Class Structure and Size – Our students start each day in Homeroom classes of between approximately 8 – 12 students. Our Primary homeroom includes grades 1, 2 & 3; our Junior homerooms are for grades 4, 5 & 6; our Intermediate homerooms are for grades 7 & 8.
Learning Groups – Teaching of our core subjects in this special education elementary school is done in small Learning Groups of between three and six students. Students are assessed and assigned to their groups according to their ability levels in each subject. This allows students with uneven learning profiles to have their needs met in all subject areas, whether they are above grade level, at grade level, or lower than grade level.
Individualized Instruction – Students are assessed upon entry to Brighton and a personal learning plan is prepared for them, with goals and methods described. Each student in this elementary school for students with special needs is monitored throughout the day through ongoing faculty and staff discussions so that problems can be identified and adjustments made quickly.
Differentiated Instruction – Learning goals are adjusted to the abilities of each student. The teacher will vary the content (what the students learn), the process (how they learn, or the activities they do) and the products (what the student is required to produce to demonstrate mastery of the concept). This is one of the best elementary schools for students with special needs where differentiated instruction allows students of different abilities to participate in class study at different levels.
Balanced Day Schedule –Our ‘Balanced Day’ timetable is a change from the traditional hour-long lunch with two short recesses in the morning and afternoon. Instead, our day is divided into three 90minute learning blocks, separated by two 45 minute breaks. The two extended nutritional and exercise/play breaks mean that students get a chance to eat their snack or lunch and still have substantial time left to play and burn off energy before coming back to focus on lessons in the classroom.
The school day starts at 8:30 with general recreation outside or in the gym. This is designed to provide a transition time between home and classroom learning. It allows students to discharge some energy and provides an opportunity for social connection. The first instructional period starts at 9:00 and lasts for 90 minutes (3×30 minute periods) during which one, two or three subjects may be covered.
The first break (“recess”) occurs at 10:30 for a 45minute period in which the students are encouraged to have a snack and engage in some structured or non-structured recreation and exercise. At 11:15 the second work period begins and continues until 12:45 when students take a 45minute lunch break. The last full work period of the day begins at 1:30 and ends at 3:00.
During the recess and lunch break periods, students are engaged in co-curricular activities. These activities are designed to be fun and foster new skills while practicing teamwork and social skills. From 3:05 until 3:30 the elementary school participates in homework club where students can get assistance with tests, projects and assignments. Please visit the Elementary Curriculum section of our site to view a sample schedule.
Physical Education – Research has proven that physical activities enhance learning ability. Brighton School is an elementary school for students with special needs that is fortunate to have a large, bright, well-equipped gymnasium and opportunities each day to use this facility. Our playground is equipped with basketball and soccer nets, and a climber for active play at recess and lunch. Students are encouraged to participate in both organized and free play basketball, soccer, hockey and other team and individual sports and games. DPA (Daily Physical Activity) is built into each recess and lunch, and twice a day, the PA announces a quick DPA break for all of our students. We have equipment such as stepper machines and BOSU balls in all our classrooms for students who need to disperse some energy before or while working, or who need to take a quick break.
Homework Policy – Teachers will first help the student learn how to work and study successfully before assignments are sent home.
Progress Reports – The partnership of students, teachers and parents requires regular and frequent feedback about progress. Short reports can be provided each day in the student’s daily agenda. The staff meets regularly to discuss each student, and is readily available by phone or email to parents at any time. While report cards are issued for each child, at Brighton we believe that a report card should be a summary and not a surprise to parents and students.
Classroom Technology – All students have opportunities to use computers in the classroom. We have assistive technology available to all students as needed. iPads are also available for use in the classroom in conjunction with a wide array of educational, curriculum-related apps.
Lunch – Nourishment is essential to learning. We encourage students to bring lunches that are healthy, include protein, and are low in sugar. Students have access (supervised) to use a microwave for a hot meal.
Students Requiring More Support – Brighton supports meaningful integration of students with different abilities in the classroom. Brighton will consider students who require a higher level of support such as 1:1 or 1:2 teaching assistance. Please contact the Principal & Executive Director for information and tuition fees.