Understanding the printed word, being able to express ideas and feelings in writing and in person, and developing a basic quantitative sense with an ability to use numbers easily and accurately are hallmarks of the primary school grades.
Reading begins with letter recognition of sights and sounds, moves to blends and then to decoding words and sentences, culminating in chapter books. What an exciting unfolding! A few students come to Kindergarten reading, some are very ready to read, others are just beginning the process, so St. Gabriel's uses Guided Reading, fostering multi-level, small group instruction. Writing Across the Curriculum, the K-8 model used at St. Gabriel's Catholic School, is introduced in Kindergarten. By grade two, students are able to express ideas in complete sentences and write a one page persuasive piece. Hands-on units are often incorporated into Science and Social Studies with a focus on project-based programming completed both individually and in group settings.