In addition to our English and French Immersion programs we also offer the option of Intensive French. Our grade 6 students have the wonderful opportunity to increase their language proficiency in the Intensive French program. In subsequent years, students move on to the Post-Intensive French program where they will continue to build upon the communication skills they have developed in grade 6. Below is a more detailed look at the Intensive French program.
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What is intensive French?
Intensive French is an enhancement of the Core French program through the creation of a period of intensive exposure to French. During five months of the year, the students are exposed to the language at a higher intensity, enabling them to receive at least three times the number of hours of instruction normally devoted to French in the school year.
What does it look like?
In Intensive French, students work on listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing activities exclusively in French. The approach encourages students to use the language authentically. Learning tasks build upon each other towards the creation for projects. The learning activities and topics are linked to the students’ personal interests and experiences.
Mathematics, in addition to some other subjects such as Music and Physical Education, may be offered in English throughout the entire school year. Other subjects are not taught during the five months of Intensive French; these are locally determined. Students complete these subjects in the following semester.
How can this be done while maintaining the integrity of other subjects?
The five-month Intensive French period has been created by realigning the curriculum and by rescheduling core subjects in order to create the Intensive French Period.
For instance, Social Studies and Science are taught only in the second half of the year. Process skills that are used in all subject areas are also used in the learning activities in Intensive French and in other subject areas, so when the subjects are formally introduced in the second half of the year, the focus is placed increasingly on content goals. For example, in French class, students will predict elements of a story. Prediction is a skill that will be reapplied in Science and in English Language Arts in the second half. Therefore, a year-long commitment is needed in order to meet all the objectives of the year.
What is the Difference?
Core French: is a basic second language program intended to enable students to communicate purposefully in French and develop openness to cultural diversity. The program is available in our school offering, on average, 120 minutes of instruction per week.
Intensive French: is an intensive French language acquisition program involving a period of intensive exposure to French (75% September - January and 25% for the remainder of the year). The program continues with strong French instruction in the following two years (grades 7 & 8).
French Immersion: is an intensive French language acquisition program starting in Kindergarten with the goal of developing functionally bilingual students through teaching most of the curriculum with French as the language of instruction.
Does my child have to take French? Indigenous Language and Culture? Which classes are compulsory and which are options?
École William McDonald Middle School offers Core French, Intensive/Post-Intensive French, and French Immersion. All students will take one of these French classes. There are no Indigenous Language courses offered at École William McDonald Middle School, but Indigenous Culture through our Dene Kede programming is taught by homeroom teachers integrated in multiple subject areas. Students also take part in an Indigenous camp day each year. All classes are compulsory during the Middle school years: grades 6 – 8.
Lunch and food programs – what is offered and where and at what cost?
Here at École William McDonald Middle school we have a strong belief that healthy bodies help make healthy minds, to that affect we have a strict no pop or energy drink policy in place. We offer fresh fruit to the students during their daily breaks at no cost and run a lunch program from the cafeteria during eating period. Daily fresh sandwiches and drinks are available at a minimal cost. Also for the convenience of parents we have punch passes available.
Typical start up, recess, lunch and dismissal times in the day?
Our day starts at 8:20am, lunch activity period is from 11:25am until 11:55 pm and eating period is from 11:55 am until 12:25 pm. We end our school day at 3:20pm. We have a 15-minute morning break after the second period and another one in the afternoon after the sixth period.
If there are extreme temperatures, what does the school do? What is the temperature cut-off for students to remain indoors in the morning and all outdoor breaks?
Our school policy is that if the temperature goes below -30C with the wind-chill students are kept indoors for activity period.