The French Language Catholic School Curriculum

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1 The French Language Catholic School Curriculum Objectives Know what the Ontario curriculum is all about. Understand the terminology. Facts Since 1997, the Government of Ontario restructured the elementary and secondary school curriculum. The students' report cards are now standardized throughout the province. The Ministry of Education consults parents on the on-going programme review. What do our children learn? Curriculum guidelines outline what pupils must learn in school, the skills they must develop, the evaluation process and the provincial report card. Schools may use different textbooks to teach the curriculum. All guidelines are available on the Ministry website: The documents can be viewed by level, elementary and secondary, by year of study and by subject. They are also available in the schools.

2 The guidelines include: Knowledge the students must acquire in their courses. Skills the students must develop in their courses. Clear and measurable expectations. An evaluation chart for the students' performance. High expectations for every level. A rigorous content for each grade in elementary and for each subject in secondary school. How do I know what my child should be doing in each course? Exemplars: Exemplars have been developed for each subject. They are samples of student work. Teachers, parents and students can see the characteristics of the work for every level of performance. These are available on-line at the ministry web site in the section on curriculum document, in documents specific to the grade and subject. Here is an example: My Adventure I went in the forest. I got lots of masceto bights. I have lots of fun. saw a dead bird. I walked throw mud. I took 4pictures. I like the forest. I took my bicke or I walked. Some times it is dark, but sometimes it is Sunny. The end Grade2 Level 2: Reasoning: Includes simple ideas that are connected to the story line. Provides some supporting details, but not enough to clarify the point of the story.

3 Communication There is some evidence of the writer s voice. Has little variation in wording. Uses some descriptive words. Uses one connecting word ( but ). Organization There is some evidence of a beginning, middle, and an end, but some sentences are placed inappropriately. Conventions Attempts to use phonetic spelling ( masceto bights for mosquito bites and bicke for bike ). Uses capitals and periods appropriately with few errors Comments Uses some simple ideas that could be developed further. Use of more than a single stem ( I went, I took ) needs to be encouraged. Is the curriculum different in French language schools? Curriculum content in French language schools is essentially the same as in English schools except that students may take the same English courses as English students or English as a second language. It differs as follows.

4 French-language education fosters: The development of a strong personal, linguistic and cultural identity. The development of a feeling of belonging to the Francophone community in Ontario, in Canada and internationally. Quality education in French. A French learning environment. In French language schools, curriculum takes into account the following: The promotion of language and culture. French language must be mastered and used in every course, except in English or international language classes. In every school program, all learning activities must be done in French. Material for the student must be in French. Elementary Level The new elementary educational program: Includes new curriculum guidelines. Has high expectations. Has a rigorous content. Specifies what students must learn and what they must be able to do. Is standardized throughout the province. A standardized curriculum throughout the province will be beneficial to students who change schools during the school year and it will allow parents from every region to follow and understand their

5 children's progress. The elementary guidelines include three components. Expectations: The students must acquire the knowledge and abilities detailed in the program. Educational content: Teachers choose educational strategies that will favor the acquisition of new skills and abilities. Their choice will be based upon the students needs and the available resources. Performance evaluation chart: The chart usually describes the four levels of performance. There are religion courses in each grade at the elementary level. Religion courses are approved by the Institute for Catholic Education. Is the report card the same at the elementary and secondary levels? Yes, the format is the same. The Ontario report card is used to officially communicate school student performance to parents and students. It emphasizes two separate aspects: if the student meets the course s expectations and the acquisition of skills. The report card also contains comments from the teachers on the pupil s strengths, indicates the aspects that need improvement and specifies how to achieve the desired results. The Ontario report card indicates: How the students meet the course's expectations. The skills acquired. The teachers' comments.

