The KTS 7-8 program builds students' academic, social, emotional, and cognitive skills to prepare them for a successful transition into high school. Our 7-8 program is designed to motivate students to explore advanced academic challenges by engaging them in a range of enrichment activities, individualized curriculum, and experiential learning opportunities.
Our enriched curriculum (building on the foundations set in grades 1-6), opens up to a range of new explorations. In all subjects, we provide opportunities for students to delve into curriculum topics and concepts that they would normally not encounter until their high school years. We continue using our individualized approach to curriculum design, so that all students are appropriately challenged and supported academically. This allows students to engage deeply in topics that are of interest to them, and allows them to hone a broad range of skills that provides the foundation to integrate successfully into the high school program of their choice.
HIGH SCHOOL PREPARATION
There is an increased emphasis on high school preparation where we work with students to build the work habits and critical thinking skills that will allow them to thrive in high school and beyond.
LEADERSHIP AND TEAM SKILLS
In our senior grades, KTS fosters leadership skills by providing our grade 7 and 8 students with ample opportunities to lead and mentor our junior students. As the oldest students in the school, grade 7 and 8 students develop character and leadership skills as house team captains, technology and math mentors, early years classroom helpers, MCs for school ceremonies and at community events such as Science Rendezvous. The house teams system, for example, builds leadership skills, promotes cooperation, gives students a sense of ownership, and creates healthy competition in friendly games and other extracurricular activities. Senior clubs such as the Social Justice and Youth Action Club also give opportunities for our 7s and 8s to lead the school in the pursuit of justice on a local, national, and global level through awareness and direct action.
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 grade levels learn from, play with, and care for one another.
The 7-8 science program solidifies knowledge of the scientific method as students work through various curriculum topics. Students are encouraged to ask questions and nurture their curiosity through scientific discovery. Students engage in both research-based projects and hands-on lab activities, such as our Owl Pellet dissection in grade 7 and a Microbiology investigation in grade 8. Students are also guided through the completion of a project over the course of several months in order to participate in both the King’s Town School and Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Science Fairs. Students are encouraged to explore their interests in these projects: they can relate concepts previously learned from in-class material, to real-life situations, or to branch out to other topics that have not yet been explored in the curriculum. Our students historically do very well in these competitions, taking home numerous awards and receiving noteworthy recognition from judges.
Students also engage in ‘unplugged’ activities such as STEM challenges and design projects (e.g., building a rube goldberg machine, a floating boat, and self-supported tower) to encourage students 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. Students are taught enriched algebra skills and are introduced to many grade 9 curriculum concepts. Students in grade 7 and 8 are highly involved in class discussions about learned concepts, investigations, and assignment questions and are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills through weekly challenge problems and multi-step word problem based assessments. Further, one hour per week is dedicated to collaborative problem solving where students are given a problem that encourages them to think creatively in groups and apply their math skills to real-world situations. 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.
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 our Independent Reading projects. These help create a community of readers who seek out diverse novels as a source of enrichment as well as to develop literacy appreciation. Students in grades 7 and 8 also study a full length Shakespeare play, developing an appreciation for his unique writing style while examining more complex themes.
Media literacy is another important component of the English program in these grades. The 7 and 8 media units focus on unpacking representation in TV and film as well as studying film techniques and their impact on messages. This unit strives to increase awareness of the media's influence on our lives and how to be informed consumers in order to navigate the digital media world with confidence.
In grades 7 and 8, students will apply the skills built in the earlier grades to communicate with francophones both in Canada and abroad. For example, we regularly host penpal exchanges with students in France and coordinate virtual exchanges with classes in Quebec. Students are well prepared for grade 9 through regular oral presentations, listening assessments, and an extended study of French grammar. In these years, students are also prepared to take the DELF exam, a globally recognized French assessment, at the A1 or A2 level. Projects include: posters, articles, skits, speeches, and letter writing.
In grades 7 and 8, students develop their geographic and historical thinking inquiry skills. Students use a rich variety of resources such as charts, graphs, maps, illustrations, photographs, and satellite images to enhance their understanding of the topics being discussed. Students complete various enriched projects such as developing their own settlement, creating a SMART Growth neighbourhood, and designing a personal action plan. Students in Grade 7 participate in the Mapping The World By Heart program which helps students develop their mapping skills. By the end of the school year, students can create a map of the world from memory. Upper year students also participate in our school-wide Heritage Fair and can compete regionally in the Kingston Regional Heritage Fair.
In the upper years, students continue to hone their musicianship skills and will play more complex pieces. One of the most exciting things about seeing senior students in music is witnessing their confidence and ownership of their skills. They are capable enough to play in self-led trios and quartets, and have become effective at practicing at home and knowing how to master their repertoire. The same routines from grades 5 and 6 with practice logs, listening logs and performance circle are still in place but with higher expectations and more detail.
VISUAL AND DRAMATIC ARTS
In grades 7-8 students have a heavier focus on Art History and Art Criticism (extending to the art of Drama), all while continuing to develop their technical skills. This means we begin to look at the philosophical and conceptual side of art, and learn how to look at and critique artwork with an understanding of context. We focus on world art, looking at works from many cultures.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH
In Grade 7-8 Physical Education and Get Out Get Active (GOGA), students will begin to enhance their fundamental movement skills into more specialized movements and skills as highlighted in the Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD). Students will then apply these specialized movements and skills into game settings in GOGA classes. In health classes students will learn strategies to keep themselves safe in the outside world. Students will also learn about sexual health, STI prevention, and consent.
Our goal is to provide students with the motivation, confidence, knowledge, and understanding that sets the foundation for lifelong physical activity and healthy choice.
WELL-BEING, CLUBS, PLAY
In grades 7-8, well-being practices established in previous years are continued and extended. Teachers do daily discrete check-ins with students, and important health and mental health issues are addressed in a sensitive manner in class, in small groups or individually as needed. Safe, quiet spaces for work or well-being are made available. Intermediate students have many leadership opportunities such as assisting with younger students, planning and running Colour House games and events, and participating in community service, activities and workshops. With students in grades 7-8 developing greater autonomy and independence, they are offered privileges such as signing out for Friday lunch.
A number of academic and interest clubs, such as Math, German, Social Justice, Environmental Stewardship, 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 also invited to compete with the Algonquin, Lakeshore, Catholic District School Board in soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field.
Students work to develop and establish their own voice as writers. Building upon the skills established in earlier grades, students delve into the writing process and are taught many different forms of writing. This empowers students to choose from numerous forms of writing 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, GOALS, TIME MANAGEMENT
The grade 7 and 8 program is specifically designed to prepare our students to excel in high school. Students follow a rotary system moving from class to class and are taught by specialist teachers. 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.
HIGH SCHOOL REGISTRATION GUIDANCE
Homeroom teachers, subject teachers, the Resource team and administration work collaboratively with students and their parents to prepare for the transition to secondary school beginning in Grade 7. Academic, social and practical needs are identified and developed in anticipation of the transition. During the Grade 8 year, visits to and from local public and private secondary schools are coordinated. The Resource team endeavors to notify students and their parents of information sessions offered in the community for Grade 9 programming, including course selection and specialized programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and Academic Arts Enriched Program (AAEP). The Resource team works closely with students, their families and secondary school student services personnel to provide support through the registration and transition process.