The Primary Stream at Headwaters Academy is designed to give students a strong academic foundation required for later success. We have a definite focus on foundational skills in literacy, mathematics, and inquiry but also maintain respect for the world of the young child – our primary students are hugely inquisitive, energetic, and active. Primary Stream students have the opportunity to contribute to society, accept real responsibilities, and when they seek to understand the world around them we ensure that they are fully equipped with the skills they need. In short, the Headwaters Academy Primary Stream provides our youngest students with opportunities to excel.
The curriculum in the Primary Stream allows students to master all expectations in the Ontario curriculum, Alberta curriculum, and Common Core curriculum in Grades 1 and 2. However, the nature of our academic program is such that students are not constrained to stop at any given grade level. We recognize that children grow at different rates and that this perhaps even more evident in our younger grades. Thus, a student may be working on Grade 1 expectations in Language, Grade 3 expectations in Science, and Grade 2 expectations in math.
Students in the Primary Stream are actively involved in concentrated and integrated programming. English Language Arts classes are taught in sustained blocks each day with an emphasis on ensuring all students read and write their own adventure stories, tall tales (using who, what, when, where, why and how as guides), and cultural poems (Haiki, Tanka). Students will identify in stories the man versus nature conflict. They will also apply a solid understanding of idioms, alliteration, use of verbs as well as common and proper nouns, punctuation, use of varied sentence endings, and the use of a thesaurus to replace dull words. Students will spend significant time talking about what they know and what they have discovered by relating what happens in the context of their Research and Design (R & D) and Trailblazer (Life and Social Science) courses.
Students will also take part in daily mathematics with a focus on whole numbers, part numbers and geometry throughout the year. Students will spend a substantial amount of time in their R & D class learning key measurement skills and concepts.