The following describes how the core subjects of Language Arts, History, Math and Science are covered throughout the grade levels.
- Senior K
- Grades 1 – 2
- Grades 3 – 4
- Grades 5 – 8
This program aims to start our youngest students on a lifelong educational journey that fills them with a sense of wonder of the world God has created.
Early exposure to good quality literature is foundational and so the children are read a wide variety of well-selected stories, fables, and fairy tales on a daily basis. The students are encouraged to narrate or retell the story and, in so doing, they learn to organize their thoughts and clearly articulate the knowledge gained through these books.
Rich language is further reinforced through poetry recitation, an enjoyable part of every day. They learn several poems throughout the year, for example “The Swing” and “Rain” by Robert Louis Stevenson.
In the Reading program they learn basic reading skills using phonetics.
The children use concrete materials as well as paper and pencil to develop their understanding of Math. They discover mathematical concepts such as patterns, geometry, measurement, counting and graphing through hands-on activities with the materials.
Outdoor Nature Study is an important part of the program. The aim is to engage all their senses, to increase their observational abilities, and to instill a deep regard for the wonder and beauty of creation.
The children are introduced to some of the world’s great works of art and every week they create their own “masterpieces” using different materials and techniques.
They also sing, listen to classical music and play simple instruments.
Their year is spent learning in an atmosphere of wonder and enjoyment that gives them a solid foundation for the next step in their education.
Grades 1 – 2
The Early Grammar stage is a time when students' minds are absorbent
sponges. Memorization of poetry as well as learning facts about math, history and science comes easily to students in Grade 1 and 2. At St. Timothy's we capitalize on this readiness to learn by providing a rich foundational program of Language Arts, Math, History and Science.
In Language Arts Grade 1 students begin with a systematic phonics
based program called Sing, Spell, Read and Write. Once they become
solid readers, students move into reading and discussing whole stories
and writing simple sentences. The Language Arts program for Grade 2
includes weekly spelling and grammar lessons and students quickly
become competent at identifying parts of speech as well as other
rudiments of grammar and punctuation. Small class sizes allow for
ample time with the teacher in reading circles around stories
carefully chosen for a good use of language, pleasing sentence
structure and interesting themes. Students learn to answer
comprehension questions with attention to meaning, correct spelling,
punctuation and good sentence structure. The teacher reads aloud
regularly from a lovely collection of fables, fanciful tales,
retellings of history as well as descriptions of the natural world.
Examples of poetry memorized at this stage are “A Prayer in Spring” by Robert Frost and “The Eagle” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
In Math the A Beka program is used and students are introduced to foundational mathematical concepts, reinforced through many exercises and speed drills.
A four-year History program called Story of the World begins in this class; in Grades 1 and 2 the students walk through Ancient Times through to the Middle Ages, with readings and activities.
In Science class the students study Earth Science one year – the Seasons, the layers of the earth, space and planets – and Life Science the next, covering trees and plants as well as reptiles, insects, birds, and finally mammals. Sound-offs, study notes and worksheets all aid in their classical understanding of these subjects.
Grades 3 – 4
The Grade 3-4 curriculum builds upon the rich, foundational program of Language Arts, Math, History and Science introduced in Grade 1-2. There continues to be a strong emphasis on immersing students in works of good literature, the rudiments of grammar, and the skills necessary to produce excellent writing. Grade 3-4 students move from knowing how to write descriptive sentences to writing well-structured paragraphs and short essays. They begin to colour their phrases with adjectives, strong verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases and similes. St. Timothy’s students are taught to recognize metaphors and to understand conflict and character development as they read enduring literature.
Some of the novels that are studied by our grades 3 and 4 students include The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat and Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Examples of poetry memorized at this stage are "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost and "Ozymandias" by Percy Shelley.
Grade 3 students study Math every day with an emphasis on the acquisition of basic Math concepts through lessons, hands-on materials, Math fact charts, exercises, speed drills and regular review. In Grade 4 students transition to the Singapore Math program which continues to build understanding of new concepts as well as providing an emphasis on mental math and the steps involved in solving challenging word problems.
