Kindergarten is a very special time. Our staff is dedicated to creating an early learning environment that is wholesome and fun, full of learning, activity, socialization and the development of independence and self-confidence.
Thornton Academy has developed Kindergarten programs that build the skills required for a strong foundation in education. These programs employ the enthusiasm and natural curiosity of children. We use play and work periods, and a wealth of resources to provide students the opportunity and guidance to enhance their social and academic skills. Our specialized academic curriculum includes, learning to read and write using the phonetic method, the development of numbers and simple arithmetic concepts. The students are also introduced to the French language. For the development of social skills we encourage our students to interact positively with their peers in all types of games and group activities. The Kindergarten children are involved in all school events. The rural setting of our school gives our students the ability to develop a strong bond with an understanding of nature. Our students have the opportunity to see horses, to play with puppies, and to explore many facets of nature on supervised walks with their teachers.
We take particular pride in our Kindergarten programs and hire staff that are sensitive to the students’ needs. They go on a number of small field trips as well as participate in the school’s Christmas pageant and musical. These events create a positive and stimulating environment that assists our students to become capable of reading, printing and simple arithmetic.
The Primary Grades, grades one to three, build upon the skills established in Kindergarten. The emphasis here is on Reading, Writing, using the phonetic method, and Arithmetic, but Science, Social Studies, Gym, Grammar, Spelling, and French are now important parts of the curriculum as well. Organized sports become a large component of the physical education program and students learn sportsmanship and the fundamentals of soccer, football, baseball, basketball and others.
The primary students have access to a number of school clubs which further develops their experience at Thornton Academy.
JUNIOR ELEMENTARY DIVISION
The junior years, grades four to six, are the years in which students need to sharpen their skills within a challenging curriculum and a disciplined and structured environment. During these grades, time management and effective use of time are stressed. Students are also taught how to develop good study habits and prepare for exams. Point form notes, riddles, acronyms, and other methods of study are taught to the students. Exams are introduced in the fourth grade in order to prepare students for such challenges.
The emphasis in the junior elementary grades is once again the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic. Other subjects that are taught are Grammar, Spelling, Social Studies, Science, Art, Gym and French. Computers are incorporated into our curriculum so that students become computer literate and are able to present their material in a professional manner.
SENIOR ELEMENTARY DIVISION
The Senior Elementary years, grades seven and eight, are critical in the preparation of students for secondary school. Thornton Academy offers students a challenging curriculum that focus on the fundamental subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and others, but emphasizes skills such as note taking, review, time management and study habits as well. These skills are vital for students to be successful in higher education. Students of these grades are seen as the leaders of the elementary school and are given plenty of opportunity to work on these leadership skills in all areas of our school.
Students are encouraged to participate in the extracurricular activities such as house league and school teams, and many academic contests. The students at the senior level have more supervised access to computers and are taught to use them to improve the detail and presentation of their material.
Students that finish the senior division find that the advanced curriculum and the refinement of study habits have fully prepared them for secondary school.
Our high school courses are offered at the academic and university levels. These courses are taught throughout the entire school year so that students develop a thorough understanding of the material. The year is broken into two terms, which will contain four reporting periods; two interim reports and two final report cards. Our highly qualified staff and small classrooms ensure our students will receive the individual help they need to succeed at the secondary level. This will result in higher grades and a better preparation for demanding university programs.
We offer our high school students many extra-curricular activities to expand their talents outside the classroom. We include clubs and sports such as skiing, cross-country, soccer, track and field, and others. Our students are involved in field trips that expand upon their curriculum such as museums and art galleries.
It is our belief that this continuity from the elementary to secondary level will give our students a stronger academic background, which will prepare them to succeed and flourish in the universities and colleges of their choice and in their future careers and life choices.
Student Vegetable Garden
As part of our outdoor education program, we plan to have a vegetable garden located directly behind our school. The plan for this year is to have a selection of vegetables the kids have picked as their favorites. Our starting size is roughly 30 feet by 60 feet. Planting is scheduled for some time in May 2016. Students will be going outside every day to tend to their section of the garden, either watering or weeding, until their vegetables are ready to be picked.
There will also be a compost component in our garden where we will compost the waste from our lunches.