SAC Academic Brochure

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A Boarding and Day School for Boys Grades 5-12 Founded in 1899

Academic Profile

At St. Andrew’s College, we know boys. First and foremost, the way a boy feels about his teachers and his school impacts learning. Boys at the College are engaged by teachers who have the expertise to design relevant and meaningful lessons. Our teachers know that boys are inherently disorganized; they love competition and need to be active; and they have a natural energy that needs to be directed toward finding positive solutions to real-world problems. To that end, citizenship, which is implied in our mission statement, is as important as knowledge. It is our goal to prepare boys to take the high road, make the right decisions, and have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of others.


our vision Michael Paluch Assistant Headmaster, Academics

10 Essential Components of the SAC Academic Program


Dedicating ourselves to the development of the complete man, the well-rounded citizen.

your boy, our Mission

…we align the formal academic program with the mission of the school


Andrean Diploma All students who attend St. Andrew’s receive the Andrean Diploma, which marries academic achievement with commitment to school life for the purpose of providing boys with an opportunity to meet with the mission statement of the School. Given that the Prefect selection process is at the heart of determining excellence in student achievement, the criteria required by the Prefect Selection Committee forms the foundation of the criteria for the Andrean Diploma with Honour. The Andrean Diploma with Honour is based on a boy’s academic, athletic, co-curricular, leadership, and community service accomplishments throughout his career at the College.

Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) St. Andrew’s is accredited through CAIS, a national community of independent schools which explores and pursues exemplary leadership, training, research and international standards of educational excellence. The Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) was established in 1981 as a national network for member schools supporting collaborative initiatives in leadership, education, management, and governance. In addition to accreditation, key activities include organizing, co-ordinating, and facilitating conferences, benchmarking, senior management compensation surveys, and advocacy.

University Placement Our graduates receive an average of four to five university offers each year. St. Andrew’s Old Boys regularly pursue academic careers in Canada, the United States, and abroad. Some schools our students have attended are UBC, Queen’s, Western, McGill, Cornell, Michigan, Northwestern, Princeton, Yale, University of St. Andrews (Scotland), University of Edinburgh, and the London School of Economics.

Promoting Academic Honesty We believe the faculty at St. Andrew’s College have a responsibility to:


validation and academic integrity

…we foster integrity and a strong sense of character, promoting resiliency and leadership


teach its students to function with academic integrity embed strategies in the curriculum that will enable our students to operate with academic integrity offer an academic integrity policy that can be enforced in a consistent and measured manner, taking into consideration the unique nature of each situation ensure students’ understanding of academic integrity is enduring and prepares them for future academic success create assignments that preclude the possibility of cheating ensure our New Boys are abreast of the expectations and skills required at the grade level they are entering. We believe that our students: must demonstrate honesty in all academic endeavours and approach academic endeavours as Andreans must take an active role in the learning process have a responsibility to understand all academic integrity policies outlined in the Parent Student Handbook.



…we educate boys to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy


plugged in

…we implement technology wisely to enhance learning


Our ‘school within a school’ concept gives the opportunity for our grade 5 through 8 students to begin the transition from elementary to secondary school. The academic program in the Middle School allows our students to gain knowledge, skills, and confidence as they approach the Upper School. Faculty are well-versed in teaching techniques that engage the attention of young boys, such as activity-based learning, humour, group projects, and an element of competition in the classroom, thereby bringing learning to life for their students. Their teaching practices are geared toward recognizing the unique emotional, intellectual and developmental needs of this pre-adolescent age group.

St. Andrew’s College is recognized as a leader in the wise use of technology in the classroom. In our one-to-one program, each of our students is provided with a tablet for their educational use. All classrooms are digitally equipped, and students take notes, receive and submit assignments, access handouts and supplementary web materials, and collaborate with teachers and fellow students through a campus-wide wireless network. Our experienced help desk personnel satisfy the day-to-day technology needs of our staff and students. St. Andrew’s is committed to ensuring that we remain on the cutting edge of digital learning, including the use of online textbooks and resources, educational software, and e-learning.

AP Program The Advanced Placement Program at St. Andrew’s College affords students an opportunity to take a university level examination predicated on an enriched and accelerated curriculum. We have deliberately chosen to offer an AP program, as opposed to other recognized learning programs, because we believe it best prepares students for first year studies.

