General Studies

Excellence in education is the hallmark of our General Studies program. We strive to develop life-long learners

who are equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century. Our General Studies curriculum adheres to the Ontario Ministry of Education guidelines and focuses on providing meaningful learning experiences in literacy, mathematics, science and social studies. Concepts and skills are reinforced through experiential learning and thoughtful practice. 

We utilize a co-teaching model in Grades 2-8, dividing the general studies program teaching responsibilities to two different teachers at each grade level - Math/Science, Literacy/Social Studies. This allows our teachers to hone their expertise in two subjects and provide richer and more comprehensive instruction.   

Our language arts curriculum combines balanced literacy and a phonetic-based approach to reading and writing. This curriculum organizes the knowledge and skills that students need to become literate in four broad areas of learning – Oral Communication, Reading, Writing, and Media Literacy. Teachers of our younger children regularly implement multi-sensory activities to facilitate learning. 

Our math program focuses on math fact fluency and math fundamentals to equip students with the tools and confidence they need to solve problems. While following a purposeful sequence of topics, students are encouraged to make connections between math and their everyday lives in order to improve learning outcomes. The program also supports new learning about mathematical modelling, coding, and financial literacy. The curriculum is designed to help students build confidence in approaching math, while maining a positive attitude, coping with stress and anxiety and persevering and learning from their mistakes. Through the use of manipulatives and visuals aids, children are able to gain an improved understanding. 


Students learn science and technology through the study of four key strands - Life Systems, Structures and Mechanisms, Matter and Energy, and Earth and Space Systems. Our program is structured to guide students in their development of inquiry and problem-solving skills, and connect these concepts and skills to the world beyond the classroom.  


The focus of our social studies curriculum is the development of transferable skills that students need in order to acquire and apply knowledge and understanding. Students apply these skills in a variety of contexts to examine information critically, to assess the significance of events and processes, to develop an understanding of and respect for different points of view, and to reach supportable conclusions and propose solutions to problems.


The General Studies program at Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet is specially designed to provide a solid foundation for success in secondary school studies.


JDOHSS recognizes the importance of a STEM-focused education. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and provides hands-on experiences for students to solve real word problems. Guided by the engineering design process, STEM allows students to communicate, collaborate, and think critically to generate creative solutions in a learning environment that supports multiple answers.

By incorporating STEM into the curriculum it opens students to new subjects and allows for different learning methodologies to be used.

In order to promote innovative thinking in our students we work to provide opportunities for student growth and development. STEM learning has been incorporated into our curriculum. In addition, The Bitton Family Discovery Centre, has incorporated a Makerspace where readily available materials can act as a motivation to inquire and invent. Our students have been involved in STEM FAIRS and competitions.


Technology plays an important role in our education program. Every classroom is equipped with interactive whiteboards and Chromebooks/iPads are available to supplement instruction. Children are provided developmentally appropriate instruction in the use of the computer and the internet.

Our students in Grades 5-8 use Google Classroom and other key applications to help develop important skills and 21st century competencies such as planning, organization, collaboration and digital literacy. Teachers will be able to provide direct, real-time feedback and marks to each student individually. These technologies foster collaboration among students and greater interaction between students and teachers.


Students are expected to be ethical digital citizens, practice online safety and behave in a respectful manner within the Google Classroom environment to their teachers and peers.