At CMS we pride ourselves on providing students with a well rounded education. The weekly schedule includes gym, coding, art and French lessons offered by specialist teachers. These lessons begin in the casa program and go through to the upper elementary ensuring that each child has an opportunity to thrive in a creative environment.
Music lessons are then showcased at twice yearly concerts where the art of performance enables students to have the experience of being front and centre stage. Learning an instrument and being part of the band program also gives students the joy of appreciating music and being able to perform as group.
During this Pandemic students music skills have expanded to digital song writing where the emphasis has been on learning how music is created. Students have been guided at throughout elementary school to look at the technicality of music making, appreciating sound, rhythm, tone and pitch creating musical pieces that are able to highlight harmony, crescendo and a denouement.
” Music lessons for me are an opportunity to sing, be happy and learn with my friends in a creative way. I like how we create sounds. Sometimes they are funny sounds, and sometimes they are amazing.” Grade 5 student
Art classes are all about messy and creative fun. The principles of drawing, painting and creating sculpture begin in the Casa programme and continue developing throughout the elementary school. Stduents learn about a variety of artistis throughout periods of time and then focus on the principles of creating art pieces that reflect their understanding of line, colour and shape.
The once weekly lessons enable each child to build on their understanding of how different forms of art have been created. Virtual trips to world famous museums has given our students the ability to look at art first hand and engage with the concepts of the meaning of art from impressionistic art to surrealism and cubism. During the pandemic art lessons became more focused on the ability to create art using whatever was available at home still following the rudiments of the lesson.
“I love art as I can mix colours to show my feelings” Casa student – age 5
“ Art classes help me to be lost in an imaginary world, full of colours paint and lots of giggles.” – Grade 2 student
“ I have always loved working with colours, but this year we had to think about how these colours actually can create expressions of ourselves. Some it didn’t turn out so well, but it was still a cool process.” Grade 6 student
Gym and Nutrition Lessons focus on movement as the primary goal. Second to that is the ability to work in a team and be able to encourage each other and have fun while learning a variety of new skills. Both in person and online classes saw students learning the importance of physical activity for students bodies and minds. Students are taught in purpose built gyms and as much as possible outdoors.
As well as class time learning the skills played for different sports such as: basketball, soccer, hockey, and badminton they also have been introduced to yoga and mindfulness breathing as part of the students wellness program. Students as young as 2 years old also focus on other skills such as tossing/catching, throwing/kicking to targets, and even trying out tennis! Movement remains a big focus for our program and students enjoyed working on their balance and flexibility through dance and yoga.
Nutrition classes are an opportunity to understand the importance of food and its impact on our health. Students were introduced to Canada’s Food Guide and its recommendations on mindful eating, enjoying food and eating meals with others. Nutrition classes also have students discussing food origins and agriculture and the way food ends up in our fridges and our homes. The importance of nutrients and their role in helping the body to work properly is emphasized through a series of activities and projects that help the concepts continue to develop as the students move through the elementary school. Students are also encouraged to think of how different factors influence their decisions on healthy eating. During online learning a great many lessons took place in our kitchens and pantries discovering the contents of our nutritious diets.
French lessons are also provided from Casa through to upper elementary. Students follow the second language learning of French where they learn through the signing of songs and reading simple to quite complex tests. Students are taught are all the rudimentary grammar concepts and engage students in the development of all 4 key skills as they learn French. The teachers design the lessons to engage the students into listening and speaking the language of French as much as possible.
In coding and computers class students begin with simple typing techniques before quickly moving to learning the Microsoft Office programs. Elementary students then progress to learning coding and the ability to write code to present any number of games or animations. Student are also taught internet safety and have lessons about cyber bullying and the safety of their activities online.
All specialist lessons encourage our CMS students the ability to develop a broader understanding of a variety of topics as well as to expand their horizons.