We believe that every student has ability, and that given a nurturing and challenging environment, he or she will reach their full potential. Individual mentoring and programming is an essential part of our program, especially in math and language where in a class of 14 students there may be an ability span of 2+ years beyond grade level expectations. Work set by teachers in individual exercise books encourages the students to rise to a challenge.
We also value strength of character – respect for oneself and others, honesty, integrity, responsibility and sportsmanship. Students are given opportunity to take on leadership roles, to “present” themselves in our choirs, at local Senior Citizens residences and in our May Plays and parent events. Students in Gr.6-8 are also able to run as their ‘House Captains’. They are also encouraged to work with/help younger children so that mutual understanding as well as meaningful relationships are formed and maintained.
Our aim is to prepare all students for high school and for life. Students in Grades 1-8 at Hitherfield have weekly tests in Math and Spelling. Unit tests in the sciences and other subjects are on-going and students from grades 5-8 sit exams in core subject areas three times each year. Additionally, our students participate in standardized testing through the Canadian Tests of Basic Skills and on the most recent tests, 82% of our grade 6-8 students scored an average 1.5 years above provincial norms. Our programs include Ministry of Education requirements in their design.
The average class size at Hitherfield is 14 students. Small class sizes allow more intimate interaction between teacher and student and we find that this does enhance student understanding and learning.