Extended French Intended for students who wish to further their French language study while appreciating francophone culture around the world, the program challenges students in their knowledge, language skills, cultural understanding, and world experience through an exciting combination of study, field trips, exchanges and trips abroad.

McEwen Leadership


beyond convention

…we develop instructional strategies that create ideal learning opportunities for boys


Leadership skills are not just important in the world of business but can also be applied to other disciplines, including science, mathematics and the arts. St. Andrew’s educates future generations of leaders and successful alumni. The program is designed to incorporate leadership principles into a variety of business disciplines while providing experiential learning opportunities for students through all grade levels in the Upper School.

Engineering Students who collaborate in our robotics program are able to design models with software and see their efforts materialize into creations that move and appear to think for themselves. Computer science and engineering students design projects in SolidWorks, a 3D CAD program, and then bring the projects to life by printing ABS plastic models for visualization and functional testing.

Piping & Drumming The Piping & Drumming program, which continues to thrive and cultivate a wealth of musical talent, is one of the leading programs of its kind in Canada and is an unique and age-old tradition of the School. The Pipes & Drums are the most visible and active unit in the #142 Highland Cadet Corps. For more than 85 years, the band has been the musical heart of the Corps.

Celebrating Music Students who participate in our music program not only develop technical facility and musical literacy, but they also leave the program with a love and appreciation of music. St. Andrew’s is not only about academics and athletics; we have a vision of excellence for the School, which includes incredible support for the Arts. Boys explore all kinds of music at St. Andrew’s, including curricular wind and percussion instrumental band classes, strings, jazz, and choir, and there are many opportunities to perform throughout the year both on and off campus.

Staging Dreams St. Andrew’s offers boys an exciting opportunity to explore the world through drama. Through role-playing, scriptwriting, and character development, students create situations and actions which allow them to make sense of their world and to respect and appreciate diversity. Every year, St. Andrew’s hosts a three-day festival of plays, films, visual arts, music, and social events for students, parents and guests. From classical plays to experimental theatre, students have an opportunity to act, direct or be technically involved in contemporary, classical and devised monologues, scenes, one-act plays, and full-length productions.


envisioning the Arts

…we nurture creativity and celebrate excellence in performance

Filling the Canvas Art is alive and regularly on display at St. Andrew’s! Middle School students who choose a visual arts stream enjoy virtually unlimited resources and participate in a variety of media: painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and more. Upper School students are offered a comprehensive program in visual arts, creating their own works in our dedicated studios. This experience is enriched through the study of other artists, together with numerous field trips to museums, galleries, and local artists’ studios. Upper School students are also invited to navigate through our exciting media arts program. In an increasingly visual world, computer-generated media present infinite possibilities for students who want to explore graphic design, produce websites, and direct or edit their own digital movies.

Public Speaking & Debating St. Andrew’s has a long and successful history of competitive debate and public speaking. Each week, boys meet to practice impromptu, extemporaneous and persuasive speeches, as well as to prepare and present parliamentary and cross-examination style debates. Boys are chosen to represent the School in local, provincial, national, and international competitions. St. Andrew’s has been a member of the Fulford League since its inception and competes three times yearly in this provincial tournament.



Library Commons and Centre for Learning and Teaching


…we channel the energy and curiosity of boys in a student-focused, collaborative, and supportive environment



...we provide boys opportunities to engage with the larger community and to celebrate the value of others

The Towers Library is at the heart of the educational experience of St. Andrew’s students. Libraries are ever-changing institutions, and we have embraced the contemporary vision that a library is a “learning commons” where students and faculty find the common space to pursue academic and personal interests. Through the academic day and into the evening, Towers hosts a variety of activities, including class and advisory meetings, research and documentation sessions, and a comprehensive academic support system, which we have titled the Centre for Learning and Teaching. The latter is the locus of the Academic program, and consists of the Guided Learning Centre, the Writing and Math Centres, an ESL support program, and Learning Resource options.

Standing Committee for Excellence in Teaching and Learning In addition to a comprehensive Academic Support Program, the CLT is the locus of a faculty professional development committee called SCETL (Standing Committee for Excellence in Teaching and Learning). The group is currently engaged in developing a vision for the Academic program for the purpose of ensuring that our policies, procedures and programs are in line with our pedagogical beliefs.

