Academics

In the Junior School, the foundation of our academic program is a positive, caring and professional teacher-student relationship, combined with an understanding of the profound importance of valuing and educating the whole child. Our teachers work closely with our students throughout the school day – in the classroom, as coaches, in the arts, and in the realm of leadership and service learning.

These relationships are the cornerstone of a diverse academic program that encourages students to strive for excellence and provides support and remediation as needed. While focusing on core academic skills, the goal is always to tackle authentic, deeper learning tasks that are connected to the world around us. There is a focus on individualized attention and the provision of ongoing feedback.

We value the learning process and promote the importance of knowing yourself as a learner and developing metacognitive skills, or “learning how to learn.” These skills include responsibility, initiative, collaboration, goal setting and recognizing the contributions of peers. Students are encouraged to tackle their academic responsibilities with creativity and innovation, and perseverance when they encounter challenges. Students graduating from our Junior School program are well on their way to developing the “habits of heart and mind” needed for success at the high school level and beyond.


In the Grade 7 & 8 program, we build upon the solid foundation developed in our Grade 5 & 6 classes, with an intentional shift of responsibility from the teacher to the student. During this important phase of early adolescence, students work with faculty members who are both subject specialists and devoted to working with middle school learners. Our teachers exude caring, enthusiasm and a deep understanding of the adolescent learner that inspires students to excel.

Our character development program continues to focus on the TCS habits of heart and mind. A consistent focus on attributes like compassion, integrity and perseverance helps our students to navigate the increasingly complex world of adolescent relationships, both face to face and as digital citizens. In a safe and inclusive environment, students are encouraged to discover their existing strengths and explore and develop new talents, with a firm belief in the value of a growth mindset. They explore and practise mindfulness, as a way of building confidence and resilience. In small classes, teachers work closely with students to develop executive functioning skills which will be crucial for success in high school. These include organizational, time management and study skills, academic goal setting, guided and independent problem solving and the ability to make ethical decisions. There is a focus on authentic, experiential and deeper learning initiatives, that seek to connect the students to the world around them in creative and collaborative ways. Educational technology is used extensively to facilitate this process, with a 1:1 student-laptop ratio. Our Grade 7 & 8 students are exposed to a variety of service learning and leadership options that encourage them to shift the focus from themselves to the world around them. Upon completion of Grade 8, it is our goal that our students have the skills and attitudes to lead “a life of purpose and service” even as they enter high school.

In our Grade 5 & 6 program, students are immersed in the critical final years of their elementary education. In small classes, they forge close relationships with their homeform teacher, who serves as their core mathematics, language arts and science teacher. This relationship is fundamental to our students’ social and emotional development, as well as their individual academic growth. In addition, students benefit from having specialist teachers in other subject areas, including the arts, physical education and music. A key element of the Grade 5 & 6 learning experience is character development, including a focus on our TCS habits of heart and mind and on creating caring and respectful relationships between students and with their teachers as well. This creates an inclusive and supportive classroom culture in which students can take risks confidently and develop a growth mindset that focuses on their long-term development as learners.

An intentional and structured approach is provided in teaching students organizational and time management skills, and their learning is scaffolded when teaching literacy, numeracy and study skills. Building upon this foundation, students are challenged to think creatively and to focus on authentic tasks which develop 21st century skills like collaboration, digital literacy and the ability to tackle open-ended questions with confidence. There is frequent cross-curricular integration in Grades 5 & 6 and technology is integrated throughout the curriculum as well through the use of iPads and a variety of apps and Google platforms. Students emerge from our Grade 5 & 6 program with an excellent foundation of academic skills and an ability to be an active problem solver. They are well on the road towards living a “life of purpose and service.”


A Typical Day

A typical weekday in the Junior School starts off with either chapel, assembly or homeroom, depending on the day of the week. Then, students attend four periods (or blocks), divided by a 30 minute recess, co-curricular activities and lunch. After classes, there is extra help available to all students on arranged days. Students leave campus by 4:00 p.m. each day unless they are attending extra help.

Chapel

Chapel services are an important part of life at Trinity College School. They are held with the Senior School on select Monday mornings, and for Junior School students exclusively on Wednesday mornings. Chapel is led by our chaplain, Canon Don Aitchison, and is designed to encourage the spiritual and moral development of each student. It also reinforces the community feeling that is such a vital part of daily life at TCS.

Library

The Junior School library brings together all members of our community. Over the years this beautiful space has evolved to meet the changing needs of our students, staff and even parents. It is indeed a place where students are at the forefront of its design and function.

With the generous support of Junior School families, the library has undergone a major renovation. It reflects the need for flexible work spaces, comfortable nooks for reading, relaxing and hanging out, a dedicated teaching space, as well as a current and relevant collection of resources, both print and digital...Read More

Assembly

The Junior School meets weekly for assembly. We come together as a community to promote school values, communicate upcoming events and activities to all students, and celebrate students' achievements in community service, athletics, the arts or academics. Assemblies provide a forum for student performances and special assemblies may also be held to recognize occasions such as Remembrance Day. Note that one morning each month is reserved for Read and Relax, where students embrace reading while sipping on hot chocolate and eating healthy snacks.

Activ8

On Tuesdays, in line with the Senior School, students benefit from a later start time so that faculty can meet and plan for instruction, participate in professional development and discuss student progress; however, those arriving on buses will be supervised outdoors for physical activity. Classes commence at 8:45 a.m. on these mornings.