Fine and Performing Arts
The Junior High Instrumental Music Program is designed as a sequential and developmental approach to music instruction. Each level grows from those experiences previously presented.
Throughout all three years of music, the students will have the following objectives, with each year building on the students’ previous experience:
- Learning to play their instrument
- Musical theory
- Music history
These objectives will be applied to the songs they learn in class and perform at both St. Thomas More’s Christmas and Spring music concerts.
Instrumental music consists of wind instruments, percussion, and electric bass. Regular practice (1 hour/week in grade 7 and 1.5 hours/week in grade 8/9) at home is expected, as this will enhance proficiency. All students will be given a book and music folder to be used throughout the year. Fees for music covers replacement of damaged books as well as instrument repair.
Grade 7 or new musicians in the program are required to attend JumpStart for Band which usually occurs in September or the first Saturday in October.
Art at St. Thomas More will allow each student systematic instruction in how we see, interpret and make sense of visual stimuli. Each student will have experiences with the use of traditional and contemporary tools, materials and media. Our art program is concerned with having individuals think and behave as artists.
We focus on three major components of visual learning:
- DRAWINGS - all the ways we record visual information and discoveries
- COMPOSITIONS - all the ways images are put together to create meaning
- ENCOUNTERS with Art - where we meet and how we respond to visual imagery
In grade 7 drawing, students will explore single images, line, value and texture. In composition, they will explore color, exaggeration, alteration and two dimensions. In the third component of art, encounters with art, the grade seven students will research visual symbols and differences and similarities in cultural groups among other themes.
The drawing component will be fulfilled by simplifying basic shapes, exploring geometric and organic shapes and dealing with negative and positive space. Students will create two and three-dimensional compositions with natural or man-made objects. Symbolic meanings in different cultural groups will be explored. Students will also discover the different materials used to create cultural images or artifacts.
In grade nine the drawing component will be satisfied by observing form and surface qualities of natural objects as well as incorporating positive and negative space when drawing people in groups. Compositions will include manipulation of color to express mood, creating organic shapes in three dimensional forms. Students will investigate changing images of individual people and nature through time and across cultures.
Career and Technology Foundations
As a part of our complementary program, Career and Technology Foundations provides students with opportunities to acquire competencies that they will need to successfully navigate their personal journeys in learning, living and working. Students develop and apply competencies through subject-area content and learning experiences.
Studies in CTF help students to:
- Develop skills that can be applied in their daily lives, now and in the future
- Refine career-planning skills
- Develop technology-related skills
- Enhance employability skills
- Apply and reinforce learning developed in other subject areas
Alberta’s curriculum promotes development of the following competencies:
-CRITICAL THINKING -COMMUNICATION
-PROBLEM SOLVING -COLLABORATION
-MANAGING INFORMATION -CULTURAL AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
-CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION -PERSONAL GROWTH AND WELL-BEING
Under the umbrella of the Communication Technology strand, Digital Design provides a broad perspective on the nature of technology, how to use and apply a variety of technologies and the impact on self and society. Students will explore their interests, passions and skills while making connections to career possibilities. Every project provides diverse, meaningful and authentic experiences that broaden student’s technology knowledge base.
In every level of Digital Design, students will be have the opportunity to work with:
- Microsoft Office Tools
- Google Tools for Education
- Coding Photography / Videography
- Physical Computing
- Broadcast Announcements
- 3D Digital Design and Printing
- Cameras / Recording Equipment
Students work hands on examining media and its effects on society. Students will identify and describe current media and materials, utilize print and audio/video equipment to communicate ideas and information in a variety of media formats. Students will acquire basic production skills used in the school’s morning broadcast and will become familiar with a variety of different computer programs. The physical computing component are littleBits electronic building blocks that allow students to create with technology. Students are introduced to 3D digital design and print a Key Chain.
Students will learn the fundamentals of digital image acquisition using digital cameras and computer-based software. Students will learn to apply basic editing functions and commands to edit digital image files. Students develop an understanding of graphic design techniques applying them to a project that with involve physical computing with Makey Makey. Students will design, produce, play and present to the class. Students are introduced to 3D digital design and create solutions to solve a problem.
In Digital Design students are introduced to the integration of various media such as audio, video, photographic, graphic for producing multimedia messages. Students will identify and describe tools, methods, and processes used in digital design. Students will research, plan, and create their own event planning project. The physical computing component includes Lego robotics and Arduino. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for anyone making interactive projects. Students also design and code their own Apps. Students are introduced to 3D digital design and create an architecture structure.
Digital Design -YEARBOOK PUBLISHING (GRADE NINE)
We focus on the development of the skills necessary to create a student yearbook throughout its many stages of production. In this class, students will develop photography skills, written language/ journalism skills and computer graphic design skills. As a result, in class assignments will be focused on the development of the skills listed above. The first portion of the semester will be devoted to planning the ladder of the yearbook creating a foundational knowledge of the software, hardware and skills necessary in the creation of a yearbook. The second portion of the semester will allow the students to apply these skills in the production of our school’s yearbook. Students are encouraged to use creative thinking and problem-solving skills in presentations, photography print and audio/visual production, in order to help them develop media and technology literacy.
