The KTS 5-6 program builds student’s academic skills and prepares them for a successful transition into grade 7/8 , and high school. The grade 5-6 curriculum includes Language (English), Social Studies, Math, Science, French, Physical Education, Music, Art, and Technology. Building on the grade 4 program, our continued small classes and individualized approach to learning prepares students to excel in upper grades and high school. The program focuses on teaching students how to be self-learners, take responsibility for their studies, and enjoy leadership and achievement.
LEADERSHIP AND TEAM SKILLS
KTS provides our 5 and 6 students with opportunities to lead and mentor our younger students. KTS students develop character and leadership skills as reading buddies, tech buddies, and as house captain assistants at House Team events. Students also present their projects to students in younger grades, are assigned special roles at inter-grade clubs, and serve as presenters at school assemblies.
KTS offers a small and caring community for students and parents. Our staff is a collaborative team of skilled educators who focus on student success in all areas. An active parent community contributes to the community learning that characterizes KTS and our students are active volunteers in the Kingston community, participating in events such as Science Rendezvous and the Kingston Kids Triathlon. Our students also frequently hold their own fundraisers in support of causes that are important to them.
KTS offers families a close-knit community where parents are engaged, teachers care, and children across grades learn from, play with, and care for one another.
The grade 5 and 6 science program develops students’ knowledge of the scientific method as they work through the curriculum. Students are encouraged to ask questions and dig deeper into subjects that interest them to improve their understanding of the world around them and how things work, as well as build research skills and critical thinking. Students engage in a variety of research-based projects and hands-on lab activities to ensure they are proficient in the many skills required in scientific fields.
In grade 5, students begin writing formal lab reports to prepare them with the necessary skills required for participation in both the KTS and Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington Science Fairs. In doing so, students work through each step of the scientific method to gain comfort with scientific terminology and how to conduct a proper experiment. Students in Grade 6 participate in the science fairs for the first time and are guided through the completion of a project on a topic of their choice.
The grade 5 and 6 technology program focuses on problem solving, innovation, and creativity. Students engage in assorted activities that build computer skills, such as using Google Docs and Slides, and learning basic coding. Students will use several programs for developing coding skills such as code.org and Scratch, and will have discussions about how computers “think” and the importance of clear instructions. Students in grade 5 and 6 also use Microbits to apply their coded instructions to real life machines and understand how what they write on the computer can translate to real life functionality.
Students also perform many ‘unplugged’ activities such as STEM challenges or design projects (e.g., building a marble maze, a bridge to hold a specified load, and exploring paper airplane models) to encourage them to take risks in their learning and work cooperatively.
KTS offers an exceptional mathematics program that follows an established approach of incremental introduction to concepts, with foundations strengthened through continuous practice and frequent assessments. In grade 5-6, algebra is introduced through the use of manipulatives and symbol based equation puzzles. Here, the emphasis is on understanding formula derivation (rather than memorization). The program also focuses on strengthening problem solving skills through word problems, challenge problems, and logic puzzles. Students also engage in class-wide problem solving and math talks to foster discussion, the sharing of ideas, and to build connections between math and the real world. Beginning in grade six, our students benefit from regular math journaling where students are encouraged to think critically and write about their experiences with problem solving.
Students continue to compete in external Math competitions produced by Mathematica Centrum and The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing from the University of Waterloo and are provided with a range of enrichment opportunities both within class and outside of the classroom.
The English program at KTS strives to highlight each student’s writing strengths and develop their personal reading interests through our 6 Plus 1 Writing Traits program and Independent Reading projects. Our writing program encourages “risk-free” writing that allows for both creativity and for students to appreciate all aspects of writing. Our Independent Reading projects allow students to showcase the alluring details of a text to encourage their peers to read it too. This project creates a community of readers who seek out diverse novels as a source of enrichment as well as to develop literacy appreciation. Media literacy is also an important component of the English program. This unit looks at advertising on social media platforms and in the world and strives to increase awareness of the media’s influence on our lives and how to be informed consumers.
The grades 5 and 6 French program at KTS aims to build on the communication skills learned in the primary years to help students to become independent users of the French language. This program of study is based around the Action-Oriented Approach to language learning, where students communicate about topics which are directly relevant to their everyday lives. Students will have the opportunity to speak in short dialogues, read texts in a variety of forms, and engage with guided listening activities. In these grades, students also will begin studying the basics of French grammar and sentence structure in order to create a variety of written texts. Enrichment is available for students with a preexisting background in French.
