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The Town Crier

Education Guide October 2013

The cursive writing debate Students seeing the world Puzzled by math no more

Central Edition


4 1 0 2 y r a u Jan r o f g n i t Accep


Tuesday, November 19th 5.00pm-8.00pm

•Education Guide •Inside the guide OCTOBER 2013 Central Edition

and editor - in - chiff

Eric McMillan


publisher and business manager

Kathlyn Kerluke


publisher and accounts manager


MYTH BUSTERS: Debunking tales about private and independent schools.

Jennifer Gardiner



Aunny Singh



Dan Hoddinott


projects editor

Ann Ruppenstein



Shadi Raoufi


NEW IDEAS TO TAP: What’s trending in the classroom.

4 No more pencils

Is the art of cursive writing dead?

Mailing Address: 46 St.Clair Ave.East, Suite 204 Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M9 Telephone: 416 901 8182 Editorial email: Advertising email: THIS COVER: Fun on the playground during recess at Havergal College. Photo courtesy Susan Pink.

6 Beyond books

Social media takes the lead in the classroom.

10 It all adds up

Calculating solutions to shortcomings in math comprehension.

18 Culture swap

To and from Toronto and Jeju Island: friendships come in the exchange.

27 Things to do

Thank you!

T Publisher

Publishers’ message

Futsal, art, music, trampolining and ballet to keep you hopping.

his is a confusing and often stressful time of the year for everyone, especially for parents of school-age children. We’re just getting settled into a new academic year and we’re already facing major decisions as to where the kids will be studying next year. We at the Town Crier fear we’ve added a little to the uncertainty this time around. A few months’ ago we were unsure the Town Crier’s Education Guide would even be published again. There’s never been any doubt about the popularity of the guides. Readers, educators and advertisers have always received them warmly. However, corporate difficulties unrelated to the publishing of the Town Crier newspapers and guides caused the publications to go into hiatus this spring. By now everyone has heard the story of how the Town Crier staff strove to bring back the publications to keep serving our readership. The guides were always at the top of our lists of publications we felt must be preserved. With the recent success of our efforts, we approached our supporters with some trepidation to report that — despite what they may have heard — we were back with the fall series of education guides, albeit starting one month later than usual. Thankfully, we received immediate support from everyone. In return, we’d like to thank all the people, schools and organizations who have supported us over the years to help make the Town Crier Education Guide such a strong publication to survive these difficult times. And we’d like to thank those who have continued to support the guide with encouragement, advertising and kind words. The response has shown us we were right to revive the Education Guide and vindicates our plans to build on past success with even greater educational coverage in the future. We plan to serve you better and we know you’ll be with us all the way. Thank you.


No more



Is the art of cursive writing dead?



he writing isn’t on the wall just yet for the art of cursive writing. As digital technology depletes the necessity of using a pen, schools are trying to adapt to help their kids succeed in today’s world. Many educational facilities throughout midtown Toronto are not wanting to retire their ballpoints just yet — at least until they know the long-term effects. The Linden School, an all-girls roost situated near Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue East, whose students come from varying backgrounds, is watching the trends closely. Beth Alexander, a core teacher who specializes in keyboarding at Linden, says it’s an interesting time to be a teacher, with plenty of research being done on the effects of limited cursive teaching in class. Linden hasn’t stopped teaching handwriting, but the daylong classes are long gone, as the focus shifts to keyboarding. “We don’t know yet what not having a lot of cursive does to students in terms of their brain development or their skill development in ways not related to cursive,” she says. “It’s something we’re keeping our eye on. “Things are changing quickly and we’re not sure how it will shake out.” In her 10 years at Linden, Alexander has seen parents shift their concern from cursive to keyboard safety and how to avoid repetitive stress woes. “An argument I am hearing is cursive is quick when you’re taking notes in university,” she said, adding other parents express their thoughts only on the loss of an art form. “Interestingly, our senior art teacher has the kids practice cursive and drawing.” Some of the students who end up at Linden come from schools like Maria Montessori, which introduces its kids to the basics of cursive writing at age 3½. Jim Brand, principal at the North Leaside school, says he is a strong supporter of cursive in the classroom. It is important to



expose kids to it as early as possible, he believes. “The main thing is, when you’re writing it’s a part of the development of your hands and the development we, as human beings, associate with things,” he says, “The flow of cursive writing is in keeping with our own nature. “You don’t have to keep taking your hand off the paper and you’re not artificially developing these shapes. You’re actually developing the flow.” For Brand, it’s not about the inability of signing one’s John Hancock, but more about developing hand-eye coordination, as well as stimulating a child’s creativity. “Give a child a piece of paper and a pencil and they don’t make rigid, straight up-and-down shapes,” he says, his voice bubbling with enthusiasm. “They make flowing coils and things like that.” Over at Crescent School, in the Bayview and Lawrence area, handwriting is far from being lost in historical texts. Margot Beech-Kennedy, head of student services for the lower and middle schools, says it is status quo when it comes to cursive in her neck of the woods. “There are lots of places where cursive still shows up in dayto-day life even though we’re becoming more technological,” she says, adding they’re keeping their students grounded in both the paper and the digital world. Like Linden, Crescent teaches handwriting in Grade 3. They continue the process through Grade 4 and then mandate that certain projects in Grade 5 and Grade 6 be written in cursive. She laughs at the tongue-in-cheek question of whether students who under-perform in handwriting become doctors, but adds they accommodate all means of communicating the English language. “What I also see in our boys, some are very successful in using cursive and that’s a really excellent way for them to express their thoughts on paper,” she says. “Some are more adept at using their laptops, and some still prefer to print — even into the upper grades — and we try and provide our boys with whatever means

S d

they need to be successful.” Still, there is no impetus to change the curriculum at Crescent when it comes to handwriting. One young-at-heart spirit who doesn’t want to see cursive go the way of the inkwell is writer and graphic designer Abigail Lee. The 32-year-old has hand-written a children’s book called Some Bunny Loves You! Available at local bookstores and on Amazon, Lee’s book shares the adventures of a young girl and her pet bunny as they travel the world. Her perspective on the cursive writing debate centres more on giving the brain a full-body workout, in this digital age where “people are just texting.” “It’s wonderful, but it only improves half of the brain,” she says, with childlike fascination, “whereas the handeye coordination and motor skills actually get developed by handwriting — both right and left hemispheres of the brain.” Her love of handwriting led her down a creative career path. During her honour roll year at York University, Disney came calling to recruit her for her graphic design services. Lee travelled the world for the famous cartoon company, and the inspiration for Some Bunny was born. All the artwork was done while she

lived in California, before the North York-born Lee moved back to the Greater Toronto Area to publish with Miracle Press. The initial plan was to give the book to orphans in the varying countries she had visited. “I wanted to be able to translate my book and personally go and give it to the orphans, and tell them, somebody does love them, in their language,” she says, adding the book has been translated into Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish and even Haitian Creole. “It was something I wanted to do, to capture such a historical passion and also to be able to deliver that to the children now,” she says. The curriculum at these midtown schools reflects a steady-as-she-goes approach when it comes to handwriting versus printing or the digital world. Maria Montessori’s Brand crosses his Ts and dots his lower-case Js with his response to the question of what he tells parents who balk at the practicality of handwriting. “I would say, ‘Okay, if you take that stance, then get rid of art and phys-ed, do all of your stuff on an iPad and forget about the other aspects’,” he said. We need to teach cursive writing, he says, “if we want to be well-rounded human beings, who aren’t captive and dependent on technology.”

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WRITE OR WRONG: Maria Montessori School teachers Stephanie Roughton, left, and Anindita Plock still teach cursive writing even though it is no longer mandatory in Ontario curriculum.


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Beyond books Twitter in class BY Perry King


tudents are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram now more than ever and are carrying smartphones and tablets with their laptops into classrooms each day. Rather than hinder its usage, several independent schools want to extend and enhance a student’s learning experience with social media, to take advantage of its influence and effectively teach material that has been traditionally hard, such as calculus and literature. For Travis Cox, an English teacher at Newton’s Grove School in Etobicoke, Twitter has the potential to teach students about language and literacy. While speaking with him at the beginning of the school year, he explained how creating a Twitter account with a Grade 9 class as a media project opened discussion about its influence. “I talked to them about how it was a teacher account, not my personal account, and the differences [between them],” said Cox, who teaches students with varying experience and skill with Twitter. “And I would talk to them about media literacy, like, ‘When you choose your name, what does that say? What message are you sending out there?’” With the help of a Smart Board, Cox’s use of Twitter becomes highly visual, with images and video assisting his lectures about hashtags and advertising. Cox also folds social media learning into his writer’s craft lessons, explaining its practicality for professional writing. For him, social media gets students’ attention like nothing else. “I think that any time you can be visual with students, they’re so stimulated by videos,” said Cox, who has been teaching at Newton’s Grove (formerly called Mississauga Private School) since 2007. “From a student level, I think this is something they sponge, they soak up. “They’re ready for this. This is how they learn, and for them this is what they’ve grown up with. They’ve grown up as visual learners and they’re so good at it.” At Appleby College in Oakville, teachers use


YouTube videos to explain math problems, and create Tumblr sites in history classes to better communicate the concepts being taught. But the independent school also wants to provide balance to its approach to social media. Head of school Fraser Grant explains that Twitter and Facebook can be distracting and teachers at Appleby need to demonstrate the educational value of the tools being used. “We don’t want our students on Facebook, distracted on Facebook, posting messages and pictures during class,” Grant said. “Obviously, no teacher wants that and we try to manage that very care-

courtesy appleby college

WHAT’S THE USE? Appleby College teachers are required to demonstrate the educational value of the social media tools they use.

fully.� This careful approach is guided by parental feedback and sensible discussion among teachers and students, he said. Holy Name of Mary College School, an all-girls independent school in Mississauga, is looking to its technology and social media policy to get ahead of the curve. With the guidance of IT director Andrew Continued page 8 courtesy andrew macleod

UP TO SPEED: HNMCS students use the campuswide wireless to engage in social media in class.


