Enriched Wednesday Sessions
An important and unique component of the program at Ursula Franklin Academy is our Enriched Wednesday Program. Throughout the year, students take a variety of mini-courses that run on Wednesdays. Each unit lasts for approximately 4 weeks, and students take 4 courses per unit. Students are responsible for choosing courses from the three general curricular areas: Community Building, Connected Knowledge, and Healthy and Active Living. A student's achievement in his or her Wednesday sessions is averaged out and forms ten percent of their regular marks in the first two terms and seven percent in the final term. There are also opportunities for remediation and enrichment.
Most Wednesday sessions are taught by UFA teachers, but often parents and community members are brought in as guests. As well, students can, with a teacher sponsor, lead sessions in an area of expertise or interest.
Students sign up for sessions using school computers. Students can read descriptions for the session's course offerings, along with the course criteria for evaluation when they sign up.
All students should participate in one session that directly benefits the global, national, or local community and/or explores theoretical and practical issues that affect human rights and social justice work. Teachers are encouraged to host guest speakers and facilitators, experts, and participants in particular areas of activism and community building. Community building sessions allow students and teachers to learn about and contribute to the many forms of community in our society. The focus on social responsibility, within a framework of education and action, is intended to help learners build meaningful and authentic connections within the school and beyond while developing practical cooperative and organizational skills.
Examples of Community Building sessions include: Stem Cell Research: Facts, Opinions, and Responses; SASS: Students Against Stereotyping Sexuality; Guatemala Project; Community Clean Up; Fair Trade: What it is and how can we support it?; Conflict Resolution; Student Council; ROAR: Rights of Animals Restored; Labour History Through Film: Discussion and Public Education, etc.
All students should select one session focused on extending current curriculum based topics. Teachers will offer sessions that can be connected to their own or a colleague's unit of study. This connection can be remedial or enriched.
Examples of Connected Knowledge sessions include: Math Through Music, Kitchen Chemistry; The Physics of Toys; Literary Theory Review Through Film; The Science of Science Fiction: Is it Realistic?; Utopic Visions in Film: The Politics of Perfection; Shopping and the Environment: Can Fashion Save the World?; Women in Sports: Role Models; Graffiti: Public Art or Vandalism?; Robotics; TI: Technology Initiarives; Chess, etc.
Healthy and Active Living
All students should select one session focused on health and well-being. Teachers will be responsible for ensuring that there are a variety of options ranging from traditional athletics, non-competitive low-impact, individual and group activities, and sessions that otherwise encourage and support physical and mental well-being.
Examples of Healthy and Active Living sessions include: basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, swimming, yoga, walking, dance, gardening, pilates, juggling, Wen-do, hacky sack, stress reduction, healthy body images, sexual knowledge, the birthing process.