The Grade 5 and 6 Social Studies program strives to offer an inquiry approach to learning that encourages students to explore, investigate, and ask questions to heighten curiosity and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. Students are asked to reflect on how they can be active and informed citizens within the diverse communities to which they belong by developing action plans, participating in class discussions, and through case study assignments. Students participate in many hands-on activities such as world trade simulations, mock trials, and student vote. Each hands-on activity is meaningful and connects to real-life concepts studied in class. Grade 5 students participate in a school-wide Heritage Fair and can compete regionally in the Kingston Regional Heritage Fair.
Students are introduced to instrumental music in our band program. Using the foundations they built in earlier grades, students continue to read music notation and play as an ensemble, but with the addition of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. They are also introduced to a wide variety of music in their listening logs where they expand their knowledge of the elements of music and music and different societies. Projects throughout the year include rhythm composition, song reports, individual and group performances, and an independent study unit in the spring where they get to work on a research project, performance or composition of their choosing.
VISUAL AND DRAMATIC ARTS
In grade 5-6 Visual arts, students are introduced to a wide variety of mediums and begin to lay the foundation for becoming highly skilled in the technical side of art, for example: rendering photo realism, perspective, composition, colour etc. They are given ample opportunity to practise and develop these skills. Similarly in Dramatic arts, students are introduced to the terminology and elements and principles of drama, and given opportunities to apply those skills in different contexts.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH
In grade 5-6 Physical Education and Get Out Get Active (GOGA), students are given the opportunity to develop fundamental movement skills and physical literacy for various sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, badminton, ultimate frisbee, football, and many others, and then apply these skills to game settings in GOGA classes. In health classes students begin to discuss choices they make in order to keep themselves safe in terms of substances, personal safety, and how to be proactive instead of reactive. Students will also discuss the importance of making healthy choices in relationships, and learn about the changes their bodies will start going through during puberty.
HIGH SCHOOL PREPARATION
The grade 5 to 8 program is specifically designed to prepare our students to excel in high school. Like in high school, students complete exams in French, Language, and Math. Students are also taught to create study notes, plan study schedules, and organize peer study groups— our focus is not just on teaching students the material they need to know, but teaching them the skills that will allow them to excel in all their future endeavours.
KTS is committed to supporting the academic, social, emotional and physical needs of all students so that they can become balanced, responsible citizens and critical thinkers. In grades 5-6, classes are regularly implementing restorative practices through MEND circles (Mediating by Empowering with Nurturing Dialogue) and embedding self-care practices such as mindfulness and assertive communication into daily lessons to support the development of emotional regulation and well-being skills of students.
The Student Resource team and subject teachers get to know each child and nurture supportive relationships with them. Staff accommodate the needs of individual students by providing regular one-to-one or small group assistance, additional learning resources, modified programming when needed, support for executive functions such as organization, availability of safe, calm spaces and by communicating constantly with students and their families.
A number of academic and interest clubs, such as Math, German, Social Justice, Environmental Stewardship, Sewing and Sports, are also available at this level as well as bi-weekly Study Halls where students can access teacher support for individual work. KTS sports teams are invited to compete with the Algonquin, Lakeshore, Catholic District School Board in soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field.
Each day also includes two half-hour recess periods, rain or shine. Students are encouraged to run, play, and just ‘be kids’ with their peers.
Students work to develop and establish their own voice as speakers. Building upon the skills established in earlier grades, students delve further into the writing process, investigating and practicing the art of rhetoric and exploring different forms of writing. This empowers students to choose from numerous forms of writing and figures of speech to clearly and confidently express themselves in high school and beyond. Oral communication skills are strengthened through public presentations of speeches, Science Fair and History Fair at school and at regional competitions.
PROBLEM SOLVING AND CRITICAL THINKING
Our academic programs are designed to encourage critical thinking through meaningful discussions, hands-on activities and investigations. This approach to learning is evidence in the success of our students’ insightful contributions, developed resourcefulness, solutions-based approach to conflict resolution and meeting personal challenges.
ORGANIZATION, GOAL SETTING, TIME MANAGEMENT
The grade 5 to 8 program is specifically designed to prepare our students to excel in high school. For our senior grades, students follow a rotary system moving from class to class and taught by specialist teachers. Also, students write exams in French, Language, and Math. Students are also taught to create study notes, plan study schedules, and organize peer study groups—our focus is not just on teaching students the material they need to know, but teaching them the skills that will allow them to excel in all their future endeavours.
Infused in the curriculum, and also through extra-curricular projects, are explorations into social injustice, equality, inclusion and diversity.