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Sunnybrook School

469 Merton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1B4

Grades (Gender):
JK to Gr. 6 (Coed)
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
16 to 20
Day: 140 (Gr. JK - 6)

School Address
469 Merton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1B4



About this school:


Sunnybrook School offers a small school experience, with a balanced, holistic, academic program. As a JK - 6 school, our strength lies in our knowledge and understanding of learning in the elementary years. Our teachers create a welcoming and engaging environment in which each child can reach his or her potential. Through inquiry and exploration in the IB PYP, students learn the skills and knowledge they will need in the future. Singapore Math, daily French classes, the arts curriculum and our Phys. Ed. program ensure a balanced learning experience. Our diverse, welcoming community reflects the city we live in. SBS is a lively, nurturing, academic community for young learners, where they grow to become caring, knowledgeable, open-minded citizens of the world .

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"Right away we could see our daughter amongst the students of Sunnybrook School"
Reza Asadikia - Parent   (Feb 21, 2018)
The size of this school is in a way that is not intimidating for younger students, but at the same t...

Our Take: Sunnybrook School

our takeSunnybrook School was founded in 1952, becoming one of the very first preschools in Canada. It was exotic for the time, both for being a nursery school, as well as being founded by an Austrian educator, Irmingard Hoff. From opening day the school was at the leading edge of education at the time, and it has worked to remain there ever since. Sunnybrook was the first school in the country to adopt the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. It's since dedicated itself to development of 21st century literacies, an international curriculum, and the adoption of Singapore Math. Which sounds like a lot, and it is. The ideal student is one who is operating at the top of her peer group, and who is able to make the most of the range of programming on offer.

Principal's Message


Irene Davy, Director & Principal

Sunnybrook invites you to become a part of a very special school. Flexible, dynamic, lively learning to challenge, provoke and engage young minds. At Sunnybrook School we succeed in channeling the energy, enthusiasm and joy of elementary boys and girls into disciplined, thoughtful learning. The small size of our school enables us to know our students and their families, giving greater meaning to the triangle of child, home and school. Our size also enables us to showcase all our students and their work.

With a long, proud history of innovation, Sunnybrook is celebrating 65 years of learning. We search the world for excellence in elementary education, bringing world class programs to our school. The IB Primary Years Program (IB PYP) enriches and complements our philosophy, giving us an outstanding framework for assessment and curriculum development. Our qualified teachers have extensive IB training; five members of our staff are on the faculty of IB. The IB Program enables us to give our students the world. In our quest for excellence, we have adopted the Singapore Math Program, an enlightened, engaging and effective approach to mathematics learning.

Sunnybrook has remained small because we believe that small schools are good for both students and teachers. Our graduates benefit from the small school environment by becoming confident, self-assured, inquiring young people, ready for the world of a larger middle school. Our faculty is both the heart and the backbone of our dynamic school. The core of a teacherʼs work is to nurture curiosity and inspire learning. Visit our website to learn more; we encourage you to visit our school to see for yourself what Sunnybrook will offer your child. We forward to meeting you.


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

What Sunnybrook School says: Sunnybrook School is an IB Primary Years Program (IBPYP) school; we offer a global curriculum in a local context. We are committed to offering an engaging learning experience, and we encourage our students to learn with enthusiasm and commitment. French, Music, and Physical Education classes complement the regular classroom. We have a strong literacy focus, including both skills and a love of reading. Our school library is a hub of inquiry, offering various traditional and electronic research opportunities.

  • 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 Sunnybrook School says: The Singapore Math curriculum approaches numeracy concepts and skills in a balanced way. The emphasis on inquiry and conceptual understanding is complemented with rigour in applying skills and knowledge in mathematics. Singapore Math takes the learners from using hands on manipulatives to solve math problems to a step using pictorial representation of the problem before expecting students to find their answers using mental math. This unique pictorial step provides an additional tool for students who have a developing understanding of concepts, but are not yet ready to solve problems in their heads. Through Singapore Math, our students learn to love working with numbers, solving problems, and seeing the world through the lens of mathematics.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Singapore Math books and supporting materials

    • Calculator policy: Students use calculators when appropriate.

    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 Sunnybrook School says: Learning to read is the primary task of elementary school. It is important when designing a reading program to remember that young children acquire reading skills at different paces. Therefore we have developed a literacy program that takes this into consideration, while having high expectations of all learners. We begin with reading readiness at the beginning of JK, including teaching concepts of print, exposure to the written word, opportunities to write at their level and a great deal of exposure to literature.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Sunnybrook School says: We use DRA's to ensure accountability in our teaching, and to measure the success of our reading program over time.

    Writing Process approach

      The process approach to teaching beginner writing aims to get students writing “real things” as much as possible and as soon as possible. The goal is to create the right environmental conditions to encourage a love of writing and a motivation to write well. With children invested in the writing process -- through assignments children find meaningful -- students are then given feedback on how they can improve.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Sunnybrook School says: Writing and reading are integrated in teaching young learners. Our students are encouraged to write about their learning and their experiences as early as possible. Through the 6 + 1 Writing Traits program our students learn specific skills and develop an understanding of the elements of good written communication. Specific writing, spelling and grammar skills are taught more systematically as students move into the older grades.

    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: Science is taught in the IB Units of Inquiry. In these units students are encouraged to experiment, explore, ask questions, and seek answers to scientific questions. The units are carefully planned to include scientific content and ideas, encouraging students to become critical thinkers and inquirers.