KOHAI EDUCATIONAL CENTRE 41 Roehampton Ave., Toronto Phone: 416-489-3636 email:

Is your child experiencing difficulty in school due to a language deficit? Is your child having difficulty learning to read, write or acquire other basic skills? For over 30 years Kohai has offered direct instruction in small groups with a comprehensive curriculum. Contact us to set up a visit.


Discover what you

reading sports science music



courtesy travis cox

PLUGGED IN: Travis Cox’s English and writer’s craft classes actively use social media to better learn about media literacy and to add another dimension to applied writing projects.

Continued from Page 7

MacLeod and an official technology strategy, the school is invigorating the student experience with a newly built campus-wide wireless infrastructure, expanding bandwidth for teachers and students who want to bring in online tools to assist learning. Technology and social media is constantly changing, MacLeod notes, and the school expects to adjust its strategy as technology evolves and social media trends change. He points to the already-ubiquitous tablet technology being only three years old as an example of just how rapidly technology is developing. “Who knows what we will be doing in three years’ time?” he mused. By instituting a “bring your own device” policy into the classroom and the introduction of Google Apps for Education to the student body — which equips the girls with Gmail, Google

Drive and Google+, among other services — the school is letting students apply their learning on their own terms, while teaching them responsible usage of social media. “I prefer to educate the students about what they should and shouldn’t put [online] rather than beating them with a stick if they do something they shouldn’t,” MacLeod said. “It’s better to educate them prior to using it rather than doing the retroactive action.”

‘Who knows what we’ll be doing in three years’ time?’

Goodnews! Who gets the letter?


courtesy ucc

Specializing in Early Childhood Education

C “

ongratulations! I’m delighted to inform you that our Admission Committee was unanimous in its decision to invite Johnny to take his place in the Upper Canada College graduating class of 2015. PALMAM QUI MERUIT FERAT, our school motto, is quite fitting with its message to your son: Let him who has earned it, bear the reward. Starting in September 2013, Johnny has a great future ahead of him …” This is how the “good news” offer letter begins. Sadly, two other versions exist: the disappointing “wait list” and “denied” letters. The latter two outcomes speak to difficult decisions within highly selective candidate pools. Who merits the educational opportunity of a lifetime is a debatable matter. Are the students whom we deny less able and less talented? Are private school kids more successful for having been accepted, as opposed to students whom we denied, or others who chose a different educational path? Parents want to know what we look for in candidates — “Will my child have what it takes?” — while students typically want to know what we offer — “Will I find what I want?” Independent schools will differ in what they look for in prospective students as it relates to their school’s vision and mission. At UCC, we look for strong academic credentials and character, co-curricular involvement and leadership. We welcome candidates from different socio-economic backgrounds, thanks to our generous financial assistance program, to ensure we remain accessible to as many as possible. Other factors, including social skills and creativity, are just as important. These qualities, like teamwork and engagement, can’t be measured easily. But students who show a combination of these characteristics are typically the ones who receive the good-news offer of admission. Side note: it’s not uncommon for independent schools to respectfully compete for these great, great students as they, in turn, raise the bar in our respective institutions. A major benefit to living in Toronto is the number of quality independent schools to choose from. It’s fair to say that admission offices work hard to stay on top of best practices in assessing students from a variety of backgrounds. Our challenge is to continue to identify students whose academic record, on the surface, may not fairly represent the contributions they would make at our schools and beyond. My best advice: Get to know us. You won’t regret it. Chantal Kenny is the executive director of admission at Upper Canada College.


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It all adds up Calculating solutions to math hangups BY ERIC EMIN WOOD


ath can be a frustrating subject for many students, who often fear having to repeat their least favourite class. But at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy, mathematically challenged students often choose to repeat their math classes — and are never forced — says Grade 8 math teacher Yvonne Reitmeier. Metro Prep’s grades 7 and 8 classes are semestered, which means a 13-year-old student who repeats Grade 7 math in the fall can rejoin peers in Grade 8 math in the winter. “We make it clear that we’re not doing it as a punitive thing,” says Reitmeier. “We’ll say, ‘We want you to get your skills down pat and be so confident that every day you’re going to come in and feel great about this stuff.’” At Montcrest School, special education teacher Dawn Frank has been collaborating with a pair of researchers for the past two years to develop and apply teaching strategies for students with a variety of math disabilities, including math anxiety and dyscalculia — essentially the numbers version of dyslexia — with a focus on preventing math challenges in the younger grades. “We find that many kids are really struggling


courtesy montcrest school

GO FIGURE: Students learn basic math using creative methods such as Cuisenaire rods.

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because they’re not visualizing numbers,” she says. To address the problem in kindergarteners and first-graders, Frank has been using Cuisenaire rods: multi-coloured wooden rods representing numbers that are proportional. “They associate the colour and size of the rod with the number so they’re not having to count,” she says. “We’re trying to get them away from using counting as a strategy, so they can visualize two-and-eight, sixand-four, seven-and-three.” A white number 1 rod with a blue number 9 rod are the same length as an orange number 10 rod. The rods can later be used to teach multiplication, Frank says. Students can see what five-times-six looks like by building a rectangle with the rods. Reitmeier, who calls textbooks an “Achilles’ heel” for students facing difficulties in math, teaches her subject creatively too. She creates activities that encourage students to discover formulas on their own. To help eighth graders learn about circumference, Reitmeier challenged one of her classes to measure the distance around circles. After some brainstorming, one student suggested using string. Reitmeier happened to be carrying a large bag of string. “They quickly realized it’s really hard to measure something round with a ruler,” she says. After using the string to measure circumference, the students began measuring diameters and discovered that each circle’s circumference was about three times larger than its diameter. “That introduces the concept of pi (π, approximately 3.14),” she says. “If they understand what they’re doing, then the formulas make more sense.” In a unit combining volume and rates, Reitmeier takes advantage of the very large fish tanks around the school by challenging students to find out how much water is in each tank. Without giving them any clues, she leads her students to a garden hose and says she wants to figure out how quickly water comes from the hose. “I’ll say, ‘Rate tells us how fast something happens so in this case we need a volume and a time,” Reitmeier relates. “They’re going to come up with the answer on their own without me saying, ‘Let’s get a bucket and stopwatch.’” In the end, the kids will time how long it takes to fill a nine-litre bucket, a formula they can apply to the length of time it takes for the hose to fill one of the school’s fish tanks. “We’ll develop all of that without ever actu-

ally having to sit down and say, ‘This is a formula you need to memorize and apply,’” Reitmeier says. “That way it’s their idea and they’re excited because they’ve figured something out.” Montcrest’s Frank also emphasizes the importance of building foundational skills: asking a small child to set the table helps build one-to-one correspondence — matching abilities — by teaching the student to lay out an equal number of forks and plates. Giving children a certain amount of money and helping them figure out how much they can use to purchase something, or playing card games, dice games or board games helps build numeracy. Frank says according to current estimates 4–6 percent of students have dyscalculia, while a much higher percentage have what she calls “acquired dyscalculia” — a situation stemming from not having developed certain foundational skills. “I’ve worked with students that are both,” she says. “And you can see that, given help... they can really take off quite quickly and function really well in their high school academic courses.” While Frank’s efforts don’t have concrete results to share yet, she and the researchers are testing students before and after their lessons to make sure they retain what they learn and to measure their fluency. “If you were reading the word “cat” and you had a student who was saying, ‘kuh... ah... tih...’ they’re reading it, but they’re not reading it fluently, so it doesn’t work,” she says. “Math works the same way: if it’s taking them more than a few seconds to come

up with five times six is 30, then they’re not doing it fluently and it’s going to interfere with their ability to do other things.”


‘It’s really hard to measure something round with a ruler.’


JK - Grade 6


Give your child The WILL to Learn The COURAGE to Act The CONFIDENCE to Succeed

Visit Sunnybrook Open Houses: 1:30 - 3:00 pm November 20, February 6, April 9 Tours: by appointment 416 487 5308 OCTOBER 2013 EDUCATION GUIDE TOWN CRIER


When the is



Private school worth the cost



morning at a typical private school looks something like this: kids stroll in with crisp khakis and designer blouses and wave goodbye to their chauffeurs and nannies and parents, who quickly drive off to their six-figure jobs in a new Mercedes. At least that’s what the misconception of a private school would have us believe. In fact, that stereotype is nowhere near the reality of a modern private or independent school in Canada. Today’s students come from very diverse financial backgrounds, thanks to schools’ efforts to increase financial aid, scholarships, payment plans and discounts. Still, a private education is a significant decision to make as a family when it comes to financing tuition and the other costs that come along with private school. So, what’s really involved when paying for private school?

