WCS offers a full curriculum for students from the JK/SK to Grade 8 levels. Our students’ progress in comparison to other schools is monitored using the Canadian Tests of Basic Skills which is administered to Grades 3-8 every other year. WCS compares very well with other OACS schools and is substantially ahead of the national average of the public and separate schools across the country.
Art work enables children to recognize, explore and develop creative talents. Students learn to use different media skillfully and apply concepts of line, colour, shape, form, space and value. In all grades, art is often interrelated with other areas of the curriculum.
The purpose of teaching Bible is to a) impart knowledge of the Bible, b) open up ways for children to know and love their Lord and c) move children to a deeper faith. The Story of God and His People, a Bible series developed by Christian Schools International, is used in all our classrooms. The curriculum focuses on the story of God and His people in every lesson at every grade level. The stories are presented chronologically to emphasize the relationship between individual stories and the overall theme of the Bible. Students are given opportunity to retell the story in a variety of ways, so they can remember the stories and share them with others. Students who complete all levels of the K-8 Bible program will have studied the Bible stories three times.
Devotions are held daily in each class and usually consist of a Scripture passage or reading from a devotional book, prayer requests and praise through songs. Each day is concluded with prayer as well. A weekly time of school worship is held for all students and staff in the gym.
French is taught to students in grades 1-8. Our purpose is to learn to speak and understand the French language and to appreciate French culture. French is taught primarily through a conversational method. Vocabulary, pronunciation and grammatical structures are developed mainly through situation dialogues.
Since God’s gift of language is intended for communication, enjoyment and praise, we affirm that students need skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening and thus develop their gifts to God’s honour.
For Kindergarten, Language Arts emphasizes good speaking and listening habits and reading readiness skills. For grades 1-8, our Language Arts program includes literature (reading and comprehension of poetry, short stories and novels), phonics, grammar, spelling, vocabulary studies, creative writing, journalling (once or twice a week), silent reading and read-aloud time.
Penmanship may also be considered part of Language Arts. Cursive writing is begun in the latter part of grade 2 or in grade 3. Pens are used in grades 4 and up. Neatness is an aim. A typing program is taught in Grades 4 through 8 to ensure computer typing proficiency. Grade 6-8 students must use the computers for some assignments.
As grade one students learn their phonics, they also use those skills for spelling. Grades 2-8 have lessons, using various different texts and workbooks. Spelling is related to the curriculum in other subjects. Grade 6-8 also may use Wordly Wise as they work on building vocabulary.
The Mathematics program emphasizes knowledge of the basic skills at all levels. Continuous reinforcement and drills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills at the lower grade levels provide good building blocks for work at grades 5-8. Our Math texts emphasize math teaching from a “problem-solving” point of view. Concepts are introduced and reviewed from grade to grade. Students learn new skills by making practical and logical applications of those skills previously learned. We use “Math Makes Sense” in GR.K-6, and “Math Power” in Gr. 7 & 8.
Each grade unfolds different parts of God’s great creation. Students are taught that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit as they study healthy living. From grade 4 up the social sciences become more specific with geography units on parts of Canada, cultural studies of various other countries and historical background to where we are as a Canadian nation today.
Science is an important subject at Willowdale Christian School that creates a sense of awe and wonder in the hearts and minds of the children. As students engage in hands-on learning, they discover the order and creativity found in God’s creation. Students are encouraged to complete experiments and ask deeper questions about why things work the way they do. With an assortment of tools such as microscopes, test tubes, gears and pulleys, students see how theory and learning comes to life. Field trips to places like Ripley’s Aquarium and the Ontario Science Centre enrich the learning for students and solidify what they learn in the classroom.
In the primary grades we concentrate on singing, rhythm and beat, using some Orff instruments and rhythm instruments. In the junior grades we continue with this and hope to accomplish part singing. The recorder is played in grades 4-5. Grade 6-8 students participate in a band program. The school owns the instruments. Piano lessons are also available during or following the school day.
WCS has a full computer lab with 27 workstations to accommodate a one to one computer to student ratio for technology class work. Students learn about how to leverage technology using common programs for presentation preparation, responsible web surfing for research, website design and general computer competencies.
The emphasis in Physical Education is on the use of physical activity as a development medium in which the prime goal is not the activity itself, but rather the achievement of personal potentials through the activity. In the primary and junior grades, the emphasis lies on the development of motor coordination, development of muscle tone and create movement as well as initial sports skills. The senior grades continue to develop these skills and focus on team sports skills such as softball, soccer, volleyball and basketball. Tae Kwon Do lessons are also available after school on Fridays.