Lower Middle School
(Grades 4-5)

Lower Middle School at Urban Academy is where students delve into exploring and presenting their findings on diverse perspectives. With a focus on culture and community, they enhance their understanding of the physical, cultural and digital world in which they live and their place within it.

We believe that by empowering children, they will create their own pathways to success.

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about lower middle

Urban Academy middle school students learn to expand their perspectives and appreciate the diversity around them. They use research, technology, the arts and presentations as vehicles to share information. Empowering them to take action with regard to issues that they are passionate about, they begin to learn that they can effect change.


Throughout the school year, Urban Academy holds exhibitions for all grades to attend and showcase science fairs, cultural performances, passion and tech projects and other learning that Lower Middle School Students have undertaken. This gives students the opportunity to display their knowledge and passion. Students learn about proper research, teamwork and reporting skills, as well as presentation and public speaking opportunities. With the support of teachers, students commit to large projects from idea to fruition.


Throughout the school year, students learn to apply new skills to real life situations, bringing learning to life. Arts, STEM, Science and leadership focused education and field study trips also connect students to their inquiry units and provide opportunities to make real world connections.


During the intermediate years, students are introduced to a comprehensive technology program, including teaching students how to use the Internet responsibly. Through programs like Common Sense Media, students will learn about digital citizenship relevant to their age level, as well as Internet safety, basic computer programs and typing.


There is also a significant and continued focus on social and emotional development through programs that allow students to explore how to make choices, work through challenges and become successful team members.

Creative Learning

Students are introduced to more complex art techniques including printmaking and mosaic. They explore who created these art forms and how they are a part of different cultures. Teachers use the elements of music to support math education such as quarter notes and half notes, often connecting math and art by exploring elements of symmetry and replication. We focus on making students literate in every sense and musical literacy is no exception. Students can join junior choir and work with a variety of musical instruments including recorders, ukuleles, xylophones and other percussion instruments.

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Innovative Learning

From apps to iPads, students learn through the innovations of today. They are introduced to new apps that enable them to produce presentations and demonstrate their learning through such programs as Powerpoint, Avatar Presentations and Book Creator where they make their very first poetry books. They begin working with Chromebooks in Grade 4 and are able to participate in technology and ADST class where they continue to build on their computer literacy and coding skills, getting comfortable with the latest software and programs.

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Experiential Learning

Students venture into the outdoor environment each week to observe how the scenery is changing, enjoy recess and daily physical activity outdoors and also take Physical Education and Science labs outside. They use their environments as inspiration for poetry and literacy, drawing inspiration from the beauty of nature. Students also explore Mount Seymour for snowshoeing and skating days and participate in camp with two overnights at the end of the year. Further, students use outdoor elements in their art projects, bringing found items in and using them in new and thoughtful ways.

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Real World Integration

Urban Academy connects students with thought leaders and experts in their field of interest who can offer information and insights on projects and areas of study. Through a deliberate mindfulness program, students are taught how their brain has been created, the different parts and how it determines their actions and reactions. There are routines in place that build independence, balanced with 'buddy time' with younger mentees to work through projects, reading and math games and ultimately build leadership skills.

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Grades 4-5 Curriculum

Language Arts

  • Reading and writing activities connected to units of inquiry
  • Developing oral presentation skills
  • Exploring fiction and non-fiction stories and texts
  • Refining skills in both reading and writing – continual assessments of reading and comprehension skills through Developmental Reading Assessments
  • Discovering spelling and cursive writing programs


  • Developing critical thinking skills including introduction to passage of time, units of measurement (length, mass, volume and area) and exploring perimeters
  • Relating math to real world situations, beyond rote memorization and computation

Social Emotional Learning & Mindfulness

  • Understanding the importance of mindfulness in day to day life and personal wellness
  • Learning conflict resolution techniques

PE & Health

  • Developing an awareness of the various aspects of personal health in developing a balanced lifestyle
  • Discovering physical activity preferences
  • Playing indoor and outdoor games and organized sports

Social Studies

  • Studying current and past Canadian events to learn to analyze information and understand various beliefs, values and world views
  • Learning through Indigenous ways of knowing and being


  • Engaging in hands-on, inquiry-based activities and experiments
  • Learning safety with tools


  • Using class sets of iPads
  • Discovering various educational apps used to enhance student learning
  • Exploring coding through the use of apps and robots
  • Obtaining an introduction to circuit boards


