to sharpen their senses, and to strengthen their abilities to make judgments and decisions. God designed us to be creative, and the teacher who can inspire students to enjoy, evaluate, and create works of art is one who professes that the earth and everything in it is the Lord’s.
Art is essential in school curriculum. When taught by a Christian teacher, art education is oriented toward the child but centered in Christ. When teachers and students enjoy the world of art, they celebrate the fullness of the creation with gratitude to their Creator. (OACS)
1 Frank Schaeffer, Addicted to Mediocrity (Ulestchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981), p.17.
Music can help to deepen a person’s love of God and response to Him. Music also helps us to discover the aesthetic needs and potential that lies within each of us. We strive to encourage our students to discover and develop their God-given musical talents and abilities and to gain a basic understanding and appreciation for this gift. Music is not an area that can be contained – it reaches across the curriculum and is used in many subject areas. Rhythm, melody, harmony, form, expressive qualities and application are areas that are covered in our program. The program incorporates singing, a variety of instruments, music theory and history, as well as activities in rhythm, listening, composing, movement, and performance.
Physical Education and Health
The physical education program at BCS recognizes that our bodies belong to God and that each person is made in the image of God and is a unique creation. Physical education challenges the students to grow in their understanding of the importance of their bodies, and to develop their gross motor skills. Through both individual and group physical activities, students are encouraged to develop their creativity, and strive for physical fitness in an atmosphere of co-operation and sportsmanship. Physical skills and abilities are developed so they can be incorporated into the student’s lifestyle both at home and at school.
Our health program aims at equipping the students to serve God in the world by developing habits for healthy living. Students will be challenged to be caretakers of their own bodies by making good choices about fitness, personal health, nutrition and safety, to understand how they are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, to prevent the spread of disease, to understand and appreciate God’s plan for marriage and families, and to develop Christian attitudes toward others.
- Students’ Council
- Computer Studies
- A Resource Program is available to students with special needs
- Co-curricular activities
Expected Student Outcomes: We strive to have our students develop skills, talents and abilities academically, spiritually, socially, physically so they can become not just contributing members of society, but also agents of support and change in the community.
Annual Student Evaluations: Our school year is divided into 3 terms. First term concludes with Student Led Conferences. Students take responsibility for their learning as they lead their parents through a conference that displays learning and goal setting. Individual student report cards are prepared at the end of the second and third term and distributed to parents via the students. Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled during the second term, but teachers are available for conferences whenever there is a need.
Note: C. S. I, represents Christian Schools International, O. A. C. S. represents Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools