The Elementary Division (Grades 1-5) is a dynamic child-centred learning environment with a challenging and exciting program divided into a half-day of general studies, and a half-day of Jewish studies. Students develop close relationships with their general and Jewish studies homeroom teachers, and benefit from the expertise of specialists in music, physical education, French and, beginning in Grade 3, Yiddish.
Teachers plan lessons and use various teaching strategies to meet the needs of different learners. The program incorporates creative art and music, and students focus on developing problem-solving, decision-making, critical-thinking and communication skills. Students’ needs are met through extensive resource and support services as well as opportunities for challenge and enrichment.
Our program relies on theme-based units that integrate technology and curriculum from multiple subject areas. This integration enables us to meet all curricular expectations in a way that is meaningful and relevant to our students.
Rich co-curricular programming makes the Elementary Division a fun and stimulating environment. All classes take the stage for parents and peers as part of special holiday celebrations that incorporate drama, song and dance. Curriculum-related field trips and special outings expose students to drama, music, art and multicultural themes. Students participate in the ‘I Love Israel’ contest, model Seders, Yom Sport and trips to the school’s own Israel Interactive Centre.
Character Education, through the emphasis of specific traits and the development of Menschlechkeit, is an integral part of both the Jewish and general studies programs, and is embedded in all aspects of Elementary Division life. Our Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam projects combine authentic learning with the opportunity to help Israel, the Jewish community and wider Canadian society.
As our elementary students grow and mature, there are plenty of opportunities to develop social and leadership skills. Beginning in Grade 3, students become ‘Book Buddies’ – reading with partners in younger classes and guiding them through joint creative activities. In Grade 4, our students participate in experiential teambuilding workshops. In Grade 5, students join their House program that continues in the Senior Division, and are trained as ‘Peacemakers’ – helping younger children mediate social conflicts that arise during recess.
The elementary years are an exciting time for any child, and that is certainly true at Bialik. The same small people who enter Grade 1 just beginning to read, to explore Hebrew and to negotiate social interactions in a formal educational setting, graduate to the Senior Division fully prepared academically and socially for a fulfilling middle school experience.