A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
What High Park Day School says: HPDS students strive for personal excellence through self-reflection and goal-setting. Academic rigour is embedded in our Project-Based curriculum; students’ project work is purposeful, reaching authentic audiences beyond the teacher, often in our Toronto community. Students are accountable to members of their group and the "audience", raising the bar for the quality of their work and academic contributions. Students can make mistakes in our supportive environment, building their resiliency when faced with challenges. Instead of content knowledge, focus is placed on the development of 21st century skills: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and innovation, character, global citizenship and computer and technology.