The last stage of Primary School is a combined 5/6 class, giving students all of the benefits of our combined Primary School programs, as well as a hint of what is to come in the Intermediate School. Because our primary school is modeled after the development of the adolescent brain rather than upon space constraints or district policies, our fifth and sixth graders have room to enjoy being children while still developing an increased level of independence and being given more difficult academic material. At CBA, we believe firmly in allowing our students the cognitive space and emotional support to remain children for an appropriate amount of time, and our fifth and sixth graders are absolutely still given time to play, are exposed to the magic of holidays, are encouraged to experience the excitement of adventures, and given full support to enjoy all of the beauty that comes with still being a "kid" rather than feeling the pressure to prematurely fit yourself into an adolescent world in which you do not belong.
For the majority of their academic day, our grade five and six students will enjoy enormous one-on-one time in a beautiful, sun-drenched room with many manipulatives, a rich classroom library, and in-classroom personal storage, as well as a small quiet space for small group academics. Our service requirement increases to two hours per quarter during Primary School, with one hour satisfied quarterly by school-sponsored events. By these grade levels, students are also engaged in quarterly projects in ELA, math, and a combined activity for the content areas. Geography, history, and more formal instruction in science also become hallmarks of these grades, and students begin explicit instruction in study skills, enjoying their transition from learning to read to reading to learn. French language exposure continues in grade 5, with students continuing their introduction to the language conversationally through educational songs, videos, and interactive digital activities. Grade 5 and 6 students also take the CATs in the spring, allowing teachers and parents to track student progress in a very concrete way and allowing students a bit of exposure to standardized testing in a safe, nurturing environment without any of the pressure of a high-stakes exam. Their arts instruction also becomes more focused at these grade levels, splitting into recreational and preprofessional tracks in certain areas to ensure that children who wish to more seriously pursue an art form have the ability to do so. Their interaction with the other grades also increases during arts courses, allowing for more social interaction with children who have similar goals and passions. As happens with each year of growth, their involvement in CBA-wide events increases. Take a look below at what a day in the life of a CBA 5th or 6th grade student looks like: