Elementary

Enriched curriculum

Cornerstone School follows the core curriculum guidelines set out by the British Columbia Ministry of Education.

IN ADDITION, our small class sizes and a commitment to excellence, allows Cornerstone teachers to:

  • to challenge students with advanced concepts 
  • delve more deeply and thoroughly into curriculum content
  • to move significantly beyond the required curriculum 

Lessons are enhanced with multi-media and Montessori materials, with relevant and interesting field trips and with a diversity of hands-on activities and dynamic extension activities.

 

Language

The Language Arts curriculum includes a strong focus on reading, writing and oral language. Students are challenged to work at their maximum potential, to work beyond grade level expectations and to take pride in quality workmanship.

The Language Arts curriculum assists students with developing strong reading and writing skills. Advanced reading comprehension skills, a well developed vocabulary and an ability to analyse and think critically about written text are essential skills, both across the curriculum and across a student’s academic life.

In the intermediate years teachers build on a child’s basic writing skills. Students learn to conduct research and to write essays and research reports. Igniting a student’s passion for creative writing is an essential component of the language program.

Building oral language skills begins with ‘sharing’ in Kindergarten circle time and moves to public speaking in the intermediate grades.  Students learn to confidently and clearly present research reports to their teachers and classmates, they participate in debates about national and international events and they practice their drama skills at special school functions.

 

Math

Strong Math foundations are essential to a students’ success with Math in later years. A wide variety of Montessori Math Materials provide students with the opportunity to gain an understanding of advanced Math concepts at an early age. The ‘Golden Bead Material’ used by a Kindergarten student to ‘make’ large numbers, is the basis for understanding the decimal system. Students are challenged to work beyond the grade level curriculum whenever possible. Teachers make the learning fun and relevant.

 

Social Studies and Science

Social Studies and Science classes are always exciting and include dynamic, hands-on activities.

A zoology study in the early years might include the highlight of hatching chicks in the classroom; a botany study will necessitate the planting and harvesting of vegetables.

In the intermediate years, the study of Ancient Cultures will offer students opportunities to build and create replicas of important artifacts. History, geography, chemistry, physics, astronomy and the many other branches of Social Studies and Science are fundamental elements of the curriculum, and become a part of the student’s general knowledge and life skills.

 

Physical Education

Maintaining a life-long healthy lifestyle includes exercise and a nutritious and balanced diet. Students learn the basics of many different sports, giving them the opportunity to discover their personal talents.

Physical Education classes are held in a spacious and well-equipped gymnasium.  Nutrition lessons are incorporated into the curriculum and practiced by having fruits and vegetables for morning snack, and encouraging healthy lunches.

Weather permitting, Physical Education classes might include a ‘track and field’ unit of study at Bear Creek Park.  During some years, students participate in swimming lessons at the community recreation facility.

Physical Education curriculum includes a variety of field trips (e.g. ice skating, bowling, swimming).

Students and their teachers are transported to the gym or community recreation facilities by a professional bus company.

 

Technology

Each intermediate student is assigned to a PERSONAL LAPTOP.  Students use their computers across the curriculum, and receive lessons in:

·          keyboarding

·          Microsoft Office Programs – Word and Excel

·          Power Point Presentations

·          conducting internet research

·          internet safety

 

Fine Arts

Cornerstone’s Fine Arts program includes:

  • music (choir, theory, instruments, dance) taught by a professional music teacher
  • art lessons and opportunities to create a variety of crafts
  • drama, often incorporated into language arts curriculum

Students participate in a musical production at Christmas which is always a highlight for families!  Students and teachers also set up a Spring Tea for parents to attend.  The ‘tea’ includes refreshments served by the students, as well as, a performance highlighting their music curriculum.

 

Homework

All students in the Elementary Program complete homework.

Grade 1 and 2 students complete approximately 10 to 20 minutes of homework daily. Their evening work usually consists of reading, spelling or learning math facts.

Beginning in Grade 2, every student has a student planner in which they record the assigned homework and any reminders that they need for the following day. Students’ homework increases by approximately 10 minutes per grade, e.g. Grade 4 students receive approximately 40 minutes of homework per day.

French

French lessons are offered to all Cornerstone students – kindergarten through to grade 7.  Our animated and fluent French teacher ensures that puppets and music make kindergarten and primary French lessons a great deal of fun!

French continues through the intermediate years, with lessons including both oral and written French, advanced vocabulary and conversation skills, and grammar lessons that focus on verb tenses and conjugating verbs.

 

 Communication

Every child is greeted daily with a formal handshake and a friendly welcome.  Parents and teachers enjoy open communication. Teachers and staff will always make time to discuss issues that are of concern to parents and/or students.  Parents attend the following meetings/conferences throughout the school year:

  • September Parent Meeting
  • First Term Parent/Teacher Conference
  • Second Term Student-led Conference

In addition, students receive three formal report cards per year. Report cards are detailed and informative reflecting each student’s progress.  Intermediate students receive letter grades on their report cards.

 

Field trips

Field trips are an integral part of learning at Cornerstone. Teachers try to incorporate dynamic field trips into their Social Studies and Science curriculum on a regular basis. In addition, students enjoy recreational field trips such as ice skating or swimming at various times of the year. Parents are always invited to join their children on field trips. Transportation for field trips is arranged with a professional bus company.