The Early Years Program
The Early Years Program is focused on hands-on, play-based, experiential learning. Children in our Early Years program receive focused instruction in important fundamentals of Literacy, using the Fountas & Pinell LLI renowned program, and supported by two teachers who specialize in Early Years instruction.
At Royal Oak, we believe in the importance of exposing children to both of Canada’s official languages. Children learn new languages naturally when they are young, so we use this critical period of development to teach both English and French. Our Early Years program includes an hour of daily French instruction that utilizes music, art and dramatic play.
The Early Year's students participate in two outdoor and nutrition breaks, which contribute to the development of gross motor skills and assist with self-regulation, whilst supporting collaboration, play and fitness. Arts, Music, and Physical Education are offered twice a week, and Royal Oak continues to deliver these essential aspects of programming while exercising safe and developmentally appropriate approaches to learning.
Lower Elementary Program
Royal Oak’s Lower Elementary classes are based on the same principle of design as our Early Years Program, as we know learning happens best when children are active agents in the learning process.
Inquiry-based learning is the cornerstone of our teaching philosophy, using the Ontario Curriculum as a guide. In Lower Elementary, students are ready for increased challenge and independence. Our students in these grades are proficiently exploring real-world problems, from studying Environmental Science and tackling important questions about humans’ role in our world, to consolidating the core concepts of curriculum, such as grammar, reading comprehension and fluency, and math skills.
Children work more independently at the Lower Elementary grade levels and use their fellow students as co-learners and sources of knowledge, alongside the teacher. We encourage group work and collaboration, as well as project-based learning where students can show their knowledge acquisition and new interests through intricate projects and personal presentations.
Royal Oak children also receive daily instruction in French for a minimum of 45 minutes each day. By receiving instruction in a second language at this early age, children have a better opportunity to become fluent. Royal Oak's wonderful French teacher, Mireille Salem, has degrees in French, Fine Arts and Theatre, and she utilizes each of these components to create engaging, powerful and long-lasting second language learning for students.
In addition to a rigorous academic program, other specialty subjects offered at Royal Oak include the Arts, Music, and Physical Education. Regularly, the students participate in field trips in order to become enlightened on the subject matter they learn in class, and many of these outings focus on connecting with local partners and opportunities.
Royal Oak's Physical Education teacher is a leading Elementary Sport Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist. Royal Oak students have continued to participate in PE throughout Covid, and our winter unit of "Adventure Challenge" will encourage physical fitness and outdoor learning all season long while promoting cooperative play, leadership and embracing the seasons and elements.
Brock University Teacher Candidate Programming at Royal Oak
Royal Oak is so pleased to share that it has been chosen to host Brock University Teacher Candidates as part of their Teacher Education program certification.
Royal Oak teacher's will host Teacher Candidates in their classrooms to mentor, share and support initial teacher education, while increasing connections, relationships and learning support for our own students.
"The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning"
-John Dewey, Experience and Education
Upper Elementary Program
Our Upper Elementary Program at Royal Oak includes Grades 5-8, and is designed to encourage students to work, discover and explore. Our rigorous programming in Upper Elementary continues to use Inquiry as a method of teaching and learning as it promotes an in-depth study of the curriculum, all while challenging the students to work at their highest potential. In the Upper Elementary program, students are challenged to work more independently in the rotary system of instruction. This rotation of teachers for subjects helps our older students gain the organizational and thinking skills that are required for their schooling ahead. Core subjects include Language, Mathematics, Science and Social Science, as well as the Arts. With a full, well-rounded and enriched curriculum, our students continue to achieve high levels of success and become prepared for the next chapter in their educational future.
We know that early success in mathematics is the number one predictor of overall academic success in the later grades (National Research Council. 2009), and thus deep understanding and engagement in this subject area is of primary importance. Our programming is well-balanced, and children learn in a hands-on way, solving difficult yet realistic problems, using collaboration and discussion as well as computation. Our students have the opportunity to challenge themselves by participating in international math competitions.
When you walk into Math classrooms at Royal Oak, you hear student voices and you see students working in groups with their hands using manipulatives and solving difficult problems in multiple ways. Our students are solving and discussing real world problems that challenge them as learners, and engage their minds and curiosities.