6 Reference Ministry of Education 900 Bay Street, Mowat Block Toronto Ontario M7A 1L2 Telephone: (416) Toll-free: 1 (800) Fax: (416) Internet : Link as of English schools curriculum French schools curriculum (in French only some courses and requirements are different) The following documents are available in the schools and on the Ministry of Education s website: Elementary curriculum and exemplars. Secondary curriculum and exemplars. Ontario Report Card User Guide. Policies and resource documents. Resource guides. Student Records. Reflection documents. Planning of programs and evaluation. Individual Education Plan. Choices that lead to action. Frequently Asked Questions.

7 Please consult your school board or the school for the specific of the curriculum as implemented. If you have questions or comments regarding the subject in this module, simply send an to Parents partenaires en education at Curriculum guidelines: Student performance evaluation chart The achievement chart for each subject area and discipline is designed to: Provide a common framework that encompasses all curriculum expectations for all grades and all subjects/disciplines. Guide the development of assessment tasks and tools (including rubrics). Help teachers to plan instruction for learning. Assist teachers in providing meaningful feedback to students. Provide a variety of aspects (e.g., use of thinking skills, ability to apply knowledge) on which to assess and evaluate student learning. The categories of knowledge and skills are described as follows: Knowledge and Understanding. Thinking. Communication Application Teachers will ensure that student work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories. The main goal of a student s performance evaluation is to improve the education process. The

8 evaluation allows the teacher to identify the student s strengths and weaknesses, and to adapt the program and the teaching techniques to suit the needs. The evaluation is based on the program s expectations and includes: Homework. Presentations. Projects. Activities and tests. In secondary school, the evaluation chart describes the performance levels according to four skills: Knowledge and understanding. Reflection and research. Communication. Application. Secondary level curriculum To improve achievement and to reduce the drop out rate, the following initiatives were implemented. Compulsory schooling Students must remain in school until the age of 18, or until they graduate. Specialist High Skills Majors 27 school boards are participating in the launch of pilot Specialist High Skills Majors. The majors being offered are in construction, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, primary industries (agriculture, mining, forestry and landscaping), and arts

9 and culture. Expanded Co-operative Education Two co-op credits earned after September 2005 can be applied to a student s 18 compulsory credits required for graduation. Dual Credits These dual credit pilot programs allow high school students to earn a number of credits by participating in apprenticeship training and postsecondary courses that count towards their high school diploma, and postsecondary diploma, postsecondary degree or apprenticeship certification. Student Success Teams Every high school in Ontario now has a team that includes a principal, a Student Success Teacher or teachers, and a guidance counselor. Together, they identify and support struggling students, provide more options for learning and monitor student progress. Grade 8-9 Transition Plan The plan implemented in September 2006 includes more teachers, intensive professional development and improved tracking of struggling students and their progress. These additional resources and supports are dedicated to helping students at risk of dropping out during the transition from elementary to secondary school. The Secondary Educational Program: Offers a wide variety of courses.

10 Offers guaranteed linguistic skills. Gives computer technology a place in the curriculum. Sets clear provincial standards about the content of courses and tests. Includes more rigorous courses in every discipline. Offers every student a complete and balanced education. Offers more support in planning for the future or preparing for the workplace. Allows students to choose courses that will help them prepare for university, college, a learning program or the workplace. Gives students the possibility to change courses if their future plans change. Requires that students complete 40 hours of community service within 4 years. In grades 9 and 10, there are mandatory courses in Mathematics, French, Science, Geography and History. In catholic schools, there are also mandatory courses in Religion. There are only a few optional courses. Students have a choice between theoretical courses and applied courses for the basic subjects (French, English, Mathematics and Religion, Sciences, Geography and History). Theoretical courses emphasize theory and abstract problems. Applied courses are all about practical applications, concrete examples and scenarios illustrating concepts and theories in a way to give students the possibility to learn by trial and error. Students must successfully complete a linguistic skill test in Grade 10. In grades 11 and 12, there are still mandatory courses in languages and mathematics. In catholic schools, there are still mandatory courses in Religion. Courses are harder and require reflection and analysis. Students now choose their courses according to their post-secondary destination. The new programs offer courses that prepare students for university, postsecondary

