Grades 1-3 : Cycle 2
Grade 1 is the start for Cycle 2 : Fundamental Learnings, which spans Maternelle and Elementary School. Maternelle and Elementary teachers have the same training and, in many cases, have taught both levels. As a result, the transition from Kindergarten to Grade 1 is smooth.
During grade 1 students begin to read in French, English. They are taught to write in cursive (only in French in Grade 1) and to read all written forms. Language skills and oral expression are high priorities. A significant part of every school day is devoted to poetry, writing, oral language, reading, spelling. Mastering the language is one of the two main priorities of Cycle 2. In this Cycle, art, music, science, civics and physical education classes begin, and math, which is the Cycle’s second main priority, is taught formally.
Grades 4-6 : Cycle 3
In Cycle 3: Development, which covers Grades 4, 5, and 6, core academic disciplines become more refined as children study literature, history-geography, experimental science, and technology. Students hone skills in critical thinking and observation, develop a taste for experimentation, enhance their emotional intelligence, and rev up their motor skills and creative imagination in classes ranging from visual art to math.
The teaching of mathematics is another point of pride and renown for the French educational system. It is a global approach in which students are exposed early to a wide range of mathematical concepts: geometry, addition, subtraction and multiplication, algebra, fractions, the decimal system, etc. In each year of the school, these mathematical concepts are expanded and students’ comprehension deepens. Logic and expression are always prioritized. Calculating the correct answer is not sufficient; a student must explain how the answer was obtained, and why. Logic and the ability to articulate one’s reasoning are emphasized in every grade and field.