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Middle School

Grades 6, 7 and 8 are an exciting time in the students’ lives. So much happens developmentally and intellectually as they share in the many celebrations of this age. It is a time of both rapid changes and careful consolidation of skills, interests and friendships.

                                   Middle School

General Studies

Judaic Studies

Arts Block

Language Arts

Hebrew Language Arts

Visual Arts

History/ Geography

Bible Studies

Technology-Coding

Math

Dinim

Music

Science

Torah She Be’al Peh

Drama

French

Jewish History

 

Health and Physical Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Features:

  • Middle School program designed to meet the unique needs, interests and talents of students.
  • Major themes and shared critical thinking questions across General and Judaic Studies frame student inquiry.
  • General Studies curriculum is aligned with the Ontario curriculum and Judaic Studies with a scope and sequence created by staff based on best practices.                  
  • Both programs are inspired by best practices in teaching and learning with a focus on critical thinking.
  • There is an emphasis on learning relationships that encourage children to become lifelong learners as members of the Jewish community and of the world.
  • academic expectations are designed for 21st Century learners and are supported by an enhanced learning environment with technology and library resources.
  • The day begins in a homeroom program where global issues as well as thoughtful questions provide the context for rich discussions.
  • Students develop a keen awareness of the obligation to repair the world (Tikkun Olam).  
  • Leadership Opportunities: From Student Council to the Year Book Committee to the Tikkun Olam Committee, there are leadership opportunities for all our Middle School students.  Depending on their particular interests, students are encouraged to find the role that best suits their interests.

GENERAL AND JUDAIC STUDIES OVERALL CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION

Critical thinking questions guide the integration of units within a framework of thematic concepts and global education outcomes.

Grade 6

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

How can the individual best contribute to building a community?

How does our history significantly shape our identity?

How does our connection with others help create a just balance in the world?

How does our powerful connection with Israel affect our point of view?

How do patterns of behaviour affect the future of the world?

How does our understanding of history help shape the future of our global community?

 

Grade 7

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

How can one confront and overcome challenges?

What are the most significant attributes that teaches one to be resilient?

How significantly does your point of view affect your perception of a perfect world?

What are the most essential characteristics of a leader?

What key patterns and trends of behavior encourage hope?

How can we foster an environment that promotes sustainability?

 

Grade 8

2014-15 Critical Thinking Questions

How important are our identities in impacting and influencing our relationships?

What significant lessons can we learn from our past to shape our future?

Can love conquer all?

How can the young generation create a positive and powerful change in the world?

How does our knowledge of patterns and trends help us express our own creativity?

To what extent can we control the consequences of our actions?

 

 SUBJECTS

General Studies

Language Arts
The English language arts program is designed to encourage and enable students to be independent and enthusiastic readers, thoughtful writers, critical thinkers and confident speakers.  The students delve into critical thinking questions and common themes in a broad spectrum of literary texts.  They learn to examine a topic, organize ideas and information, use precise language and produce texts from the literature read during the year.  Technology and digital media expand students’ ways to respond to literature and publish writing.  Students are developing and strengthening grammar skills as they continue to study the qualities of clear and coherent writing.  Oral presentations and formal, properly researched debates are vehicles for students to express their opinions on a relevant issue or topic.

History/ Geography
Both the History and Geography courses have been designed to be inquiry-based and focused around critical thinking questions that help provide a larger context for student learning.  Teachers are using the new Ontario social studies curriculum and integrating it with the study of Israel, global education outcomes and other subject areas in the General and Judaic Studies.  The history portion of the course helps the students understand that a knowledge of the past provides a lens through which to understand the present and to view the future.  The geography portion of the course is designed to provide students with a better understanding of their world.  It looks at the relationship between humans and their natural and created environments.  Engaging scenarios are included to make this course relevant to students.  At the same time, international examples are used to broaden students’ geographical view of the world.  Students are engaged in active learning through a variety of projects that includes the exploration of photographs, documents and other primary sources.  All units of study incorporate reading and writing skills as part of the core curriculum and foster critical discussions and reflective thinking.  