FOODS AND FASHION
This is an introductory course to Foods and Fashion studies. Two thirds of the year will be devoted to the baking/cooking elements of this course, and the other third to Fashion studies. Safety will be taught to students first to ensure students act in a safe manner at all times. Term one will begin with "Baking Level I" where students will learn the cookie method, muffin method, and biscuit method. Accuracy in measurements and how to properly measure specific ingredients will be covered. We will then move on to sewing where students learn simple tasks such as threading the bobbin and the needle, and a few basic stitches. The students will be expected to produce a simple garment which will demonstrate their knowledge of the techniques and stitches learned. Finally, they will progress to a study of “Snacks and Appetizers” that are both easy and healthy. By the end of the course, the students will have a good basic understanding of these two life skills.
This course will be a natural progression from the previous year’s course of study. The year will begin with a review of kitchen tools, terms, and procedures. Term one will begin with "Baking Level II" in which students will build and expand on measuring skills learnt in grade seven while tackling more challenging recipes. In this course, there will be a sewing component. Again, each student will be expected to complete a sewing project. Those who have taken the course in grade seven will have no difficulty in moving on to a more challenging project. The final term will focus on "Quick and Nutritious Lunch Recipes" that students can incorporate into their own lives. Students will gain experience cooking with different ingredients.
Progressing again from the previous level, the year will begin with a review of kitchen tools, terms, and procedures. Term one will focus on the topic "Baking Level III" where students will learn more advanced baking techniques. They will also participate in a "Cupcake Wars Challenge" in which students will be responsible to design and create their own cupcake. Students will also complete a sewing project and expand their skills learnt in Fashion 7 and 8. For the final term, we will be exploring a variety of "Dinner Recipes" that come from various cultures. Role of ingredients, nutrition, and various skills will be used in the preparation of each recipe.
Safety in the construction lab will be a major focus including introductions on a large variety of large variety of hand tools along with the Drill press and Band saw. Students will then apply their knowledge and construction to produce a number of wood products including: Glass Cup, Ring, Peg game, Back scratcher, 3D Connect-4, Spinning Top, Zen garden, Ping-pong paddle, or a Mini-stick. Lastly, they apply design and construction skills to building a rocket, boat or car.
Safety in the construction lab will continue to be a major focus including the use of woodworking hand tools as well as the Drill press, Bandsaw and Miter saw. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and construction skills to produce several products such as a: T-shirt, Water Canon, Stomp Rocket, Wobble Board, Bowl, Basic Table, Small Bat, Crate, Speaker or a Guzzler. Lastly, students will use their knowledge and skills to participate in a partner project that requires them to develop both construction skills and business skills.
The class will review the safe use of the Drill press and Band saw Miter saw in addition to learning other power tools as needed. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and construction skills to produce a number of products such as a: Concrete Lamp, Shelf, Bat, Bowl, Beach chair, Thumb Piano, Chessboard & pieces, Beyblade (Top and Spinner)or a Basic Table. The grade nines will complete two major group projects the first of which involves researching and developing a current project and making it better in terms of profitability. Lastly, students will use their knowledge and skills to participate in a partner’s project that requires them to bid on a project and then create it using both construction skills and business skills.
RECREATIONAL LEADERSHIP (GRADE NINE)
Students will develop the skills to enable them to become independent, positive leaders through participation in various activities which promote leadership skills, independence, and growth of interpersonal skills. They will learn how to successfully plan, organize, and implement an intramural program and a variety of special events within our school community. Involvement in school event planning in an effort to promote a healthier, active school setting is a important goal. A unique component of this program will be off site participation and instruction in a variety of physical activities such as curling, scuba, rock climbing and golf.
The Film Studies program focuses on developing the ability of students to think critically about films in terms of content, filming techniques, and theme through viewing a variety of different film genres. Students will also apply a multitude of film techniques to produce their own pieces of work. Students will develop an understanding of the filmmaking process and the film industry. Film Studies is designed to develop an appreciation of film as a distinct form of art, communication, technology, and visual media.
The French program is divided into four categories:
- Listening comprehension
- Oral French
- Written French
- Cultural appreciation
The program exposes students to the language, customs, and attitudes that are different than their own. Lastly and most importantly, completion of a junior high French program will accelerate their proficiency in the French language attainment in high school, whether for interest, or post-secondary requirements. Communication skills will be given using the target vocabulary, verbs, or grammatical structures.
In French 7, students are exposed to the field of experiences school, people around me, and weather. In French 8, students are exposed to the field of experiences food, clothing, and animals. In French 9, students are exposed to the field of experiences sports and exercises, irregular verbs, questions (question forms), and reading and listening comprehension. Those students who pursue French into high school will benefit from the French program because it is designed for successful achievement of French 20 or 30. The skills they attain will be useful for future language learning.
Learning another language contributes to the holistic development of students and is believed to raise achievement in other subject areas, as well as encouraging respect for and understanding of other languages and cultures.
Over 350 million people in the world speak Spanish. Learning Spanish helps students gain insight into the rich and varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and provides an opportunity to communicate directly with Spanish- speaking people. This is an increasingly important skill given the important economic roles Spanish-speaking countries are playing in today’s international market.
The Spanish program at St. Thomas More follows the Spanish Language and Culture 6-year Alberta curriculum, which begins in Grade 7. The focus is on language competence using Spanish in practical application using a variety of strategies for learning. Another focus of the program is the understanding of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.