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The educational experience at CFIS
Dear CFIS Families,
The purpose of this communication is to share information presented at the
January 23rd Elementary Division parent information session, for those of you who were unable to attend, and to reaffirm some of the key advantages that you are providing your child through a CFIS French immersion education.
Given our school’s focus on French, some parents become concerned that their child’s English language skills will not be strong. However, the opposite is in fact the case. Evidence to support this can be found in the Provincial Achievement Tests that are administered to all Grade 6 students province-wide. By the end of Grade 6, CFIS students actually consistently demonstrate stronger skills in English reading and writing than their English-language peers. Additionally, CFIS’s English Language Arts (ELA) program continues to excel at the Secondary Division level, where students’ ELA Diploma Exam marks in the 2016-17 school year were among the highest of any school in the province. Furthermore, our students combined class and Diploma Exam marks in subjects such as biology and chemistry are incredibly impressive. Last year, 65 per cent of our graduates went into the sciences in universities across Canada and in the USA. See Tables 1 and 2 on the following page for a selection of relevant Grade 6 PAT and Diploma Exam/ course-awarded combined results.
Research shows that there are four major factors which contribute to a successful French immersion program. These are:
Age of entry;
Time in the program;
Pedagogical approach; and
Intensity of the program.
At CFIS, we are able to maximize all aspects of these four factors. As you know, CFIS places a strong emphasis on immersing students in a rich and dynamic full French immersion environment, beginning as early as three years of age, through to Grade 12. We provide a balanced pedagogical approach, which includes both teacher-directed learning and collaborative, hands-on learning in and outside the classroom.
“My experience at CFIS definitely prepared me for responsibilities even beyond the confines of my academic career: the ability to organize myself emotionally and physically, which is something you wouldn’t expect, how to correctly manage your interactions with people and how to stay on top of your work in general was pretty valuable.”
~ Cameron Davenport ’ 14, Neuroscience student at the University of Sussex, UK
The continuum of learning at CFIS is foundational to the success of each student, and we work hard to ensure that it is progressive in nature and consistent from year to year. Our learning strategists and literacy coaches lead numeracy and literacy clinics. These provide students with targeted strategies and skills appropriate to their development.
As a result, our students graduate fully bilingual, and able to attend the university and program of their choice, whether that be French, English, or both. CFIS graduates attend a wide variety of prestigious programs in universities throughout Canada, the U.S., and Europe. They graduate well-prepared for this next academic step, and credit their experiences at CFIS for the level of preparedness and the confidence and capacity they possess as they move to this next phase of their lives.
Alongside strong linguistic skills, there are many other benefits of a French immersion education, including an increased ability to focus; improved analytic, restructuring and divergent thinking skills; and heightened creativity. Learning multiple languages provides personal and professional benefits, not the least of which is the cultivation of a positive attitude and understanding for and of other cultures.
I’m always fascinated to see what paths our current elementary students will choose as they move forward in their educational journey, and I and my colleagues in CFIS’s Secondary Division look forward to supporting them and celebrating their accomplishments.
Thank you again for your commitment to CFIS.
Mme Nicola Camirand