How Much Tuition Costs. This is the biggest cost and often the biggest deciding factor when it comes to private school. A school’s tuition usually depends on two factors: its location and the type of school it is. Schools located in the heart of a large city like Toronto will likely have a much higher tuition than a rural school, simply because of real estate prices. The type of school is also key in determining tuition fees. Boarding schools have consistently higher tuition to factor in the living expenses of the students. Reputation may also play a role. Some of the country’s most prestigious boarding schools can cost between $40,000 and $50,000 or more a year more. Other types of schools mean much, much lower costs. Religious schools generally have the lowest tuition fees.

courtesy our kids media

What Tuition Gets You. At a private school, a year’s tuition gives a student and his or her family much more than just a series of classes. Because class sizes are so small, and private or independent school staff is known to be extremely


courtesy our kids media

dedicated and skilled, a private education can provide tutoring services or extra guidance, using top of the line resources and equipment not offered by the public school system. This is especially important when a child has a learning disability. A private school can also provide daycare services, in a much more challenging and constructive environment than most traditional services. And since Canada has some of the most expensive daycares in the world, a private school tuition usually costs only slightly more and provides many more benefits. Private and independent schools are also known for their extracurricular activities, which come mostly, if not entirely, covered by tuition. Given that private schools have proven to give students a leg up when it comes to attending university, networking and surpassing academic standards, a private school graduate is very likely to land a high-paying job. Tuition can be considered a downpayment for a child’s future salary. Lunch and snacks are also sometimes included in a school’s fees.

What Isn’t Included In Tuition. A parent with children in private education can expect a few extra costs to cover on top of tuition, which can include uniforms, equipment or trips involved in an extracurricular activity, or a laptop computer. However, the decision on a private education should rest with what’s best for your child, not the fees involved. Many families of all incomes are finding ways to make any tuition work. Our Kids Private School Expos: When you find the right school for your kids, they’ll be happy, and you’ll see a big difference in their love of learning. Meet with top schools in your city and from across the country at the Our Kids Private School Expos in Toronto and Halton-Peel this fall. Get your 50% off family admission vouchers at

courtesy hudson college

SOLD! Grade 3 students at Hudson College raised money to support Kiva micro-loans by selling their original masterpieces.

Art on loan



arly last September, Grade 3 students at Hudson College were read One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway. This story, inspired by true events, is about a boy named Kojo who bought a hen with a small loan. The hen’s eggs were sold at market and, over time, Kojo was able to pay his school fees and eventually open a thriving egg business that employed many people in his poor village in Ghana. Kojo’s story inspired the Grade 3 students to talk about the different experiences children around the world have in how they live. Together, they created a list of the things that all children need in order to be healthy and happy. We agreed that these needs were the basic rights of children. The students were pleased to know that they had come up with many of the same rights for children as the United Nations: that children all over the world should have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, a home to live in, access to doctors and medicine, and the opportunity to go to school. Through different texts the Grade 3 students came to understand that many children around the world do not have their basic needs met. Kojo’s story inspired them to take action — to raise money for loans for families in developing countries so that they could meet the basic needs of their children. A lesson was taught on the use of small loans, provided by organizations like Kiva, to help families in developing countries achieve economic independence. And so the Grade 3 Hudson College Kiva ( micro-loan project was launched. For the rest of the academic year, the students were immersed in a curriculum that focused on the fundamental belief that children as young as age 7 and 8 are capable of understanding and engaging in critical literacy as a foundation for social action — or, as the academics call it, critical pedagogy. The Kiva project provided students with learning experiences that involved collaborative work intended to facilitate social change. The ideas of democratic responsibility were integrated into social studies, science and language arts through a variety of texts that promoted discussions related to the needs and rights of children. The culminating task for this year-long project took place in May. The students turned their classroom into an art gallery, displaying artwork they had worked on throughout the year. They sent formal invitations to parents and family friends to attend an after-school potluck buffet. At the buffet, guests were told about the benefits of micro-loans as a charitable contribution, and were encouraged to purchase their children’s artwork to create funds for the school’s Kiva project. The 15 Grade 3 students raised $430 for Kiva micro-loans and also learned a great deal about international issues, setting and achieving goals, and collaboration — and that they can change the world one step at a time.

Rose Bastien teaches Grade 6 at Hudson College. Last year, she taught Grade 3 and took part in the Kiva project with her students. OCTOBER 2013 EDUCATION GUIDE TOWN CRIER


Myth busters


o girls learn better without boys? Is the cost of private school beyond the reach of most parents? Is a co-ed environment necessary for students to properly develop life skills? To answer these woes, the Town Crier Education Guide gathered an expert panel of educators from around the Greater Toronto Area to debunk some of the myths, misconceptions and concerns parents have about enrolling their sons and daughters in private and independent schools.

Myth #1: Independent schools are only for the wealthy.

Regardless of their families’ financial means, Upper Canada College is committed to welcoming great boys to the school, says principal Jim Power. “It’s about accessibility and providing the opportunity for all boys with true potential to have equal access to our school,” he says. “To that end, UCC has committed $3.7 million to its needs-based financial assistance program this year that will benefit 15 percent of students from Grade 5 up. “That dollar total will increase for the next school year, when the goal is to have 20 percent of boys receiving financial assistance.” Power says the school believes the value of a UCC education would be devalued if student admissibility were based solely on financial ability and


By ANN RUPPENSTEIN photo courtesy bayview glen

not also on important criteria such as a boy’s character, leadership potential, values and ability to contribute to campus life both in the classroom and through co-curricular activities. Maggie Houston-White, director of admission at Havergal College, adds that the independent girls’ school also offers scholarships and bursaries in an effort to eliminate the tuition fee barrier for exceptional academically minded young women who will contribute to the school community and would benefit from the quality of the learning environment.

Myth #2: At single-sex independent schools, students do not know how to interact with the opposite sex. There are many opportunities for the young women and men who attend single-sex schools to interact beyond the classroom, says Houston-White. She cites the Coalition of Single Sex Schools of Toronto, which works deliberately to organize co-ed opportunities in academics, athletics, the arts and community partnerships to ensure that students collaborate throughout the school year. “At Havergal, girls have the benefit of both an academic program that is based on substantial research on how girls learn best and a co-curricular program that allows for co-ed collaboration,” she says.

Myth #3: High academic standards can contribute to a pressure cooker environment. St. Clement’s School principal Martha Perry says they occasionally run into parents who are considering the school but are worried it’s a pressure cooker environment with girls who are stressed and solely focused on academics. Although Perry admits the school is renowned for its focus on academic excellence and is proud of its high standards so students gain skills and confidence needed to succeed outside of the classroom, she says St. Clement’s School also ensures unique support systems. One of these tools in place for students is called LINCWell, an enrichment and support program for grades 1‑12 focused on study and problem solving skills, mentoring in areas like goal setting and resilience, and stress and time management. “This umbrella program enhances our girls’ academic experience and offers guidance for all students,” she says, adding they also offers programs and speakers for parents and the broader community. “In 2012, St. Clement’s partnered with Crescent to host Dr. Wendy Mogel, author of Blessings of a B-, who spoke about the necessity of letting children stumble so they learn from mistakes and failure. “This year, LINCWell hosts Rachel Simmons, an educator and coach who helps girls and young women grow into authentic and emotionally intelligent and assertive adults.” Perry believes another unique aspect of St. Clement’s is the spirit of community and pride, which they attribute to being a small school where girls from grades 1 to 12 work and play within the same facility, sharing many common spaces. “This contributes to a school environment that is fun and engaged and exudes a vibrancy and positivity that is regularly noted by visitors to the school,” she says. “The opportunity to laugh together is an important support for the students, and sustains them in the challenging work they undertake in the classroom.”

Myth #4: Misogyny 101. Boys’ schools promote the antiquated mindset of male superiority and reinforce gender stereotypes.

Nothing could be further from the truth, stresses Crescent School’s headmaster Geoff Roberts. In fact, he says, any such perpetuation of the myth of male superiority based simply on gender is not only dishonest, but also dangerous for boys. “Boys’ schools are faced with new challenges in today’s world,” Roberts says. “Boys are more anxious now about their futures than ever before and their parents share that worry. “Boys’ schools are positioned magnificently to address this anxiety by intentionally and explicitly building the boys’ confidence authentically, by valuing their achievements and demanding they meet consistently high expectations. We expose the myth of their supposedly inherent superiority by insisting that achievement is gender blind.” According to Roberts, a boys’ school can present and discuss reactionary responses in students, the ever-evolving image and emerging reality of manhood and the complexities of male gender roles openly and directly without the fear of tittering or invoking stereotypes. “Ironically, in the absence of girls, our boys have more opportunity to speak about the gender stereotypes that surround and can consume them,” he says, adding they are not just teaching the boys of today but discoursing with the men of tomorrow. “They are freed from the real or imagined hindrance of social disapprobation in a co-educational classroom and encouraged to explore the nuanced intricacies of what it means to be a man in their complex world.”

Myth #5: Students can’t maximize their learning in a co-ed environment.

A co-educational environment not only provides an important first step in helping students to prepare for the real world, it is the real world, says Bayview Glen’s Eileen Daunt. The head of school feels strongly that placing boys and girls in the same classroom maximizes the learning potential of both. “The focus in today’s education is not on how boys and girls learn differently but on personalizing the learning experience for each child and differentiating instruction for all,” she notes, adding the school provides opportunities to develop the whole child and teach skills students need to be successful beyond its walls. “The differences within the genders are often as great as those between the genders, and we must keep in mind that everything is a variable based on the individual.” Daunt explains that in a co-ed classroom boys and girls interact as individuals and peers, as well as learn how to speak each other’s language and benefit from one another’s point of view.

courtesy st. clement’s school

“Students work together as colleagues and come to understand that success hinges on one’s ability to respect all opinions and to relate to one another as valued collaborators and worthy opponents, regardless of gender,” Daunt says. “The co-educational environment prepares both boys and girls to thrive, not just in the classroom but in the workplace and beyond.”

Myth #6: Girls and boys learn the same way.

