SMS Learning Experience

Directed by distinctive approaches to teaching and learning within a safe and caring culture, this charter school is committed to providing a successful learning experience that values the contributions of all partners. FFCA-SMS is a supportive learning community that cares about students’ learning needs and their unique talents, and has a strong desire to see each student achieve personal excellence. Each learner will experience:

  • A coherent curriculum that scaffolds to build deeper understanding of core knowledge and skills associated with the learning outcomes stated in the Alberta Programs of Study.
  • A learning culture where teacher professional development and collaboration are valued and supported as key elements in optimizing academic achievements and personal growth of students.
  • A strong partnership among students, teachers and parents to positively support the growth and development of learners.
  • A caring and inclusive school culture where the development of positive relationships and effective interpersonal skills are the foundations for success.
  • An appreciation for the value of learning goals and their relevance, and the criteria necessary to achieve success.
  • An environment that focuses on maximizing learning opportunities through high levels of engagement (including opportunities to engage with a variety of technologies).
  • Ongoing assessment of learning in which the student, teacher and parent partner to use feedback to move learning forward.
  • A multi-sensory approach to learning that allows students to augment their learning styles in achieving the desired learning targets.
  • An opportunity for application of understandings about character development through active engagement in service learning projects and leadership opportunities.
  • An opportunity to learn collaboratively and independently, to communicate effectively, to think critically and to express themselves creatively.
  • A regular Physical Education program and daily physical activity
  • Being part of a community that celebrates personal uniqueness through the wearing of school uniforms.

Grade 7 Electives

  • Architecture (Code: ARCH) - In this elective we will balance the creative process from conception through to development. Discussion of aesthetics and function will be a focus and students will be responsible for designing a project that successfully meets the desired criteria. An architecture building program on computers will be used for this elective.
  • Art (Code: ART)Explore the elements of art and design using a range of materials. Students will work to find projects that meet the criteria of the curriculum while maintaining their interest and pushing their skills. Art is a flexible course where we will work together to try and expose ourselves to many new materials and be innovative in problem solving. We will explore both new and very old technology in the making of wearable art.
  • Coding (Code: CODE) - Welcome to coding!  Using Scratch, this course provides students with an introduction to coding.  Learn how to code your own interactive stories, animations and games.  Experienced coders are welcome and should be prepared to share in the learning.
  • Design Studies (Code: DESIGN) - Do you like to create? Students will be given an introduction to design with a drawing and building focus.  Students will practice the design process from beginning to end using six principles of design. Projects will include drawing in perspective, duct tape wallets, optical illusion art and using design to produce a solution to a problem.   This is a project-based class, with most work being done in class.
  • Drama 7 (Code: DRAMA) - Students will gain a better understanding of self and others, as well as develop effective communication skills by participating in and reflecting on various activities and disciplines. The focus of the course is geared towards teamwork, communication skills, public speaking, and confidence building. The five disciplines of drama: improvisation, movement, speech, theatre studies, and technical theatre will be explored in a student-centered active-learning program. Students may be involved in some or all of the following: drama orientation, tableau, improvisation, mime, movement, and speech. Each student should gain a new respect for theatre and the true meaning of group work. The nature of the course creates a risk free environment for the students to experiment and try new things.
  • Financial Literacy (Code: FINLIT) – Develop the skills to make wise money management choices. Students will be introduced to the various costs of living, credit and debit concepts, the importance of establishing a sensible financial budget, and the necessity of a savings plan.
  • Foods (Code: FOOD) - Create delicious food while learning about food safety with a focus on breakfast, lunch and appetizers.  Explore your interests as related to food and possible career opportunities.
  • Intro to Wire Wrapping & Chain Maille Wrapping (Code: WIRE) – Wire wrapping with stone, beads and more.  Learn how to create your own jewelry, sculpture and art and how to repair and upcycle what you currently have.  The tools and materials do require building of hand strength; you may be sore for the first little while.  This course will be a prerequisite if you wish to take it in grade 8.
  • Leadership (Code: LEAD) - Learn to lead recreational activities such as organizing and managing ball hockey tournaments, and develop skills useful for coaching and sport performance. Through planning these activities, students will develop the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary to practice effective leadership and to foster a positive school culture and identity.
  • Outdoor Education (Code: OUTDOOR) – Students will develop lifestyle strategies that foster contact with the natural world, encourage responsibility for the local and global environment and living in harmony with each other. This course will bring together outdoor activities, environmental awareness and opportunities for leadership through cooperative games, challenges, fieldtrips and informative classroom sessions.
  • Philosophy, Debate and Public Speaking (Code: PHILO)Philosophy is about asking questions: questions about how one should live; questions about justice; questions about knowledge; questions about friendship; and questions about truth.  Learn the proper format for debating as you explore questions through critical thinking techniques.  Students will develop strategies to be confident public speakers such as getting and keeping the attention of their audience.
  • Photography (Code: PHOTO) - What makes a photograph great? How can you take great photos?  Learn how a camera works, how a photograph is created and how a photographer works.  Discover the secrets to a great photo and how to take photos like a professional.  The final project will be a photography contest!
  • Robotics (Code: ROBOT) - The focus is on the skills and knowledge to design, construct and program a functioning robot. Being able to work collaboratively and problem solve within a group will be an asset. This is a hands-on course where creativity is encouraged.

