Our students enjoy daily French lessons within the classroom both individually and in small groups. They acquire basic vocabulary in a variety of areas, including numbers, colours, parts of the body and items of clothing, foods, family and feelings, everyday activities, time, weather, seasons, special holidays, the names of common animals as well as a reasonably large bank of descriptive words. Songs, communicative games and hands-on activities are an integral part of each lesson. Our French program boasts the use of the gesture approach – which is just being incorporated into many immersion schools. This approach leads to earlier comprehension and better retention of the language.
In our Music classes children enjoy singing songs and developing them into rounds. They expand their vocal range by learning to match pitch and develop their sense of rhythm by clapping, playing a variety of percussion instruments and expressing themselves through dance movement. These activities are also used to introduce the basics of simple notation. The children also have the opportunity to explore various instruments such as the recorder, flute and guitar. In June they present what they have learned in a performance for parents and friends.
Dance and Drama
In our Dance class, children develop flexibility, strength and balance while experiencing the joy of movement. They learn the basics of ballet for poise, and tap dancing for rhythm. As they put the steps together in dances, they develop their body memory. Children establish a cooperative spirit as they dance with partners to different tempos such as waltz or polka. They also find out about other cultures as they learn folk dances from around the world. In June the children give a performance incorporating what they have learned.
Arts and Crafts
At the Toddler level, a hands-on program of Arts and Crafts has been integrated into our regular classroom setting. Craft activities are often related to topics being studied or linked to up-coming holiday celebrations. In the Casa program the children have specialized art instruction during which they learn art history, styles and techniques, and about master artist. Children learn to use various materials to produce art projects based on the lessons presented. At the same time, they are given encouragement and opportunity for creative self-expression.
The children have weekly yoga classes during which they learn body awareness, relaxation and calming techniques, and to appreciate the world around them. Namaste.
Physical Fitness/Outdoor Education
Our playground is part of an environmentally protected area, where children can develop their physical abilities without inhaling traffic-polluted air. Under the supervision of our teachers, the children participate daily in structured games or have plain old-fashioned fun running, digging in the sandbox or climbing the equipment, swooping down the slide from the ‘eagle’s nest’ or socializing in the playhouse. Walks in Gibbons Park combine physical exercise with learning and an appreciation of nature.
Recognizing that ‘school’ extends far beyond the classroom walls, we take our students on a series of educational and cultural field trips which complement the curriculum. They visit local museums, galleries and historical sites, attend music, theatre and dance performances and participate in environmental programs. At other times we invite outside guests to offer presentations of special interest to our children. We also encourage our parents to come in and share their cultural background, hobbies, special skills, or professional expertise.
GPMS Gives Back
We seek to show and teach our students that the freedom and education they receive here come with the responsibility to help others both in the community, and those less fortunate but no less deserving. To show them that the responsibility to change our world for the better lies with all of us, and that service needs to be an accepted part of everyone's life if we are to achieve this goal. Opportunities to perform community service in the community at large may include: helping seniors, keeping our Gibbons Park clean, a food drive and delivering food to the food bank, the adoption of needy families at holiday time and sharing of clothes and toys with underprivileged children, fundraising for communities in crisis and our charities such as Terry Fox Foundation, Red Cross and World Vision.