​​​Regular Program at the CBE

Even though most of our schools offer a regular program, no two are quite the same. All schools teach according to Alberta Education’s mandated curriculum, however a school’s focus, optional courses and school activities are as unique as every school.​​​

Program, Focus & Approach

The school continues to build on this proud tradition of providing a model for effective education. The school provides a safe and caring environment where student inquiry is encouraged and supported and where teachers and students can challenge and extend their own capacities by trying out new ideas and pursuing new possibilities.

One of the ways that the school supports student learning is by having students formulate questions and gather information. This process is iterative as students go back to refine their questions and then conduct further investigation and research. This kind of inquiry guides their learning and fosters the development of higher-order critical thinking skills. This approach, like all teaching practice at University School, is based on research and includes ongoing classroom assessment.

Except for Kindergarten, students are organized into multi-age communities consisting of two grade levels. This arrangement accommodates for a wider range of development in children than typical single year grade grouping. It also promotes cooperation instead of competition amongst peers and, perhaps most importantly, allows children and teachers to develop longer term relationships with each other. University School is also home to two CSSI classes. These system communication, socialization, sensory integration classes support learning for multi-aged autistic students.

Class Structure

Except for Kindergarten, all classes consist of students from two grade levels. Teachers of these multi-aged classes work in teams and are referred to in the school as learning communities. Class sizes (students per classroom teacher) are typically 18-23 students depending upon the grade level.

Instructional Program

Teachers work hard to design an instructional program that is responsive to the gifts, talents and needs of each child.  Our goal is to help inspire in each student a passion for learning. Teachers often use an inquiry approach to teaching and learning that enables children to develop skills and create meaning in a way that is relevant to their own experiences and interests. Technology is leveraged as an integral part of the inquiry process to enhance student learning.  We encourage students to become self-reliant and creative thinkers who are able to express and represent their learning in a wide variety of ways.  The collaborative nature of classrooms encourages students to work together and appreciate the contributions that each member of the learning community makes and to also value the benefits that diversity brings.

Inquiry Approach Learning

Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. As such, it is a stance that pervades all aspects of life and is essential to the way in which knowledge is created. Inquiry is based on the belief that understanding is constructed in the process of people working and conversing together as they pose and solve the problems, make discoveries and rigorously test the discoveries that arise in the course of shared activity. (definition from our partner, the Galileo Educational Network - Read More)

Support for English Language Learners

Approximately 35% of the students at University School are English Language Learners (ELL). The school has implemented a program which helps students who require additional support to become proficient in English. The school sees its multi-cultural population as a benefit in helping students become prepared to work in a global context. As a result, the school places an emphasis on understanding and respecting the many cultural heritages of our school community and society. 

Kindergarten EYE-TA

CBE kindergarten teachers use a developmental screening tool with all kindergarten children called the Early Years Evaluation. The Early Years Evaluation (EYE-TA) provides a framework teachers use to gather observations in the classroom and around the school. The EYE-TA is designed to assist teachers in assessing the skills of children as they begin school. The information gathered will:

  • help support a positive transition to school for children
  • help teachers to design instruction to meet the needs of all children
  • share the information with parents
  • work with parents and other members of the learning team to help get children off to the right start on their lifelong learning journey
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