Our Teaching Philosophy

All Bema students are unique and so is our learning approach. When students enrol at Bema they are matched with an accredited Canadian educator specific to their  age level and learning needs. As students attend their classes at Bema, they work through a weekly curriculum which helps them progress and move to higher streams.  Bema also offers special standalone courses that correspond with each stream, providing students with opportunities for in-depth, specialized learning and services, both on an individual and group basis.

Learning Streams

It’s important to establish language foundations early and that’s why Bema works one-on-one with qualified Canadian teachers to help children cultivate a love for learning.  In a highly-engaged, blended learning environment, Bema students are introduced to language and culture while they learn individually at their own pace. Students in this stream will work with an experienced primary teacher to cover areas such as:

  • Phonics
  • Levelled Reading
  • Riddles and Poems
  • Journal and Story Writing
  • Expressive Reading and Conversation Skills

As children mature and grow, Bema’s curriculum promotes a love for books and reading, using creative activities to encourage writing and reflection as well as speaking and interaction. Students move beyond mere language acquisition and are mentored into self-guided learning and cultural exploration formats, helping them to become leaders in the classroom.  Students will work one-on-one with an experienced Canadian educator using short stories, poems, music, novels and news media to address areas such as:

  • Vocabulary Building
  • Literature Analysis
  • Current Affairs
  • Cultural Appreciation
  • The Essay Writing Process
  • Storytelling and Presentations

This stream also features standalone courses in areas such as:

  • Comprehensive Novel Study
  • Current Affairs

Whether preparing to study locally or abroad, university entrance is competitive. In order to stand out from the crowd, students need to be confident in who they are and know how to express themselves.

Bema helps develop leadership in the secondary school classroom by keeping the focus on practical academic skills: speaking well, making sense and supporting your views. This not only allows students to meet the challenges of university entrance tests such as TOEFL, SAT and AP, but helps them continue to flourish in their post secondary studies and beyond. Students in this stream will focus on areas such as:

  • Advanced Lexis and Syntax
  • Pronunciation and Word Origins
  • Academic Writing and Tone
  • Literary Analysis and Critiques
  • Persuasive Speaking and Discourse
  • Standardized Test Strategies

This stream also features standalone offerings in areas such as:

  • Persuasive Speaking and Debates
  • University Application Workshop

When the standard curriculum can no longer satisfy curious minds of gifted learners, students need to be stimulated and challenged in new and different ways. To foster inquisitiveness at the highest levels, Bema’s Gifted Program helps students ask difficult questions and encourages them to seek answers for themselves.  By working through classic texts that are dense, challenging, and often confusing–sometimes written hundreds of years ago–the Gifted Program improves students’ analytical and critical thinking skills. By analysing controversial topics, debating philosophical arguments, and learning to articulate their viewpoints in the face of disagreement, students are prepared for challenges at the highest levels of learning.  This program also encourages development in other areas such as the cultivation of empathy, as students are introduced to ethical, humanitarian and philosophical themes. In this program, students will work with a university instructor to:

  • develop analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • explore canonical arguments
  • write and argue with their audience in mind
  • refine their advanced writing abilities

This stream also features standalone offerings in areas such as:

  • Philosophy for Kids
  • Argument and Debates in English
  • Advanced Writing

Standalone Courses

Just like the varied interests and skills of our qualified Canadian instructors, Bema’s courses have something to offer every learner.  Whether it is in-depth exploration of reading, persuasively promoting and debating views, or expressing oneself to a university admissions board, Bema has you covered.

This weekly reading course explores classic literature through assigned novel readings and targeted, progressive goals. Through small group class discussions, students will have opportunities to explore and reflect on themes in literature, culture and rhetoric.  Classes will also introduce important literary devices used in North American curricula and strategies used for analyzing and critically evaluating texts. While novels vary according to the level of the class, students are expected to maintain a level similar to local high school students in North America.  Previous readings in the course include but are not limited to novels such as Charlotte’s Web, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the flies.

Learning to debate?  Want to be confident when in speaking English? This course helps students become more efficient communicators in a variety of contexts such as making a presentation, participating in a debate or leading a meeting. Students will become more effective speakers by learning specific strategies to persuade, convince or influence an audience.  Students will be expected to learn language and structure appropriate to the following situations:

  1. Presenting and supporting a logical premise, stance or opinion in an oral presentation
  2. Conducting, troubleshooting and mediating a meeting in a school or business context.
  3. Posing, defending and contending ideas as a team member in an oral debate.

Philosophy encourages us to question all that we take for granted in life, and provides us with tools to think critically about these questions. What a great opportunity it is, then, to encourage children to think philosophically while they are still so curious about the world around them, before they become jaded, cynical, or set in entrenched habits of thought. Philosophical reflection tends to lead students to adopt certain values like humility, a concern for true knowledge, respect for the opinions of others, and a thirst for debate. Ultimately, studying philosophy can transform students’ lives by altering the way they understand themselves and the world around them, by showing that some puzzles cannot be solved and that most of our knowledge is at best tentative, and by providing the tools and the confidence needed for the students to embark on their own investigations of new and unknown fields.

The Bema Application Writing Workshop helps students improve their university application by offering an in-depth look at how to promote themselves through their writing. The course will not only foster an appreciation for the background, culture and spirit behind the application essay, but also empowers students to be at the center of their own application process.  Even if students seek help from a teacher or professional writing consultant during their applications, it’s important they understand this personal writing process to help them take an active and authentic role in their university applications. If you are planning on post-secondary education abroad, make sure you take an active role in your university application process and learn something you can apply to  your future career. Join our workshop for an intensive exploration of your own personal stories, comprehensive guidance on how to write about them and key strategies on how to polish your admissions essay before you submit it.