​Our school is part of the CBE, which is the largest school district in Western Canada. We offer a depth and breadth of programs and supports to meet the unique learning needs and interests of an increasingly diverse population. We focus on personalizing the learning experience so that each student is engaged, inspired and learning to their full potential. Our values are: students come first; learning is our central purpose; and public education serves the common good.

You can look on the CBE website for more information on teaching and learning.​​

Teaching & Learning

Literacy Focus

At Ramsay School, all students receive personalized literacy instruction. Reading is a process that allows for making meaning from print. At Ramsay School, Scarborough’s Reading Rope model shows two important strands, language comprehension and word recognition. Within reading instruction, teachers help students develop the skills that are needed to be woven together within the reading process. Please see the following presentation to learn more.

  Please see here for a link to our online decodable books collection

https://portal.flyleafpublishing.com/learners-resources/


- Last year - Through our SDP work - we spent a lot of time working on reading comprehension and digging deeper into the books that we are reading with our students.

- CBE released an “internal” Literacy Framework - a document outlining the many interconnected pieces that go into English Language (reading, writing, speaking) and breaks each section down into detailed parts - This document is intended for teacher use.
-Scarborough’s Reading Rope - Language Comprehension (Background knowledge, vocabulary, making predictions, summarizing) AND word recognition (Phonological awareness, decoding, sight words) - BOTH are equally important in becoming skilled and fluent readers.

- Typical instruction emphasis based on grade K-12 (however, knowing that every child is learning at their own pace) - important to understand the progression to be able to support each student where they are at.

- Early years have a strong emphasis on phonological awareness (thinking about and manipulating sounds in words - rhyming, syllables, segmenting words into sounds) and phonics (decoding and sounding out words) - need to be explicitly taught.

- Research as shown that things needs to be learned in a logical order to build on their understanding. IF there are gaps, they tend to have difficulty with reading. Teachers work hard to determine where the gaps are and explicitly teach those skills to promote progress.

Teachers job: Assess readers - determine what type of instruction the individual student needs.

- Decoding?
- Comprehension?
- Both?

Then plan accordingly for each student based on what they need.

Lego Concept:

1)Need to learn about each Lego piece (ie are they lego bricks or lego plates? 2x2 or 2x4, etc).
2)How they connect together 3)Understand what the steps are asking them to do
4)Follow along and build on from what they have already done (they cannot jump around from step to step)
5)Feel a sense of accomplishment 6)Challenge themselves with more difficult buildings.

Books that are used to help children practice a particular letter-sound pattern taught as part of a phonics program. Each book is built on the learned skill from the previous ones. 

- The student will learn and practice skills throughout each book in the series, and apply their understanding to the next one. 

- The student cannot guess the word - rather are required to “decode”.

- Emphasis is on accuracy and being able to apply the phonics rules learned.
- ONLY for beginning leveled readers. After they have learned the “decoding” part, they can apply their skills to leveled texts.

- ELL learners coming in - needing to learn this step first before more difficult texts can be introduced
-Reading is tricky - Identifying where those gaps are, explicitly teaching them the skills, and providing decodable books as practice 

Once students have mastered decoding within the decodable books, they are provided opportunities to engage with leveled readers (which are leveled using letters of the alphabet A-Z). These books are read (still while the student is learning decoding strategies) and group discussions can held to talk about reading comprehension ideas (predicting, asking questions, summarizing, clarifying).

Classes that are engaged in decodable books are still provided with reading comprehension opportunities, but it may come in the form of a read aloud from the teacher - and opportunities would be provided to engage deeper into the text through speaking, illustrating, writing, etc.

- As a student becomes more confident in their reading, they are provided with more challenging texts to work from (novels, non-fiction articles from newspaper). They may use graphic organizers or sticky notes to keep track of their reading/ ideas/ and are expected to share what they are understanding with their small groups.
- Typical for both Division 1 and 2, however all students develop their reading skills at their own level - therefore some younger students may engage in novels, and some older students may be focusing on decoding strategies. The teacher’s job is to know where their students are, and support them in their decoding skills and reading comprehension abilities.

BOTH decodable texts and leveled readers have an important role in learning how to read, and supporting the reader “where they are at”. Thinking back to the rope, there are many pieces that need to work together to support the reader - it cannot be taught one at a time - it needs to happen altogether.

Both decodable books and leveled readers are used in small groups (2 - 5 students and a teacher). The students are taught strategies and provided opportunities to practice it.

Ramsay school is very fortunate to have Ms Serra, Ms. Yasin, and all the classroom teachers working with small groups to support and enrich our literacy program.

-Books that are brought home - at your child’s “reading level”  - leveled readers - to practice. The student is reading that level of book in the classroom with their teacher - and its an opportunity for them to practice what they are learning in the classroom at home. Using decoding strategies (flipping the sound of the vowel, breaking the word into syllables, etc) are all strategies that they can practice at home. -Opportunity for them to read with you (younger grades) or independently (older)
-Raz Kids is also a great way for your child to continue to engage with texts - especially if they are motivated by technology

- Books your child chooses to bring home from the school library and enjoy. Fiction or non-fiction - but they get to choose. Typically it’s based on their interest or is something that “caught” their eye when they were looking. These books can be enjoyed together (to promote that love of reading). They can look at these books independently (to read the words or read the pictures) or enjoyed with an adult (looking at pictures or reading the words).
- Great opportunities to talk about favourite parts and what’s happening in the story/ information learned - as this encourages comprehension and another opportunity for modelling the skills they are learning in the classroom - that these things happen “all the time” when we are reading - not just when sitting in small groups with the teacher.


- Anchor Texts are book used to circle back to because of the themes/ ideas that are presented in it.
- Classroom - inspiring a project
- School Wide - The Tree In Me - resiliency and standing strong. 


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