History is a favourite subject for many students at St. Timothy's. The Grade 3-4 program alternates between a study of the Middle Ages one year and Early Modern History the next, with weekly readings, discussion, and map work. Small class sizes encourage participation in discussion and confidence to present topics orally. Grade 3-4 students become familiar with concepts such as feudalism and the role of kings, nobles, monks, knights, and peasants. They study challenges to the monarchy and the rise of parliament and democracy. The focus of the Early Modern History class is the Age of Exploration to the new world. Each student researches and presents a project on an explorer to the class. Grade 3 and Grade 4 students learn to think historically as they think about the causes and circumstances that led adventurers to explore and the significance of those people and events.
The Grade 3-4 Science program builds on the students' natural interest in all that they can see and experience. It begins with a review of mammals and birds, and moves on to a study of reptiles, amphibians and fish. Students learn how to categorize animals as vertebrates, warm or cold-blooded, whether they have fur, hair, feathers or scales, how they breathe, and how they produce and care for their offspring. During a rotating two year cycle, they also learn about simple machines, rocks and minerals, weather, and participate in a pond study. There are many opportunities to build models, handle collections, go on field trips, and meet with wildlife specialists to enliven students' readings and research.
In Geography class, the Grade 3-4 students do a study of the province of Ontario. They work with maps, and research the flora and fauna of our province. The following year they learn the names of all the provinces and territories of Canada and their capitals, and also memorize the capitals of twenty European capitals.
Grades 5 – 8
The Logic stage begins with the fifth grade as the students learn to ask questions, solve problems, and argue reasonably. They are beginning to understand the meaning of the facts they have learned, and how to use them, even as they continue to build on this foundation of information.
In language arts the students expand on their writing skills, as they apply the grammar and organizational skills they have learned to their creative, expository, and persuasive writing. The fifth and sixth grade continue with imitation writing which they practiced in the third and fourth grade, and they are also challenged, in special assignments, to work within boundaries given by their teacher (e.g. specific topics, words which they may not use, words which they must use) and use rich language as they express themselves. Beginning in the seventh grade, the students learn and practice persuasive five-paragraph essays in which they argue for a particular opinion or idea. Weekly spelling tests, which stretch their vocabulary and their familiarity with the language, continue in the fifth and sixth grade. Novels studied in these grades include Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, and Homer's Odyssey. The seventh and eighth grade read one play by Shakespeare each year. The students continue to memorize poetry, choosing from a wide range presented to them.
The study of history at this level is a deeper, more thorough examination of the past. The fifth and sixth grade study modern history and Canadian history, and begin to look more carefully at historical causation, and the patterns of human behaviour through the centuries. In the seventh and eighth grade, our students return to ancient times. As they slowly make their way through the centuries, they rely on primary and secondary sources to learn the stories. The students engage in the geography, architecture, biographies, and culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The 5-6 Science program is a hands-on exploration of botany and zoology and human anatomy and physiology. The students develop a nature journal of their observations, including sketches and facts learned, and are able to engage in hands-on experiments in order to learn the language of science and begin to record and try to explain their observations.
The students in the 7-8 class delve more deeply into the general laws and theories that help explain how the world around them works and why things happen, and the 'practice' of science involving experimentation and observation. They study the history of science from ancient to modern times, the scientific method, the history of life: archaeology, geology and paleontology, the study of DNA, energy, reproduction and the basic cell, and finally the classification of life that includes the five kingdoms. All our students are enthusiastic participants in the growth of their own knowledge of and wonder in the natural world.
The students continue with the Singapore Math program, and the focus is to make sure the students understand, know and discover the beauty of elementary math. This program uses a classical approach, i.e. teaching the concept (the tools of math) and then guiding the students to apply it to very different situations. The students begin an excursion into pre-algebra and algebra, the introduction of new strategies in solving word problems as well as a more rigorous Geometry training. Challenging word problems for every grade give our students the opportunity to stretch their thinking and reasoning skills.
As part of this development, the seventh and eighth grade begin the study of logic, beginning with informal logic and the seventh grade, and moving to formal logic in the eighth. This program is designed to train the students to express themselves logically, and to recognize logical fallacies and flaws.