Virtual Elementary School students in grades 7 and 8 are put at the centre of real-world scenarios. From exploring global perspectives on current issues to personal decisions that affect their daily life, the lessons foster critical thinking and encourage students to develop a toolbox of skills to creatively solve problems. The courses are designed to prepare students for high school so that they can seamlessly transition to their secondary studies.
The math courses refine students’ understanding of various operations, proportional reasoning, algebra, financial literacy, and coding. Students taking the language courses are prepared for secondary school by focusing on presentations, debates, and the essay writing process. To continue their science and technology journeys, students will take a hands-on approach when learning about water systems, fluids, the concept of the cell, and heat in the environment. The French courses focus on improving speaking, writing, and listening skills through the exploration of topics such as travelling, the environment, and sports. The health and physical education courses help students further develop their technical and physical skills for games and their understanding of healthy lifestyles.
Our newest course additions separate the social studies content into two different courses (as you would find in a traditional classroom): history and geography. In the history courses, students explore important events in New France and British North America, as well as events that shaped the creation of Canada. In geography, students learn about physical patterns and natural resources on Earth and investigate global inequalities.
What is unique about our approach to teaching at the intermediate level?
Students at the intermediate level have more ownership over their learning. This approach to both the learning content and the lesson structure means students can progress through the content and build upon their understanding by noting questions to discuss with their teacher or learning coach.
In our courses at the intermediate level, students are encouraged to reflect more on their own learning and the content to enable true mastery of the subject matter.
What are the benefits of using online courses to teach intermediate students?
By taking online courses, intermediate students are able to increase their self-discipline by completing tasks independently. This includes refining time management skills, which will serve them in secondary school and beyond. It is important to prepare students for future online learning situations (in post-secondary and workplace settings) in which they may not receive the same level of direct instruction and guidance that they have grown accustomed to at the elementary level.
What do we do to set up intermediate learners for success?
We continue to encourage intermediate students to make more abstract connections between what they are learning and how the concepts are applied in real-world contexts. Our STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) activities in the science and mathematics courses help prepare students for their future studies at the high school level.
In Grade 7 Language, our students will review and expand upon literary forms such as poetry, descriptive writing, fiction, and non-fiction, as well as oral communication skills. They will have the opportunity to explore the influence of media on their lives, create media texts, and develop research skills through expository writing.
In Grade 8 Language, our students consolidate their language knowledge, skills, strategies, and ability to use them independently. They will create increasingly complex oral, print, and media texts. Non-fiction texts are closely inspected in this course, as well as traditional poetry and key concepts in popular culture.
In Grade 7 History, our students will learn about events and issues that shaped early Canada from the 1700s to 1850. They will analyze daily life in New France and British North America. Students will explore the Underground Railroad and events such as the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812.
In Grade 7 Geography, our students will learn about different features of the environment, such as landforms, bodies of water, and climate regions, and how they interact with each other. Students will investigate natural processes and patterns with the aid of GIS maps. They will investigate human relationships with renewable, non-renewable, and flow resources as they explore our efforts to preserve resources.
In Grade 8 History, our students will explore the developments that shaped Canada from the second half of the 1800s to 1914. Students will investigate Confederation and events like the Red River Rebellion, the Klondike Gold Rush, and the Boer War. They will analyze the women’s rights movement, the abolition of slavery, the Indian Act, and the residential school system.
In Grade 8 Geography, our students will learn about trends in human settlement, identify spatial patterns, and explore how the physical environment influences people. Students will explore the effects of human settlement and land use on the environment. From there they will use graphs to investigate and compare global quality of life and the distribution of wealth.
In Grade 7 Mathematics, our students will delve into intermediate math by exploring numbers up to one billion, combining their knowledge of fractions, decimals, and percentages with their understanding of operations, and finding connections between geometry and careers and real-world situations. They will also apply their data handling skills to information gathered in their lives and local communities, discover links between patterns and algebra, and explore the area and volume of circles and cylinders. Their financial literacy will enhance and improve their understanding of budgets to start the creation of plans to reach financial goals. They will expand their coding knowledge to include programs that run within the programs that they create and code that is influenced by data input by the user.
In Grade 8 Mathematics, our students will complete their intermediate math journey by exploring extremely large and extremely small number using scientific notation and solving problems relating to area, perimeter, volume, and angles. Their understanding of operations will extend to include whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, and negative numbers (integers). They will also continue exploring patterns and representing patterns using algebra and the analysis and representation of data and probability. Their financial literacy will be consolidated by analyzing budgets and setting and maintaining financial goals. In coding, our students will apply data analysis within the code to user-inputted information to assist in informing decisions.
In Grade 7 Science and Technology, our students will further their understanding of the many impacts that humans have on the environment. They will explore pure substances and mixtures and examine the critical role heat plays in natural processes including the causes and effects of heat, its properties, and heat transfer. Our students will also investigate impact of forces on structures and their stability.
In Grade 8 Science and Technology, our students will develop their knowledge of organisms by focusing on the structure and function of cells in plants and animals. They will explore fluids and the diverse applications involved in fluid mechanics while exploring the impact of fluids on industrial processes. The smooth functioning of society depends on a number and variety of systems and students will learn about how the needs of society influences the evolution of systems. In addition, our students will learn about the water systems on earth and the important role that water systems play in global ecosystems.
In Grade 7 French, our students will build on their ability to communicate formally and informally with others both verbally and in writing. They will practice their before, during, and after listening and reading strategies within the context of travel. Students will write procedural texts and learn common restaurant vocabulary and expressions. Students will also listen to public service announcements about the environment and write their own brochures.
In Grade 8 French, our students will refine their comprehension skills and ability to understand oral texts. Students will create a presentation about a French-speaking country and use advanced speaking strategies to present. Students will build on their vocabulary using technology and dictionaries. They will then explore the world of sport as they learn common vocabulary and write their own magazine article.
In Grade 7 Health and Physical Education, our students will extend their understanding of online bullying and being safe on social media. Students will continue to build physical fitness plans based around flexibility, strength, and endurance. They will work on developing advanced skills and strategies in sports, dance, gymnastics, and a variety of games. Students will study factors that influence healthy eating and substance abuse. They will deepen their understanding about puberty as they also learn about sexually transmitted diseases and signs of mental illness.
In Grade 8 Health and Physical Education, our students will learn to create and modify fitness plans while they learn the difference between health training and skill training. Students will hone advanced skills and strategies in dance and various games, including golf and track and field. They will develop a thorough understanding of the warning signs and risks of substance abuse. An understanding of human development will be consolidated as they learn about gender identity and expression, abstinence and contraception, and healthy relationships. Students will also learn techniques to build positive mental health, and how to combat mental health stigma.