An Exceptional Experience Awaits Every Student
Our faculty embodies the qualities we hope to inspire in our students: empathy, responsiveness, inventiveness, insight and critical thinking.
Our school is a dynamic co-educational learning environment that fosters individual attention and inclusivity. As a school, we assess and reinvent our approach so that we retain effective established practices while exploring new ways to promote academic excellence and personal development. Our spirit of innovation permeates every level of the school from grassroots interactions between students and teachers to strategic discussions among the school’s leaders.
The York School’s superior academic programme combines the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum with the Ontario curriculum. We are the first school in Canada accredited from Kindergarten to university entrance as an IB World School. We approach learning as active critical thinking, with the global mindset and collaborative spirit that the IB promotes. In addition, our mix of Canadian and international families allows our students to make meaningful connections and incorporate different perspectives in their daily interactions. Our graduates have been accepted at over 145 national and international post-secondary institutions.
Culture is what sets The York School apart from other independent schools. From the adapted office buildings we occupy in the heart of the city to our experiential learning model that crosses borders, our faculty who constantly push the limits of what’s possible, and the capable and confident learners we graduate—each and every aspect of The York School is unique. Innovation is our tradition.
Our students learn in an enlightened setting that reflects and embraces the social and cultural forces of today. We offer a wide range of experiential learning opportunities for students to step out into the wider world. Our staff are world-class educators, using professional development to anticipate and evolve with a changing educational landscape. Our students grow into engaged global citizens in tune with the world they will inherit.
We are progressive, contemporary, international, urban and unique.
With two campuses on Yonge Street in midtown Toronto, we are able to embrace the city as our classroom. Toronto’s cosmopolitan energy and cultural diversity inspire our students to develop their own distinct worldview. The city hums with creative possibilities and we plug into that energy every day.
A Culture of Co-education
Every day, across the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, our students connect with each other and the wider world while embracing differences and finding common ground.
Co-education confers many social benefits. In research conducted by The Strategic Counsel, students report that they feel more confident expressing their views in the presence of opposite-sex peers than those in single-sex environments. They are also more likely to make friends with members of the opposite sex, and they report lower levels of harassment and bullying than their single-sex peers.*
Long-term social and emotional success and understanding relationships begins with a co-ed experience.
Girls and boys do not have competing learning needs. There are no pink and blue brains. Leading educational research illustrates that every student is an individual learner with varied interests, talents and identity markers. At The York School, we do away with those Mars vs. Venus stereotypes and embrace what we know to be true: the best learning happens in extraordinary academic environments full of diverse beliefs, pursuits and backgrounds, and guided by excellent classroom teachers.
Co-education reflects the reality of an increasingly open and interconnected world that requires strength of character and citizenship. Our students are enthusiastically accepted for who they are and they become exceptionally well-prepared for the future. After all, real life is co-ed.
*The Strategic Counsel, a Toronto-based market research firm, interviewed 17,798 high school students in 2006 and published these findings in a report, The Benefits of the Co-educational Environment.
A Culture of Innovation
Creativity is now regarded as the most important quality for the leaders of tomorrow.*
At The York School, innovation is a mindset. We encourage students to rethink the obvious, reinvent and find novel solutions — and provide training and opportunities to practice doing this each day.
Our culture of innovation begins with our teachers, all of whom are part of a professional learning community. Teachers meet weekly in small sessions to share new ideas, experiment with teaching approaches and test new technologies. They employ design-thinking strategies to enhance their own professional development goals, while incorporating cutting-edge technologies into their teaching practices. As model risk-takers and innovators, our teacher-leaders are ideally positioned to guide their students through creative learning challenges.
The York School’s culture of innovation is part of our history. We were the first laptop school in Canada. We have faculty who teach on a national stage and are leading educators on best practices in their respective fields. This inventive environment allows us to support our students’ needs and aspirations.
We also use technology to better understand our students. Using platforms such as Hapara, we look inside the learning process and provide teachers with data about each student’s learning journey. This allows us to personalize and customize instruction based on individual performance and progress in ways that were never before possible.