  • Developing oral language skills
  • Learning to write in French
  • Exploring topics related to units of inquiry


  • Exploring various skills and media
  • Developing fine art skills
  • Engaging in artist studies


  • Playing drama games that teach students to better understand their bodies and the space around them
  • Engaging in two major performances per year
  • Developing oral presentation skills
  • Learning through movement activities


  • Exploring orff and percussion instruments
  • Choosing between learning the recorder or ukulele
  • Playing music games
  • Exploring rhythm, beat, tempo and pitch

Field Study

Field study is linked to units of inquiry and subject to change from year to year. Examples include:

  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
  • Surrey Children’s Festival
  • Visiting the VSO
  • Attending the ballet
  • Going to Granville Island Theatre (Plays)
  • Experiencing Mount Seymour
  • Visiting UBC Organic Farm

Career Education

  • Developing good leadership skills through buddy work with other students and community service
  • Engaging in community service club opportunities
  • Developing good learning and work habits
  • Understanding goal-setting
  • Discovering problem solving skills
  • Exploring self-identity through project-based initiatives


  • Sharing books with peers
  • Developing an understanding of favourite genres


Demonstrated Learning

As preparation for long-term success, students in the intermediate program will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge. Students use diverse subjects and methods to showcase findings and explain their ideas, setting them up for long term success in their careers as they learn to make a case, present an argument and share ideas.

Creative Solutions

There’s always more than one way to solve a problem. At Urban Academy, we encourage our students to tackle issues from more than one angle, anticipate flaws in their arguments and explore new ways of thinking. Students are given opportunities to take greater risks to reach innovative, creative solutions to complex problems.

Computer Intelligence

Being part of the real world extends to applications and innovative solutions in the world all around us. Students learn to react to problems with a more innovative mindset, key insights to online behaviour and safety and practical applications for a highly relevant education experience.

Extracurricular Activities

Beyond the classroom, students explore activities such as public speaking opportunities, with a variety of clubs offered to intermediate students to empower them as they build courage and confidence, take risks and apply knowledge.


Students engage in excursions like the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to learn about sustainability and discover performance by attending the VSO. They discover properties of matter through real-life experiences like ice skating. Students also have the opportunity to play intramural sports, participate in student-led conferences, engage in Body Science Awareness, attend our Remembrance Day assembly, camp week, Terry Fox run and Sports Day. Parents get involved in activities as well with a Mother’s Day tea, the Winter Concert, Artastic Art Exhibit, Spring Play and parent teacher conferences.

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Student Services

The “extras” beyond the classroom create meaningful experiences and ensure every student is connected, learning, and invigorated.

  • Out of school care
  • Technology for learning and research
  • Library
  • Drama and music specialist instruction.
  • Ongoing academic assessment
  • Bus transportation
  • Assembly twice a week
  • Grades 4+ are entered into a house system with 4 houses
  • Mindfulness education
  • Digital literacy training

Latest News

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Head of School’s Weekly Message

Hello UA families, If we’re lucky, on occasion, we get to experience an event or significant moment that you know will stay with you for some time. I have been fortunate enough to experience two this past week! The first was the UA Gala held on Saturday evening. Thank you to everyone who participated and […]

Head of School’s Weekly Message

Hello UA families, Last week staff and students at Urban Academy engaged in a number of activities in recognition of Canadian Mental Health Week. These included various mindfulness activities, daily body breaks, buddy walks where students from different levels of the school went together to the park, and a wonderful talent show on Friday. The biggest hit was […]

Head of School’s Weekly Message

Next week is Mental Health Week! A cross-Canada initiative, Canadian Mental Health Week encourages Canadians to explore mental health literacy and build their personal toolbox of strategies and systems for staying healthy and well. We are excited to launch our inaugural Mental Health Week at UA and are thankful to the teachers and students who have put together a variety of activities to […]

The right education takes your child from remembering and reciting to knowing and understanding.


Stop imagining. Start achieving.

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Integrated Approach

Being involved in the lessons allows students develop their skills while absorbing new knowledge.

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Urban Academy innovates the way learning happens, bringing the latest breakthroughs into every aspect of the educational experience.

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At Urban Academy, learning transcends the classroom and outdoor education is an integral learning tool at each grade level.

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We believe that by inspiring children, they will accomplish great things.

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Upper Middle

We believe that by allowing children to demonstrate their knowledge, they will build confidence.

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We believe that by encouraging children to lead, they will change the world.

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