Grade 9 - Foundation Year

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Grade 9 is our Foundation Year. During this year students focus on building and refining the core academic skills of receiving, recording, analyzing, and interpreting information. As each student learns differently, we work with them to develop sound academic practices in everything from simple note taking to more comprehensive study skills designed to improve critical thinking and 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. Experiential methods are employed together with technology to bring concrete examples to the principles taught in the classroom. The marriage of the theoretical and practical can be very powerful. 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 and understanding of global challenges as well as the opportunities present in today’s world.

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Grade 9 students in class
Students in english class

English 9

English 9 students will read independently as well as assigned nonfiction prose, novels, short fiction, verse, Shakespeare, and selections from Homer’s Odyssey.  Students will write approximately once a week in a variety of different styles, with particular attention to artistic description as well as the expository paragraph and then keyhole essay.  Students will be introduced to the writing process.  Students will speak informally and formally, at times from memory, at times with interpretive emotion. Grade 9 teachers give particular emphasis to the foundations of grammar, the gods and goddesses of Greek myth, poetry, and short fiction.  A formal exam concludes the year.

The journey begins here; say hello to Romeo and Juliet on the way. 

Mathematics 9

Coursework 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 graphs introduces students to some of the concepts involved in critically analyzing and intelligently displaying data. Students move through the course to then conduct 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.

21st Century Studies 9

The 21st Century 9 course introduces students to a variety of economic, political, cultural, and environmental issues that affect our world. Connections from a historical and geographical perspective provide the basis for exploring the complex nature of human interactions within society and nature. Globalization is explored in an economic and demographic sense as is the effect of the Internet on human communications, education, and business. The impact of humans on the environment and the need for sustainable solutions to energy and waste production form the second part of the course. A “hands-on” component to the course will involve students in monitoring environmental sites on and around the school grounds, growing produce on campus, and participating in conservation efforts with community groups. The course will also incorporate the Youth Philanthropy Initiative that offers an opportunity for students to win $5000 through the Toscan Foundation for donation to a local charity. 

Student skill sets will be expanded through a number of initiatives. They are instructed on how to conduct research for intelligent and efficient use of internet resources. They collect and handle data through technical devices and spreadsheet programs that help them manipulate and display measurements they have taken and information they have gathered. Students also learn research and presentation skills including public speaking, video and slide presentation, and the creation of an illustrated brochure. Through successful completion of the course, an ICT 9 credit is awarded to reflect student proficiency in areas of digital and information technology.

Social Studies 9

Students are introduced to the concept of change and the factors that contributed to the dramatic shifts 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.

Course content includes examinations of how 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. As well as how 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.

Science 9

This course consists of a number of disparate but complementary units. Biology 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

This course is designed for students who have had some previous French instruction; they will fulfill the BC prescribed learning outcomes. Listening, speaking and writing skills are emphasized, alongside a sound grammatical understanding.

Spanish 9

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. 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.

English Language Enrichment

In this course students will be involved in making and discovering meaning. They are invited to become writers, readers, and participants in our shared literary culture. The main part of the mark will be based on in-class work and prep assignments. Particular emphasis will be placed on spoken English and pronunciation via authentic real life lessons.

One of the highlights of the year has to be the students’ examination and perhaps performances of Romeo and Juliet.  Our primary goal for our ELE students is that they become able to discuss, read, comprehend, and write the English texts they encounter in their other courses.  

Beginner's Mandarin Chinese

This 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. 

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.

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