Increasingly, research shows that there is a biological difference as to how girls and boys perceive the world and that this translates directly into how they learn differently in the classroom, says Holy Name of Mary College School’s head of school Marilena Tesoro. Tesoro says boys and girls even see differently. Male eyes are drawn to cooler colours like silver, blue, black, grey and brown, she points out, whereas female eyes are drawn to textures and colours. And whereas boys require a teacher moving around the classroom to keep focused, girls don’t require much movement. Girls work well in circles, facing each other, using descriptive phrases and are drawn in by lots of color in overhead presentations or on the chalkboard. “These are just a few examples of why single-gender schools are about maximizing the students’ learning,” she says. “This is particularly important for girls, who tend to go underground with their talents and abilities sometime between the fifth and ninth grades. “Girls need the right environment to encourage them to take on all leadership roles, explore non-traditional courses, develop greater self-confidence and build selfesteem.”

Myth #7: It’s more convenient to send my child to a day school closer to home. One of the biggest concerns raised by parents who live in Etobicoke and High Park about sending their sons or daughters to Appleby College is the distance their children will need to travel to and from the school in Oakville, states head of school Katrina Samson. To address this challenge, Appleby announced two significant changes in its school program last spring. The first was a shift in their weekly schedule. The second involved a restructuring of the busing program, increasing the number of bus routes and making busing more accessible to more students. In the past, Appleby’s compulsory co-curricular program ended at 5 p.m. but the new schedule ends an hour earlier on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. In addition, school also starts an hour later on Monday mornings, at 9 o’clock instead of 8. “Our goal in making these changes was to allow students more time with their families and to have them home or in study earlier,” says Samson. This year Appleby offers 10 customized bus routes, with two dedicated routes servicing the neighbourhoods and communities in Etobicoke and High Park. “The routes take an average of one hour travel time with new student pickup and dropoff locations within a maximum three to five minute walking radius from their home,” says Samson.



New ideas to tap courtesy our kids media

What’s trending in the classroom


ducation is no longer just about reading, writing and arithmetic. Experts are increasingly focusing on developing a new, 21stcentury breed of student: holistically educated, technologically savvy and adept at navigating a diverse, rapidly globalizing and changing world. Students possessing these skills will be better prepared to meet future challenges with poise, compassion, empathy and creativity. When it comes to assessing and integrating relevant trends in educational thinking, private and independent schools in Canada are leading the way. This is partly because of their abundance of resources and partly because they have the flexibility to do so — the “freedom to become trendsetters, even,” says Struan Robertson, head of school at Lakefield College School. “Through targeted professional development,” Robertson says, “private schools can focus on specific areas of development and involve industry experts to assist us with the implementation of new ideas.”

1. Holistic Development Private and independent schools are increasingly focused on helping students develop lifelong skills that will help them succeed as they move through high school and university. The focus is on the whole child: cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Through this approach, private schools ensure each student has access to advanced academic learning coupled with life skills, character and leadership development, and an interactive and enriching curriculum — all of which will work together to help them achieve success in their careers and life. One of the most critical examples of this shift in thinking about the whole child is the new approach to mental health and wellness. When it comes to stamping out bullying and nurturing a supportive community, private schools have stepped up to the plate with extensive health and wellness programs, counselling services and mental health resources to help students get support when needed, cope with change and learn to thrive. With a focus on prevention, private schools are able to boost students’ selfconfidence, self-awareness and engagement in learning and wellness.

2. Diversity and Global Citizenship Exposure to global education and diversity — from volunteering in a community halfway across the world to helping to develop diversity awareness initiatives in their own classrooms — begins as early as Kindergarten in many private and independent schools. Private schools are shaping these future global citizens through servicelearning trips, exchange programs and cultural, sports and academic expe-


BY Kimberley Fowler and Erin McLaughlin ditions aimed at taking students beyond the walls of their classroom. The Global Experience Program offered at Havergal College provides full-time support and programming for students looking to make an immediate difference in the world. Students participate in exchange programs and curricular excursions that give them the tools to solve complex problems across demographics, while realizing the important role that culture plays in understanding the world. Manfred Von Vulte, deputy headmaster at Northmount School, says “the tenant of service” is critical to the education of his students. “Becoming a leader does not happen by chance or sheer natural ability alone,” he said. “We foster programs internal and external to the school that gives our students pause to think and then act on issues, which require of them a true sense of active generosity locally, nationally and internationally. “Great schools know that they do not exist as an island in society but are part of the human experience.”

3. IT and New Media As technology evolves at a head-spinning pace, many private schools forge ahead as digital innovators. Lessons are enhanced using Smart Boards or interactive digital whiteboards. Teachers use social media, blogs and Wikis to foster group work and promote collaboration. Even iPads are being used to teach both academic and social skills. “Our classrooms are highly interactive and have a huge technology base,” says Jan Campbell, executive director of the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario. “Our schools offer everything from online classrooms to inter-school technology competitions to technologically enhanced media arts programs.” Technology promotes creative ways of teaching and caters to all types of learners. Paul Keery, a social sciences teacher at MacLachlan College in Oakville, uses podcasting and video production to engage high school students in his history classes. Instead of just reading facts from a textbook and writing research papers, his students are writing scripts, recording audio and video footage and finding archival clips that bring historical events to life. “It changes the way the students internalize the information,” he says.

Our Kids Private School Expos: When you find the right school for your kids, they’ll be happy, and you’ll see a big difference in their love of learning. Meet with top schools in your city and from across the country at the Our Kids Private School Expos in Toronto and Halton-Peel this fall. Get your 50% off family admission vouchers at

It’s round to be square

Universal volunteers


BY TOBY BROWN photos courtesy bayview glen

ince 2001, Bayview Glen has been a proud member of Round Square, an association of over 90 schools in more than 20 countries sharing a common goal structured around developing pillars referred to as the IDEALS: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Round Square opportunities give students first-hand knowledge of global ethics, politics, culture, human need and geographic environment. Students are required to rise to personal challenges, take on real responsibilities and better the lives of others. Bayview Glen is a Global Member of Round Square, and this provides many opportunities for our students. Reciprocal exchanges are encouraged to schools all over the world and students can participate in international work projects in countries such as India, Kenya, Cambodia, South Africa and Nicaragua. A spirit of volunteerism runs deep within the Bayview Glen community and involves everyone from young students to faculty to heads of school. Each year student delegates attend regional and international conferences at other Round Square schools around the world. All of our students are encouraged to participate in these opportunities, as we believe personal growth and leadership development often occurs outside of the classroom setting, in places where they are exposed to new and challenging circumstances.

Students who participate in these life-changing endeavours often return with a richer understanding and greater respect and responsibility for others. They learn to appreciate and respect cultures, religions and languages other than their own, and see themselves as global citizens. In January, Bayview Glen and St. Clement’s School will be cohosts of a regional conference at Camp Wanakita in Haliburton. The conference, themed “Northern Challenge…What Will You Discover?”, will offer delegates an array of opportunities and challenges, with Canadian winter as a backdrop. We are very excited that students from member schools in Australia and Kenya will join us. Through participation in activities such as snowshoeing, dog-sledding and a nighttime ski across a lake by candle lantern, delegates are sure to leave the conference with stories of adventure and a deeper understanding of self. There will also be interactive workshops on topics related to the conference theme and the Round Square IDEALS. Experiential learning will continue to be a key element in our goal of supporting the whole child and helping students to become responsible and caring global citizens. As the motto says: Round Square is “discovering the world and making a world of difference,” and Bayview Glen is proud to be part of this special organization. Toby Brown is the Round Square coordinator at Bayview Glen.

‘Life-changing endeavours’




Culture swap

photos courtesy branksome hall



come in the


uring one of the nights last spring when the Macmillans of Toronto were hosts to two teenagers from Branksome Hall’s sister school in Korea, the visiting exchange students prepared a traditional dinner for the family. “We were very honoured to have had a meal cooked for us,” says mom Janet Macmillan, whose daughter Kate is currently in Grade 10 at Toronto’s Branksome Hall. “They planned the meal from start to finish. “After many hours of preparing and cooking, my family was presented with a gourmet meal of Korean favourites. We tried everything, and were very impressed with the presentation and pleasure that the exchange students took in offering us the meal.” By taking part in Branksome Hall’s international student exchange program last year, Kate was able to visit South Korea for two weeks in March and attend the sister school on Jeju Island, then the Macmillan family got to provide a home for two girls from Branksome Hall Asia in part of April and May. “I really enjoyed the time in Seoul because there was a lot of traditional Korean architecture there as well as new modern buildings that interested me,” Kate recalls, discussing some highlights of her journey. “In Jeju, the school was amazing and the girls were all very nice, and I loved getting to know them and creating friendships there.”

