Our Academic Program
Booker School Curriculum
Our framework is interdisciplinary and organized around six big ideas or Units of Inquiry each year. These include Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How the World Works, How We Express Ourselves, How We Organize Ourselves, and Sharing the Planet.
Within each unit students explore a Central Idea and several lines of inquiry. Embedded in these units is the BC Ministry of Education Curriculum, which outlines the scope and sequence for all subjects. For math we utilize the JUMP program.
Our student-centered guided inquiry approach builds on students’ own knowledge and interests. Teachers facilitate the exploration of central ideas and help students develop the skills to find out more, to make connections and solve problems, to think critically and creatively and then share their investigations. Ultimately, they are encouraged to take action based on what they have learned.
Each unit culminates with a rigorous summative assessment, which can take many forms. Students often assist in the development of the assessment rubrics. On-going reflection by teachers and students is an integral part of each unit. We report to parents several times each year.
To get a better understanding of what this looks like in practice, visit our Grade level highlights in the side menu.
Rigorous academic standards are one aspect of our curriculum. Equally important is our focus on the development of the whole child.
Our approach includes a focus on the IB Learner Profile, which consists of ten attributes that define the type of citizen we are trying to nurture. These are supported by twelve related attitudes, which emphasize how we want learners to feel (insert link). We encourage all members of our school community to know and model these same attributes.
Assessment is criterion-related, so students around the world are measured against pre-specified criteria in each subject group. Teachers may modify these criteria to be age-appropriate in the earlier years of the program. Teachers set assessment tasks that are assessed internally in the school. External checks are carried out on this internal assessment to ensure worldwide consistency of standards.
The Early Years at Booker: IB Meets Reggio Emilia
The program for our youngest students (pre-Kindergarten – Kindergarten) draws inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach. We acknowledge that children are capable and competent protagonists in their own learning. We endeavour to sustain, embrace and promote the child’s innate curiosity, to honour their time and processes, and to research, discover and construct meaning together. The three main areas of focus that guide our instruction are Relationships, Environment, and Play. For more on the Early Years at Booker meet Erica Harris...
The Action cycle of our program (insert link to image – there are many images of this, but I’m not sure how to tell what is public domain) transforms what we’ve learned in class into meaningful action and community service. This is important for the development of citizenship.
For example, at the end of a unit on How the World Works involving the exploration of Simple Machines, students raised funds to assist Natasha Hope Simpson purchase a prosthetic device.
Other student-initiated actions include the creation of our student council, participation in Model United Nations (MUN) and creation of a MUN Club, Silence for Syria Marathon and a 20-Hour Famine Fundraiser for Syrian refugees, a Hunger Banquet and an Empty Bowls Fundraiser.
To explore some selected highlights from past units, please visit the grade level side menu.
A Typical Day the Booker School
A typical day begins with an hour of English Language Arts and an hour of math. When possible these are linked with the big ideas studied in the unit of inquiry. For example a novel study, research paper or creative writing task would complement the unit of inquiry.
Following snack students normally have French and Physical Education, which may include karate, dance or yoga with specialist instructors as well as skating or cooperative games outside including badminton and soccer.
After lunch we Drop Everything and Read (DEAR). This is 20-30 minutes of sustained reading. Once weekly during DEAR we have Book Buddies where older students are partnered with younger students. We also welcome senior citizens from the community to read with our students during this time.
Afternoons are dedicated to the Unit of Inquiry. Because we follow a trans-disciplinary (or cross-curricular) model the outcomes for science, social studies and health are covered within our Unit of Inquiry rather than taught in isolation. We often receive guests and take field trips to enhance our learning. Depending on the unit we might visit an art studio, a farm, Acadia’s science labs, an archeological dig sites, senior citizen residences, government offices, recreation facilities or any other sites that enhance our learning and connect us with our community.
Additionally, we engage specialist teachers who join us for art and music several times a week.
To explore some highlights from past units, please select from Unit Highlights in the side menu.
“The Immigration unit of inquiry was spectacular. It was cross-curricular and multi-disciplinary learning and it really made my children ask important questions about who we are and where we came from.”Parent, Mom To 2 Children
“My daughter has had her attention grabbed by the units of inquiry then she is empowered to focus on the parts that interested her most and further her research.”Parent,
"Our curriculum is inclusive, outward looking and organized around big ideas."Johanna Mercer, Director