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Lower School

Learning Principles

The following principles are drawn from well-supported research and teacher collaboration on what we know about learning. The principles underpin all practices related to teaching and learning in all subjects.

Lower School Tour

In the Lower School children are taught following the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP). This course of study concentrates on an inquiry-based approach to learning and encourages students to adopt the attributes of the Learner Profile. You can learn more about the PYP by viewing the IB website which highlights frequently asked questions related to an IB PYP education. CDNIS is proud of our Canadian identity and therefore we draw upon the Ontario Curriculum for discipline specific standards and expectations in subjects such as language arts, social studies, mathematics, visual arts, performing arts, science and physical education.

Programme of Inquiry

The school's PYP programme of inquiry maps how students will explore the transdisciplinary themes. The programme consists of units of inquiry that ensure students experience a balance of subject-specific knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills. The units build on one another by extending students' understanding of the transdisciplinary themes as they are revisited year after year. 

Sample Specialist Timetable

The Lower School operates on a six day timetable. During each six day rotation, students in Prep to Grade 5 will have two lessons of physical education, performing arts, and visual arts. They will also have one library lesson, along with 6-7 periods of Chinese (unless the student is enrolled in a bilingual class).

Our Early Years programme is based on our belief that young children are curious, competent and full of potential. The focus is on the development of the whole child across all domains of learning, creating a solid foundation for future academic and personal success.

We offer students a variety of choices within a carefully planned indoor and outdoor environment. The emphasis is on learning through guided play and inquiry with a balance between child-initiated and teacher facilitated engagements.