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Core and Complementary Catholic Programming

Core and Complementary Catholic Programming

Within the context of Catholic schools, the curriculum in all of its aspects—content, the teaching process, and the total school environment—reflect the values of faith, hope, charity, forgiveness and justice as found in the gospels and the message of Jesus Christ as understood by the Catholic Church.

Teachers make a number of decisions when planning for classroom instruction. Within any group of students, there is a range of individual differences. Teachers use the learning outcomes of the provincial curriculum to meet the needs and interests of their students and to make connections across subject areas. They choose resources, equipment and materials to help students achieve the learning outcomes. Teaching methods and schedules vary from school to school and from class to class to meet the diverse learning needs of students.

In Catholic schools, there are many opportunities for integrating gospel values and nurturing the presence of God in our midst within the curriculum. Cardinal Leger Junior High School offers both an extensive selection of core and complementary programs for student development:

Core Programs Offered

  • Language Arts*
  • Mathematics*
  • Science*
  • Social Studies*
  • Religious Education*
  • Physical Education
  • Health & Personal Life Skills

* courses used to calculate honors and merit.

Complementary Programs Offered

The primary purpose of complementary courses in Junior High School is to give students an opportunity to expand, explore, and develop individual interests, talents, aptitudes, and skills. Students should choose complementary courses which are of genuine interest to them.  Cardinal Léger School is rich in its ability to provide many up-to-date and exciting subjects, which complement the academic core.  Students are able to experience an exciting variety of subjects, which will reinforce their special gifts or will let them try new areas of interest to them.

Complementary Course Descriptions

Complementary courses offered are categorized into three areas of study.  They are listed below for your reference:

International Languages

  • French as a Second Language (7 - 9)
  • Italian Language and Culture (7 - 9) 

Fine & Performing Arts

  • Art (7 - 9)     
  • Drama (7 - 9) 
  • Music Instrumental Beginner (7 & 8)
  • Music Instrumental Applied  (8 & 9)

Career & Technology Studies

  • Communication Technology (7 - 9)               
  • Food Studies (7 - 9)
  • Fashion Studies (7 - 9) 
  • Construction Technology (7 - 9)
  • Outdoor Pursuits (extra Fee) (9)
  • Sports Performance (9)
  • Active Leadership (application based) (9)

Learning Support

  • Approaches to Learning (7 - 9)                                                 

International Languages

French as a Second Language              

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.

Italian Language and Culture

The Italian program is divided into four categories:    

  • Listening comprehension    
  • Oral Italian    
  • Written Italian    
  • Cultural appreciation

The Italian program at Cardinal Léger Jr. High School enables students to discover, maintain and reinforce the cultural and linguistic heritage of Italy.  The main focus of this program is to integrate authentic communication skills with a cultural understanding and appreciation of the Italian language.

Fine and Performing Arts

Art and Design

The Junior High Art Program encompasses three main goal and objective areas. These are:

  1. Drawing – This is intended to allow the student to develop a variety of techniques and skills with which to broaden their abilities in recording visual information.
  2. Composition – This is intended to develop the student’s knowledge of a variety of media, which can then be used to appropriately express and analyze their visual compositions.
  3. Encounter – This is intended to allow students the opportunity to investigate various forms of art across time, cultures and societies.

Art is intended to expand the visual and kinesthetic creativity within the student. This creativity will continue to become part of their development as an individual throughout the educational years. As education is a lifelong task, so too is the creative process. Fostering creativity leads to a better understanding of the world, a world in which the student’s future lies.


Music is offered in two categories: Music Instrumental Beginner and Music Instrumental Applied.

Music Instrumental Beginner:

No background is necessary in order to choose this course.  Students will select an instrument (listed below) to develop skills on by performing a range of basic scales, exercises and introductory musical selections.  Mandatory participation is required at JumpStart in September.

Music Instrumental Applied: 

Students will continue to develop and refine their technical skills on their chosen instrument (listed below) by performing a range of scales, exercises, and challenging musical selections.

Available Instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba and percussion (drums, cymbals, orchestral bells, etc.). 

As a supplement to the regular music program, we offer extra-curricular band activities that involve both in-school performances and out-of-school functions including concerts, festivals, tours, workshops and clinics.                                   


The primary objectives for dramatic studies are to enhance student confidence and imagination through active expression. Students explore various forms of drama through simple games and exercises. Some themes of interest include improvisational theater; stage plays; making music videos; characterization; Comedy Theater; stage make-up; costumes and other aspects of staging. 

A yearly play, which takes place in the spring, will culminate the skills of drama, and music students. 

