John Knox is committed to building and sustaining a staff culture, that it is safe, productive and collaborative. Staff are expected to do one summer course, or the equivalent, every three years. The school also provides professional development opportunities through its district and local PD Days and Professional Learning Communities.
Math instruction at John Knox includes problem solving, direct instruction, investigation, assessment and practice. It allows students to learn with understanding, develop proficiency, learn mathematical ways of thinking and attain an appreciation for how math is used in everyday life.
Students are given the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways – individually, cooperatively, independently, with teacher direction, through hands-on experience, through examples followed by practice. In addition, mathematics requires students to learn concepts and procedures, acquire skills, and learn and apply mathematical processes.
At John Knox, we use the 4-Blocks Literacy Model to teach reading, writing and spelling. The 4-Blocks Literacy Model is a framework of instruction where time is spent everyday on Guided Reading, Self-Selected Reading, Writing and Working With Words.
Early Reading instruction in grades 1-3 is differentiated so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks through a structure called Daily Five and Cafe. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while teachers provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.
Grades 1-6 participate in the Accelerated Reader program wherein students select books at their reading level, read independently, and take an independent comprehension test on the computer to reach an agreed upon goal. Each book is worth a certain number of points based on its length and reading level.
Writing instruction is differentiated so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks through a structure called Daily Five and Cafe. Students receive whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while teachers provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students. The 6 Traits of Writing is used to teach students writing skills - ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation – for a deep understanding of the writing process. Across the curriculum, students explore different forms of writing – narrative, recounts, procedures, reports, explanations, expositions, and using grammar.
Following the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations science instruction is built around the following four strands: Life Systems, Structures and Mechanisms, Matter and Energy, and Earth and Space Systems. Students are taught to relate science to God’s world by understanding our role as stewards of creation and developing scientific inquiry and problem solving skills. Project Based Learning (PBL) is also used to meet these expectations. Project-Based Learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.
Grades 4-8 curriculum includes World of Literature (Christian Schools International) as well as novel studies, book reports and literature circles.
John Knox follows the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations in social studies instruction. It is built around two strands, 1) Heritage and Identity and 2) People and Environments. Students develop an understanding of who they are, where they come from, where they belong, and how they can contribute to the society in which they live. To meet these expectations, John Knox uses the Creation Studies units developed by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools. It gives students the opportunities to meet the ministry exceptions through a Christian worldview.
Students in grades 7 and 8 study both history and geography from a Christian perspective. The history program provides an overview of Canadian history that begins in colonial North America during the early eighteenth century and extends to issues that Canada faced prior to World War I. Students learn how to investigate and make judgements about issues, developments, and events of historical importance by gathering, interpreting, and analyzing historical evidence and information from a variety of primary and secondary sources. in order to investigate and make judgements about. The geography program provides students with opportunities to explore the world around them, analyze how people and environments affect one another, and develop their ability to become environmentally responsible citizens.
As Christians learning a second language, we are blessed with opportunities to demonstrate a desire to love our neighbour by learning about other peoples, their cultures and their language; practice humility and a willing heart by stepping out of our comfort zones; celebrate the diversity that God has created in his world; develop our skills and attitude for service. Students realize the vision of the French curriculum as they strive to use French to communicate and interact effectively in a variety of social settings; learn about Canada, its two official languages, and other cultures; appreciate and acknowledge the interconnectedness and interdependence of the global community; be responsible for their own learning, as they work independently and in groups; use effective language learning strategies; become lifelong language learners for personal growth and for active participation as world citizens.
The Arts curriculum at John Knox has three main components - Drama, Music and Visual Arts. The expectations for each strand are grouped under three subheadings: creating and presenting/performing; reflecting, responding, and analysing; exploring forms and cultural contexts. \nAll John Knox students receive two periods of music per week. In grades K-3 this takes the form of a rhythm and vocal music program, incorporating drama and dance components. In grade 4 students meet curriculum expectations as they learn to play the recorder with some instruction in choir and performance opportunities. In grades 5-8 students participate in a band program with woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Students in Grades 7 and 8 are given two drama periods each week which includes participation in an Arts Festival held each spring. There are additional opportunities for drama instruction through our annual Christmas program and skits performed in French or various other subjects.
John Knox is a Google School and all students from Junior Kindergarten - Grade 8 are taught to use technology to enhance learning. Teachers use Google Classroom, SMART boards, email, student devices, Chrome books and a well-equipped media centre to enhance the school’s educational program. Students are taught digital citizenship and given opportunities to explore coding and animation software. We use computers to help us teach students to solve problems, to find information and organize this into meaningful presentations, and to collaborate with others. Students are encouraged to use computers in a way that leads them to develop their gifts to the best of their ability so they can be and become the persons God intends them to be.
Our program is a mix of fitness, sports development and cooperative games designed to improve gross motor skills. We offer same-gender gym for grades 7 & 8.
Students in Grades K-6 use Bible curriculum provided by Christian Schools International. Students in grades 7 & 8 also incorporate units from Prairie Association of Canada. All students start the day with devotions in their classrooms, Students have 2-3 Bible classes each week. In additional to classroom instruction, there are monthly Chapels based on a school theme and led by a local pastor. Our Christian worldview is woven through all subjects and relationships at John Knox.
SEX AND HEALTH EDUCATION
Our curriculum for sex-ed is taught from a Christian worldview using curriculum developed by Christian Schools International.
At John Knox the Special Education Resource Teacher develops a Student Profile or an Individual Education Plan for exceptional students in collaboration with the classroom teacher. These documents serve as the educational plan for the student. John Knox welcomes the enrolment of all students depending on the level of support needed, the commitment of the parents to our program, and the resources available