Welcome to Grade 5!

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The “New Curriculum” is all about making school matter to students. People young and old appreciate choice (doing what they find interesting) and voice (expressing their own opinions).  We will try to engineer voice and choice into each school day. 

Some core inquiries this year: 

Religion:  Our learning outcomes for grade five follow the broad outlines of the Catechism, and we will use the Youcat (youth catechism) in conjunction with a variety of text references. The rich and wide-ranging topics to be studied this year include units on the mass and the paschal mystery, ways in which the sacraments help to define the ages and stages of Catholic life, and how the parables and maxims can help to guide human nature. 

Language Arts:  Exploring current events, stories and poems help us to understand ourselves and make connections to the world.  The “art” of language arts is learning the craft of composing text to build an argument, relate an experience or tell a good story. In grade five we will read, listen to, and create a wide variety of literary, narrative and informational text. We will journal almost every day with a focus on “big ideas” and core competencies across the curriculum.  Using TED talks as a guiding presentation format, we will use volume, inflection, pace, and gestures to learn how to connect with an audience.    

Mathematics:  We hope that grade 5 students will learn that fluency and flexibility with manageable numbers extends to larger numbers and computations with multiple steps.  Many units this year extend concepts from grade four including place value, patterns, fractions, probability, and geometry.  We try to emphasize that there are many ways to find the “right answer,” and that a single number is less important than confident heuristics. 

Social Studies: Immigration, culture, and the treatment of minorities are some of the large concepts we will study with a year long goal of understanding Canadian society and identity.  We will build these concepts with manageable explorations including: the gold rush and resource management, the path from disparate colonies to Confederation, the promise and folly of the Canadian Pacific Railway, First Nations reserves and the Indian Act, and the evolving Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Science:   Broad content areas in grade five science include body systems, solutions, simple machines and earth science.  Whenever possible we try to “do” the science in hands on labs and allow concepts to flow from first hand experiences. Lab booklets will look like organizers at the beginning of the year and as students build confidence with making predictions, gathering data, and analyzing outcomes, they will increasingly design their own fair tests of scientific inquiries. 

Routines in the Grade 5 Classroom


  • Most lessons will be designed to be completed during the school day
    • On those days students will write “No Homework” in their planners
  • Homework will consist of work not completed in class
    • On those days students will write homework details in their planners
  • Assignments must be completed on time in order to fully benefit from the next day’s lesson
    • The teacher will initial late assignments in the planner
    • Parents/Guardians sign planners each day and initial any late assignments
  • Major marked reviews, assignments and tests will be sent home in planners
    • The teacher will use email broadcasts to let parents know about major upcoming and marked reviews, assignments, and tests

School, Classroom and Personal Management

  • Our class will use St. Mary’s 1,2,3 Discipline Method as outlined in the Code of Conduct on the school website
  • Students will be encouraged to make decisions using the JOY approach (Jesus, Others, You)
  • Students will be encouraged to treat others using the “three gate” approach – to only say and do things to others that are 1) true, 2) necessary, and 3) kind
  • On the playground, students will be encouraged resolve conflicts using their “WITS” (Walk away, Ignore annoying behavior, Talk it out, Seek adult help) 

Parent Concerns

  • Please see us in person at the end of the school day or contact us through the school at 604 792 7715 (no emails please).