Grades 2-6 Inquiry and Project-Based Learning (PBL) Program
Students build skills to succeed in academics and beyond.
Our Junior School program focuses on developing a strong academic foundation, confidence and learning skills. An emphasis on character and community citizenship allows students to recognize their impact both as individuals and as part of a collaborative team. Students are inspired to work towards their true potential and meet the challenges of a rigorous program. Small classes offer a strengths-based approach to learning.
Inquiry and Project-Based Learning (PBL)
Our Inquiry and Project-Based Learning approach drives students to engage in work that has context and purpose. Our students strive towards developing a deeper understanding of content and connecting complex concepts while becoming active participants in their own learning. Language and Literacy, Social Studies, Art, History, Geography and Media Literacy are integrated through exciting units of themed study. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are combined logically as they are in real-life, during hands-on, experiential lessons.
In addition to PBL learning we integrate the following classes into the curriculum.
Our Math programs are leveled to give students the enrichment or extra support they need to develop a strong foundation of core skills required for higher-level learning. Students work through an individualized program at their own level; they are able to slow down to ensure they develop a deep understanding of concepts, or they can move ahead to make sure they are adequately challenged. The math program combines guided discovery, explicit instruction, practice and assessment. Small group learning and support is key to building math and independent learning skills.
Our programs are leveled appropriately to give students the enrichment or extra support they need to develop their language skills. Students work with a diverse selection of resources that have been carefully chosen for them, ensuring that the work is always challenging enough to make continuous progress. Reading programs may consist of vocabulary development, spelling, phonics, reading comprehension and oral fluency. Tailored writing programs include grammar, comprehension and handwriting. Regular homework helps students to practice skills and build competencies while PBL allows students to apply skills in practical applications.
The French program at SMS is offered in the spirit of moving beyond grammar drills to fostering a real appreciation for the language. Students are engaged in multi-modal methods that build a concept of French in the context of the world around them.
Computer Science & Technology
Students at all levels learn to approach digital problems through computational thought, separating the problem into steps and flow-charting before code is written. Their skills can then be translated into computer languages including Binary, Java, HTML and Python. Hardware and circuitry are explored as students build an understanding of how technology works using Arduino and Raspberry Pi. They combine imagination and design into block coding platforms like Scratch to build animations, games and quizzes. Students build on the design thinking process to render 3D printed projects from start to finish exploring and using programs such as Tinkercad and Fusion 360. Our computer science program brings together the worlds of theory, design and problem solving into engaging and hands on classes.
Media Literacy is integrated into all aspects of our program. Students have regular access to technology as tools for learning. Students develop the skills needed to be safe in the digital world and learn how to become ethical digital citizens in a technology-based society. Our students learn how to use technology as a tool for creation, research and to connect meaningfully and responsibly with others.
Fitness and healthy living are essential to the development of children. Organized play and free play support physical, intellectual and social development. At SMS we engage in physical education daily and as a whole school. Students of all ages are introduced to sports through skill building exercises. The focus is on co-operative games, problem solving, moving our bodies and having fun.
Music & Art
Education in the Arts is essential to fostering 21st Century Skills. At SMS we value the importance that the Arts plays in developing critical thinking and problem solving skills, and the association with academic gains in Math, language and verbal skills. Drama, music, dance and visual arts allow our students to connect more deeply with their world as they learn to see it in a new way, and discover new ways to communicate through artistic expression. As with other integrated subjects, we build skills based on their relationship to a project or goal.
- Small Classes (1:12)
- Nurturing Environment
- Academic Rigour
- Caring Teachers
- Development of the Whole Child
- Experiential and Inquiry Learning
Skill-Based Learning Creates a Foundation for Success
The digital age is quickly transforming the landscape of education to one where skills take priority over knowledge. Students must develop these skills to become successful life-long learners. We foster the skills of inquiry as well as independent learning skills so that students can become self-directed learners and begin to learn more about their own interests. We also focus on the development of the 21st Century Skills, such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, to ensure our students have a foundation for success in our ever-changing world.
Making Community Connections
Our Junior School students have opportunities to become actively involved and connected with members of our community through Project-Based Learning. Field trips within our community and opportunities to meet with a variety of community members allow students gain valuable insight and understanding of different aspects of a community and how community members work together to meet shared goals. PBL also allows our students to contribute authentic solutions to real challenges within our community, such as when junior students helped the Baby Point BIA design community planters in front of our school that would thrive over the summer, during their unit on plants.
Character Skills Development
A strong character is paramount to becoming responsible and capable citizens. Our Character Skills focus for junior school students helps them to develop roles as respectful members of a community. We foster:
- Awareness of Self and Others
- Acceptance of Differences
Top 10 Reasons Parents Love Summit Micro School:
- Teaching to your child’s potential
- Passionate Teachers
- Mixed-Age Classes
- Critical Thinking
- Small Class Sizes
- Digital Literacy and Computational Thinking
- Experiential Learning
- Project-Based Learning
- Close-knit Community
Top 10 Things Summit Micro School is NOT:
- Desks in rows
- Teaching to the test
- Comply and Conform
- Huge classes
- Outdated curriculum
- Factory schooling
- Standardized tests
- An institution