- FOUNDATION SUBJECTS
- FRENCH IMMERSION
- SPANISH ELECTIVE
- INTERNATIONAL SECTION
- Primary School Library
- ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
- Moral and civic education
- ENGLISH PROGRAM
- PHYSICAL EDUCATION
- HISTORY-GEOGRAPHY & CIVICS
- SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
- ART & MUSIC
Beginning in 1st grade, Rochambeau students learn to read in both French and English. By the end of 5th grade, in French, students have acquired the following skills:
Speaking and listening:
- Follow predetermined rules in discussions or debates,
- Ask, and reply to, specific questions,
- Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions,
- Identify the key ideas and themes in a discussion,
- Summarize texts read aloud, or presented in diverse media formats,
- Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems,
- Plan and perform a presentation in front of an audience,
- Use formal or informal language appropriately.
- Read texts aloud fluently, accurately and with expression,
- Read grade level texts silently,
- Show understanding by answering text questions,
- Identify fiction genres,
- Identify literary elements (plot, theme, tone, point of view, etc.),
- Analyze characters using explicit and implicit evidence,
- Summarize the important elements of a story,
- Compare the themes, settings and plots of two similar stories,
- Analyze figurative language, word choices and how they affect meaning, tone and mood,
- Poetry: identify rhyme, alliteration, rhythm etc.,
- Poetry: perform with understanding, expression and intonation,
- Non-Fiction: identify text purpose and audience,
- Non-Fiction: analyze what creates bias in a text,
- Non-Fiction: analyze multiple accounts of the same topic.
- Use complete sentences to answer questions,
- Write coherent paragraphs,
- Write a concise text or summary of an event,
- Write a 3 to 5 paragraph persuasive or opinion piece,
- Use transition words to connect ideas (consequently, etc.),
- Write a 3 to 5 paragraph imagined narrative with descriptions of characters, setting, a logical plot and dialogues,
- Write a report with intro, facts, explanations and conclusion,
- Write poems following different models,
- Understand and implement a structured writing process to plan, draft, correct and publish a written assignment,
- Write legibly in print or cursive with correct letter formation,
- Produce typed documents in an appropriate format.
Problem solving is at the center of elementary school math teaching. Students learn to research, reason and communicate. The written component of math is essential, and includes mathematical symbols. By the end of elementary school students have learned:
Operations up to a billion, fractions, decimals up to one-thousandth, decimal fractions etc.,
Addition, subtraction, division and multiplication of whole numbers, division of two whole numbers with decimal quotients, and how to use a calculator,
Estimating orders of magnitude of a result, multiplying tens, hundreds and thousands, subtracting 2-digit numbers with carried numbers, the addition and subtraction of decimal numbers, multiplication tables from 2 to 11, calculation of double and triple numbers,
Solving problems using all four operations, solving proportionality and word problems, use of a data table, creating tables, diagrams and graphs to organize numeric data, solving a problem containing several actual or implicit stages.
The Rochambeau English Program prepares students for the best colleges and universities, and enables them to pass both French and American exams with great success.
Starting in 1st grade, students take four 50-minute English language classes per week. These classes focus on acquiring solid English reading and writing skills and include:
Speaking and listening:
Oral comprehension and improved verbal expression through continual speaking and conversation,
Understanding verbal combinations (sounds and syllables), comprehension of both written and spoken texts, and the reading of different text types.
Writing complete sentences legibly in cursive, writing answers to written questions, use of a word bank to create sentences,
Study of the English language:
Emphasis is placed on individual words and their variations. Vocabulary is progressively expanded and students encounter verb forms (orally at first).
In 2nd grade, students enter one of three English language groups according to their level.
The English Program at Rochambeau is unique. It has been designed by the school to combine the best practices of American schools and the renowned French curriculum.
Building on strong foundations of oral and written expression, our English program engenders a love of reading and writing, and prepares students for the increased demands of Middle and High School.
The physical education teachers ensure that students of all abilities fully participate and may achieve success.
Team sports and games take on a greater importance in Elementary school and performance is measured: endurance running, sprints, distance and accuracy of throwing balls etc. Competing groups need to be balanced, both in teams or in one-on-one competitions, and we endeavor to instill ideals of teamwork and fair play.
Our curriculum is made up of several pedagogical approaches to physical education. Students work in small groups, independently, or as part of a team. We encourage them to experiment with different roles (referee, timekeeper, coach, mediator, organizer or observer) and use digital tools such as iPads to show videos, images or to film sports events and activities.