BY ANN RUPPENSTEIN The aim of the school’s exchange program, which also sees students head to Australia, Bermuda, England, France, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Spain, is to provide an enriching experience in another culture and broaden the girls’ perspective by helping them grow as individuals, become active members of new communities, make new friends and develop global understanding and awareness. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to see more of the world, because I’ve never been to Asia,” Kate says, thinking back to what made her want to take part in the trip. “A lot of my friends were going so I thought it would be a good chance for me to bond with them, and I was looking forward to meeting girls from my grade in another country and sharing some of my personal experiences with them and listening to some of their personal experiences.” The exchange to the new school on Jeju Island took place for the first time last semester. In addition to the group that came here in April and May, a second group of students from Branksome Hall Asia were in Toronto during the summer, but stayed at the school’s residence instead of with host families. The Toronto students attended classes for several days at Branksome Hall Asia, where they were easily integrated since most classes are held in English. The group also went on excursions in and around Jeju Island. Included were visits to a tea museum, a fishing area and rural

markets. They also climbed up Mount Hallason, an old volcano and the highest mountain in South Korea. Even though the trip was full of new experiences for Kate, she also learned new things about Korean culture a little closer to home. “When the girls came here for a month I took them to Koreatown, which I had never been to before,” she says. “I also learned a lot about responsibility and self-awareness. “I learned how to be responsible for myself as well as take care of two other girls and give them a nice home and treat them fairly and respect them.” Having the girls in her home allowed her to get to know them on a deeper level. They enjoyed watching TV together and sharing comments, going out on walks and talking. “They really enjoyed meeting our family and being a part of the family,” Kate says, adding the girls’ interests were similar to her own: they all enjoyed TV, music, movies and books, as well as learning and being outdoors. “They loved talking with my parents and my brother and me, just playing cards or watching a movie or helping to cook dinner.” For mom Janet, her highlights of the experience included sharing information about their families, about Canadian and Asian schools, and also about

Canada and South Korea, the island of Jeju and the city of Toronto. “We got to know the girls’ personalities as we shared information and experiences during our time together,” Janet adds. However, it’s the impact on her daughter she figures was most significant. “Not only did she have the rare opportunity to travel to another part of the world, but by living there and then hosting fellow students here, she experienced the sharing of cultures and a unique bonding with new friends,” Janet says. “The responsibilities and privileges of being a guest and a host have broadened my daughter’s understanding of the global community of education, which Branksome Hall stands for with its International Baccalaureate program. “She has benefitted from this experience in her confidence to travel to new places and meet new people and cultures. This was a perfect example of how experiential learning completes academic studies.” In addition to a bounty of lessons about local and global awareness, Kate says she also learned about communicating with girls who speak a different language, the importance of building strong relationships and how her tone and actions could be affecting other

people. As a parent, Janet says her takeaway from the exchange program is an experienced appreciation for the International Baccalaureate program and the benefits it offers students around the world. “It is crucial for our daughters to have an appreciation of how to work in the global market and take an active part in inclusivity in all aspects of their lives,” she says. Kate admits the exchange not only helped her gain a more global understanding, but she also sees a potential future abroad. “It increased my interest in working globally and studying abroad, and possibly even moving to different places around the world when I’m older,” she says, excitedly.

‘She also learned new things about Korean culture ... closer to home’


19 19

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Open House Schedule for Private & Independent Schools SCHOOL DATE


Branksome Hall Wed., Oct.30, 2013 Wed., Nov.6, 2013 Wed., Dec.4, 2013

10:00am - 12:00pm 5:00pm - 7:00pm 9:00am - 11:00am 9:00am - 11:00am

CONTACT INFO SCHOOL DATE Tues., Oct. 22, 2013 416-920-6265 St. Michael’s College School Wed., Oct 30, 2013 Sunnybrook School

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TIME CONTACT INFO 7:30pm - 9:30pm 416-653-3180 8:30am - 11:00am 1:30pm - 3:00pm


9:30am - 11:30am 5:00pm - 7:00pm 9:30am - 11:30am 5:00pm - 7:00pm


Central Montessori Schools

Sat., Nov. 2, 2013 9:30am - 2:30pm All locations except Yonge & 401 Thursdays, all 5 locations 9:00am - 4:00pm


Havergal College

Tues., Oct.29, 2013


The Dunblaine School Thurs., Feb. 20, 2014 Thurs., Apr. 17, 2014 Fri., Nov. 8, 2013

9:00am - 12:00pm


Hudson College

Sat., Oct. 19, 2013 Fri., Oct. 25, 2013


The Linden School

Wed., Oct 30, 2013

9:00am - 12:00pm



Please call for information.


The Sterling Hall School

Toronto Prep School Sat., Nov. 2, 2013 Sat., Nov. 30, 2013

11:00am - 2:00pm 11:00am - 2:00pm


Maria Montessori School

Tues., Oct.22, 2013 Tues., Nov.19, 2013

6:00pm - 8:00pm 6:00pm - 8:00pm


University of Toronto Schools

10:00am - 2:00pm


Metropolitan Preparatory Academy Tues., Nov.19, 2013

5:00pm - 8:00pm


Fri., Oct. 25, 2013 Fri., Nov 22, 2013

9:30am - 11:00am 9:30am - 11:00am


9:30am - 11:30am 4:30pm - 6:00pm 9:30am - 11:30am


Montcrest School

Upper Canada College Thur., Oct. 24, 2013 Fri., Oct. 25, 2013

Our Kids St.Clements School

Private School Expos Halton-Peel Sun., Oct.20, 2013 Toronto Sat., Oct.26, 2013 Fri., Oct. 25, 2013 Fri., Nov 15, 2013

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12:00pm - 4:00pm 11:00am - 3:00pm 8:30am - 11:00am 8:30am - 11:00am

Waldorf Academy Grades 1-8 Wed, Oct. 23, 2013 4:00pm - 6:00pm Childcare, Nursery & Kdgn Sat, Oct. 26, 2013 10:00am - 12:00pm Willowwood School


Sat., Oct. 19, 2013

Mon., Nov. 14, 2013


Yes I Can Please call for information


416-444-7644 416-486-4911



Your perfect school Branksome Hall Your daughter’s remarkable journey starts here Each day, Branksome Hall challenges and inspires girls to love learning and to shape a better world. Established in 1903 — and now a leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World School — Branksome Hall is a welcoming community in the heart of Toronto.

Our students learn and grow in a supportive, close-knit school community comprising girls from many different backgrounds. Located on a picturesque 13-acre campus, Branksome Hall offers inquirybased learning for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Our 880 students include 62 residence students from more than 20 countries. Our graduates are welcomed by the leading universities in Canada and around the world, most with scholarships. Discover Branksome Hall’s remarkable programs at:

Central Montessori Schools Central Montessori Schools: Help children reach their full potential CMS’ renowned Montessori curriculum fosters in its students qualities essential for academic success and personal fulfillment; concentration, independence, creativity, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, a passion for learning, and a global perspective. Our unique holistic approach ensures a well-rounded, academically challenging education. During the various stages of our Casa program, emphasis gradually shifts from basic motor skills and language acquisition to the development

of concentration, coordination, independence and a sense of order. These skills lay the groundwork for a strong understanding of mathematics, reading and writing. In our elementary classrooms, students have the advantage of working with concrete materials to solidify their grasp of new concepts. Our students’ exemplary results in the nationwide CAT tests are a testament to the strength of our elementary program. A strong physical education program, arts, French and various extra-curricular activities further enrich

our curriculum. Our newest campus, opening this spring, will house our French immersion program in the quiet residential area of Maplehurst (near Sheppard and Yonge). This campus has state of the art facilities that include large bright classrooms, a gymnasium, computer lab, library, music room and an outdoor playground. Through a rigorous French immersion program, students can enjoy the benefits of the Montessori method while achieving true fluency.

Havergal College Preparing young women to make a difference Behind the ivy-covered walls of Havergal College, girls develop into extraordinary young women with inquiring minds, global capability and self-awareness. A Havergal girl is encouraged to investigate and explore the world around her while discovering her own unique capabilities. She is not afraid to

ask questions and take risks. She is an excellent communicator who is adaptable and confident. She balances a variety of opportunities while living her life with passion, knowing she possesses the academic and life skills to make a difference and be effective anytime, anywhere and with anyone. As an Old Girl, she will join our con-

tinuum of 8,000 alumnae who are networked to each other and to the world. To experience the Havergal difference, book a visit to our beautiful 22acre campus. Encourage your daughter to discover the joy of being a girl! Contact Admissions: 416.482.4724, or visit

Hudson College Dedicated to developing the whole child Looking for a new school? At Hudson College we offer a challenging, nurturing & rewarding learning environment that allows students to reach their maximum potential. We are a co-ed, multicultural day school from JK to university entrance. Recognized for its excellence by the Ontario Ministry of Education, our balanced curriculum meets & exceeds Ministry guidelines. Our small class sizes & promise of


a Total Personal Support system dedicated to developing the whole child ensure that all students receive the kind of individual attention needed to develop their special skills, strengths & personal interests. Our dedicated & experienced faculty care deeply about our students & their education. They share a true passion for teaching, participating in all aspects of school life as mentors, coaches & leaders.

Situated on a large, quiet, air-conditioned campus in central Toronto, our modern facility features spacious classrooms, large gymnasium, state-of-theart computer & science labs, music & fine arts rooms. We also offer Advanced Placement courses in senior-level Math, English, Business & Science. 416-631-0082

Your perfect school Maria Montessori School Maria Montessori - a unique alternative to traditional learning For more than 30 years Maria Montessori School has offered families an authentic Montessori experience for their children. Within specially prepared environments, in close community groupings and guided by teachers trained by the Association Montessori Internationale, children from 18 months to twelve years of age joyfully work developing the personal, practical and

academic skills that will guide them along the road to a lifetime of learning. Free from competition, extrinsic rewards or punishments, artificially segmented work periods and restrictive uniforms, our children eagerly and naturally meet the challenges of the world around them. Whether, in the earlier years it is learning to tie their own shoes or, in later

years, master the complexities of algebra, all development is supported and encouraged with equal enthusiasm and respect. If you are interested in exploring a truly unique alternative to traditional education we invite you to call us and arrange a personal meeting and tour. For more information please visit

Metropolitan Preparatory Academy A strong foundation for the future Metropolitan Preparatory Academy offers semestered, co-ed Middle School (grades 7-8) and High School (grades 9-12) programs in the DVP and Eglinton area. Walking through the hallways of Metro Prep, you’ll quickly notice that it’s not an “old-fashioned” private institution. The academics are structured and challenging, yet the environment is sup-

portive and nurturing. Faculty and administration doors are open, encouraging strong relationships with students and their families. And, no uniforms are in sight, allowing young men and women to express their individuality. In this comfortable setting, Metro Prep’s students are taught to trust their instincts, to think both critically and creatively, ask questions, and seek

the help they need to succeed. Extensive athletic and extracurricular opportunities foster the physical and social potential of each child. For over 30 years, Metro Prep’s has been preparing children for the academics of university and the skills needed for life-long success. Preparation begins NOW! Please visit

Montcrest offers a challenging core curriculum through critical inquiry in a structured and nurturing environment. A dedicated faculty provides excellent instruction and individual attention in small classes. Our community embraces opportunities to grow by engaging in many outreach programs that reflect the values

of our Standing for Character Program: respect, responsibility, integrity, compassion, and courage. Smaller classes for children with learning disabilities are offered from Grades 2 to 8. Please visit for information about admissions events and Open Houses (Oct. 25, Nov. 22, and Jan.17).

