Programs and Curriculum
Features of Robert Browning
École Robert Browning is a K to 5 French Immersion Centre. It has high student expectations and promotes a high standard of student work with respect and acceptance of others. We are committed to a quality bilingual program in English and French, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology, and social skills development. Ecole Robert Browning takes pride in many initiatives currently underway in the school.
- an effective Code of Behaviour that allows students an opportunity to learn in a happy, safe, respectful and caring environment;
- homework, home reading program, Reading Recovery, and resource program provide support to literacy and academic skills, a wide variety of extra curricular and co-curricular activities such as Concours d'art oratoire, Expo sciences, Heritage Fair and intramurals;
- an extensive music program;
- an involved Parent Council and many volunteers;
- effective communication with parents through personal contact, school and classroom based newsletters, school information handbook, child-parent -teacher conferences, school activities, and performances.
English Language Arts
Twenty-five percent of the school day is spent in English Language Arts. At Robert Browning, phonics is an integral part of whole language in teaching children how to read. The sounds of letters and letter combinations are taught while pictures and story lines are also used as clues to reading. Spelling is also an important component of our English Language Arts program. Even though much research indicates that children tend to lag behind in English for the first few years of schooling (K to 3) in an Immersion program, our Divisional test results have shown that our students do as well as if not better than their English counterparts at these levels. In terms of the English Language Arts Divisional Test results at the Gr. 5 level, our school results have consistently been above the Division mean. Recent initiatives include:
- Home reading program
- Parent volunteers who help students practice reading skills
- Reading Recovery Program
A new math curriculum was introduced in Gr. 1 to 5. To assist in the full implementation of this new program, the school has focused on math as one of its primary school goals in order to improve student math knowledge and test results. The new program emphasizes problem solving to investigate and understand mathematical content, to use technology, to address relevant and interesting mathematical ideas and to experience the power and usefulness of mathematics. Recent initiatives include:
emphasis on using manipulatives to understand mathematical concepts
- teaching problem solving strategies
- professional development for staff on the new K to 5 math curriculum
- emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving and mental math
- assessment based on class work, unit tests and term cum tests all addressing learning outcomes.
Divisional exams in Science are administered to our students.For continuous improvement, again this year, we will focus on:
- addressing the learning outcomes of the Divisional document in our teaching
- interesting lab activities followed by vocabulary practise
- practise for the transfer from the concrete lab experiment to the written expression of the concept
- providing study skills and preparing study guides for students prior to tests
- unit and cum tests to link assessment to the curriculum and instruction aspects of the program
For continuous improvement we will maintain focus on:
- emphasis in teaching the stated learning outcomes of our Divisional Social Studies document which reflect the B.E.F. curriculum
- emphasis on the research to bring meaning and current data to the concepts
- integration of technology through recently acquired software enabling technological exploration of Canada
- emphasis on practise of the vocabulary of Social Studies
- practise activities to promote writing in Social Studies
- administration of chapter tests
The music program at École Robert Browning is based on the approach developed by Carl Orff. This is an experiential approach designed for all kinds of learners: aural, visual and kinesthetic. The fact that the students are experiencing music in the context of second-language learning makes this program unique. The development of a second language is facilitated by the repetition of simple speech patterns in a framework of singing, listening, body percussion, instrumental playing and improvising. Concerts and assemblies give the community opportunities to enter the world of creative development that is fostered by the music program.
Each class is formally scheduled in the library for two periods per cycle. One is for library skills and borrowing and the other is for reading. Teachers and the library technician promote a love of books and reading through literature experiences that support the outcomes of both English Language Arts and the Français curricla. The library participates in the Accelerated Reader reading assessment program – selected books are marked with their reading level. Students can take quizzes in the library’s computer pod about books they have read.
Physical Education Program
École Robert Browning provides quality physical education. The Physical Education Program focuses on the development of fourteen basic motor skills through various activities. In addition to skill development, emphasis is given to participation, fair play, speaking French and having fun. Intramural activities are offered at noon hour and all students are welcome. Each class has an opportunity to participate throughout the year. Our inter-school teams participate in Cross-Country Running, Marathon Club, Track and Field, Basketball and Volleyball. We provide students with a wide array of activities in a safe environment. The development of second-language learning is an integral part of our programming.
Through classroom discussions and presentations our school counsellor developmental needs such as personal growth, self-esteem and risk taking. Individual counselling through staff, parent or self-referral is also provided to students experiencing social and emotional problems or facing a crisis situation. Parents can meet the counsellor by calling the school at 837-8381.
The resource program is a collaborative effort involving teaching assistants, volunteers and the resource teacher. Its purpose is to provide educational support to special needs students and their teachers in order to maximize learning opportunities. To this end, frequent consultations between key people are necessary. As well, the school team often calls on the added expertise of the counselor and various members of the Student Support Team assigned to École Robert Browning. This team is comprised of a reading specialist, social worker, speech and language clinician and psychologist. An additional avenue of support is that of the Reading Recovery program. This early intervention program focuses on improving the reading and writing skills of six-year olds who are not yet functioning at the average level of their classmates. As well, Robert
Browning has a Math Intervention program in place to assist at-risk students in the primary grades.
Student Assessment is done throughout the year and is fundamental to student learning. Assessment is the systematic way a teacher gathers information about what a student knows, is able to do, and is learning to do. The purpose of assessment is to improve instruction and student learning. There are two main types of assessment: formative and summative. Formative assessment is designed to improve learning by providing feedback to students. This feedback highlights what students have learned, specific learning strategies that contributed to the student’s progress, and specific instruction for improvement. Summative assessment is designed to determine to what extent students have attained the learning outcomes. Summative assessment is primarily used for assigning marks at the end of a block of instruction.
Teachers evaluate the summative assessments to determine the level of student achievement. This information is then summarized on the report card. Report cards are then sent home three times a year in November, March and June for grades 1 to 5. Report cards for the Kindergarten students are issued in June. Conferences follow the November and March reporting periods. Teachers are available to discuss student progress with parents at any time during the year.