Student Life While academic success is the number one priority at SAC, learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Everything a boy does at St. Andrew’s is part of the ‘complete man’ mission of the school. Whether it’s achieving good grades, making a new friend, scoring a touchdown, getting the lead in a school play, or exercising leadership skills, we approach every moment of a boy’s life as an opportunity to grow to become the ‘well-rounded citizen’.

Advisory Upper School Advisory is an opportunity for students to get together with their Advisor in small groups to discuss a pre-determined topic or issue relevant to adolescent development. Study skills, course selection and university guidance are also a regular part of the Advisor-Advisee relationship. Aside from the formal advisor period, the Advisor-Advisee relationship is further enhanced through informal meetings outside the formal advisor period.

Mutual Respect At St. Andrew’s we believe that boys need to be judged by the quality of their character and that bullying and harassment of any kind cannot be tolerated. The adage ‘boys will be boys’ does not apply when it comes to issues of bullying or harassment. The Mutual Respect Program provides a formal mechanism to deal with these issues and resolve them in such a way that the negative behaviour stops, the victim feels better about their place in the School, and the learning experience for the antagonist is structured and consistent.


Extension Trips We believe the learning opportunities that exist outside the traditional classroom are extremely important. The experiences gained and the lessons learned will prepare our boys for life. Some of the countries visited include France, Italy, Belgium, Thailand, Namibia, Kenya, Brazil, Tanzania, and many others. These opportunities are designed to allow our boys to gain a more global perspective, so that as they venture off to university and into their professional lives, they have the knowledge and character required to make a difference.

Critical Thinking Consortium The Critical Thinking Consortium is committed to promoting critical thinking from primary to post-secondary education through professional development, publications, and research. The consortium uses the metaphor of the ‘comet’ to define their philosophy as it pertains to professional development—the consortium encourages partners to see that professional development should be sustained and transformative.

Green School We believe that all Andreans should cultivate ecological citizenship and thereby inspire positive environmental change for sustainable living within our school community and beyond. As a community, we understand the environmental impact of the decisions the School makes, and we are acting locally to make the campus as sustainable as possible.


Going Global

…we tap into boys’ propensity to problem-solve by cultivating critical thinking skills


Innovation in the Classroom: A Recipe for Success Renowned for being outstanding teachers, coaches and mentors, our faculty are dedicated to ensuring that each student meets with success. The classroom experience at SAC is second-to-none because of the following ingredients:

Engaging Instructional Strategies SAC teachers know that boys respond best when the instruction is varied, and the work is hands-on and highly social. Much of what we do is informed by our participation in the International Boys’ School Coalition (IBSC), a not-for-profit coalition of boys’ schools from around the world dedicated to the education and development of boys and the professional growth of those who work with them. The results of the qualitative research being performed by this body of educators confirms that boys respond best when technology is ubiquitous, and teachers focus on the making of products, gaming, motor activity, role play, open inquiry, and teamwork.

A Sense of Belonging


Classroom Innovation

… we foster within our boys the ability to adapt to our ever-changing world

The most recent IBSC study, titled “The Sound of Significance: Listening for the Origins of Purpose in Boys’ Lives,” reveals that boys crave a sense of belonging, purposeful work, and happiness. The faculty at St. Andrew’s recognizes when a boy feels he belongs and that his teacher cares for him, everything is possible.

Relevance Carefully planned curriculum ensures that classroom activities, assignments, and group projects are based on real life. John Dewey wrote: “I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” We move beyond the theoretical and give boys the opportunity to engage in performative activities they will encounter throughout their lives.

Professional Development St. Andrew’s faculty are life-long learners who engage in professional development both locally and abroad. Teachers attend and present at conferences hosted by such organizations as NAIS, (National Association of Independent Schools), TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools), and NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English). In-house, our faculty are engaged in regular PD sessions and participate in our Professional Growth Program, a peer-driven reflection process.

Experience A number of SAC faculty have dedicated over 25 years of service to the School. The wisdom, guidance, and commitment to the traditions of the School demonstrated by these veterans affords our younger faculty members an invaluable mentoring resource. This translates directly into teachers who know boys best, and boys who understand that they are participants in a rich legacy of tradition and success. ST. ANDREW’S COLLEGE ACADEMIC PROFILE

For more information please contact: Michael Paluch Assistant Headmaster, Academics St. Andrew's College 15800 Yonge Street Aurora, ON L4G 3H7 E. T. 905.727.3178 x285