The Form 7 English program is an intensive and enriched course of study which lays the groundwork for Year 1, Year 2 and Foundation Year at the Upper School. The program is divided into three sections: literature (and literary analysis); communication (both written and oral); and language skills. The core literature has been chosen to expose students to a richness and variety of writing. Students also develop an appreciation of allegory through the study of “Foundations,” a research project on 100 culturally significant references. Reading is supported with a reading period outside regular English class time. On a regular basis, students practise various forms of writing, including narrative pieces, speeches, poetry and formal essays. They use both word processors and traditional writing tools to help with the draft-revision process. Core language skills (including formal grammar skills) are taught with the aid of written exercises found in their grammar workbook. Students’ individual language skills weaknesses are addressed by the teacher as part of the writing process. Core vocabulary is drawn from the core literature studied and from other Form 7 subjects.
Form 7 students have one English period in the library once a cycle. During this time students are introduced to a wide variety of new and familiar authors and books through book talks and reading aloud. Students also use the time to browse, choose books and read for pleasure. The development of information skills is conducted in conjunction with subject work. Students progress through the information skills continuum to the development of more complex information finding strategies.
The Form 7 core French program aims to provide students with the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to develop proficiency in the language. This course starts with a review of basic language patterns and vocabulary. Students then move on to more complex structures, and language topics such as fast food, mysteries, amazing animals and legends. On y va 2
is the textbook used at this level, and we study the reader. Practice in public speaking is integral. Technology is one of a number of tools used to differentiate instruction and teach students to think critically.
The goal of the advanced level is to provide students with the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to develop proficiency in the language. Students study the same topics, themes and grammatical structures as the core level, but in greater detail and depth. The scope of learning opportunities is expanded with more complex and involved projects, assignments, readings, presentations and speeches. Practise in public speaking is an integral part of the course. Technology is one of a number of tools used to differentiate instruction and to teach students to think critically.
Students in the Form 7 extended French program have experience in French or immersion schools, or they demonstrate superior French skills and the capacity to meet the higher expectations of this program. They follow a program designed to help them consolidate and expand on their current language skills and written comprehension and expression. Students are capable of communicating in French, and emphasis is placed on language form, comprehension and grammatical accuracy. A selection of Canadian and French short stories, poems and songs is studied, including the graphic novel Le tour du monde en 80 jours. Students use their research and creative skills to make oral presentations throughout the year. All students also participate in a public speaking contest. Grammar and spelling are reviewed and expanded with the aid of a workbook. Technology is one of a number of tools used to differentiate instruction and to teach students to think critically.
In this Canadian history course, students examine the various forces that have shaped our nation. They explore the principal theme of "The Struggle for Survival" and develop an appreciation for how early Canadians interacted with their environment and survived ongoing conflict in their growth as a colony and as a people. The year begins with a short introduction to the dimensions of historical thinking and then proceeds to study first contact, the establishment of the French colony, the British conquest and subsequent colonial period, and concludes with the formation of the Dominion of Canada. Research, writing skills and critical thinking, as well as the geographic skills introduced in Form 6, are further developed throughout the year. Students will be expected to develop an understanding of the modern Canadian perspective by being aware of events in the media that directly affect Canada and the world at large.
Students learn through an active, student-centred environment where connections are made to the real world. The major areas of study are: number sense and numeration; measurement; geometry and spatial sense; patterning and algebra; and data management and probability. Calculator skills and the use of technology are further developed. There's an emphasis on problem solving, which includes participation in the Canadian National Mathematics League and Gauss contests. There are also opportunities for student-directed investigations and independent learning throughout the year.
This course enables students to understand essential concepts in biology, chemistry and physics to develop skills in the processes of scientific inquiry to relate science to technological, social and environmental knowledge, and to apply their knowledge of science to everyday situations. Units studied include: foundations of science; robotics; cells; tissues and organs; and systems in action. Students design and carry out an original experiment and present their findings in the form of a science fair project.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Structured ICT time is provided in the timetable and is used to integrate key century skill development into the subject areas. Together with the support of classroom teachers and subject specialists, students investigate a variety of technological tools. Students build basic computer skills, evaluate sources of information and use a variety of media to plan, design, create and communicate ideas.
Visual literacy, communication and problem-solving continue to be addressed in more depth in the Form 7 visual art program. Using the elements and principles of design, students analyze the relationships within the natural and man-made environment and how those relationships are manifested in artwork — their own, and those in current and past cultures. Students manipulate and explore the expressive potential of different combinations and arrangements of visual elements, using skills developed through drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The approach encourages independent thinking and risk-taking, as well as exploration and experimentation with a multitude of materials and methods. The process of making work is highly valued.
The Form 7 dramatic arts program builds on the skills introduced in Form 6 and continues the exploration and formal study of drama, theatre and dance. While deepening their knowledge and familiarity of the structures and conventions of these art forms, students will examine, experience and reflect upon the process of creating drama, theatre and dance pieces. Students will rehearse and present one-act plays and monologues, and learn how to improvise. The goal is to provide opportunities for creative self-expression.
The Form 7 music program is a band performance course using brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. Students choose an instrument according to their past experience and appropriate classroom balance. Instruments are provided for the students’ use, but they'll be expected to provide their own mouthpieces and reeds. Students are instructed in the proper care and assembly of their instruments. Skills developed in Form 7 include: the reading of basic music notation; the production of good tone; the learning of fingering patterns; an understanding of pitch and rhythm; and the performance of multi-part band works of different styles. Home practise is required. Boys interested in performing in an extra-curricular ensemble may join the Form 7 Band and audition for the Jazz Band. Choir with involvement in the Prep musical and playing in the String Ensemble are also co-curricular activities.
This course encourages students to apply their skills and understanding to new activities and shifts the focus towards the development and maintenance of physical fitness. Students are expected to work with peers and take increasing responsibility for their own learning. In the fall, boys engage in a game creation unit where they work in small groups to design, modify and present a new game to their peers. In the winter, boys work with a partner to develop a dynamic gymnastics sequence and engage in a skating unit. Throughout the year, there's a focus on physical fitness and development through: endurance running in the fall; gymnastics in the winter; and culminating in a muscular endurance/strength unit in the spring. The program is designed to equip and motivate boys for future participation in formal and informal physical activities.
Health and Life Skills
The curriculum is taught by health and life skills teachers and the Middle Division coordinator of the Wernham West Centre for Learning, supported by the form adviser. It deals with issues and concerns particularly appropriate to boys at this stage of development. The health component of the curriculum includes four main sub-topics: nutrition; personal safety; substance use and abuse; and growth and development. Interwoven into these lessons are the life skills of: managing academic and personal stress; managing interpersonal relations; anti-bullying and conflict resolution; and decision-making. Students participate in activities designed to develop academic skills in the area of agenda use, managing time and developing an understanding of their learning profile. In our everyday life at the Prep, we make explicit the attributes of our "Learner Profile" by embedding them in the curriculum and making them an integral part of the daily experience of the Prep community. We endeavour to develop a way of thinking and acting which embodies these values. We acknowledge that it's normal for students to occasionally fall short of these high expectations as part of their development. These situations are important learning opportunities. Using a specific calming strategy, active listening skills and a common problem-solving model, we help students develop their abilities to work and play with others and better understand and manage their emotions. When they can do this successfully, they promote their value in any group context and build on their self-confidence. When we help children feel safer, more accepted and better able to build good friendships, they're able to pay better attention in class, enjoy being at school and focus on their schoolwork.
Form 7 students spend four or five days during the first term, and two days in the spring in our Norval Outdoor School. The Norval program is described in the Prep Family Handbook.