- Language Arts
- Geography & Social Studies
- Visual Arts
- Music & Drama
- Physical Education
English Language & Literature
The basis of our English program is a strong focus on literature. We believe that reading—extensively, broadly, and often—is the best way to develop a child's reasoning, written communication skills, and general intelligence. Each child is assigned an age-appropriate reading list of both popular classics and lesser-known works, to be read at home and explored in depth during class.
Our students exercise their writing skills in short essays and compositions, and study spelling and grammar in lessons dedicated to these subjects. Since most of our students are English-Russian bilingual, we pay special attention to ensuring that their English literacy is well above par.
French Language & Literature
As with our English program, the foundation of our French program is literature. At Roots Private School, we take our place in a bilingual culture seriously. To this end, we use a special French-education program adapted from Quebec (which has a strong visual and online component), study French works of literature, and dedicate more hours weekly to French than many other schools in the province.
With the help of these factors, our students develop genuine comfort and dexterity with the French language. Our goal is for our students to emerge from their education truly bilingual (and in many cases, trilingual).
Russian Language & Literature
This optional course of study is designed for students with a background in speaking Russian. A focused study of formal Russian grammar and literature fortifies and develops these students' oral communication skills and literacy, such that it reaches an academic, rather than merely colloquial, level of proficiency.
We aim to connect Russian grammatical concepts to students' studies of English and French in order to increase their fluency across these languages. Students read classic works of Russian literature in addition to world literature translated into Russian.
For interested students who do not already speak Russian, our school also offers Russian as a Second Language.
Science & Nature Studies
A balanced education that devotes equal attention to the sciences and humanities is our ethos. The study of science at Roots Private School is divided into two main streams: physics and chemistry, and nature studies (zoology, biology, anatomy, and geology). Students dedicate time to both streams each week. In addition to classroom learning, our students get ample opportunity to apply their knowledge via hands-on experiments throughout the year, culminating in a presentation at our annual Science Fair. The winners of this event go on to present their experiments at the Junior Science Fair at the University of Toronto.
We also integrate modern STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programming, giving our students the tools they need to be scientific innovators themselves.
Math & Logic
While rote memorization has its place, our mathematics program focuses on developing a deep understanding of concepts, since we believe that enhanced mathematical reasoning serves our students throughout their education. In a world that increasingly relies on machines for calculations, we aim to arm our students with the ability to work through mathematical problems without the help of calculators, and by extension, develop their logical reasoning.
To further this goal, we have our students work on logic problems and Math Olympiad challenges, as well as hands-on engineering projects to solidify their understanding of concepts. The academic year concludes with two mathematics celebrations: Mathemagic, a performance put on by students and teachers that features vibrant math-based illusions, and Math Olympiad, a math contest between students from all grades.
From the training of fine motor skills to a developed sense of beauty and aesthetics, visual art is an important part of the general education program at Roots Private School. Our students explore various mediums and techniques, including sculpting from clay and salted dough, origami, sketching, colour, shading, and even unusual practices like painting with clay and wool.
Music is a well-researched way to enhance skills far beyond the musical. The study of music has been implicated in the development of numerous qualities, from mathematical reasoning to empathy.
Our students study various musical genres, from classical to modern, develop their sense of rhythm with hands-on percussion practice, memorize and learn songs in English, French, and Russian, learn about the structure of an orchestra, and study the components of melody (rhythm, timbre, tempo, and dynamics).
Students have the opportunity to apply their skills by performing at our school events.
Drama at Roots Private School is more than a creative outlet for our students. It's an opportunity for students to develop their memory, self-confidence, sense of responsibility, ability to work as a member of a team, and to utilize the skills they've learned in their language studies (English, French, Russian).
Of course, it's also an important creative and literary exercise, since students have the freedom to transform into different characters, many from classic theatrical works. We believe that the focused work on voice and body that happens in drama class fortifies our students for healthy communication and social interactions in the rest of their lives.
Interested students also work on costume creation, and drama students prepare performances for our themed school celebrations, such as New Years, Valentine's Day, Fall Ball, and so on.
Health and Physical Education
Our health and physical education program promotes both physical exercise and a solid theoretical understanding of important concepts like healthy eating. Much of our physical education program occurs at the Maple Community Centre gymnasium, a three-minute walk from our school, where our students practice team sports.
In the case of inclement weather, we are amply equipped to teach light yoga and stretching in our building. We also screen health education videos in our library auditorium.
As for seasonal physical activity, our students practice skating in the winter and swimming during warmer months.
"Every Chess master was once a beginner."
At Roots, we recognize Chess as a mental sport that exercises our students’ focus and improves their concentration. Since 2021, chess lessons have been integrated into the Roots curriculum for all grades. Chess requires one to problem solve and be able to closely analyze their and their opponent’s movements, thus enabling students to work and develop creative and critical thinking skills. Each lesson provides students with opportunities to learn important interpersonal skills, such as good sportsmanship, patience, and respect for others. Near the end of the year, students have the opportunity to use their newfound skills and compete with peers in a school-wide chess tournament. Chess masters from each grade then compete with one another in one final round to determine the winner.
Roots Private School emphasizes a focus on global citizenry, and our Social Studies program is geared towards this end. In addition to requisite attention given to Canadian history, geography, and community, we dedicate a special focus to the study of these subjects on a much broader scale. By exposing our students to a wide range of knowledge from cultures around the world, we hope to give them a sense of belonging to a global community as well as a local one.
Our Geography program at Roots focuses primarily on map analysis and directions. This means that students are able to identify places, follow directions in order to locate and pinpoint different areas in the world, name oceans and also land features.
In addition, students also study different natural habitats, specifically fauna, flora, and climate conditions. This corresponds with our Nature Studies program, which teaches students about protecting the environment and lets them explore the beauty of nature. Furthermore, students will also learn about urban areas and population. This program is conveyed throughout the first three grades and develops in a spiral progression. This means that many of the topics repeat throughout the three years, however, it expands further according to the grade and maturity of the students.