Montcrest School Discover what you love Montcrest School is small enough to honour the individual and big enough to provide an exceptional academic experience with balanced opportunities in leadership, the arts, and athletics. Our school challenges children to discover and acknowledge their own voices, so they can understand and make meaningful connections with the world.

Our Kids Our Kids Private School Expo features top-ranked schools Whether or not you have decided on sending your child to a private school, a visit to the Our Kids Private School Expo is an exceptional tool parents. Hosted by Canada’s trusted source on private schools, the Our Kids Expo is your best opportunity to get a real look at the education options available to your child.

Meet with 100+ of the very best private schools, speak with education experts, and decide on a school that your child will thrive at. “I am so happy I came here. The expo really opened my eyes about the variety of schools available. I had a really hard time finding information on my own. This event

saved me so much time.” – Elina Mer Give your child a top-ranked education. Attend the Our Kids Private School Expo in Halton-Peel on October 20th, and in Toronto on October 26th. Please visit for a list of exhibiting schools and to get your 50%-off family admission voucher.



Your perfect school St. Clement’s School Academic excellence St. Clement’s School is an independent, university preparatory day school for approximately 470 girls in Grades 1 to 12. Reflecting the School’s mission of developing outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate, each student is encouraged to pursue her academic and personal goals with passion and confidence.

Founded on the principle of academic excellence, one hundred percent of the school’s graduates achieve university admission, and students are among the top achievers in provincial and national competitions in languages, mathematics, sciences and robotics. The Junior School (Grades 1 to 6), Middle School (Grades 7 to 9), and Senior School (Grades 10 to 12) are dis-

tinct but interconnected communities that work together to create a supportive environment and exceptional school spirit. St. Clement’s girls are also involved in plenty of opportunities outside the classroom — from sporting events and arts performances to House Day events and student-run clubs. Learn more at

St. Michael’s College The leader in Catholic boys’ education Founded in 1852 by the Basilian Fathers, St. Michael’s College School offers an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts programme that prepares young men, Grades 7-12, for university and to carry on as leaders in their communities. The school offers a demanding curriculum that is complemented by faith development, leadership opportunities and a diverse array of co-curricular

activities. Its property features a campus-wide wireless learning environment, modern research tools, electronic study aids, as well as first class athletic, art and music training and performance facilities. Each year, over 95 per cent of St. Michael’s graduates are accepted at their university of first choice; approximately half of these graduates are rec-

ognized as Ontario Scholars. Open Houses will be held on October 22nd and October 30th, 7:30-9:30 p.m. For more information or to register to attend an Open House, please contact Marilyn Furgiuele at 416-653-3180 Ext. 438 or, or visit

the world together, and learn with, and from, each other. Sunnybrook teaches the inquiry based IB Primary Years Programme, from JK to Grade 6. The Singapore Math Programme develops numeracy and a love of math. Daily French classes focus on communication skills and the culture of language. Technology enhances learning in all areas of the curriculum.

Creativity blossoms in an accepting, caring environment. In our Phys. Ed. programme, SBS students become active athletes. At Sunnybrook School students develop the will to learn, the courage to care and the confidence to succeed. It is a very special place for children to begin their education; come and see for yourself.

Sunnybrook School Celebrating 60 years Sunnybrook School is an inclusive community of passionate, committed learners who aspire to active global citizenship. Our nurturing, transformative learning environment provides students with diverse opportunities to develop leadership, creativity, compassion, and confidence. Sunnybrook is proudly co-ed, encouraging boys and girls to explore

The Dunblaine School Focus on learning disabilities at Dunblaine School The Dunblaine School is a small independent school offering a curriculum designed to motivate and meet the needs of elementary school children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, as well as speech and language difficulties. Through individualized programs


and a low student-to-teacher ratio, The Dunblaine School helps students realize their full potential.Direct Instruction methodology, individual tutorials, music, social skills and other professional services are emphasized features of our program. We are accepting applications for the

2014-2015 school year. Please join us for our Open House on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, and Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. or 5 p.m.–7 p.m. For more information, please contact the school at 416-483-9215 or visit us at

Your perfect school The Linden School Where girls find their voice Founded in 1993, The Linden School continues to offer a rich learning environment where girls consistently develop remarkable levels of confidence. Linden’s dedica ted and inno -

vative teachers provide a variety of empowering experiences which ensure meaningful connections are made — between the academic program and the outside world and to

one another. The strong relationships Linden girls develop with their teachers and peers generate a strong sense of belonging throughout the school community.

The Sterling Hall Come to Sterling Hall’s Open House At Sterling Hall, we know boys — and we’d like to get to know you. Join us at our Open House. It’s your chance to tour our innovative facility and to hear about a stimulating curriculum designed to engage your boy’s mind, body and spirit through his Junior Kindergarten to

Grade 8 formative years. You will learn about the support, experiences, expertise and guidance your boy will receive to help him grow into the person he wants to be. You will meet our students as well as our committed teachers who will celebrate

your boy’s individuality and strengths throughout his learning journey and take his confidence to new heights. We look forward so seeing you. For more information, visit School Address: 99 Cartwright Avenue, Toronto.

Toronto Prep School Experienced faculty engages minds at Toronto Prep The Toronto Prep School is a new, independent, co-educational, university preparatory, day school for discerning students and parents. We are dedicated to creating an academic and social environment designed to prepare students not just for admission to university, but for success — both in the post-secondary arena and in later life. Toronto Prep is built upon the belief

that a talented, experienced, dedicated, passionate, and well-prepared teaching staff is one of the most important ingredients for students’ success in school. Teachers’ knowledge and skill make a crucial difference in what students learn and how well they are prepared for the rigours of post-secondary school education. We are committed to engaging each

one of our students and will provide them with the best learning environment. Let us help your child achieve and maintain academic success. Consider our program if you are interested in an academically rigorous and structured environment dedicated to challenging and nurturing your child. Contact us at 416.545.1020 or

University of Toronto Schools Outstanding students, stellar staff University of Toronto Schools (UTS) is a co-educational university preparatory school, grades 7–12, affiliated with the University of Toronto. Founded in 1910, UTS offers high-achieving students the chance to study in the company of outstanding peers, guided by a stellar staff of highly-qualified teachers. A special-

ized curriculum and a unique learning environment encourage creative interests, physical activity and a sense of social responsibility as well as providing myriad co-curricular pursuits and leadership opportunities. UTS graduates are admitted to highly selective colleges and universities in

North America and beyond, many on scholarships. UTS is renowned for educating generations of outstanding graduates including two Nobel Laureates, 20 Rhodes Scholars and numerous leaders in commerce, industry, academics, the arts, sports, government and public service.



Your perfect school Upper Canada College Think Ahead. Think Upper Canada College. Upper Canada College is one of North America’s great independent boys’ schools. Founded in 1829, UCC alumni include politicians, scholars, business leaders, artists and Olympians. UCC offers “big school” opportunities and facilities combined with a “small school” approach to individualized learning. Our unsurpassed facilities include a new double-pad hockey arena and a

400-acre nature sanctuary northwest of Toronto. Our programs include international community service trips and myriad clubs and co-curricular sports. Located in the heart of Toronto, UCC comprises 1,150 students in Senior Kindergarten through university entrance, with boarding from Grade 9 open to students from across Canada

and around the world. Graduates receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Our school has a 100 per cent university offers rate at the country’s and world’s most prestigious post-secondary institutions. Financial assistance available beginning in Grade 5.

Waldorf Academy A passion for the art of learning Waldorf Academy, near Casa Loma in downtown Toronto, offers an education that ignites a passion for the art of learning. The curriculum nurtures and challenges students with a comprehensive academic, artistic, cultural, physical, practical & moral education. At the same time, it respects & works with the developmen-

tal stages and students’ unique learning styles. At Waldorf Academy, dynamic, committed teachers lead students on a path to becoming responsible, independent, free-thinking individuals. The grade school curriculum integrates mathematics, science, literature, history, geography and two languages — French and Chinese —with outdoor

education and the arts, including music, drama, movement, handwork, woodwork, painting and drawing. Daily, extended Main Lesson periods allow students to explore academic subjects in depth. Graduates experience a smooth transition into independent and public high schools.

Willowwood School Thirty-three years of student success WillowWood School has been delivering student-centred, individualized education in a warm, caring environment for over 30 years. We’ve been ahead of the educational curve by recognizing, since our inception, one size does not fit all and students flourish when their school embraces their strengths, addresses


their needs and respects their dignity. Their futures become Limitless! This approach has paid off for decades of graduates who have gone on to postsecondary experiences. WillowWood grads go on to engage dreams of all kinds: university degrees, college diplomas, startup businesses, careers in the arts, healthy families, and much

more. W i l l o w Wo o d ’s s m a l l cl a s s e s , dedicated teachers, robust program offerings and full curriculum make it a perfect school for all kinds of learners, from Grades 1 to 12. For more information call 416444-7644 or visit our website at

Afterschool & activities

for the well-rounded student OCTOBER 2013 EDUCATION GUIDE TOWN CRIER


Arts, music and, y’know, futsal clubs BY SHAWN STAR


alk into the gym at University of Toronto Schools and you might see a familiar game under way. Five on each side, two nets, one ball. But it isn’t basketball, and it isn’t floor hockey, either.

