Our Educational Program
OLP recognizes the importance of French language instruction and have implemented a program consisting of 60% French in Pre-Kindergarten and 50% in Kindergarten.
In cycles 1 and 2, students have 30% French instruction, and 70% English. In cycle 3, students receive 34% French language instruction and 66% English language instruction.
The Kindergarten teachers of Our Lady of Peace work as facilitators in the classroom. Through the course of our bilingual curriculum, the students learn through what is called a ‘hands-on’ approach.
Using the academic and social environment which we provide, the students are given opportunities to explore, discover, manipulate, invent and create their own learning experiences. An example of this learning environment is ‘learning centers’. These are sections that we prepare throughout the classroom that provide cross-curricular activities based on our weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly themes. Since these activities are geared for the child’s needs and interests, children work in mixed groups of various ability levels. These centers teach the needed skills and values required throughout their social and academic life. In using cooperative learning, students are not only encouraged to work and learn from one another, but, independently learn at their own pace.
At Our Lady of Peace, we are dedicated to promoting early literacy. As early as Kindergarten, our students are exposed to, and encouraged, to develop a love of reading, writing and communicating.
Throughout the years, our curriculum places a strong emphasis on developing exceptional reading skills. We encourage our students to critically examine what they read by making connections to various texts, inferring hidden meanings, predicting what may happen next and synthesizing information from a variety of media.
Great readers become exceptional writers. Teachers at OLP act as guides as students are encouraged to find their inner writer’s voice and creativity. Students are exposed to a variety of genres and encouraged to create their own masterpieces. Writing is a daily activity that is weaved through all academic subjects. As students become proficient writers they develop a mastery of the conventions of writing.
We understand that strong communication skills are an asset in today’s society, so we support language development by providing daily opportunities for students to work in collaborative settings. This gives them a chance to learn to express their ideas in a clear and coherent manner as well as to work on developing appropriate communication skills - listening to others, taking turns, and developing appropriate vocabulary.
Students at OLP understand the important ways in which we use mathematics in everyday life. We see students as sense makers and use engaging activities to promote student reasoning, creativity and collaboration. OLP math teachers make the Big Ideas accessible to all students using techniques such as guided exploration and inquiry-based learning. Students learn to represent and justify their thinking using manipulatives, visuals and dynamic discussions. These strategies help build conceptual understanding, flexibility manipulating numbers, and fluency with procedures. With student success as our ultimate goal, OLP’s vision emphasizes teaching to the individual needs of the student to ensure all students develop a growth mathematical mindset.
Music at Our Lady of Peace is offered in French to all students from Kindergarten to grade 6. The students learn to create, perform, and appreciate all different types of music through a mixture of Dalcroze, Orff and Kodaly methods - which includes a strong emphasis on rhythm and solfège. Students learn to play the xylophone, bucket drums, the recorder and unpitched percussion instruments throughout their musical education. They also develop their singing skills and learn the curriculum through movement.
Extra-curricular activities offered in music
- Concert band (flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone)
- Holiday concert
- A yearly Musical Theatre production.
The Teachers at OLP are Pedagogical Innovators
Our Lady of Peace has piloted a variety of projects to improve the students’ academic and social success.
The teachers at OLP strive to provide learning content in a cross-curricular approach. Our STEAM ideology incorporates science, mathematics, arts and languages with technology into our teaching in order to provide students with real-world learning situations. These challenges are instrumental in developing our students’ problem-solving skills, creativity and self-esteem.
Unstructured play is critical for children’s brain development - it strengthens the connections of the neurons in the prefrontal cortex, it teaches children to have positive interactions with others and it gets children moving. At OLP, we created the Remix yard to provide our students with spontaneous and creative play opportunities during recess. Additionally, with funding from a Ministry of Education grant, a wooden play structure geared towards imagination and free play will be installed in Spring 2020.
To improve the students’ positive social interactions, our teachers have created a learning curriculum to combat homophobia and gender stereotypes (which is taught from Kindergarten to grade 6), and have implemented school-wide programs, such as the Stop, Talk, Walk program. These programs have drastically increased the number of positive social interactions and friendships in our students.