Why Grades 7 and 8
A growing number of parents have been enquiring about a middle school programme at Abelard. We are responding to this interest because we believe we are uniquely positioned to offer an enriched, exciting, and challenging curriculum and school experience for students in grades 7 and 8. We have found over the years that many students applying to Abelard from Grade 8 don't yet have the requisite knowledge and skills to make a smooth transition into an academically advanced high school curriculum. By welcoming middle school students at Abelard, we can tailor their education to ensure their ongoing success.
Elevating and Inspiring Students
In our middle school program, we cultivate a passion for learning. At Abelard, this means that we tackle big ideas and big problems in an age-appropriate manner so that students learn to approach the world around them with an open mind. In addition to the knowledge and skills developed by our enriched curriculum, we teach students to be reflective thinkers, caring and principled global citizens, and bold communicators. We elevate and inspire our students.
We've been preparing students to be successful in university for twenty years, now we wish to prepare them for success in high school!
At the high school level, we've developed a unique integrated curriculum which stresses the interconnection of academic disciplines. Our exciting middle school programme is designed to introduce young scholars to the symbiotic way that ideas overlap in the real world, preparing middle schoolers with the cultural and historical background necessary to flourish in high school.
Further, we've learned over the years that students learn best when they can contextualize the concepts they are being taught. All students, but particularly middle school students, benefit from some hands-on, activity based learning to augment classroom instruction. Our middle school programme is augmented by interdisciplinary workshops led by our teachers or visiting specialists.
Our regular curriculum is anchored by three foundational components:
1) The historical context of knowledge. We undertake a study of the sciences, mathematics, literature, history, philosophy, and political ideologies in the context of each of the following periods: the Ancient World, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the Age of Reason.
2) The integrated core curriculum. A rigorous core curriculum challenges students in English, Math, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), Social Sciences, French, Arts, Healthy and Active Living and Technology.
3) The practical application of academics to contemporary world. We apply the knowledge and skills gained through regular student to explore culture, technology, politics, and sociology.
Our teachers are at Abelard because both because of their expertise and because they are committed to excellence in the education of middle- and high-school aged students. Although all our classes are flexible enough to accommodate students’ unique interests, our core classes have specific foci and methodologies.
Sciences: (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Focus on science labs: at the school-- labs and experiments in Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
Focus on theoretical knowledge-- classroom instruction
Extension-- Visits to the U of T planetarium. Association with Pueblo Science and participation in their activities. Visits to U of T labs. Visits to hospitals, zoos, botanical gardens, aquarium, Science Centre
Focus on conversation, culture and language
Focus on grammar and writing skills
Extension-- basic Latin vocabulary as the root of French words the students are learning. Visits to Theatre Francais, French creperie, French films/television at appropriate level
Focus on core skills to prepare students for advanced level high school mathematics, and on cultivating a love of math
Focus on application of skills to different contexts
Extension: math competitions (if desired), STEM projects, Robotics
Focus on literature: archetypal patterns underlying all literature through study of key myths from many cultures and literary works from various cultures and time periods.
Focus on writing skills-- emphasizing the importance of grammar, spelling, punctuation and style as the foundation for analysis and creativity.
Extension-- visits to theatre, libraries, writing for and production of school literary journal, newspaper and blog, media/film studies
Social Sciences: (History, Geography, Politics, Sociology)
Focus on core knowledge, facts, information
Focus on theories
Extension-- debates, junior Model U.N. club, visits to Fort York, Campbell House, Queen's Park
Arts: (Visual Art, Multimedia, Drama, Music)
Focus on technical skills and theory
Focus on creation and performance
Extension-- school play, drama festival, jazz club, choir, visits to theatre, opera, ballet, AGO, independent galleries, symphony, exhibition of student work, production of videos, blogs, etc.
Focus on knowledge: introduction to software applications, keyboarding, coding, design
Focus on application to academic and creative projects and multimedia design
Extension-- robotics, lego, blogs, web design
Phsyical Education: Healthy/Active living
Focus on activity: portion of each day spent in physical activity
Focus on knowledge: nutrition, healthy living, physiology and kinesiology, safety
Extension-- activities at Central Y: swimming, weight training, etc. At school (Yoga, etc)
Other gyms (rock climbing, etc). Outdoor activities: jogging, hiking, orienteering, cross country
We pride ourselves on creating a community away from home for our students. Extracurricular activities facilitate a vibrant social life and help extend our curriculum for keen students.
Clubs: Drama, Self Defense, Debate, Chess, Cross Country (20 K club), Astronomy, Jazz, Choir, International Film and Cuisine, Lego, Dungeons and Dragons, Newspaper, Book Club.
Trips: overnight trip to Cedar Glen outdoor education camp, weekend trip to Ottawa/Montreal.
Camps: March Break Pueblo Science Camp; other camps in response to interest: Robotics ; Drama; Coding; Lego; Astronomy; Outdoor Education.