Holy Cross School

Holy Cross School offers the prescribed academic program as outlined by Manitoba Education and Training. The school’s subject time allotments meet government requirements and, in addition, Holy Cross School offers a religious education program to students at all grade levels. The curriculum areas are as follows:


Art is both a form of communication and a way to express ideas and feelings. It is a language concerned with the development of the processes involved in visual perception and aesthetic experience. As an essential part of education, the practice and understanding of arts call upon qualities of insight and are one fundamental way of organizing our understanding of the world.

Students at Holy Cross School participate in several varieties of art throughout the year, from drawing to painting to creating sculptures to the Artists in Residence Program. In Grades 7 & 8, students have art as a subject area, built into their timetable. This dedicated time creates opportunities for students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the possibilities of art making and a sound appreciation of artworks created from different cultural and historical climates. Once students have learned the fundamentals of the particular topic, they can spend this dedicated time creating their artwork.

Artists In Residence Program
Each year, Holy Cross School hosts an Artists in Residence Program, where artists are invited to spend two weeks at the school. The program presented by the resident artists varies from year to year and in the past have included sculpture-making, dance and Japanese drumming. Students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 participate in several lessons during the two weeks and then display their final work, either through a finished piece of art or by presenting to the school during an assembly.

English Language Arts (ELA)

English Language Arts (ELA) focuses on developing students' ability to read, write and speak fluently and confidently. The ability to use language is crucial to students' experience of the world. It is through exposure to a wide variety of literature, in various forms, that students can arrive at a deeper understanding of the English language. Students also acquire effective strategies that will assist them in analyzing and critiquing material they encounter both in school and out. With this understanding, students become literate individuals who can respond critically and imaginatively to their environment.

The ELA subject area focuses on a range of materials, both classical and modern, including film and other forms of media appropriate to students’ grade level. Students develop the ability to read critically, understand the way language is crucial to the expression of ideas and express their ideas in both written and spoken modes confidently.


At Holy Cross School, students begin learning French in Kindergarten and continue their studies through Grade 8.

In this modern era of globalization, being able to communicate in more than one language has proven to be an asset to anyone aspiring to be an active member of society. French speakers have contributed greatly to many aspects of Canadian society and remain a strong cultural presence, especially in Winnipeg.

By learning another language, students develop communication skills as well as an understanding of social, historical and familial relationships. Additionally, language studies assist students in gaining a greater appreciation and respect for foreign cultures. Uniquely, languages also require learners to engage in self-reflection because effective communication in a new language requires the learner to move outside the norms, practices and acquired behaviours of their first language.

In many ways, studying French offers the opportunity for students to pursue diverse and exciting pathways later in life and has rewards at both personal and professional levels. Many employers actively seek employees with an understanding of more than one language and job opportunities exist for French speakers in such fields as government, business, trade, technology and diplomacy, among others.

Human Ecology (Industrial Arts / Home Economics)

To provide a rounded education for students at Holy Cross School, all students in Grades 7 and 8 participate in an industrial arts/home economics program one afternoon per cycle.

Students rotate through a cycle of courses that include woodworking, metalworking, cooking and sewing. Students learn a variety of skills, giving them the confidence to use the various machines and equipment necessary to complete assignments. The skills learned through these classes will be transferable to many aspects of daily life as students progress.


With the advances in information technology in society, computers have made their way into every area of modern life, including education. In short, computer literacy is needed to prepare students for working and living in a computerized society.

In the Classroom
Holy Cross School has embraced information and communications technology (ICT) as an important educational tool and has incorporated it into every classroom. Interactive whiteboards (Smartboards) are installed in each room, providing collective learning for students, as well as providing the most current information available through the Internet. Homework is also posted online, facilitating communication between teachers, parents and students.

The development of information technology and the Internet has dramatically increased the quantity of information available in digital form. This reality has created the need for students to be made aware of privacy and copyright issues emerging from the collection of digital information. An awareness of issues of health, safety, piracy, privacy, global access and implications of Internet use will also be investigated and discussed.

Computer Lab
Holy Cross School offers a fully networked system with Wi-Fi on over 30 laptops, allowing each student to be able to work independently on their machine. Students learn up-to-date computer skills using the latest operating system and software programs available. ICT is also integrated into all subject areas, with one lesson per cycle dedicated as an ICT period that allows students to be introduced to new concepts and software for students to use these programs in their assignments.


Holy Cross School is pleased to offer its students a fully comprehensive library that provides reading and research material to students from pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8. Students in all grades visit the library once per six-day cycle, where they have the opportunity to sign out books for personal reading, as well as for research assignments.

Students are introduced to many types of literature throughout the year by the librarian and are encouraged to expand their scope of genres. Furthermore, students learn effective research techniques that assist them in being able to independently find the research material they require.

The library is also involved in several school-wide events, including an annual fall book sale that occurs during parent-teacher conferences and offers books at all reading levels.

Holy Cross School annually participates in I Love to Read Month every February. To coincide with this Canada-wide initiative, the library organizes several events to promote reading, such as a daily Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time, a pledge drive to sponsor students’ reading, special guests who come into the school to read to students and prizes for top readers in each grade level.


Each person encounters mathematics daily, in one form or another. Students need to develop a solid understanding of mathematical concepts to successfully move through the necessary components of their adult life.

