Grades 1-5 Curriculum
Language is key to students’ intellectual, social, and emotional growth and is a crucial tool for learning in all other areas. In elementary grades, our students do more than master the basic skills in reading, writing, oral language, spelling and grammar. Throughout the elementary grades, they develop a love of reading and an appreciation for literature. They learn to express and communicate their feelings and opinions effectively. Most importantly, they learn to plan, organize their ideas, think critically and use critical and analytical skills to interpret the world around them. Our language program allows for individual progress.
Social studies emphasizes the interdependence of humanity and connects our students to our community and the large world. Our students acquire an understanding of important social science concepts, such as change, culture, environment and the marketplace. They also develop important attitudes and values: tolerance and understanding of individual, group, and cultural differences, respect for the environment, concern for social justice, Tikkun Olam (our Jewish ethical responsibility to help repair the world), as well as other rights and ethical responsibilities connected to being Jewish and citizens of a democratic, multicultural society. Through an integrated curriculum, students develop their Jewish and Canadian identity in a holistic manner. Students learn about Canada, its provinces, territories, and government. They also learn about the land of Israel and develop an appreciation for Israel’s unique connection to Jewish life.
The grades one to five mathematics program focuses on problem-solving, understanding of concepts, application of mathematical procedures, and communication of required knowledge. The expectation is that students will be able to use mathematics as a powerful learning tool as part of their critical thinking skills. They will be able to apply their knowledge of mathematics to other subject areas and in everyday life situations. Kehila’s math program is designed to ensure students build a solid foundation in the five areas of the Ontario Ministry of Education Mathematics Sense (including knowledge of numbers, computations, estimating and strategies for problem solving), as well as measurement (including perimeter and area, capacity, volume and mass), Geometry and Spatial Sense (including two and three dimensional geometry, symmetry, spatial relations and coordinate systems used in games, maps, and grids); Patterning (including attributes, models, and charts); and Data Management and Probability (including collecting, organizing and analyzing data, drawing conclusions and reporting. The program includes mastery of basic pencil and paper calculation skills and also includes the effective and appropriate use of calculators and computers.
Starting in grade one, students use a math program considered to be the most up-to-date and comprehensive available for elementary school students. Students are given the opportunity to explore, communicate and reflect on important mathematical ideas and procedures. They are encouraged to use computational skills in ways personally meaningful to them in day-to-day life.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Kehila’s students act as scientists and technology experts as they engage in real problem-solving activities. Through scientific investigation involving exploration, experimentation, observation, measurement, analysis and dissemination of data, students develop the skills as well as the attitudes and values needed to make accurate, informed and responsible decisions. Mathematical and language arts skills are used and reinforced. Charts and graphs are used to measure and analyze. From the earliest grades, our students begin to develop the appropriate scientific and technological terminology required to describe and communicate their experiences. Even at the kindergarten and grade one level, students are asked to apply scientific method and “hypothesize”. For example, what will happen when heat is applied to apples or when baking powder is added to honey cake batter?
Science and technology are combined in an integrated curriculum for grades one to five. The program includes the following areas: life systems (plants, animals, habitats and communities, and the human organ system), matter and materials (properties or liquids and solids, magnetic and charged materials, materials that transmit, reflect or absorb light or sound and properties of and changes in matter), energy and control (wind, moving water, forces and movement, light and sound energy, and conservation of energy), structures and mechanisms (every day structures, movement, stability, pulleys and gears, and forces working on structures), earth and space systems (daily and seasonal cycles, air and water, soils, rocks, minerals, erosion and weather).
Jewish Studies at Kehila are interwoven with secular studies. Our school’s philosophy is rooted in a strong commitment to Jewish values, including pluralism, egalitarianism and social justice and a meaningful and integrated Jewish identity. Students study Hebrew, prayers, Bible, Jewish holidays and traditions. Our curriculum is designed to enable students to connect the history and the ethical heritage of the Jewish people to world history, science, mathematics, literature and the arts.
HEBREW LANGUAGE & JEWISH LIFE
Beginning in kindergarten, our students learn Hebrew as a living language. They experience Hebrew as our heritage language, central to our culture, philosophy, values and ethical standards. Hebrew roots us to our traditions, opens sacred texts to study and connects us with the State of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community. The TaL AM Hebrew language and Jewish heritage curriculum, introduced in grade one, integrates a whole language based skills component (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension) with content knowledge related to Shabbat, holidays, prayers, everyday ethical values and practices. Our students listen to Hebrew, speak Hebrew, and see written Hebrew words and phrases informally and naturally throughout the school day.
Each day begins with an opening and welcoming prayer service. In an informal atmosphere, students gradually become proficient with the prayer service and develop an appreciation of the spiritual dimensions of life. Music, song, movement activities and an exciting visual environment enrich the learning of Hebrew and contribute to making prayers a meaningful communal activity.
TORAH (BIBLE) STUDIES
Students begin Bible study in kindergarten through the study of the Torah portion of the week (Parashat haShavuah). More formal Torah study in Hebrew begins in grade two. The development of critical and analytical skills is emphasized in the interpretation of Jewish texts. Whenever possible the lessons, values, and ethics embedded in the text are related to other areas of the curriculum and the day-to-day lives of the students.
CLASSROOM – Objectives:
- Learn concepts of musical pitch, notation, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, rhythmic dictation.
- Create and perform their own musical compositions.
- Identify and perform the music of notable composers.
- Identify and perform music from various cultures.
CHOIR – Objectives:
- Exploration of vocal ranges, tonal colour and breath control.
- The singing of sacred and secular songs.
- Singing in two-part ensemble.
- Singing of Hebrew, French and English repertoire performance of repertoire for school functions.
INSTRUMENTAL PROGRAM – Objectives:
- Fundamentals of recorder playing – finger positions, breath control.
- The playing of simple tunes as part of an ensemble.
- Performance of repertoire during special events.
Core Values (based on the UN millennium goals)
- Respect All Life
- Reject Violence
- Share with Others
- Listen to Understand
- Preserve the Planet
- Rediscover Solidarity