General Studies (K-8)

The Ottawa Jewish Community School is dedicated to providing excellence in education. At the OJCS, we encourage and challenge our students to achieve academic excellence and inspire them to develop a life-long love of learning. Our faculty is committed to providing the most current practices in education and the best possible learning experience. Our students benefit from innovative teaching practices, use of advanced technology, integration between secular and Judaic studies, small class sizes and a program of study that is inquiry-based and designed to prepare students for success in life.

The trilingual academic program for kindergarten to grade eight follows the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum for language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as music, visual arts, physical education and integrated technology, and clearly identifies the knowledge and skills students are expected to demonstrate in the classroom. Enriched learning experiences are created through presentations, fieldtrips, workshops and hands-on, inquiry-based learning.

OJCS accommodates different learning styles and we set expectations that call for the use of a variety of instruction, assessment tools, and strategies. Through differentiated instruction we encourage students to critically think, reflect and to question effectively in order to continually grow and learn. Smaller class sizes provide students with the attention they need from teachers to achieve maximum results. Students are provided with a rich literacy program, which strengthens their reading skills, comprehension, communication and writing development.

We use the PM Benchmark and CASI reading assessments three times a year to track students’ progress. Our strong math program includes a dedicated math coach and a focus on problem-based learning, critical thinking and a challenging and robust curriculum that includes Mathletics, an online interactive math resource. Our math coach on staff helps our teachers develop lessons for children with learning difficulties or those who need a more advanced curriculum, ensuring each individual child attains proficiency.

Jewish Studies (K-5, 6-8)

OJCS focuses on classic Jewish study. As a pluralistic community school, students learn about Judaism, Hebrew, Israel and Jewish values and traditions. Through history, arts, language and interactive technology, students make their own connection to Judaism and begin their path of investigating what it means to be a Jew. Some of the subjects our students explore include Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam, the Torah and prophets, Jewish history, Jewish laws and customs.

We offer students two streams of Hebrew language learning – Core and Ivrit. 

Grade six, seven, and eight Jewish studies are more thematically oriented, emphasizing the contemporary messages that one can derive from the study of text starting in Bereshit and expanding to other books of the Torah. In grade seven, the issues of relationships are discussed and how they relate to modern day situations and problems.

The grade eight curriculum has been dedicated to the topic of spirituality, as it pertains to the modern day Jew as derived from Torah text, starting from topics in Genesis and extending throughout the Torah text. Grade eight students also learn about ethical issues of a contemporary nature as derived from Talmudic sources.

Jewish Court of All Time (JCAT): JCAT is a program sponsored by RAVSAK that brings Jewish History to life in classrooms through the creation of a trial that is based on a particular contemporary issue.

Partnership2Gether (P2G): In partnership with our sister school, Hanadiv, in Metullah, Israel, our students and teachers works on joint educational projects within our community.

J-STEM: This program integrates secular and Jewish studies through the process of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with Jewish Law.

French Studies (K-3, 4-8)

The French Program at OJCS follows a Communicative/ Experiential approach. This approach takes into account the context in which the language is used for communication, both oral and written.

The program is designed to have the student develop language and communicative skills by doing things rather than by simply examining the language. The students no longer begin by studying the code system in order to understand its functioning. Instead, they find themselves in a situation where they must use the language for a definite purpose, to complete a clearly defined task, much like the principle of immersion. To successfully complete a specific task, the students need to know certain language elements such as grammar rules, verbs, and sentence structure.

In this approach, we look at the socio-cultural context of the French language in order to prepare them to live in Canadian Society and to broaden their cultural horizons. This includes French Canadian culture in Québec, the French Acadian culture in Atlantic Canada, the culture of pockets of French speakers in other provinces such as Saskatchewan and the culture of francophone nations throughout the world.

This approach also focuses on how languages are learned, the strategies used and makes language comparisons such as French words that are the same as English words, the use of masculine/feminine in comparison to the Hebrew language just to name a few.

Our French teachers from kindergarten to grade eight work very hard to ensure that our students receive an excellent French program that exceeds Ontario Ministry curriculum standards.

In grades four and five, the Extended French students study Social Studies in French for two periods a week. In Grades six to eight they have three periods of Social Studies taught in French.

In Grade Four, the program is streamed so that students can begin to work at their respective levels; we differentiate between Core French (French) and Extended French (Français). The students are selected based on their performance in Grade Three French,  and a short assessment dialogue with the French Faculty.

It is important to note that at OJCS, we offer 20% more French per week to the Core French students than the Ottawa Public Board Core French students. Our Extended French program is similar to the Ottawa Public Board in that we also teach a second core subject in French, Social Studies.

We are proud of our graduates who go on and excel in any program requiring the use of French in secondary or post-secondary language settings. Many of our students successfully transition to immersion contexts in high school.

Every year, we celebrate French day and our kindergarten to grade three French classes present the AIM plays and the French department put together a great French assembly which showcases the talents of all our students. Whether it is a song, a skit, a poem, or a story, their love of the French language is clear.


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and are core subjects that build innovators. STEM curriculum uses a hands-on, problem-based approach to learning that develops critical thinking skills and facilitates innovation.  Real-world situations that students can relate to are the basis of STEM curriculum and then encourages a more engaged and interactive learning atmosphere.

We are incorporating STEM into many of our classrooms through activities such as building bridges out of pasta in science class to constructing mini Sukkahs that are both kosher and to scale in Judaics class.


Technology is changing the life of schools – it plays an increasingly important role in teaching and learning. New technologies extend learning to spaces beyond classrooms, allow for new curricula that bring real-world problems into schools and support new forms of assessment for learning.

Through integrated learning experiences made possible with the use of advanced technology, we are building our capacity to provide students with opportunities to examine problems and explore innovative solutions. The effective implementation of assistive technologies, such as SMARTBoards, iPads and educational Apps, is enhancing literacy acquisition, mathematical understanding, individualized learning experiences and student engagement.

Key digital teaching and learning tools in our classrooms:

  • All classes are equipped with SMARTBoard technology
  • All classes have access to 60 iPad Air devices
  • Students and teachers have access to document camera stands
  • Students have access to laptop computers
  • Our teachers have been digitally trained through Apple Canada’s Professional Development Program on the use of educational apps and websites
  • We are active on multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Constant Contact


Our school walls and classrooms are brought to life with murals, sculptures and paintings created by our young artists. Students in Grades 1 to 8 are taught visual arts one period a week in our colourful and eye-catching art room. Following the Ontario curriculum, each month focuses on a different theme or art medium and introduces artists who specialize in that medium. Consistent from year-to-year in the art curriculum are three major subjects: Aboriginal and Canadian Art, Art History and Jewish Art.


At OJCS every student has scheduled library time during the week.  When spending time at the library youngsters hear stories read-aloud — picture books, fairy tales, stories by Jewish authors, and others — and choose books from our English, French, and Hebrew collections to take home and enjoy. For them, the library is a place to discover their favourite characters, from the first characters that touch their hearts.

Thanks to an upgrade in the summer of 2018, the OJCS library is now run by state-of-the art online software.  Along with on-location upgrades, such as self-serve checkout and a much improved search and discover function, our software allows student to interact with the library online- reserving books, creating reading lists, writing their own book reviews and so much more – all from any computer, phone, tablet…virtually anywhere!

Technological resources are always available to the students as well. Desktop and laptop workstations, printers and presentation stations are all part of the inviting environment at the school library for our students and families at OJCS.