Language Arts is taught in our English section for 3 hours and 25 minutes per week, with an additional optional hour of English Literature or French Oral Conversation in Grade 1. Students in the English section in grades 2-6 have English Language Arts for five hours per week. Our French section receives English instruction in Cycle One for 3:25 hours. In Cycle Two and Cycle Three, French section students receive 3 hours of English instruction weekly.
The English program integrates the major components of literacy: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. A love for literature is fostered in each cycle through a variety of texts. The main objective of our Language Arts Program is to motivate lifelong readers who can access texts for a variety of purposes. Literal and inferential comprehension skills are developed through independent and collaborative activities utilizing an array of strategies. The writing process evolves through exposure to different genres. Our students are encouraged to incorporate their own experiences and express their opinions as they produce various forms of self-expressive, narrative and information-based texts.
Mathematics is taught in our English section for 6 hours in grade 1 and 5:25 per week in grades 2-6. The Pearson Mathematics Program (Digit, Numbers & Decimal) provides the foundation of our mathematics curriculum and meets the requirements set by MELS. The children are introduced to a variety of application and situational problems.
Each year the parents of two grade levels are invited to attend either a Language Arts or Math Happening. These “Happenings” provide parents with an opportunity to participate in a hands-on learning experience affording them insight into their child’s daily learning.
Horizons Art Program
The Horizons Art Program is offered to the English section students. The program provides the students with opportunities to define, recognize and use the elements of art. They develop an appreciation of the historical and cultural influences of a number of works of art. The program is designed to strengthen their perceptual awareness and cognitive skills through sensory experiences. The students analyze, compare, interpret and evaluate their own creations with other students’ work, and that of major artists. It culminates with the production of visual art in a wide variety of media and techniques with a strong emphasis on English writing.
The language of instruction is in English & French
We use the project approach to teach French at Solomon Schechter Academy. In the first levels, the teaching is theme-based and integrates all subjects from the French program.
French is taught through research, projects, discoveries (2nd and 3rd grade), through theatrical performances, themed exhibitions, computer science, the physical education program, the science program and the social, ethical and religious cultural programs.
Unique to Solomon Schechter Academy, the students’ knowledge of French is used to read a variety of texts which is encouraged through our Livromagie program. The Livromagie program is strongly focused on inspiring students to read and to participate in French activities related to the program. Our written compositions are mainly related to the readings that they have completed. Written and oral projects are used to verify the students’ grammatical skills.
Reading, writing, communicating, and appreciating French literature are all aspects that help promote creative thinking, as well as the development of one’s critical mind.
The above-mentioned French skills are taught and used on a daily basis in the classroom through dialogues and discussions with and amongst the students. The teacher’s goal is to help them reflect on these skills and the relation between these various disciplines.
It is through art, observation, appreciation and the transformation of the arts that the students develop their own perception of society and their creativity. Therefore, art has become a key teaching method and we do not isolate it. Art is incorporated within the other fields like science, humanities, ethics, religion, and math to help the students create connections, to open themselves to their culture, as well as that of others.
Theatre & Expositions
In accordance with the French curriculum, as defined by the Ministry of Education, our French theatre program is highly developed. The French plays are written by our own teachers and relate to the materials studied in class. Theatre is continually proven to reinforce learning in different ways. It is important to emphasize that the theatre and/or exhibition components are one of the school’s strengths since it directly requires the students to apply and integrate their own creativity. The production of such components become a way for the teachers and the students to evaluate their vocabulary, lingual expressions, and their knowledge of drama and arts all while continuously learning the strategies for reading and writing.
The school promotes health and wellness and aims to develop this aspect amongst the students by teaching them how to act, interact and adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. Participating in sports and physical activities on a daily basis encourages the students to develop these three important skills.
The ultimate goal of the physical education department is to develop students’ motor skills and practice a wide variety of sports. Children are presented different situations which will help them understand and determine what sport or activity best suits their interests.
Field Trips And Guest Speakers
Children participate in annual outings, outdoor activities, field trips and sports. In addition, authors and guest speakers are regularly invited to the school to offer our students additional learning experiences.
Our Judaic Studies curriculum is innovative and exciting – incorporating academic and intellectual rigor as well as a healthy dose of experiential education to make our “raison d’etre” fun.
We developed a unique customs and traditions program that engages students and their families in living Judaism and love of Israel. Our entire Judaic Studies program is conducted in Hebrew (Ivrit b’Ivrrit) so that students learn the language of the Torah and the language of the State of Israel. We use the Tal Am & iTAL AM Hebrew Language Curriculum. However, the programs are based on our dynamic Judaic Studies teachers who impart the love of Judaism, the love of the Jewish People and the Love of Israel at all grades. In addition to the curriculum, our students hold annual “Chagigot” at each grade level.
