The elementary years are vital in laying and building a strong foundation for our students. The elementary curriculum is structured to present the wonders of God in creation, in His Word, and in the lives of our young students and community. Students move from dependent learning to a more independent learning.
Fundamental skills such as reading, writing and numeracy are reinforced while the curriculum also guides students in learning skills important for our 21st Century, such as, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. The culture and climate of the campus supports excellence and achievement enhancing the development of personal attributes and behaviours that will lead to success in school and positive growth towards adult life.
ELEMENTARY CAMPUS CURRICULUM
RCS values academic excellence, providing a solid foundation for students to build upon. We emphasize reading, writing and mathematics programs that reflect current educational research. Our students do very well on the Foundation Skills Assessment tests and we are consistently rated in the top 2% of all elementary schools in BC. Teachers at Richmond Christian School are encouraged to grow professionally, working together to develop curriculum that allows students to grow beyond the content of the curriculum. Students benefit from engaging expeditions into the community, exploring how what they are learning fits into everyday contexts. A richly resourced school provides an excellent background for teaching. A variety of programs for grades 1-5, happen outside of the classroom. These are the Accelerated Reading Program, Before/After School Clubs, and Intramurals.
French begins at grade one at RCS. The Elementary Campus uses the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) and has proven to be a very comprehensive and effective approach to language learning. Students are actively involved and engaged during class and have retained a vast amount of material since RCS first began this program in 2008. With its extensive and creative use of story and drama, students are capable of being creative in their oral and written output. All classes (grades 1 through 5) are conducted in French only, resulting in a “mini-immersion” atmosphere. Within a short amount of time, students are developing an oral fluency that has impressed both parents and teachers.
We love music at RCS! It is not uncommon to walk down the halls and hear a class singing as music is incorporated into a variety of subjects. Students in grades Kindergarten to Grade 5 also receive 90 minutes per week of formal music classes. Students learn fundamental music skills in a fun, interactive atmosphere. A variety of instruments are introduced at different grade levels including recorder, ukelele, xylophone, drums and hand bells. Our students enjoy performing at Christmas with the whole school. Each year, the Primary Grades alternate with Intermediate Grades to perform a spring musical. Our intermediate students are often able to join our Secondary Campus musical performances during the year it is being performed. Often, classes perform individually for chapels or special occasions.
Art is woven into many areas of curriculum within the classrooms. It is an excellent teaching tool where children are encouraged to use a variety of art forms for their projects in many subjects. A walk down one of the hallways gives you an idea of the many forms of art used by the teachers. Formal art classes involve mediums such as painting, sculpting, print making and drawing. Classes often explore various galleries in the Lower Mainland to understand more about art and its process.
Physical Education is an important component of the whole person. As such, each student will have 90 minutes of physical education instruction during the week. To fullfill daily physical activity requirements, students also participate in whole grade, lunch time, intramural sports activity once a week. Teachers will provide more activity on days when there is no PE or Intramurals. Students in grades 4-5 can participate in Track and Field competitions in the spring. Grades 1-3 students enjoy ice skating several times in the winter, and in June the school participates in Sports Day, a fun day of races and games that fosters teamwork.
There is a Christ-centred, spiritual element to every aspect of life at Richmond Christian School. Every subject, from math to poetry, is taught from a Christian perspective, and students are given an opportunity to express their faith whenever possible. The Christian teachers at RCS strive to show a godly example through their lives and their teaching. Teachers spend time praying with children and are genuinely interested in the lives of all their students. Formal Bible classes are taught in every grade and Scripture memory is a regular part of the curriculum. Friday mornings are chapel times at the elementary campus at RCS. Each year, a school theme is developed that permeates the school. The whole student body learns about important Christian concepts. Chapel is a time for our entire student body to gather for singing and sharing. Classes take turns hosting chapel; performing skits, songs, poetry and Scripture memory. Occasionally, other staff members or special speakers come in to share a focused perspective. It is definitely a highlight of the week.