It’s futsal. Most might know it as just indoor soccer, but futsal is an internationally sanctioned sport with its own ball, its own set of rules and specific court dimensions. And at UTS, it’s been popular ever since it started two years ago. “The boys’ varsity soccer team had just finished their season, which was in the fall, and they approached me and said they wanted to keep practicing by playing indoors, and specifically said they wanted to play futsal,” said coach Simon Chang, who works in IT at the school. “They even had the ball.” Now in its third year, the futsal club meets after school on Fridays, from 4 to 5 p.m. For some of the kids who play, it’s the highlight of the week. “This is why I survive the day,” said 12-year-old Sebastian Brown with a deadpan delivery. “All week I just look forward to futsal and getting to play.” Sebastian and three other Grade 8 students took some time after a recent game day to talk about the sport they love and why they play it. “We all play soccer and this is really similar,” said Bridget Kilburn, 13. “We only have soccer in the spring, so it’s nice to play (in the off-season).” And with the club not having set teams, standings or scores, it takes the edge off the pressure of competition. “It’s a good place to practice skill moves, because in a real game you’re not as tempted to try them because you don’t want to screw up,” Sebastian said. “Especially us,” added 13-year-old Paary Balakumar. “We’re all defenders.” Saying that if they didn’t have a futsal club, he’d just be preparing for hockey practice on Fridays, 13-year-old Steven Wang simplified his enjoyment of the game. “I just love all sports,” he said, adding that he plays in a soccer league against Paary and Sebastian. “And I don’t really get to play with them much.” UTS isn’t the only school with a unique club. Yes I Can Nursery School is about to start Saturday programming in mid-October. “Education these days is about following the lead of the child,” said executive director Janet MacDougall. “The child’s going to be more engaged in an activity or a lesson if they are interested in it. “The kids love to do the arts and crafts… so we have lots of opportunities


Sebastian Brown and Steven Wang showcase their futsal skills at UTS in September

photos by shawn star/town crier

for hands-on sensory explorations. We’ve just taken it to that next level so they can enjoy it and have a longer time at it.” Beginning Oct. 19 and running until Dec. 14, the Saturday smorgasbord will feature both visual arts and music programs from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m. Two age groups, 2½–3½ and 4–6, or the Bunny group and Owl group respectively, will have staggered time slots for their programs, so that they can take more than one in a day if they wish. “We see our kids every day,” MacDougall said. “We know what they love as part of their daily curriculum. “They all love the hands-on art stuff, they all love music and dancing, so it’s just a little bit longer time of the things that they really like and a twist on it for the older ones that will really offer opportunities for divergent questions.” In visual arts, the Bunny group will have a class called Creative Creations. “It’s introducing children to the art of painting, using cookie cutters,” she said. “This program is designed to explore colour, shapes, animals and letters while enjoying the joy of art and encouraging socialization and hand-eye coordination.” The Owl group, meanwhile, will be taking Artistic Adventures, and exploring the world in the process. “It’s exploring the world full of different people and different cultures,” MacDougall said. “So each week they are going to do a hands-on art activity exploring something like First Nations art, Indian art, Arabic art.” Then there is Music in Movement, which is for both age groups, and gives the kids interactive song choices with a variety of instruments and active movement, which MacDougall said is aimed at encouraging individuality and creativity. She added that the new Saturday programming really is just about taking the kids’ lead and ensuring they get the most out of

They explore colour, shapes, animals and letters while enjoying the joy of art. it.

“It really is just to have an opportunity for the children to be in a great, happy, creative environment where they can have fun, have some enjoyment and learn something,” MacDougall said. “No other goal than that.” Back at UTS where Chang says he likes seeing the kids have an outlet for physical activity in playing futsal, for him it’s also a little more than that. “For me, it’s a good way of getting to know the students because, working in IT, I’m not actually teaching them,” he said. “So it’s a good way to sort of build a community within the school.” It’s safe to say the kids also enjoy their time with Chang, who often lets the club run late so they can play a bit longer. “That’s what’s awesome about Simon,” Bridget said. “He stays for us.” As another futsal meeting comes to a close and the kids are funneling out of the gym, one girl answers a call on her phone, and unwittingly gives testament to the popularity of the club. “I’m at futsal,” she stated, then inquired rhetorically: “Where else would I be?”

SKATE AT LEASIDE • A fun-filled environment with nationally certified coaches • Low skater: coach ratio — maximum 6:1 • Learn–to–skate programs for all ages (4 years and up) and levels of ability • Emphasis on teaching basic fundamentals which are the building blocks for all on-ice activities • Skate Canada Star test level figure skating program • Synchronized skating teams. Still a few spots on Elementary Team 2013/2014 • Power Skating program • Proudly serving the Leaside community for over 61 years

Register online at or in person at Leaside Arena, 1073 Millwood Rd. (at Laird) Contact for office hours and with any other questions



bounce You can't change the wind...but you can adjust the sails.

Achieving below potential? • Attention Span is Short • Distractibility • Difficulty Organizing & Completing Work • Impulsivity • Learning Difficulties • Asperger’s syndrome

Which one has ADD? Neurofeedback plus coaching in Learning Strategies can provide a lasting improvement in learning. Research results are available.

Director: Dr. Lynda M. Thompson (416) 488-2233 Co-author with pediatrician Wm. Sears of The A.D.D. Book

FOREST HILL Figure Skating Club Learn to skate at any age! • Quality skating programs taught by Skate Canada-certified coaches • From pre-school to competitive

For more information, contact us at

Register soon

Classes commence in September



After-school family fun


in your step B

ack to school doesn’t have to mean all the summer fun is over. Here are some stressfree activities to let your child unwind post-school, and perhaps even discover hidden tal-

also specialize in musical theatre.

ents and interests.

Jump Around

Head to Skyzone Leaside for some bouncing fun. In addition to a large court of connecting trampolines, the facility is also home to 3-D dodge ball courts with trampolines for both floors and walls, and a foam pit where kids can bounce or dive off a trampoline into a sea of foam. For those who’ve dreamed of being able to dunk, behold the Sky Slam: two basketball nets at the end of trampoline laneways, making it easy to get airborne.


With weekly classes for kids from 1½ to 12 years old, Sportplay lets children participate in basketball, baseball, football, ball hockey, soccer, tennis, volleyball and track and field in a fun, non-competitive environment.

Sound of Music

Are there any Taylor Swift fans in the house? Footprints Music and Learning offers sessions where students can specialize in a specific song or artist style, such as a ukulele series featuring solely Taylor Swift songs. New to the Snider School of Music, with the arrival of teacher Evan Ritchie, students can pick up the drums through private one-on-one lessons.

Express Yourself The Freehand School of Art offers daily art classes for various ages in drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media and more. Students interested in comics or graphic novels can focus on illustration classes focused on figures, proportion and shading.

Be On Your Toes

Is there a budding dancer in the family? Martha Hicks Ballet School and Tandem Studios let kids explore the world of dance through ballet, jazz, hiphop and more. For the inner Broadway star, both schools


Yamaha Music Education System

It’s not too ! late to join ann ruppenstein/town crier

Yamaha Music School

5075 Yonge St. 10th Floor Toronto M2N 6C6



For the well-rounded student ADD Centre World Cup Soccer and Olympic Gold by Lynda Thompson, Ph.D., C.Psych. AC Milan led the field when its Scientific Coordinator Bruno Demichelis decided his players needed the mental edge in 2006. He added neurofeedback training to the biofeedback he was already doing. Neurofeedback re-trains the firing patterns of neurons in the brain and allows for improved self-regulation of attention and emotions. The year after the Mind-Room initiative added neurofeedback to the players’ training, AC Milan won both the 2007 Champions League final and their first FIFA World Cup. Neurofeedback uses a brain-computer interface to reward certain brain patterns

such as those showing broad awareness or intense concentration. There is no reward if the brain waves show anxiety or tuning out. Healthy patterns and mental flexibility are strengthened. The ADD Centre leads the field in providing Neurofeedback in Canada. Bruno Demichelis had come to an ADD Centre professional workshop to learn neurofeedback techniques. These workshops, accredited by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance are held twice a year for an international array of professionals, mainly doctors and psychologists including sports psychologists who have done bio-neuro-

feedback with Canadian Olympic teams. At the Vancouver Olympics, Alex Bilodeau won our first gold medal and said in an interview (Maclean’s magazine March 1, 2010) that the training decreased his tension and improved his focus. Neurofeedback training at the ADD Centre is available year round for clients who range from children with problems paying attention (ADHD, Asperger’s, LD) to athletes and executives who want better self-regulation skills and the mental edge enjoyed by world class winning athletes. For more information contact the ADD Centre at 416-488-2233 or check

Forest Hill Figure Skating Club Forest Hill Figure Skating Club programs It’s never too early — or too late — to learn to skate! Forest Hill Figure Skating Club, located at Forest Hill Memorial Arena (340 Chaplin Crescent, two blocks north of Eglinton) offers an array of group and private lessons taught by a team of enthusiastic and skilled Skate Canada Certified Coaches.