HISTORY-GEOGRAPHY & CIVICS
- 1st & 2nd Grades: 2 Civics lessons per week with French classroom teacher
- 3rd Grade: 2 Social Studies & Civics lessons per week with French classroom teacher
- 4th & 5th Grades: 3 lessons/week in French with homeroom teacher in History-Geography, Civics & Ethics instruction
A one-hour weekly lesson, taught in English by the English teacher, is devoted to American history and geography.
In elementary and secondary school, as part of their ethics and civic education, students are encouraged to participate in civic debates. These debates are intended to have the students to discuss various issues, such as Why do people make fun of other people? (1st grade).
Rochambeau students regularly participate in the "Ambassadeurs en herbe" or Future Ambassadors project which brings together volunteer French institutions outside of France. The “Ambassadeurs en herbe” project applies multilingual skills and linguistic and cultural mediation to current international and multidisciplinary issues. Developed around “oratorical contests”, the project is based on a wide variety of oral exercises. The debates are conducted in French and in the language of the host country with summaries interpreted in English, and obliges students to put their sharpened language skills to use.
Starting in 1st grade, students elect student representatives who represent their classmates in meetings with the director and teachers. In elementary school, the director meets with all the delegates once a month in the "Student Council”, which allows students to discuss general problems found in any of the elementary classes.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Students are taught to observe and understand the world around them, and ask structured scientific questions in both French and English.
Starting in 1st grade, the iPad Program enables students to use technology in a wide range of school activities. In 1st and 2nd grades, teachers share a number of iPads and distribute them, one per student, when needed. Starting in 3rd grade, students have access to an individual iPad (One to One Program). Rochambeau has incorporated Information Technology and responsible Internet use into the curriculum.
The technology teachers provide training and co-teaching options for all teachers. They have developed a New Technology Curriculum that runs from preschool to 9th grade. This curriculum focuses on different aspects of working with new technologies such as: information usage, communication, creation and responsibility. In high school, students are allowed to bring their own device.
ART & MUSIC
Students work on both individual and group art projects that are sometimes part of school exhibitions. Such projects are aimed at developing student creativity, initiative and art appreciation. Projects explore media such as drawing, painting, photography, etc. The students learn to observe and be creative, compare artwork pieces, and discover the artistic process.
In 4th and 5th grades, students begin to study Art History.
Musical education is taught by both French and English-speaking teachers. Students use the voice to make music, either as a group or individually, and acquire performance and presentation skills that can be transferred to many areas of life.
Musical shows are organized during the year and are a showcase for student productions, including classical or contemporary French and English language songs.
Since most subjects are taught in French at Rochambeau, we offer a specialized French Immersion program for non French-speaking students at both preschool and elementary levels. This program is designed to ease the transition and integration of students into a French-speaking environment.
The French Immersion Program in elementary school offers linguistic and cultural instruction to a maximum of 12 students per group, and is taught by native French teachers who bring students up to the French level required by their grade. The Immersion Program’s intensive language instruction increases student confidence and fluency as they rapidly develop their communication skills through tailored tuition that addresses their individual needs and areas of difficulty.
French Immersion students pursue formal English instruction and other elective subjects with their regular classmates until they are ready to integrate the French class full time.
French Immersion students are admitted on an evaluation-based process.
Testimonials from Rochambeau parents
Our son began the immersion program as a CP (1st grade) in September, not speaking a word of French.
Five months later, he was comfortable enough with the language to join the regular CP class full time. Monsieur Lozano, the immersion teacher, made academic learning in French fun and exciting. Moreover, the transition to his CP class was virtually seamless, as Gabriele had participated in the Bilingual subjects with the rest of the class since the beginning of the school year. Finally, we have found the warmth and personal attention of the teachers and administrators at Rochambeau to be exceptional. For these reasons, we have the highest opinion of the program and of Rochambeau. To those parents who are concerned about transitioning into the French system and a new school, we say: the immersion program will be a very fulfilling all-around learning experience for your child.”
Angela, Mother of Gabriele
Starting in 3rd Grade, students study Spanish in class. Different levels are taught as all students do not have the same level in Spanish
Students are individually assessed before entering the best group for their level
Extracurricular activities in Spanish are offered to our younger students
This bilingual system, established in primary schools, welcomes French and foreign students in the same section. Students receive at least three hours of instruction per week in a foreign language: American English at Rochambeau.
The section has three objectives:
- to facilitate the integration of foreign students into the French school system and their eventual return to their home system
- to create, thanks to the presence of foreign students, an environment conducive to French students learning English language at a high level
- encourage the transmission of the cultural heritage of the United States of America
Special courses may be provided to bring foreign students up to standard in French and French students in English language.
