SA – Grade 8

Grade 8

Values and Beliefs

Along with their academics, all CDNIS students participate in a Student Advisory Programme (SA).  The intention of the Grade 8 SA curriculum is to provide students with a wide variety of topics that are generally not covered directly in the academic curriculum, in addition to giving students another level of pastoral care.  In SA, Grade 8 students receive lessons involving topics such as bullying, digital citizenship, discrimination, gender roles and media, and character education, where topics such as resiliency, character strengths, positive psychology, and friendship are discussed. Students are also introduced to decision-making tools and strategies which assist them in navigating around some of these more difficult issues that they will encounter as they move through their adolescent years.

Also in SA, and supported in academic classes, Grade 8 students will receive lessons regarding academic honesty, culminating in the commitment to an individual Academic Honesty Contract.

Health and Well-Being

Through SA, Science and PE, students will participate in lessons intended to promote an awareness of proper nutrition, healthy living, positive relationships, sexuality, anti-smoking, drugs and alcohol, in addition to understanding how to make confident decisions with regards to these topics.  Other lessons focus on cyber-safety, self-identity, resiliency, family relationships, and third-culture children. Physical and emotional health are supported by the school nurse, the Grade 7-8 counsellor and the school psychologist.

As healthy living is strongly valued at CDNIS, Grade 8 students are provided with numerous other opportunities that demonstrate to students the importance of fitness such as: year-round PE, grade-wide hikes, Sports Day, Midweek Relaxation Mornings (MRM) and a wide range of extracurricular activities available throughout the year.

Community & Service

CDNIS’ strong sense of community had developed through many school-wide events.  Examples of these events are: Alan Dick Memorial Walk, Family Fun Fair, Athletics Banquet, CNY celebration, Christmas and Good-bye Assemblies, School-wide Battle of the Grades (BOG) and Staff Wave to name a few.  The Upper School (US) takes the Grades 7-12 community spirit to another level by organizing US events such as Awards assemblies, grade-wide Learner Profile awards, Spirit Fest, and monthly Dress Down Days.  In Grade 8, students will get a strong sense of their own community through grade-wide activities such as a hiking day in October, academic/athletics/arts assemblies, participation in the Chinese New Year assembly, CAS trip in May and Chinese immersion trips.  The focus of these activities is on the development of friendships, student-teacher relationships, and the building of a solid, positive community spirit.

To welcome new students into the CDNIS community, there is a Junior Student Ambassador Programme involving a dedicated group of Grade 7-8 students whose mandate is to provide a warm, welcoming ‘soft landing’ for transitioning students.

Academic Support

A focus for the Grade 8 year is to ensure students are able to independently manage their time, organize their files and notes and have an understanding what strategies and tools they need to be successful learners.  With this knowledge and understanding, students are better prepared to move on to the academic rigour of Grades 9-12.

The Learning and Teaching Technologies Department (LTT) provides Moodle support and training which is utilized in every class at CDNIS. The IT Helpdesk and Mac-Hub are located ‘in house’ for easy access when students are experiencing technical issues relating to their Macbooks. The Library offers resource orientation to support students in their use of Noodle Tools, databases, referencing, citing & evaluating sources, and in dealing with academic honesty issues. Students with specific learning needs are accommodated through the Grade 8 Learning Support and Writer’s Workshop programmes.  Additionally, all teachers offer weekly revision sessions so students can experience individualized teacher instruction and remediation in all subjects. Students learn to identify and utilize individual learning styles through strong student-teacher relationships.   Out of school experts, such as Ms. Prue Salter as an example, are often brought into the school as additional resources for both students and parents regarding topics such as study skills, time management and other pertinent topics.

The Grade 8 homeroom teacher is the primary point of contact when dealing with academic issues relating to each student. This relationship is nurtured through course specific contact and daily homeroom meetings. Top academic performers are recognized at bi-annual awards assemblies in which students can earn a place on the Honour Roll, subject awards, and the Principal’s Award.