At Alexander Ferguson, our staff is committed to the personalization of student learning through the arts. Teachers foster student inquiry and student self-advocacy in an intellectually engaging learning environment.
Like all public schools in Alberta we follow the Curriculum and Program of Studies as outlined by Alberta Education. Students engage in learning through an arts-based lens meaning our curriculum focuses on learning and teaching using the arts as a means of understanding the world. Students are given opportunities to learn and present information and experiences in multiple ways. In addition to more traditional methods, students share what they have learned through art.
Our parent community has supported our arts-based approach for many years. As a result all classrooms contain class sets of quality paintbrushes in multiple sizes, drying racks, pastel sets, quality writing tools, and much more. Our school also has a press that is used to flatten visual art pieces as well as weaving and sculpture supplies. Through our annual school based enhanced art fee we are able to maintain and increase our resources each year. In addition, teachers participate in professional development with artists to improve their skills and teaching techniques. Each year students have opportunities to work with artists in residence to learn skills from experts in the field.
The Alberta Education Art Program of Studies states "Art education is concerned with having individuals think and behave as artists. For the purposes of art education, the term “artist” is equally valid to describe one who has worked for a lifetime or someone who is a relative beginner. Ultimately, art is accessible to all individuals. Its practice results in changing the individual, in changing the relationship among individuals or in changing the social–physical environment."
Staff at Alexander Ferguson are committed to providing all students quality education across all subject areas (English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics, Science, Social, Art, Music, Physical Education and Wellness) using an arts-based lens.
Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation
For the 2022-2023 school year the staff of Alexander Ferguson
School have committed to continue working with Indigenous
Elders and Knowledge Keepers to further our understanding of
Indigenous Ways of Knowing. Our focus is on drumming,
grounding our spirits, and land based learning.
TRC Call to Action #63 provided inspiration as we have
identified teacher training needs related to best practices on
teaching curriculum related to residential school and
Indigenous history, as well as building student capacity for
intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.
With the continued assistance of the CBE Indigenous Team,
Insite, Elder Kerrie Moore, Knowledge Keeper Darcy Turning
Robe, Indigenous Educator Lamarr Oksasikewiyin, and our
openness to all teachings that come our way, we know that the
students at AFS will benefit from our continued journey,
acknowledgement we have much left to learn, and open
commitment to support Truth and Reconciliation.
Circle of Courage
Our school promotes the development of the following values embodied in the Circle of Courage philosophy:
The Spirit of Belonging: The universal longing for human bonds is cultivated by relationships of trust so that the child can say, “I am loved.”
The Spirit of Mastery: The inborn thirst for learning is cultivated by understanding ourselves as lifelong learners and how to apply our strengths as citizens of the world, the child can say, “I can succeed.”
The Spirit of Generosity: Character is cultivated by concern for others so that the child can say, “I have purpose for my life.”
The Spirit of Independence: Free will is cultivated by responsibility so that the child can say, “I have the power to make positive decisions.”
By emphasizing the values of the Circle of Courage, we strive to build a caring, responsible school community. We believe that home and school share the responsibility for teaching children. We expect students to treat themselves and others kindly and with respect. Being respectful means coming to school on time, ready and willing to learn. Verbal, emotional, physical, and cyber bullying are not tolerated at AFS. During class meetings, students have the opportunity to share their concerns about their classroom and their school. We want all of our students to know that they are valued and important. Showing respect also extends to school supplies and our school environment. Agendas, library books and other school supplies should be handled carefully, and, if lost, must be replaced. If students are having difficulty respecting our school and each other, a plan will be developed based on personal student needs and the impact their choice had on others.
Parents showing interest in their children's school work can be motivating for children. Parents can assist students by helping them study for tests and establishing a regular routine for homework. Plan to set aside a distraction free, quiet environment for your child(ren) to complete their homework. Parents are asked to support the school home reading program as this is vital to your child's academic success.
The Calgary Board of Education’s guidelines for homework are as follows:
Division I: Five to ten minutes of systematic study per night is recommended.
Division II: Students may bring home assignments they did not complete in class or other special projects as assigned by their teacher. Homework at this level should not exceed twenty minutes in length.
Teachers continually assess and adjust instruction to meet student needs. If a student requires support to achieve expected success, teachers will meet with the Learning Support Team to discuss and create a student plan which will be implemented and assessed. A time for review will be scheduled. During the review, the team makes recommendations based on student progress. Ongoing collaboration with parents during this process is essential. Working as a team allows us to help your children achieve their potential.