Extensive technological resources play a vital role in supporting creative and critical thinking. Our students acquire more than technical expertise when they use professional-level cameras to tell a story, use our film suite’s green screen to create a new landscape or use our 3D printer to produce a model from their own digital design. We provide tools that allow our students to test, iterate and build on their ideas and, in turn, they become digital storytellers and real-world problem solvers. We encourage our students, citizens of a digital age, to produce professional-quality work, so we provide the resources to make it happen.
*IBM Global Business Services, Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer Summary, 2010.
Our Academic Advantage
Our students think independently, direct their own learning, thrive in the International Baccalaureate Programme and grow into adults who make a difference.
A York School student will gather knowledge, respect themselves, care for others and challenge the status quo.
The IB curriculum begins with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5, where guided inquiry encourages curiosity and a love of learning. The Middle Years Programme (MYP) from Grades 6 to 10 fosters a healthy social and emotional balance, while the Diploma Programme (DP) in Grade 11 and 12 builds on these foundations to establish a deeper level of analysis and critical thinking. Our students’ exam scores have consistently exceeded the IB World School average by 4 points. Our graduates enjoy a 100% university placement at the best Canadian and international schools.
IB graduates are motivated, skilled and sophisticated learners. IB students are more likely to gain admission to a top school, receive an honours degree, pursue graduate studies and be employed in higher-paid occupations than their non-IB peers.*
*Higher Education Statistics Agency, International Baccalaureate Students Studying at UK Higher Education Institutions: How Do They Fare?, 2011.
A Culture of Global Readiness
People and nations are increasingly interconnected and interdependent. Our students can collaborate with peers across the globe and share their ideas in real time. On every continent, students have access to resources and opportunities like never before.
Our students develop a global mindset through every aspect of our programme, from the International Baccalaureate curriculum to service learning initiatives and experiential learning opportunities around the world. With close to 20% of our families from outside Canada, The York School is itself a global village. As a result, students are at ease with themselves and have the confidence to cross borders and tackle global challenges in person or online.
Canada is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Our unique Integrated Canadian Experience (ICE) Programme combines history, geography, civics and literature to merge interdisciplinary inquiry with real-world experiences. We recognize that intercultural understanding and respect begin at home. The ICE Programme encourages our Grade 9 students to challenge themselves on what it means to be Canadian in our world today.
Beyond our borders, Senior School students have additional opportunities to explore the world through Challenge Week excursions, international exchanges to France and Spain, and school trips to destinations as diverse as Bermuda, Hungary and Hong Kong. Students may also choose to travel to India or Tanzania to broaden their perspective and work with our long-standing partner schools in service learning programmes.
Our students view themselves as global citizens whose interests and responsibilities extend beyond personal and national borders.
Our mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are engaged citizens of the world.
Our Culture Supports the Whole Student
Social, emotional and physical development are as fundamental to education as a world-class curriculum.
The words “inquiring and knowledgeable” are evident in our classrooms, but our mission is also to develop caring young people who are engaged citizens of the world. Through participation in a balanced array of activities, each student gains a sense of school spirit and belonging.
Our offerings are as diverse as the interests of our students. Co-curricular activities range from community outreach initiatives, student government, DJ-ing, robotics, public speaking and debating, GirlTech computer coding and digital broadcast. Our full roster of co-ed and single gender athletic teams are complemented by the Gladiator Athlete Institute, which provides additional performance training from morning yoga through to one-on-one coaching led by some of Toronto’s top professional athletes and coaches. Co-curricular activities develop confidence and leadership, create social connections and new opportunities, and often become lifelong interests.
We are committed to student wellness. We deliver the best professional resources possible through a network of teachers, homeroom advisors, health and wellness counsellors, university placement counsellors, coaches, learning resource specialists and social workers. Our students have the opportunity to experience student government and leadership roles, guide younger students through prefect positions and act as mentors to small groups of students through the mentorship programme.
Our house system encourages our students to participate in friendly competition. Our assemblies address issues of the day, provide opportunities for student leadership, allow interaction with guest speakers and provide a venue for student-based philanthropic initiatives.
Our mission is not a sign on the wall. It is a shared vision of what we can be and expect of ourselves each day.
We believe experience teaches.