Math
The goal of the mathematics program is for students to become proficient and confident mathematical problem solvers (confident in problem based learning) as they develop and apply new conceptual understandings, facts and procedural knowledge through the mathematical processes including representing, reflecting, reasoning and proving their answers.  This thoughtful approach helps students better understand what they are learning.  Technology is used to help math come to life especially as students start using E-textbooks.

Science
Students are engaged in rigorous and innovative science learning as they investigate and think critically about the world around them.  In each grade, the students explore four units of study, as specified by the Ontario Curriculum, including Life Systems, Structures and Mechanisms, Properties of and Changes in Matter, and Conservation of Energy and Resources.  This approach develops the students’ skills of inquiry and allows them to make connections between disciplines.  The students apply their problem solving skills to global issues of the 21st century with a focus on building a stronger connection to scientific advancements and challenges in Israel.  Activities aim to build skills of questioning, scientific discussion and debate, experimentation, research and documentation in developmentally appropriate ways.  The teachers and students use technology to support learning, research and communication, with a focus on analysis and evaluation of a variety of sources.

French
Robbins Hebrew Academy recognizes the importance of French as one of Canada’s two official languages.  With the advantage of learning three languages (English, Hebrew and French), students have the potential for more opportunities in participating in an increasingly globalized economy and a better understanding of Canada's history.  The goal of the program is for students to use the language confidently and correctly in familiar contexts and authentic situations, to develop the strategies that will help them acquire the language, and to develop an appreciation of the French culture.  The teacher engages the students in meaningful communication experiences using a balanced literacy approach and cooperative learning activities thus creating a positive learning environment.  In planning both instruction and assessment, the teacher keeps in mind the importance of developing critical thinking skills with an eye to creating integrative projects with the General and Judaic Studies.

Health and Physical Education
The physical education program promotes an active lifestyle through maximum participation in a wide range of sports, games and rhythmic activities. Students learn how skills, concepts and strategies learned in one activity can apply to other activities. They take on leadership opportunities as club helpers, junior assistant coaches, league organizers, referees and demonstrators. Students participate in a variety of discussions related to different health issues, personal growth and healthy relationships.

 Judaic Studies

Hebrew Language Arts
RHA provides a dual language program that supports students in becoming proficient in Modern Hebrew.  The Hebrew language is the common language of the Jewish people from history to Israel and to Jews living in the diaspora.  It is a language for communication, for prayer and study.  Students continue to develop Hebrew language skills in a balanced program of listening, speaking, reading, writing and language knowledge (grammar, syntax, word use).  A variety of activities are designed in order for students to apply their skills in situations requiring “language reception” (comprehension of both spoken and written language) and “language production” (oral and written expression).  Students read, analyze, discuss and engage in extended writing about Hebrew literature.  Reading selections, novels, poetry and prose passages drawn from the reader and anthologies are presented in conjunction with curricular themes and interdisciplinary units of study.  Examples are:  Myself; friendship; man and his environment; freedom; Israel: revival of the Hebrew language.  Emphasis is placed on recognizing and applying linguistic and literary tools.  For example, students analyze readings for plot, theme, setting, character, author’s voice and allusions to other texts, (such as:  Tanakh, Mishna, the Siddur).  Students are called upon to clearly communicate their opinion about aspects of reading selections and to make use of spoken and written language to support their opinion.

Fundamentals of Hebrew grammar are reviewed and expanded during language arts classes.

Attention is focused on the correct use of conventional Hebrew language patterns in oral and written assignments.

