The Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS) Laboratory School takes a developmental approach in defining program goals and expectations and has articulated the following central principles:
Curriculum is Challenging and Coherent
Across grade levels and subjects, the goal of the curriculum is deep understanding and engagement in learning. We use the Ontario Curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Training as a basis for overall expectations. Enrichment permeates the JICS Laboratory School curriculum and is available to all students.
Curriculum is Developmental
Every subject area is taught in a developmentally appropriate way respecting the salient characteristics of both the age group and the individuals.
Curriculum Supports the Whole Child
Every teacher at the JICS Laboratory School accepts responsibility for balancing social, psychological, and emotional growth with academic learning. We believe that the curriculum needs to be cognitively challenging, authentic, and social. The curriculum respects the family, cultural, and racial diversity which is valued at the JICS Laboratory School.
Curriculum is Creative and Responsive
Facilitated by the principal, our teachers use knowledge of child development, the sequence of acquisition of skills, and the inquiry and security philosophy of the school as guiding principles in developing the curriculum. Teachers respond to individuals in the group and reflect student interests and questions in the daily work of the class. Teachers communicate across divisions and subject areas about the curriculum as it is taught to each class.
Curriculum is Integrated and Holistic
Children are encouraged to use multiple ways of knowing and expressing their knowledge. Subject matter is frequently taught in ways which blend the disciplines and allow the application of skills gained in one domain to the exploration of another. Timetables allow for specific subject teaching as well as integrated approaches to the curriculum. Music, Visual Arts, Drama, and Physical Education are taught by specialty teachers and integrated with the work of the classroom. There are resources for both Special Education and French language instruction.
Explore Our Subjects
In an inquiry-based classroom, the teacher assesses student progress on a continuous basis throughout the school year, collecting and using a wide range of information to provide an informed and comprehensive picture of the student’s learning.
Enabling students to express their understanding in differentiated ways is crucial for many reasons, but especially for the following:
- Helping students understand how they can improve is closely related to the feelings that students have about themselves as learners specifically, and about learning in general (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2010a).
- “Using multiple sources of evidence increases the reliability and validity of the evaluation of student learning” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2010a).
Some examples of varied and authentic assessment sources include, but are not limited to: student questions, inquiry lab books; portfolios; visual art; and anecdotal observations.