Primary School Library
Our Primary School Librarian
Elodie Sutton Domenge
School: (301) 530-8260
The Primary School Library (BCD - Bibliothèque Centre Documentaire) is located at the Rollingwood campus for preschool through grade 4.
At the beginning of the school year, every class is introduced to the school libraries. Not only the vast amount of reading matter, but also the rules, regulations and different materials available. In preschool and elementary school, the librarian helps students navigate the library and discover the material best suited to their age and reading ability.
The elementary school library is designed to spark/engender/instill/generate/nurture a lifelong love of reading in students, to help them become competent readers and to allow them to access information and research material with great ease. The library’s physical space is very pleasant and invites students to spend time reading and lounging. There are large, sunlit bay windows, colorful posters, rugs and decorations, pillows, backrests and easily accessible boxes of books for younger children.
From 1st through 5th grade students have a dedicated weekly library period to browse, read, and check out books. Each elementary student has a personal account allowing them to borrow up to four books at a time to take home. Activities related to children’s literature and reading are often led by the teacher and/or librarian. For example: student book reports, poetry recitations, storytime and discussion, creating artist books, guided reading of chapter books, games designed to help students grasp the differences between types of reading material and how to find books in the library. Each elementary class has two free periods per week in which they can go to the library at their leisure.
In the Immersion class, for students not of francophone origin and whose parents do not speak or read French, audio books and magazines with CDs (“J’Apprends à Lire” and “Mes Premiers J’aime Lire”) are a delightful and very useful resource to encourage these students to read in French, and do so with ease.
The library acts as a hub for both students and teachers, providing media access for the whole community. The school librarian works closely with teachers to attain reading and writing objectives. The librarian prepares reading materials (picture books, magazines, nonfiction), offers storytime moments, helps teachers organize reading contests, finds both print and digital material for teachers on specific topics, such as “1jour1actu” (French news for children) and “Storyplayr” (a French digital library). The library’s website is a useful resource for teachers and parents.
Library subject areas are rich and varied and include philosophy, religion, human reproduction, world cultures, history, art, and social justice, to name but a few.
Intellectual freedom is a core principle of the Rochambeau library. Students are encouraged from an early age to research topics that interest them, and have free, unrestricted access to age-appropriate material. Younger students may need more guidance and help in their reading choices, but as their reading skills improve, they are free to choose their own reading material.
Rochambeau also offers learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom environment.
Elementary school students enjoy visiting various local destinations such as farms, children’s theaters, museums, parks like Brookside Garden. These field trips are stimulating, educational and delightful.
The decision to maintain or cancel school field trips will be made according to the health situation regarding the coronavirus.
Every year, 4th grade students undertake a 10-day field trip to Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. During the trip, students discover the joys of hiking, kayaking, canoeing, archery and rock climbing. They also learn about mountain flora and fauna, discover the history and creation of maple syrup, visit beaver huts and an ecological farm. They enjoy picnics on the lake, a visit to the city of Montreal, a campfire night and are even taught survival techniques!
It is a very enriching moment of collective life for the child's social experience as well.
The school’s objective is to bring quality outreach programs to the student. These programs are generally overseen by highly trained teachers and are a wonderful complement to the school curriculum. They are integrated into the school project and the class pedagogical project. Each field trip feeds into a learning project, often multidisciplinary, through a carefully prepared program. Thus the school field trips are not only an additional form of entertainment at school, even if the conditions of travel and discovery often have a festive dimension for young children. They enable students to acquire new skills and learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom environment.
Moral and civic education
Moral and civic education pursues three interrelated goals:
RESPECT for OTHERS
To respect others is to respect their freedom, to consider them as equal to oneself in dignity, to develop fraternal relations with them. It also means respecting one's philosophical and religious convictions, which secularism allows.
TO ACQUIRE AND SHARE THE VALUES OF THE REPUBLIC
The four major values and principles of the French Republic are freedom, equality, fraternity and secularism. This implies solidarity, equality between men and women and the rejection of all forms of discrimination. Moral and civic education focuses on these principles and values, which are necessary for living together in a democratic society and constitute a common good that is updated in the course of the debates on which the Republic is based.
BUILD A CIVIC CULTURE
This civic culture permeates all teaching, it is at the heart of the life of the school and of the establishment, and it is carried by some of the actions that bring pupils into contact with society.
Overview of the curriculum
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