Bible Studies
The Bible studies program at RHA is designed to engage students in developing a love of Torah study for its own sake and embrace it as an inspiring resource informing their values, moral commitments and ways of experiencing the world.  At the same time, students develop the skills to independently read a section of the text and understand it.  The students are encouraged to develop a curiosity toward learning the Torah as they look at the deeper meaning within the text and they relate the interpretations of the text to their lives today.   Students study the story of the Jewish people, the regions and the Jewish nation so that they can relate the past to the present.  Students learn from the past events of the Bible and they connect it to their personal world and the world today.  The focus is on selected books from the Chumash and the Prophets where the students learn about the origin of the human race and our behavior through the eyes of the Bible.  Students learn through pair and share, monologues, dividing into different points of view and studying in small groups (jigsaw).  Students learn to appreciate the purpose of repeated themes in the Bible and specific expressions convey meaning allowing students to become interpreters of the classical text.  Students are developing the technical and critical thinking skills required for reading and evaluating selected commentaries.  Discussions focus on political, moral and religious issues raised in, and in relation to, the text, as well as, on the Mitzvot in the text.

Dinim
The goal of the Dinim program is for students to gain knowledge and an understanding of the Jewish practices, laws and prayers so that they can continue to develop their connection with their Jewish identity.  Students not only learn the Jewish prayers so that they can participate in the synagogue, but they also develop a sense of the meaning of prayer.  Students learn about Jewish laws and life cycles so that Judaism will continue to be a part of their families from generation to generation, L’Dor V’Dor.  Students develop a positive sense of their Jewish Heritage.  In grade 7, the students create a Routes to their Roots (ShoRASHIM) presentation where they learn about the origins of their names, history of their grandparents, family important events and celebration of their bar/bat mitzvah. 

Torah She Be’al Peh
Through the study of the Mishnah (oral law), the students develop their Jewish identity by developing the skills to understand the conversations and arguments presented amongst the Rabbis about what it means to live as a Jew.  The laws of the Mishnah are the grounding principles of many of today’s modern laws.  Students make meaning of the arguments and they interpret them in order to apply Jewish laws to their daily lives so that they make relevant connections to their lives today.  Students understand the process of creating laws and the way that laws change to meet the needs of the society.  The students gain an understanding of the Jewish law making process and its methodologies.  By studying the Mishnah, the students develop the skills and knowledge to unwrap a text and to analyze the material presented in that text.  They learn to apply key Mishnaic terminology for use in comprehending the text.  The students are exposed to another language; Aramaic. By grade, they delve into the text examining it word by word.  This gives students the opportunity to see the linguistic connection between Aramaic and Hebrew.

Jewish History
The students explore how history has shaped their identity and how the challenges that faced today continue to shape a person’s identity.  The students study various periods from ancient civilizations to modern history with a focus on the role of the Jewish people throughout the ages.  By understanding the experiences and challenges the Jewish people faced in the past students are able to put their own Jewish life experiences into a context of greater historical events.  Students are exposed to fundamental principles of historical analysis and assessment of sources.

 

Trips

Grade 6 Leadership Trip
In grade 6, students travel to Camp Ki Wa Y/ Outdoor Centre located at Paradise Lake in St. Clements, Ontario (10 minutes from Waterloo). The site covers 77 sprawling acres of land; a wonderful natural setting for leadership education, exploration and adventure. The students focus on leadership, appreciating the value of teamwork, environmental education, communication skills and enhancing school spirit, along with a lot of fun!  

 

Grade 7 Montreal Trip
Each Spring, grade 7 students embark on a four day trip to Montreal. The trip is led by Evolve Tours, a company specializing in school tours.  A very exciting, jam-packed itinerary includes some of the following highlights: the Montreal Olympic Tower, Biodome, Sh’aar Hashomayim Synagogue, Tour of Old Montreal, Holocaust Museum, Montreal Science Center and a cruise down the St. Lawrence River.

 

Grade 8 New York City Trip
Students look forward to their graduation trip in their final year of study at Robbins Hebrew Academy.  Grade 8 students take a four day jam-packed trip to New York City with exciting cultural and educational experiences which include, the Museum of Tolerance, Liberty Island, Statue of Liberty, Temple Emanu-El, a Broadway show, Google New York, Museum of Natural History. 

 

Contact Us
Robbins Hebrew Academy

Administration Office
1700 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON M5P 3K3
P: 416.224.8737
F: 1.855.271.2236
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