Students at Holy Cross School will acquire the mathematical skills and knowledge to allow them to deal confidently and competently with the math they will encounter in everyday life. Also, students will be able to interpret and communicate quantitative and logical ideas accurately, allowing them to process crucial information. With this understanding, students will also be able to recognize the fundamental importance of mathematics to the functioning of society and understand the dynamic role of math in technological change. Finally, students will be able to use technology appropriately and effectively to support their learning of mathematics.


All students at Holy Cross School have music incorporated into their timetable. This follows the belief that all students lives need to be enriched by a quality musical education that allows them to explore, create, perform, listen to and value music as an integral part of their daily experience and our culture.

Students learn the recorder, guitar, and other percussion instruments during their classes.

The music program includes all styles of music through:

  • Practical and performance activities
  • Music literacy
  • Composition
  • Aural awareness
  • Musical appreciation
  • Discussing/evaluating music

Furthermore, students volunteer to perform O Canada on a daily schedule for the whole school during the morning announcements.

We also have a Holy Cross School Choir which participates in mass as well as performs during assemblies.

Students in Grade 8 are offered the opportunity to participate in a guitar/band class.

Private music lessons are also offered to students by Academy of Music, where they send qualified teachers to provide lessons at Holy Cross during the school day.

Physical Education

The physical education classes offered at Holy Cross School are intended to encourage students to lead a healthy and active lifestyle that includes physical activity daily. Various topics are introduced and discussed, including healthy eating, exercise, safety issues and relationship building.

For more on teams and intramural sports opportunities, visit our Extra-Curricular page.

Religious Education

The fundamental purpose of teaching religious education at Holy Cross School is to educate students in the Catholic faith and invite them to commit themselves to a life centred on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Students also experience the values of a Christian community, together with the opportunities to participate in and lead prayer and worship to grow in their faith and love of God.

Students at Holy Cross are involved in the following school activities:

  • Monthly masses
  • Prayer services during Advent and Lent
  • Retreats (for students in Grades 7 & 8)
  • A variety of liturgical celebrations that may include elements such as prayer, song, meditation and reflection
  • Scripture Study
  • Celebration of the Sacraments: First Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation


Studies in science contribute to developing scientifically and technologically literate citizens who will be able to make informed decisions about their lifestyle, their environment and the kind of society in which they wish to live. The more students learn about this subject, the more they will see the connections between science and people, and understand the relevance of science and technology to past achievements and future development while being aware of its impact on society, the individual and the environment that we all share.

Science education prepares students for continuing studies and entry into the workforce in a variety of capacities. The skills developed through science education are useful in a wide range of careers in addition to those normally thought of as scientific.

At Holy Cross School, through the learning of methods of investigation, students are encouraged to develop curiosity and a spirit of inquiry, which is aimed at helping them to be open-minded and to value objectivity. We aim to have students who can adopt critical perspectives, recognize the limitations of science and respect and share responsibility for the local and global environment.

Extended Science Education Program
Holy Cross School’s extended Science Education program, the Kids’ New Horizons partnership with the St. Boniface Hospital is designed to support health and science literacy for students and teachers in the middle years by connecting science learning in the classroom to the current research and daily work done at the St. Boniface Hospital and Research Centre. It is about learning that health, science, research and medicine have meaning to each of us as individuals and as a community. We cater classroom “scientist-in-residence” sessions with staff from the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre including lab-based activities, dissections focusing on current research and disease, research presentations, scientific technology and much more, tailored to the needs of schools, teachers and students.

Our work is to address cluster 0 objectives, and some of the new initiatives outlined above. As a classroom and Science Club activity, it is generally scheduled as half-day to two-day blocks in school as experiential “scientist-in-residence” sessions, often followed by tours of the Research Centre for students. All classroom sessions include an introduction to SBH and SBRC, an introduction to the research programs and researchers at SBRC, and a hands-on classroom session that connects SBRC research programs and the science and health behind them to classroom learning.

Our common goals are:

  • To identify and understand how work in the classroom connects to health care and basic medical research at St. Boniface Hospital and Research Centre
  • To continually develop a model for exposing all students to the work done at SBRC and SBH in a meaningful way
  • To develop a framework to include all students in extending their personal understanding of health, the nature of science, scientific inquiry and design

Social Studies

Social studies addresses many important subject areas such as history, geography, world and social justice issues. Studying social studies creates informed and conscientious citizens of the 21st century.

History is the study and practice of understanding and making meaning of the past. It is also a study of the problems of establishing and representing meaning. The study builds on a conceptual and historical framework within which students can develop an understanding of their own time and place.

Geography provides insight to students into an increasingly complex and ever-changing world. It is a unique area of the curriculum, which forms a vital part of the preparation of every student for effective participation in society. Students are encouraged to collect, organize and interpret information about their surroundings and to discover their values and attitudes towards their "natural" and "man-made" environments.

The geography syllabus encompasses a broad spectrum of topics and issues at a variety of scales from local to global. The areas selected for study are flexible and constantly changing; they are the ones considered most relevant to the needs and lives of young people and current issues will be incorporated as they arise.

Social Justice
Social justice is a strong element of the Catholic Church, as an advocate for those with little or no voice. We introduce our students to such issues happening around our world and what we, as a faith community, can do to be a part of change