Career and Technology Studies

As a part of our complementary program, career and technology studies provides students important learning opportunities to acquire competencies that can be applied now and in the future as they make the transition into adult roles in the family, community, workplace, and/or further education. This field of study is made of a number of areas such as: Communication Technology; Construction Technologies; Foods & Fashion Studies; Leadership Studies; Outdoor Pursuits.  Each of these areas are outlined in greater detail for your information. 

The area of study selected as part of their C.T.S. Complementary Program students will: 

  • 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

Communication Technology   

Communication Technology is developed over a three year program with the following highlights being discovered as the student is ready to develop the skill:

  • Media Discovery
  • Photography
  • Video Production
  • Web Development              

Media and You - Provides students with an opportunity to explore the media (print, video and radio) and evaluate the pros and cons and how it influences society.  Students will create their own projects, being a poster, business card, music jacket, radio commercial incorporating some of the key features of advertising.

Photograph - Love taking pictures, but not that experienced with it.  Learn the many different features of the digital camera and how they can change the effect you can create. Students will research the different types of cameras that are on the market, what each of them provides and their purpose.  Looking at the purpose and the cost students will choose one that is right for a school and at home.

Students will learn the basics of photography and editing to complete a portfolio of images using many different effects of the camera as well as the digital editing software

Video Production - Ever think about creating your own video?  This course will teach the different components of the digital video camera, editing and final production with or without music.  Using free software, we will create movies about school events, events you are learning about, and a project of your own interest. 

Webpage Development - Learn the code to put together your own webpage using HTML.  Students will learn some of the basics for creating headings, color, graphics and font styles.  Once you know the basics, you are ready to build on and create a unique and creative webpage of your own.

Students will also learn about some of the web development software and compare pages created from code and others like Microsoft FrontPage. 

Another important feature of the entire course will be Web Awareness.  With copyright protection, predators, spam, spy ware, you must learn how to be careful while searching the internet, chatting on Instant Messenger, chat rooms or just downloading.  You will learn what to do and not do on the internet and protect yourself and your machine. Web Awareness component will be taught to every grade

Food Studies 

This complimentary course will develop management skills in the selecting, preparing and servicing of food, and assess the impact these decisions might have on the global community.  This includes developing an understanding of safety in the kitchen, nutritional choices and skill development.

Fashion Studies

This complimentary course involves the study of clothing and textiles in a variety of contexts. It is concerned with the design, production, and merchandising of clothing, textiles and accessories. Including safety and the development of skills in use of the machinery.

Construction Technologies   

Through Construction Technology, secondary education in Alberta is responding to the many challenges of our society, helping young people to develop daily living skills and nurturing a flexible, well-qualified workforce.  The following modules will be offered over a period of three years, as well as, some optional choices: 

  • Personal & Lab Safety
  • Basic Tools & Materials
  • Building Construction
  • Solid Stock Construction
  • Manufactured Materials
  • Mold Making & Casting
  • Active Leadership Studies

This course has students compare basic theories and styles of leadership and demonstrate leadership in a school, workplace, or community context. In addition, students develop an awareness of the principles and practices of leadership as they develop, implement and assess a personal leadership plan.  Skills will also be developed in sports leadership, which includes officiating and coaching skills.  These will be put to practical use throughout the year through volunteer support of school athletics and teams.

The vision of Leadership Education is to encourage students to learn how to successfully plan, organize and implement programs in the school community.  Students will develop the skills to become independent, positive leaders who are able to run programs with minimal assistance from their facilitator.  Through encouraging a higher level of participation in school event planning and recreational activities students will be promoting a healthier, more active youth.

The Construction Technology program at Cardinal Leger Junior High offers students the opportunity to learn how to use tools safely and confidently to build a variety of projects. This course is very much hands on. Engineering principles, measurement and design, both hand and power tool identification and safe usage are valuable skills taught in this class. There are a large variety of products that students are able to build an all that they build, they are able to keep. Students may discover their talent in this area and become interested in a future career or hobby.

Outdoor Pursuits

Outdoor Pursuits is designed to help students develop the skills and appreciation for outdoor activities that are available in Alberta.  This course may include activities such as: biking, skiing, archery, rock climbing, outdoor survival, hunting, fishing, first aid, wildlife studies and other activities as yet to be determined.  Due to the nature of the course there is an extra user fee attached and applicants will also be evaluated by staff as a high level of responsibility is needed for participation in the course.

Learning Support

Approaches to Learning

This course is a support class for students who struggle within the core subject areas.  This class is offered to students who are in need of the expertise of the Learning Coach and teacher support to develop a strong understanding base in the core areas.  Students who meet the criteria for this class are recommended by teachers in consultation with the Learning Coach.  If a class has not already been created for the year, one may be set up following the first term, by the Learning Coach, as needed.


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