    • 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 Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Sunnybrook School says: Our Library program fosters a love of literature of all genres. Literature for the classroom is usually chosen to correspond to the IB Units of Inquiry. These units often have a social justice component, and selections are made to support the learning and allow students to make connections and develop understandings of their world through literature. Selections for younger students are made to maximize their skills acquisition and enjoyment of reading in the early years.

    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Sunnybrook School says: The social studies curriculum framework in the IB PYP emphasizes a conceptual approach to content. Units of Inquiry are organized in to explore specific content (i.e. government, transportation, migration) in both broad conceptual and more specific content related ways. Students learn to explore topics through guided inquiry and research.

    Foreign Languages Communicative

      The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Sunnybrook School says: Language is the gateway to culture and comfort speaking in another language opens opportunities. In the early years French is taught daily in an engaging interactive way, with an emphasis on oral communication skills. Older students read and write in French as well. We make extensive use of technology and student iPads in our French program.

    • Languages Offered: • French

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

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

    • What Sunnybrook School says: The arts are integrated in our IB transdisciplinary Units of Inquiry. Music is taught by a specialist, with a dance and drama component. In the arts students are given opportunities to express their knowledge and ideas in various ways; they learn Art, learn about Art and learn through Art.

    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 Sunnybrook School says: Technology is pervasive in our students' lives. Our goal is to give teachers the tools to guide young people in using it in innovative, constructive and meaningful ways. Sunnybrook School has a 1:1 iPad program for all students from JK to Grade 6. Combined with traditional methods of learning technology is used for communication, connection, creativity and collaboration. Digital literacy and digital citizenship are integrated into our curriculum.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Sunnybrook School says: Regular Physical Education classes combine team and individual sports to teach the skills for a healthy lifestyle. We focus on sportsmanship, teamwork, fitness and health.

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

    What Sunnybrook School 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 Sunnybrook School says: We follow the guidelines of the Ontario Curriculum in our sex-ed curriculum. It focuses on self-awareness and healthy relationships.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

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

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    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 Sunnybrook School says: Sunnybrook School offers a balanced, stimulating and enriched kindergarten curriculum. The core of the JK and SK curriculum is based on the IB PYP, Singapore Math and our own unique literacy program. We enrich this with French, Music, Phys Ed and Library. Play time indoors and on our playground round out the kindergarten experience. The program is designed to stimulate children’s creativity, build early academic skills, and develop communication and social skills. At Sunnybrook School, kindergarten sets the foundation for a love of learning with trusted adults, great friends, a cheerful physical environment and stimulating, engaging learning.

    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 Sunnybrook School says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    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 Sunnybrook School says: As an elementary school beginning at JK we are more supportive than rigorous. However, as our students approach the higher grades the emphasis on the skills and knowledge shifts with their greater maturity, and in preparation for middle school. Beginning in SK we have benchmarks for reading and math, allowing us to differentiate for different student needs.

    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 Sunnybrook School says: As an IB school, Sunnybrook has a focus on global citizenship. To that end we work with our students develop the skills, dispositions and knowledge to help them understand themselves and others, and the issues they will face in our ever-changing world. Learning in all domains develops a well rounded, balanced individual, ready to contribute to community and society.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Sunnybrook School 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
    • What Sunnybrook School says: The Sunnybrook curriculum is accelerated and enriched, and some of our students find it challenging. Our teachers differentiate where possible to accommodate different learning levels. These students may receive extra support on a withdrawal basis, however, we do not specialize in teaching students with learning disabilities.

    • 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

    Sunnybrook School 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 6, Sunnybrook School students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Sunnybrook School 0 mins0 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins
    Site Average6 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades1 to 6
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to 6
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 6
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 6

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Sunnybrook School says:
    • We select engaging and enjoyable clubs for lunch and after school to enrich our students school experience.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Community Service
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Education
      Robotics club
      Science Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    What Sunnybrook School says: Tuition fees at SBS include lunch, learning materials and field trips.

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 140
    Average enrollment per grade16
    Average class size16 to 20
    Gender (grades)JK to Gr. 6 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment



    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Sunnybrook School says:

    Choosing a school is a big decision for families, and our goal is to make this comfortable and transparent. A visit to the school begins the process. For application we require the application form, birth certificate, previous year's school reports (if applicable), any other relevant reports and the application fee. Overseas applications are welcome.

    The application procedure includes an assessment of each student (we usually meet our applicants in small groups), and an interview with the parents.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Sunnybrook School is looking for: We encourage parents to visit our Open House and meet our senior students; this will give you an idea of the kind of student we are looking for. Children who are curious and knowledgeable for their age and who enjoy learning will thrive at SBS.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    161 - 41 - 41 - 41 - 41 - 21 - 21 - 2

    Stories & Testimonials


    My time at SBS

    I have had good friends at SBS. It was great to go to House Games in the morning and play all the sports with my friends. ...

    My time at SBS

    I really liked all of my classmates, and teachers and all of the Sunnybrook community. They have been great, caring and fun from JK all the way to grade 6. I liked that it is a small school so you get to know everyone which makes for a better school experience. ...

    Reflection on my time at SBS

    What I liked best about Sunnybrook was the fact that it was small and that everybody knows everybody's name. I also liked how the teachers are SO understanding. ...


    • International Baccalaureate (IB) Associations
    • The Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) Associations

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