Grade 8 Electives

  • App Development (Code: APPDEV) – Create useful apps and games for Android phones and tablets.  Learn basic skills of programming that apply to almost all computer languages.  Learn how apps are developed, from the first idea, through market research, to development, testing and deployment.
  • Art (Code: ART) - Based on the elements of art and design.  Use a range of materials such as pencil crayon, felt (wool) and watercolour. Students will be given guidelines to follow but have creative choice. We will complete a portrait and explore how digital technology is used in the creation of art and other projects. This course is very fluid and we will try to have little overlap from grade seven.
  • Communication Technology - Film Studies (Code: FILM) – Explore films from the 1950s-2000s. Students will begin by critically assessing particular films by first watching a variety of films and then using the language of film to express their thoughts. Students will create a film trailer using various forms of media. Students will need their own camera or smartphone for this course in order to create their chosen media form. The end of term film festival winner might have their trailer shown at a recognition assembly.
  • Design Studies (Code: DESIGN) continuing from grade 7 (although grade 7 Design is not a prerequisite), students will continue to use design basics to create grade 8 farewell invitations, their own bed or media room, and learn about the psychology of colour, marketing, branding and logos. A field trip to Ikea to find mood and theme of design, understand budget and space allotments, and creation of design boards will be included. Great for students wanting to work in advertising, marketing, interior design, home development, furniture building and more.
  • Drama – Term 1 Only (Code: DRAMAT1) – From tableaux, reader’s theatre, monologues, mini-scripts, and improv; to set design and technology, explore your creative side by building your self-confidence through performance in front of an audience as well as from back stage. Drama students will learn how to deliver speeches in the form of a persuasive and monologue piece while learning specific delivery techniques. Delivering speeches and monologues is a key part of being a true and successful actor. You might also find yourself using your acting skills to engage in a friendly debate during this elective!

**Get real life theatre experience by assisting with the December musical if you are in term 1 drama, either in the form of rehearsal time (if you auditioned and have a role in the musical) or in the form of assisting with set design, setup, and/or back stage. You do not have to be in this elective to be in the musical.

  • Drama – Term 2 (Code: DRAMAT2) – From tableaux, reader’s theatre, mini-scripts, and improv; to set design and technology, explore your creative side by building your self-confidence through performance in front of an audience as well as from back stage. Drama students will learn how to deliver speeches in the form of a persuasive and monologue piece while learning specific delivery techniques. Delivering speeches and monologues is a key part of being a true and successful actor. You might also find yourself using your acting skills to engage in a friendly debate during this elective!
  • Electronics (Code: ELECT) - Learn to solder electronic circuits to construct and repair devices.  Learn how electronic hardware has created the digital culture we live in today.
  • Foods (Code: FOOD) - Besides eating a ton of delicious and (generally) nutritious food, students will learn proper cutting techniques, kitchen safety and hygiene, plating food in a visually appealing way, how to alter a recipe to suit their tastes and budgets, and will experiment with a variety of ingredients and cooking methods.
  • Knitting (Code: KNIT) - Learn to knit!! Both boys and girls welcome. Our final project will be a stuffed monster that you design yourself. Knitting is lit!
  • Leadership (Code: LEAD) –  Learn to lead a variety of activities and through planning these activities, students will develop the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary to practice effective leadership and to foster a positive school culture and identity.
  • Musical Theatre (Code: MUSICTH) – Be a triple threat - you will be singing, dancing, and acting!  You will learn how to prepare for an audition, sing, dance, act in both a large and small ensemble. . You do not have to be in this elective to be in the musical.
  • Outdoor Education (Code: OUTDOOR) – We will bring together first aid, orienteering, fire building, outdoor cooking, and outdoor fitness as students prepare for a field trip to Fish Creek Park.  Students will prepare for an entire day outside including making their own lunch over a fire they build themselves, and participating in an orienteering course by finding hidden markers using map skills.
  • Photography and Media (Code: PHOTO) - Discover and develop skills for relaying a message effectively using photography and videography as your primary media.  Learn how to use various settings on a digital camera to take a photograph that tells a story, sends a message, or raises awareness about a particular topic. You may use your own camera or a school camera.  Use your photography skills to create your final project that may include a stop-motion video, a fashion shoot or a series of advertisements.
  • Set Design (Code: SETD) - You will be designing, creating and building the sets for this year’s musical. Bring your creative ideas to life, and see your work on stage! You do not have to be in this elective to be in the musical, but you will be assisting to make the sets FOR the musical.