The Grade 9 Foundation Year focuses on building the core academic skills of listening to, recording, critically analyzing and interpreting information. A strong emphasis is placed on developing sound academic methods including note-taking and study skills to improve performance on tests and assignments.
Students are presented with a range of academic activities to strengthen and expand their use of information technology and to develop their skills in displaying and manipulating data from the world around them. Experiential methods are employed where appropriate, together with technology to bring concrete examples to principles taught in the classroom. Collaborative learning strategies and the ability to participate as an effective member of a team are equally important. All students are engaged in curriculum that enhances their appreciation of contemporary global challenges and opportunities.
Grade 9 Courses
In every grade, Brentwood students study a glorious mix of non-fiction prose, novels, short fiction, verse, and Shakespeare. Grade 9 students are also introduced to Homer’s Odyssey. Students’ binders and minds will be full with weekly writing assignments in a variety of different styles, vocabulary and grammar exercises, glossaries of literary terms, presentations, and independent reading. The significant forms of writing in Grade 9 are artistic description, the expository paragraph, and the “keyhole” essay.
Grade 9 students, in addition to reviewing all Grade 8 grammatical material, pay particular attention to syntax phrases, clauses, simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, sentence combining, and varying syntax patterns, modifier problems such as the adjective good and adverb well, the active and passive voice of verbs, subject-verb agreement, and more the complex punctuation conventions (the semicolon, the colon, the apostrophe, the quotation mark, the dash). As Grade 9 is often the time when many Brentwood students are introduced to the prose of Dickens, it also marks the first occasion when the young experience unadulterated bliss.
Mathematics 9 begins with a study of exponents and the laws governing order of operations with respect to rational numbers, bases and their exponents. A problem solving context is used to derive patterns and relationships to introduce and explore linear equations and the algebra that is used to solve them. Polynomials are also explored with students, concretely, pictorially and symbolically. Students model, record and explain their approach to solving problems involving addition and subtraction of polynomial expressions. Graphing of linear relationships and extrapolating and interpolating from a graph introduces students to some of the concepts involved in critically analyzing and intelligently displaying data. Later in the course, students conduct a project that engages them in a study of statistics within a social context and brings them to an understanding of statistical bias in the collection, analysis and display of data. A study of 2D and 3D shapes requires students to solve problems and justify solution strategies involving circles, tangents, polygons and the surface area of objects. A unit on transformations involves students in drawing scale diagrams of 2D shapes and gaining an appreciation of line and rotational symmetry. Technology is incorporated into the curriculum through such means as data collection and GPS devices which provide information students can discuss, display and analyze within the classroom.
Social Studies 9
In this course, students are introduced to the concept of change and to the factors that contributed to the dramatic changes that occurred in Europe and North America during the period 1500-1815. Specific areas of study include the English Revolution, Industrial Revolution, American Revolution and French Revolution. Themes such as society and culture, politics and law, economy and technology, and the environment are used to analyze the nature of change and develop students’ critical thinking skills. For example, the expansion of European hegemony significantly altered the political, social and cultural systems of many of the world’s non-European peoples, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Americas. During a period of scientific change and new technologies (the Industrial Revolution), major challenges to the established systems of thought regarding religion, politics and social structure (the Enlightenment) were to take the form of revolutions in England, America and France, political and social upheavals through which the modern world was beginning to emerge.
The biology unit introduces students to the central idea of DNA and its role in storing the genetic information that determines the activities of cells. The structure and function of cells and their organelles is examined and the role of the nucleus highlighted. The behaviour of chromosomes in cell division is linked to the cell cycle, mitosis and the causes of cancer. Asexual and sexual reproduction are compared and contrasted, together with the biotechnology and ethical issues behind therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Students are made aware of the various technologies such as in-vitro fertilization that are available to assist infertile couples.
Chemistry focuses on the structure of the atom and the development of the Bohr model and its application to the modern Periodic Table. Ionic and covalent bondings are studied as are the formulae of binary and polyatomic compounds.
In physics, the main topic is electricity, both static and current. Circuits with parallel and series components are constructed and studied and the concepts of voltage, resistance and current are taught involving calculations from which students derive important principles such Ohm’s law. Electrical energy, power and efficiency are discussed with relation to the world’s energy needs.
In space science, students identify and describe a range of instruments that are used in astronomy (e.g. telescopes, spectroscopes, satellites, probes, robotic devices) and study examples of how astronomers use astronomical and space exploration technologies to advance understanding of the universe and solar system (e.g. using red shift to support the idea of an expanding universe, using parallax to measure distance).
French 9 Advanced
This course is an enriched and vertically accelerated class. Enrichment comes through reading and audio-visual resources. This class may contain a number of former immersion students and some students who are strong second language students; they will work to go well beyond the BC prescribed learning outcomes, especially in writing and grammatical understanding.
French 9 Core
This course is designed for students who have had some previous French instruction; they will fulfil the BC prescribed learning outcomes. Listening, speaking and writing skills are emphasised, alongside a sound grammatical understanding.
This is a beginner and introductory Spanish course. It is only an option for students who have not previously studied French, or are American and are non-Spanish speaking. This class will expose the students to the diverse and exciting Spanish-speaking world. The majority of instruction will be conducted in Spanish. There will be a heavy emphasis on listening and speaking. New material and new concepts will be introduced through a thematic approach. The students will be able to discuss topics relating to school, after-school activities, celebrations, travel, eating, shopping and getting around town. The students will also learn to describe events in the present and the future. There is a very strong cultural component to the class where the students will learn about various cultural traditions from the Spanish-speaking world. An in-depth look at Mexico will take place through presentations on various aspects of the culture and history.
Introductory Mandarin Chinese 11
Introductory Mandarin Chinese 11 is a provincially prescribed curriculum designed for students who may not have taken Mandarin Chinese 5 to 10. Successful completion of this course should provide students with a level of competence that will allow them to successfully participate in Mandarin Chinese 11 and 12 courses. Introductory Mandarin Chinese 11 is a four-credit Grade 11 course. However, to alleviate scheduling pressure on students during their final two years, it can be offered at the Grade 10 level.
To provide students with an equivalent preparation for Mandarin Chinese 11 and 12 courses, this course incorporates material from the prescribed learning outcomes, suggested instructional strategies, suggested assessment strategies, and recommended learning resources identified for grades 5 to 10.
A major aim of this course is to balance expectations regarding the emergent language skills of students who are new to the study of Mandarin Chinese with consideration of their ages, life experiences, and prior knowledge. It is expected that students will.
- introduce themselves and others using appropriate family-relationship terms
- identify and exchange preferences and interests
- use appropriate vocabulary to communicate needs, desires, and emotions
- describe events, experiences, and procedures sequentially
- recognize and apply commonly used idiomatic expressions
- participate in a variety of situations drawn from real life
As students acquire increasing variety in vocabulary and language structures, they are able to communicate about more topics. Assessment focuses on the communication of meaning and the extent to which students are able to share ideas and information. Although oral interaction is most important, students also need feedback and support in developing written skills.