Our School

Le Phare ES

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

Our School

Le Phare, meaning "beacon" or "lighthouse" in French, was the first school in Canada to be built as an Early French Immersion centre. Its unique architectural design features a pod concept. The school opened its doors in 1975 and is located in the Beacon Hill area of Ottawa. The school operates with a Balanced School Day timetable. This schedule divides the day into three blocks of instructional time with two recess/nutrition breaks replacing the traditional two recesses and lunch hour, reducing the time spent in transition between instructional blocks of time.

Our students represent diverse backgrounds and cultures. The languages spoken at home include: English, French, Chinese, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Somali, Mandarin, Bengali, Hindi, Albanian, Vietnamese, Farsi, Cantonese and Pashto.

Upon completing Grade 5, most of our students attend Henry Munro Middle School.

Our Staff

Dedicated and experienced teachers with specialist certificates in Primary and Junior Education, Mathematics, Physical Education, Drama, Music, Special Education, French as a Second Language and Computer Education provide our young students with a challenging and stimulating bilingual program. Our Learning Support team and Homeroom teachers develop Individual Education Plans with accommodations/modifications for students with exceptional needs including gifted. English language teachers work in collaboration with French teachers to deliver a strong literacy program.

Our Community

Le Phare School Council is dedicated to enriching the school experience for students and families in the school community. Our Council members, along with a network of volunteers (parents/guardians, relatives, friends, community), donate their time, skills and expertise to focus on:

  • Working closely with the School Improvement Plan to parallel efforts in support of enhanced educational and cultural experiences for students;
  • Organize and supports food days (pizza, sub and popcorn days)
  • Recruiting volunteers to help in the office, classroom, school library and with School Council activities;
  • Promoting language and literacy through support of school initiatives;
  • Raising funds for school equipment, field trips, arts and cultural performances and long-term initiatives;
  • Organizing socials such as the June BBQ.

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

We offer Full-day Bilingual Kindergarten and the Early French Immersion program.

  • Full-day Bilingual Kindergarten (JK-SK): 50% English instruction and 50% French instruction.

  • Early French Immersion (Grades 1-5): In grade 1, students receive 80% of instruction in French. In grades 2-5, students receive 60% of instruction in French.

Special Education and ESL Programs

We have a Learning Support Teacher (LST) who conducts educational assessments, assists classroom teachers with the writing and implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and communicates, in conjunction with the Principal, with parents regarding Special Education issues. The LST makes referrals to external and OCDSB support staff such as school psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, teachers of the hearing impaired and the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Team. We follow an inclusionary model, making every effort to support students with Special Education and ESL needs in the regular classroom. ESL support and knowledge is available through the OCDSB Family Reception Centre, ESL consultants and coaches. Student behavioural support is provided by our full time Educational Assistant (EA).

Clubs and Activities

  • Team and individual sports activities, including cross-country in the fall and track and field in the spring, soccer, volleyball, basketball and access to our own skating rink
  • Field trips, Drama and musical theatrical presentations, thematic assemblies
  • English and French Public Speaking, Toonie Tuesday, Variety Show, Fire Prevention Week activities, Smokey The Dog Kindness Presentations
  • Reading Buddies, Art Gallery workshop
  • Scrabble & Chess Clubs, Writers’ Club (winter months)
  • Dance Workshop Week
  • Science Workshops and Recycled Material Technology Fair, Computer Lab, Puzzle Club
  • Environmental Initiatives (Club de l’Environnement)/ Kindness Week Activities
  • Primary and Junior Choir, music performances, recorder playing starting in the older grades, Ukulele Club
  • Active school events include: Terry Fox Walk, Winter Play Day, Jump Rope for Heart, Grade 5 End of Year School Leaving Ceremony

Facilities and Resources

Each of the school’s four instructional areas has a central pod lit by a skylight and is surrounded by four classrooms with interior glass walls. These central areas provide a space where students can enjoy working together using hands-on materials or in a small group configuration. The pods converge at "La Galerie d’Art", a central section with stairs that surround an area used for small presentations, music instruction and displaying student artwork. The installation of a small elevator provides accessibility for all students as well as members of the public. A large gym allows for an excellent program in physical education and provides space for assemblies and gatherings. A well-furnished bilingual library represents a focal point in the school. Two additional Kindergarten classrooms were added in 2013 to accommodate the Full Day Learning Program. Every classroom is equipped with built-in interactive technology.

Mission Statement

To provide our students a bilingual education of the highest quality in an environment that is safe and nurturing.

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