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Pickering College

16945 Bayview Avenue, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 4X2

Grades (Gender):
JK to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$24,040 to 61,240/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
16 to 18
Day: 300 (Gr. JK - 12), Boarding: 120 (Gr. 7 - 12)

School Address
16945 Bayview Avenue, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 4X2



About this school:


At Pickering College, our fully-integrated Global Leadership Program (JK to Grade 12) inspires students to become agents of courageous, ethical and positive change with the confidence, knowledge and skills to shape the future. Our co-educational day and boarding school of 420 students, just 40 minutes north of Toronto, is a safe and respectful community where everyone feels a strong sense of belonging. From JK to Grade 12, small classes ensure individualized attention. Enhanced by the use of technology, we provide unique, enriched and meaningful learning opportunities. Our diverse co-curricular programs include athletics such as soccer, basketball, hockey, softball, skating, snowboarding, skiing, equestrian, tennis, volleyball and mountain biking. Students can participate on one of Canada’s only CRTC-licensed high-school operated radio stations, instrumental and vocal music, and a range of clubs such as our Debate Team and Youth Action Organization. Our students experience a school that is intimate in size and global in perspective. Students choose Pickering College because of our strong school community and exceptional academic and co-curricular programs. Our graduates leave us to attend the university of their choice, prepared to make a difference in the world. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Pickering College

our takePickering College was founded as the West Lake Seminary by Quakers in 1842 and, as you might expect, has had a long and interesting history since. Canada became a dominion, the school amalgamated, some buildings burned down, others were built up. It began as a co-ed school, something unique at the time, and as such provided an expression of the Quaker ideal that both sexes should be educated equally. It was also the first school in North America to offer a course in typewriting, symbolic of the school's desire to encorporate new ideas and technologies, and to educate students with an eye to the world they would enter upon graduation. Times of course have changed, though certainly many of the values that the school upholds today reflect those with which it was founded, including a desire to embrace new ideas and to support a diversity of interest. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a supportive yet challenging academic environment.

Principal's Message


Peter C. Sturrup, Headmaster

Pickering College is a very special place. Founded in 1842, we are a place that has a tradition of academic excellence based on almost 175 years of pioneering and original teaching and learning. Yet we are also a place that has a compelling and exciting future guided by a focus on innovation and creativity in a global context. It is this strong foundation and clear vision that allow us to prepare our students to be citizens and leaders in the 21st century.

Throughout this profile, you will learn about the school and the programs we offer in a co-educational setting, that welcomes day students from our local communities  (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12) and international students from around the world (Grades 7 to 12).

I think what will really strike you is the degree to which students and teachers work together to create the learning experience. Our school is successful, and has always been successful, because our teachers create a caring, compassionate, safe yet challenging environment in which our students feel empowered to take risks and are encouraged to lead. Truly, we are a school unlike any other.

If you are looking for a deeper educational experience for your child – an experience that sees and inspires the unique inner potential of every student – then I encourage you to start here. If you are looking for a broader educational experience for your child that uncovers all aspects of their unique talents and gifts – academic, artistic, athletic and altruistic – then I encourage you to proceed through these pages. And, if you are looking

for a richer educational experience – focusing on values, character, leadership and creating the future – then I encourage you to come to Pickering College, visit and understand for yourself why our school is so extraordinary.

Peter C. Sturrup


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

What Pickering College says: Pickering College is an independent boarding (Grades 7 to 12) and day (Kindergarten to Grade 12) school for boys and girls in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Our programs offer unique opportunities in academics, arts, athletics, global leadership development and community service. • 100% university placement at top universities in Canada and around the world • Fully integrated Global Leadership Program (JK to Grade 12) • Dedicated and caring teachers who are specialists in their field • Challenging and engaging academic curriculum • Full recreational and competitive co-curricular program • Safe and supportive nurturing environment • Dynamic boarding program • Small class sizes and personalized attention at every grade

  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Social Justice

      In social justice- inspired programs, literature is not viewed as something to be merely decoded and “appreciated”: rather, it is viewed as a catalyst to social action. Choice of texts tends to favour contemporary works. If a classical text is used, it’s often in the context of social deconstruction: students are asked to critically examine possible prejudices and historical narratives inherent in the work. Like in traditional literature programs, students are often asked to engage in class discussion and critical essay writing, but more time might also be devoted to cooperative group projects and personal reflections. The goal is to teach students to think critically about what they read, while becoming intellectually and physically engaged in the social issues pertaining to their wider community.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   10
    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish • ESL

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology Heavy integration

      A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Pickering College says: Physical literacy is desired in all students through our co-curricular program in addition to the Physical Education courses. Outdoor education is an important component of our curriculum.

    Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Calculus BC

    Sex and Health Education Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Play-based

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Pickering College says: At Pickering College, we offer a dynamic, nurturing and positive learning environment where your child’s curiosity is stimulated, leadership skills are cultivated, and fun-filled interactive learning is meaningful and focused. Small class sizes provide an ideal setting for building a foundation for lifelong learning, as students develop confidence, social conscience and acquire the skills and knowledge for success.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Pickering College says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Pickering College offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Pickering College does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Pickering College students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Pickering College 15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins120 mins120 mins
    Site Average6 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesJK to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to 12
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 12
    Habits and behaviour reportingJK to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Pickering College says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Downhill skiing
      Figure Skating
      Ice Hockey
      Mountain biking
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Online Magazine
      Outdoor Education
      Poetry/Literature club
      Radio club
      Robotics club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day (Domestic) Boarding (Domestic) Boarding (International)
    Day (Domestic)$24,040$26,210$26,310$28,850$29,150
    Boarding (Domestic)$58,580
    Boarding (International)$58,280$61,240


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students$500
    2nd child (sibling)all students$1,500
    3rd child (sibling)all students$1,500
    4th child (sibling)all students$1,500

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 420
    Average enrollment per grade28
    Average class size16 to 18
    Gender (grades)JK to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offered Gr. 7 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)29%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewJK - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)JK - 6
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    Boarding students:

    What Pickering College says:
    • Application form (available online)
    • Report cards for current school year and final report cards from previous three years (Ontario residents in Grades 9 and up must also submit Ontario Student Transcript)
    • Student Essay
    • Birth certificate for Canadian applicants
    • Passport copy for International applicants
    • Wallet size photo
    • Teacher Confidential Report, sent in confidence, direct to Pickering College
    • Admission interview (child selects a sample of a graded assessment/project they have completed or an activity they participated in that they are particularly proud of and would like to share and explain during the interview)
    • Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6: academic assessment at Pickering College
    • Grades 7 to 12: After admission interview, candidates will be advised if additional assessment is necessary
    • Non-native English speakers: TOEFL Junior score is required


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Pickering College is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Day Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size60
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Stories & Testimonials


    Grade 11 World History class create museum exhibit to share with the Grade 5 class

    The Grade 11 World History class has been studying Egypt, and their accompanying project was to turn the classroom into a Museum exhibit. Knowing that the Grade 5 class also are investigating Egypt, the Grade 11s thought it would be fun and informative to have them come as our audience. The Grade 5s were treated to an overview of the history of Egypt, a fabulous model of the pyramids, a chance to learn and use hieroglyphics and complete an archaeological dig with the Sphynx! There was also a live mummy at the mummification station and to end their visit, students were told a story about Osirus and Horus. The Grade 11 class enjoyed planning the activities and doing the accompanying research, and the Grade 5s had fun learning. ...

    PC students join Global Ideas Institute mentorship program at the University of Toronto

    As part of our commitment to developing leadership capability, 21st century learning skills and global awareness in our students, our school has joined the Global Ideas Institute Mentorship Program at the University of Toronto for this academic year. The University of Toronto’s Asian Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs, in cooperation with the University of Toronto School, have provided a first time opportunity for selected senior students throughout Toronto to work together with University of Toronto professors and graduate student mentors on a real-world problem, culminating in a day-long symposium to be held at the Munk School, University of Toronto in April 2011. Seven PC students have made a commitment to this partnership and have already started attending meetings at the Munk School and participated in some seminars and discussion groups. The program educates high school students about global issues. Through group discussion and seminars given by some of the Munk School’s professors and notable guest speakers, students are able to collaborate with each other and brainstorm possible solutions to the issues. The culminating activity in the spring will involve the groups of students presenting to a panel of experts at a ‘summit conference’. The presentation will be their plan to expand the Aravind eye hospital project in India by establishing it in other regions throughout the world. ...


    • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Associations
    • The Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario (CIS) Associations

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