In keeping with our Trinity College School mission statement, we are committed to developing the habits of heart and mind in all of our students for a life of purpose and service. This commitment includes engaging our students in a wide variety of leadership development opportunities. Our goal is to develop student leaders who are globally minded and locally active; compassionate and empathetic; and committed to the sustainability of both people and planet.
Our leadership program begins with individual accountability, whereby our students lead first through their daily actions. Working closely with their teachers, our students then undertake formal leadership responsibilities and, in doing so, build an awareness of the core values of leadership, including: commitment, responsibility, initiative, vision, compassion and enthusiasm. We provide frequent and meaningful opportunities for our students to engage in leadership activities as part of their daily school life. These activities help our students develop critical skills such as public speaking, collaboration, organization and delegation, conflict resolution, time management and an understanding of the diversity of different leadership styles.
As students progress through the curriculum of the Junior School, they also progress through a continuum of leadership development in the following areas: service learning; co-curricular and athletics; sustainability and the environment; and in-school leadership roles.
- Grade 5 and 6 Leadership
Students in our Grade 5 and 6 classes are introduced to the key concepts of individual responsibility and the importance of teamwork. Early in the school year, the classes travel to the Camp Kawartha outdoor education centre to engage in a variety of trust and team building initiatives. These provide an ethos for cooperation as students assume a variety of roles to ensure that their classroom functions smoothly, such as record keepers and monitors. They also take on selected school-wide leadership projects, including organizing our “Student Votes” initiative and World Vision charity drives.
- Grade 7 and 8 Leadership
Our middle division students build upon the Grade 5/6 foundation and pursue more diverse leadership projects. Our Grade 7 and 8 students travel to Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre, to further develop their collaboration, communication and leadership skills. Throughout the year, students form organizing committees for school-wide charitable action, such as food drives, winter clothing drives and various other fundraising initiatives. They also serve as stewards of the Junior School. Our teams of stewards are empowered with the care of, and responsibility for, specific functions of our school, including technology, sports equipment, art supplies and musical instruments with our Grade 7s taking a particular responsibility for environmental and sustainability leadership. Our middle division students are trained and empowered to handle other key responsibilities within the Junior School, such as serving as Parent-Teacher Meeting secretaries and admissions tour guides.
The Grade 8s also further hone their area of interest by participating in the Habits of Heart and Mind program. Grade 8 students are expected to complete the Junior School Hearts and Minds Project prior to graduating from the Junior School. This inquiry driven project allows them to put into action the habits of the heart and mind, as well as TCS's six learning skills.
- The Junior School Hearts and Minds Project
The Junior School Hearts and Minds Project focuses on community and service, two major components of the Junior School program. It encourages students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community. The project gives students the opportunity to develop an awareness of and empathy towards the needs of different communities and gives them the opportunity to address those needs through action. While at TCS, students will be encouraged to become thoughtful and innovative, globally-minded and environmentally-responsible individuals. The Junior School Hearts and Minds Project is intended as a culminating demonstration of the above.
The TCS Junior School Hearts and Minds Project is a pinnacle learning experience and strong example of inquiry-based learning because it reflects students’ ability to initiate, manage and direct their own inquiry. The student-planned inquiry process follows the general Ontario Ministry of Education 1-8 inquiry process across most subject areas.
Trinity College School’s Junior School Leadership Development Program
We believe that the leadership development program in Trinity College School’s Junior School is unique; not only in its expanding continuum of opportunities, but also in our collective expectation that all of our students be provided with, and take advantage of, the leadership opportunities throughout their time in the Junior School. With support and a framework such as this, TCS Junior School students will emerge from the program as responsible, active and compassionate citizens, realizing the leadership potential that lies within each of them.