At Cairn Christian school we are dedicated to instructional excellence. In light of this dedication, we plan and host July professional development workshops for Christian teachers in Ontario. These are three-four packed days of experiential learning, collaborative grappling, and collegial sharing with educational experts and facilitators. Our goal is to equip one another with practical tools to deepen our students’ learning in their Christian school.
Our Mission Statement: "Inspiring students to Love, Learn, and Lead together in God's world" guides our work with students. These touch points - Love, Learn, and Lead - are intentional ways in which you will find the education at Cairn Christian different than you might find elsewhere. (You can find out more about our mission and vision here.)
One way that we live our love for God and one another are through the implementation of Restorative Practices throughout our day as well as when things go wrong. This approach to relationships, community building and restoring harm are guided through best practices based on Christian principles and expert progressive research. Through an active partnership with Shalem Mental Health Network, we are able to implement Restorative Practices as well as support students in our community who are struggling with challenges such as mental health. Another way is through our implementation of our 'Connected in Christ' Community Character Traits. These six traits are infused throughout our school experience as a way to improve our learning and to express our faith not only in our heads, but our hearts and our hands as well. These habits of character and development in social and emotional learning are central to living our faith in every aspect of our lives!
To get a sense of our philosophy of learning, you can read more in this Introduction to Christian Deeper Learning. This approach drives all of our professional development as we seek to 'do' education and teaching differently, in light of the redeeming grace that Christ offers to the world.
Finally, we weave in opportunities in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities for students to begin to lead. We know that our students will have an impact on the world, whether that sphere of influence is within their own family, or across a larger group of people. In fact, that leadership begins now at their young age. To learn and explore what it means to lead with the guidance of caring Christian adults who can guide their steps and assist them in humble service, we are equipping leaders now and the future.
Our Teachers follow the curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education of Ontario, but teach that with the lenses of faith. So, how does one teach mathematics or history through the eyes of the Christian faith? Read on below.
When they graduate from Cairn, students are prepared and do well in secondary schools across the region. Our programs are designed to have students achieve or exceed the Ontario Ministry of Education’s expectations at each grade level.
No book is more important to a Christian school than the Bible. It is the Divinely inspired Word that guides us in all our lives, and therefore has great importance for the Christian school.
Our schools make use of a Family Life program that unfolds from the Kindergarten years through to Grade Eight. The overall program deals with a number of strands, including: Family Relationships, Friendship, Solid Foundations for Self-Worth, Human Growth and Development, and Sexuality as a Good Gift of God.
God has created a consistent structure in His world, and therefore we can engage in Mathematics in the expectation that results are consistent and reflect the order of creation. Done with awe and revealing God’s amazing creativity and our dependence on Him, Mathematics is a wonderful pursuit for Christian students.
The ability to communicate is a gift from God. Communication involves various skills such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It is the goal of our schools to further develop speaking and listening skills and to teach reading and writing skills effectively.
Learning French is important because God has placed us in this bilingual and bi-cultural country: Canada. In equipping our students to obey the "Great Love Command" (Matt. 22:37-8) we acknowledge the importance of helping our students understand their neighbours in order to show them love. The teaching and learning of French also affirms the beauty of languages as created by God.
In this subject area our Christian schools operate out of the Biblical perspective that humans are always to be understood in relationship to God, their neighbours, and to the world around them.
In science, the focus of study is God's creation. Our schools teach science in a way that acknowledges that everything that exists has been created by God. The more we delve into the complexities and intricacies of our world and how it works, the more we see how amazing our Creator is!
Our schools recognize the aesthetic or artistic dimension of humans as a gift of God. We recognize that the arts are an important area of a student’s potential that needs the opportunity to be developed. Therefore, students are encouraged to express themselves in drama, music, and art. They are encouraged to develop their talents as well as become aware of the talents of others.
Computers are an integral part of our society. In the Christian school we seek to use this gift of God as a tool to enhance learning across the curriculum. Good use of technology and information is an important life skill and necessary to glorify God in our current information age.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION and HEALTH:
The area of physical education is also an important facet of the education of a child. God cares about our bodies and our schools seek to develop co-ordination, conditioning, healthy living, and sportsmanship in our students.
We are blessed to be able to offer a strong resource program to our students. For those students that experience areas of special challenge, our resource instructors are trained to diagnose weaknesses and to implement programs for overcoming academic difficulties. Further, when time and resources permit, we offer enrichment activities for students that will benefit from these opportunities.
A vibrant extra curricular program affords students opportunities beyond the classroom to apply their learning and develop as citizens and participants in joyful activity. All of these activities attempt to provide variety and opportunity so that our students may shine like stars with the talents God has granted to them.
Our students love to participate in a variety of sports. During recesses, several sports have been organized into intramural competition. The older students have enjoyed this and their level of participation is almost 100%.
Our schools also established a tradition for athletic competition with our local Christian schools. Athletes in a variety of sports are chosen to represent our school in friendly competition in school district tournaments. Some sports in which we participate are: soccer, cross-country running, volleyball, hockey, basketball, track & field, and softball.
Our students are regular and enthusiastic participants in the Fine Arts Festival program coordinated by the teachers in our district Christian schools. Our students participate in visual arts, creative writing, singing, drama, and choral speaking. Conducted every winter on a cycle of events, the Fine Arts Festival provides expression for the many abilities of our students.
Here at the school there are also other activities which provide opportunities for the students. Each year, either in the spring or at Christmas, our school schedules a major musical production, which involves the entire school body, and is performed for the parents and school supporters. When feasible, the Options program offers students a choice of interesting activities for five weeks in the winter term.
Students take part in a variety of projects that serve the surrounding community in a practical or financial way. In the senior grades, students are encouraged to take on a leadership role through a council, encouraging, teaching, and guiding younger students in various tasks that help our school run and become an excellent place of learning.