Programs include Preschool and Mini-tot (age 2 and up), Start-Right, Hockey Skills, CanSkate, Junior Development, Double Digit (age 10-16), Intermediate, Advanced and Adult Learnto-Skate programs. Register now for the upcoming season sessions. We also run half-day skating camps for all ages and

abilities during Christmas, March Break and Passover holidays. Come skate with us! Earn badges and ribbons and have fun! For more information or to download registration forms, visit our website at or pick up a registration form at the arena.

Interplay School of Dance Interplay School of Dance — Two downtown locations The Interplay School of Dance, is under the direction of Karen Davies Thomas, located at 250 Davisville at Mt. Pleasant. Karen is a graduate of the National Ballet School and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Degree from York University. Since its humble beginnings in 1983 when Interplay first opened its doors, the school has grown to over 300 students and continues to focus on teaching classical ballet in Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance methods. Interplay offers recreational and intensive classes forages 3 to adult in Creative Movement, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical Hip-Hop,

Acro, Tap, and Musical Theatre. Among its finest dance teachers are John Ottman, Director of the Quinte Ballet School, Bretonie Burchell, Faye Rauw, Lucie Ward, Martine Lusignan, Christina Neves Tughan and Erin Poole. Interplay offers intensive dance training for talented students who wish to pursue a professional career in dance or perform with our in-house dance company and competitive team. Because of the excellent dance training provided at Interplay, many of our students are accepted at Canada’s most prestigious schools such as the National Ballet School of Canada, Royal Winnipeg

Ballet School, Alvin Ailey School, Boston Ballet and many others. Our students are rewarded with high school credits, university scholarships, dance teacher’s qualifications and professional training. Interplay also works in partnership with Bishop Strachan School, Branksome Hall, and Mooredale House to provide quality after-four dance programs. Whether your child is the next prima ballerina or simply loves to dance, Interplay has a space for you. If you would like more information on our school, please visit our website at

Leaside Skating Club Welcome to Leaside Skating Club Leaside Skating Club teaches the joys and skills of skating! For beginners and relative beginners we use the “Canskate” learn-to-skate program. Our beginner level programs focus on teaching the basic fundamentals of skating which are the necessary build-


ing blocks for all ice related activities, be it hockey (girls and boys), figure skating, powerskating, speed skating or shinny! These skill sets are further developed in our intermediate and advanced level programs. We have a Star/Test level program for skaters who have entered the

Skate Canada Test stream, Powerskating sessions and have four very successful Synchronized skating teams. LSC is a non profit organization and has been integral part of the community for over 60 years. To learn more about us visit

For the well-rounded student North Toronto Soccer Club Indoor Soccer in midtown Toronto Soccer moves indoors in October for players who participate year-round. North Toronto Soccer Club offers Indoor Leagues for children who prefer to maintain their skills in a game situation. For players looking to up their game in preparation for the next outdoor season, Fall and Winter Development Camps offer the opportunity to work on a variety

of skills. All NTSC Programs are age-specific and based on the new Long-Term Player Development (L-T-P-D) model. North Toronto Soccer Club is a 2013 recipient of the Ontario Soccer Association’s Club Excellence – Gold award. This is the highest level of club

achievement, based on standards for governance, organization, community involvement and technical expertise. Established in 1983, North Toronto Soccer Club is a community-based, notfor-profit organization serving 5,200 community children and youth. Information about the club and its programs can be found at

Power Soccer Power Soccer School — advanced technique training Power Soccer provides a comprehensive range of training programs from the beginner to the elite player. We emphasize fair play, skill development and the maximization of each child’s potential. Our programs are presented through a creative age appropriate soccer training model. We focus on giving players the opportunity to express their individuality while

providing clear feedback on how improvements in their game can be made. Clinics and camps focus on ball control, movement with and without the ball, dribbling, shooting, defending and accurate passing. Players experience soccer sessions which are rewarding and enjoyable. Power Soccer coaches conduct challenging sessions which provide an opportu-

nity for full participation for each player. We build player confidence through a program includes lots of game play. Improved ability level and a marked increase in game enjoyment are the results of participation in Power Soccer programs. Please visit our web site at or call us at 416-425-6062 (local call) to learn more about the Power Soccer School.

The Martha Hicks School of Ballet Celebrating 20 years! The Martha Hicks School of Ballet, a creative and reputable dance school in North Toronto has moved to a brand new, spacious location at Avenue Road and Lawrence. Having just celebrated our 20th anniversary we are excited to have relocated to a space which houses four bright studios under one roof. MHSB is a recreational school offer-

ing children the opportunity to take dance in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. We offer daytime/evening classes seven days a week, in ballet, pointe, creative movement, jazz, hip hop, tap, musical theatre and contemporary. Adult classes have also been added. We provide professional instruction for beginners as well as more experienced

dancers, with the choice of dancing once a week or several times per week. The highlight of each year is our year-end recitals — three different productions geared at three different age groups. Ballet exams are offered every other year. Studio rentals also available. Please call 416-484-4731 or email for more information.

styles and keyboard ensembles. Guitar Course (age 7-adult) teaches strumming/ solo/ensemble playing. Violin Course (age 8-adult) teaches classical/alternative music with motivating software accompaniments. We also offer cello lessons! Flute and Sax Courses (age 10+) develop basic technique through solo/ ensemble playing with motivating software accompaniments. Drum Course (age 10+) teaches today’s popular beats

with motivating software accompaniments. Keyboard Club (teens/adults) teaches all about today’s electronic keyboards. Seniors Keyboard Course (age 65+) — making music improves quality of life — it’s an ideal way to learn a new skill while meeting new friends. We also offer lessons for seniors at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (@ DVP and Wynford Drive). For more information, visit

Yamaha Music School 2013 Yamaha Music School Yamaha believes that everyone can create, perform and enjoy music, resulting in an enriched life. World-famous Yamaha courses are designed for specific ages: Tunes For Twos (age 2-3) encourages singing, movement and rhythmic play. Junior Music Course (age 3-5) develops aural/ music skills using the keyboard. Young Musicians Course (age 6-8) develops musicianship/keyboard skills. Piano Club (age 8-10) teaches piano



Using sport as a platform for mentorship

Changing perspective



his summer 12 Havergal College students and two faculty members had the opportunity to embark on a life-changing journey to the West African country of Ghana. The excursion to Ghana is part of the Global Experience Program of the Institute at Havergal, designed to build the global capability of students. The purpose of the excursion was to use sport as a platform for peer-topeer mentorship and leadership development, as well as to create meaningful and sustainable partnerships with Ghanaian schools in the Volta region. The plan was to take the Athletes in Motion sports camp model, which was established by Havergal students through the Institute, and work together with local Ghanaian high school students to deliver a version of the camp to Ghanaian elementary students. After driving north from Accra through the lush Ghanaian vegetation, we arrived in the town of HoHoe to begin fostering our partnership. We started off with four days of training for the 32 students (20 local and 12 from Havergal), who would be running the camp.

photos courtesy havergal college

The focus of the training was on building group dynamics, developing leadership and teaching sports skills and concepts. As the training progressed, you could feel the energy and see relationships beginning to develop. One of the main focuses of the trip was to build partnerships by showing all the students that there is always something to be learned — it does not matter if you are from the big city or a small village. After training was completed, the Havergal students and the local high school coaches climbed the highest mountain in West Africa, Mount Afadjato. At about 900 metres this mountain is relatively small in comparison to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, but was a challenging hike nonetheless. This experience solidified the bond between coaches as they encouraged each other to keep climbing towards the top. They were rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Ghana upon reaching the summit. Observing the students at the top of the mountain, you could palpate the energy. It was so evident that lasting bonds were being created right before our eyes. If you closed your eyes, you could hear the laughter and feel the dissipation of the “us” and “them” attitude. As excursion supervisors, we could see that this day was crucial to solidifying the group bond that had developed over the past few days. Something that day changed. We weren’t sure if it was because of the opportunity to face and overcome a challenge together or if it was the more relaxed structure to the day. Whatever it was, this day paved the way for these coaches to run and implement a successful camp. Our day of bonding was followed by the first day of the camp. The program was entirely developed and run by the high school coaches. The camp structure was broken down into five sports: cooperative games, ultimate frisbee (new to the Ghanaians), soccer, volleyball and European handball. The campers rotated through each of the sports daily, gaining mastery as the days progressed. In regards to using sports as a medium for building partnership, one student said: “Using sports helped us build our relationship with them. We would have still made the relationships, but being in a sports environment you have to communicate and trust each other and it quickens the relationship process.” What this opportunity provided our girls was a chance to look inside themselves and see who they truly are, something teens often question. They saw themselves as the capable young women we know them to be. One student said: “It changed my whole perspective on everything. It makes me think differently about how I live.” One of the biggest realizations for our students was that there is more to happiness than material items. The girls didn’t learn this lesson from a textbook or by being told this, but it was something they came to on their own due to the new friends they were surrounded by. What we all learned from this experience can be summed up in one student’s reflection: “I learned to be more confident in my actions. I overcame not being the best and just tried my best. It’s now about applying that confidence to everything else around me.”

Britney Coleman is a Grade 5 teacher and Kassandra Wowk teaches Health & Physical Education in the Upper School at Havergal College.


At UTS, students thrive in a community of engaged peers and passionate, committed teachers. With opportunities to excel in academics, athletics, the arts and student leadership, the UTS experience is –

g n i d n a t s out in every way!

We would love to see you at our Open House! Saturday, October 19, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm UTS is a university preparatory school for high-achieving students, grades 7-12. For more information, visit: &

Central Education Guide, October 2013  
Central Education Guide, October 2013  

The bi-annual education guide for the Town Crier's central region.