As our students learn to read in Grade One, they are introduced to their first Hebrew text and the Siddur (prayer book) through which they learn the value of community. Chagigat Hasiddur brings the joy of the prayer book to students and families alike.
Students continue with the new iTAL AM program in Grades Two & Three where they study Judaic Studies digitally. The highlight of the Grade Two program is the introduction of the Bible and the accompanying Torah consecration celebration. The students of Grade Three present the “Hagigat Bereshit” acting out the scenes from the first chapters of the Torah.
Grades Four and Five introduce our students to the Bible from the original text, as well as enrich them with an ever-expanding Hebrew vocabulary. The theme for the year is the formation of the people of Israel and possession of its national homeland. Grade four classes host Shabbat services and dinner while Grade Five students lead a Havdalah service. The celebration of Shabbat in those Grades is a family affair as students conduct those services in the intimacy of their family.
The Grade Five and Six students learn about Jewish history making connections with what they have learned in previous years and making strong links with the State of Israel its people and its history.
An annual trip to Israel is organized for Grade Six students who wish to attend during mid-Winter break. Space is limited and students are chosen on a first come basis.
State of Israel
The love and support for the State of Israel are integral parts of our program and are reflected in every area of the curriculum. This is accompanied by a strong emphasis on Hebrew proficiency. Students participate in varied programs including art and dance that allow them to engage with and live the culture and music of the State of Israel.
Afik School, Be’er Sheva
We are particularly proud of our contact with the Afik School in Be’er Sheva, Israel and we encourage all students and their families to maintain and nurture this contact with regular mail and e-mail correspondence. The program is conducted through Federation CJA.
The Bnot Sherut program at SSA is made up of two young ladies who leave home to spend the year with our students bringing the spirit of Israel and Jewish Traditions into our school. Our guests from Israel conduct weekly activities with our students and are responsible for experiential holiday programs that they plan with Chani Cohen, our Judaic Studies Director.
Tikun Olam and Federation CJA
Our school takes part in the larger community’s projects. We make it a point to be part of Federation CJA’s activities through our annual visit to Federation and participation in community events. We participate in community wide campaigns by raising funds and collecting food for Federation CJA, JNF, MADA and others.
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs
Grade 6 students attend pre Bar and Bat Mitzvah programs encompassing religious practices, community service and other complementary activities.
Our school’s Azrieli SMART Floor affords students the opportunity to study Science, Music, Computer Animation, Jewish Arts, Robotics, Theatre, Chess, Israeli Dancing and Technology. The SMART Floor introduces students to curriculum that enhances critical thinking.
Creative computing prepares our young people for more than careers as computer scientists, or programmers. It supports and allows young people to learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
In our Animation class we explore computing languages to program custom projects. We animate creative storyboards and observe the stages that the Pixar’s software animators use to create their state-of-the-art movies, and much more.
Technology is one of the fastest growing industries, STEAM education is a way of giving your child the necessary building blocks for future success, and the field of robotics is booming!
In our Robotics class, students get acquainted with the fundamentals of 3D construction, programming concepts, electrical and mechanical engineering while making an intelligent robot that can perform complex linked tasks.
The objectives of the art course include enthusiasm for original creations outside of the virtual world in which we all live today; and reinforcement of Jewish and Hebrew curriculum through art in order to strengthen the students’ Jewish identity.
Each child is an individual who is capable of individual creative expression. Art class will be a stimulating and fun time for each child to express themselves with professional artistic guidance.
In addition to traveling through music history, students will be improving their musical literacy in recorder ensemble, and the end goal will be to create a band with students on various instruments such as trumpet, trombone, baritone and tuba. Coloured “belts” are assigned to increasingly more challenging songs. Students will be improving rhythm skills using the dumbek, claves, rhythm sticks and glockenspiels.
The basic steps of Israeli Folk and Modern Dance will be taught as well as dances that represent the cultural mosaic and dynamic rhythm of Israel. Come and join in our circle
The objective of the chess course include helping students to develop logical and analytical skills and improving their chess game skills.
The new theatre course will begin with a variety of games and exercises. The teacher would introduce a script that the kids would begin to work on and adapt it to fit the class. Students will have a chance to practice their acting skills in a fun and exciting program.
We recently launched our Beverley and Harvey Greenberg Makerspace where people can come together to create, learn and explore new ideas. Our Makerspace will have the materials for building computers, robots, and multi-media products through video, welding, wood-working and using 3D printers.