11 education or the workplace. If a student wishes to go straight to the workplace after high school, he chooses courses that will prepare him for that. If, however, he changes his mind halfway through high school and wants to go to college, he can change his courses. The new curriculum also requires mandatory community service. Students must complete 40 hours of community service within 4 years. The curriculum offers an important role to teacher s assistants that help students elaborate their future plan and choose the appropriate courses, coop placement and specialized programs. It includes transition courses for those who wish to change from courses preparing them for university to courses preparing them for college or the workplace. The new curriculum s standardized report card clearly identifies the students progress. Information on the new secondary school programs is available on the following web site: Who does what? Curriculum implementation requires a concerted effort on the part of all key stakeholders. All share in the responsibility of a sound implementation plan. Following are the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders: Catholic School boards School boards must involve and consult school councils in the implementation process of the new programs in its schools. School trustees are elected by parents and must make sure that the Ministry s policies and regulations are implemented in the schools. They must also make sure that the school board s

12 administrative staff has the necessary resources and tools to implement the programs. School Trustees: Support the implementation process. Approve the policies and the activities needed to implement the new curriculum. Consult school councils, parents and the community. Approve the global implementation plan. Review and update the implementation plan. Directors of Education / Supervisory Officers Directors of education: Identify the needs. Support teachers in the implementation process. Encourage sharing among members of the teaching staff. Inform school councils and parents. Inform parents, school councils and advisory boards on special education on ways to access the resources that will allow students to succeed. Insure that teachers are properly trained. School principals School principals have the responsibility of making sure the school councils, the parents and the community receives all the information concerning the new curriculum, the implementation plan and the activities regarding the implementation. They must also make sure the teachers have the tools and resources that will allow them to prepare courses that will meet the program s requirements and the students needs. School principals:

13 Identify the needs and help the staff implement policies. Develop an implementation plan that will ensure: Communication with everyone. Use of the programs. Common practices. Training opportunities. The satisfaction of students needs. Evaluate the efficiency of the implementation plan. Form a network with all the partners involved. Facilitate exchanges between staff members. The Teaching Staff Teachers: Participate in training and orientation sessions. Share successful techniques and resources. Communicate with the parents in order to keep them up-to-date on the progress and needs of their children. Help parents use the resources and encourage the student participation. Develop teaching and evaluation techniques aimed at improving the students performance that conform with provincial policies. Discuss the matter with the students in order to establish personal needs and expected results. Communicate with the school principal to determine the students needs. Adapt programs for gifted or exceptional pupils.

14 School councils The mission of a school council is to help improve the quality of education offered to the students. The council has an important role to play in programming. The school council should, in collaboration with the school principal, suggest strategies that foster communications between the school and the community and ways of reporting the school council s activities to the schools and the parents. The school council should participate in the review the school s policies regarding the implementation of the new curriculum and programs. It can help the parents become familiar with the new curriculum, the policies, the programs and the resources available to support their children or the schools in the implementation of the new curriculum. School Councils: Support schools in the implementation process of the curriculum, policies and programs. Help parents become familiar with the new curriculum, policies, programs and available resources that can help their children. Participate in the development and review of policies regarding the implementation of the curriculum and the programs. Support initiatives designed to meet the needs of children enrolled in Special Education programs. Parents Research shows that students perform better in school when parents participate in the education process. Parents play an important role in this matter and they should

15 Participate in their children s education. Read the curriculum guidelines to gain a better understanding of what their child will learn. Understand expectations and curriculum content to gain a better appreciation of the report card. Be familiar with the exemplars, as samples of student work expected at each grade level. Parents who are familiar with the curriculum, policies and programs are in a much better position to help their children. The Church and the Parish The participation of priests and parishioners contributes to the enrichment of the Catholic school. The level of the Church involvement varies from board to board.

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