At Sterling Hall, we know boys. We understand that each young boy will experience tremendous growth and change from JK to Grade 8. We support him in developing his individual strengths, character and leadership skills during these formative years. Our dynamic teachers use proven learning strategies designed specifically for boys, including internationally acclaimed programs and research-based approaches. At every grade level, boys enjoy hands-on and movement-based learning and leadership and character development. When it is time to graduate, we help each boy choose the high school option that is right for him. Your son will learn essential skills in literacy and numeracy as well as social studies, science, technology, drama, music, visual arts and French. He will engage in physical activity daily through physical education class, recesses and sports teams for every ability and age. He will be free to express himself through a wide range of co-curricular activities. We invite you to visit and learn more about why The Sterling Hall School is where boys belong. — Visit school website
The Our Kids review of The Sterling Hall School
Boys' schools often state that they know boys, or are boy-friendly, though too often those statements aren't qualified. Sterling, thankfully, defines what they mean: energy, curiosity, and exploration. Certainly, boys from K to 8 typically have those in abundance, and the program at Sterling is intended to focus things a bit, channeling those natural attributes toward higher order growth and understanding. Confidence, resilience, motivation, goals—we think that boys naturally have these, but they don't. That Sterling places those kinds of values out front is telling of the overall instructional approach. The ideal student is one who can thrive in a structured, challenging, collaborative, and close-knit learning environment. Parent involvement in the life the of the school is both welcome and encouraged.
Rick Parsons, Principal
Dear Families:I have been asked with some regularity to describe the “typical” Sterling Hall boy. My answer always remains the same: there is no such thing as a “typical” Sterling Hall boy.
What Sterling Hall says: Our Approach to Learning - What learning style is right for your boy? Our 7:1 boy to teacher ratio will enable us to work with your son to determine how he learns best, generate strategies when obstacles appear and extend opportunities for enrichment in his strength areas. We get to know each boy and support him as he develops and discovers his own unique interests, curiosity and passion for learning. At Sterling Hall, boys frequently collaborate in small groups and partnerships to enhance their learning, whether they are solving a challenging equation, brainstorming structural ideas or learning to read. Small groups have been proven to be highly effective and many of our classrooms are arranged in pods and small group stations for collaborative work. Assessment and evaluation of student learning are integral to supporting and improving the educational experience for each boy. We provide boys, their parents and teachers with clear achievement markers and and work habits required for sustained success. This enables teachers to effectively guide, assess, evaluate and report on a boy’s progress.
These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
Learn about the different mathematics approaches
What Sterling Hall says: We use an innovative approach based on Singapore Math in our Primary and Junior Divisions. Singapore Math is a teaching method based on Singapore’s national math curriculum. It is designed to connect math learning to a great variety of learners and its framework focuses on an in-depth understanding of essential math skills with a special emphasis on problem solving. The program emphasizes mastery of foundational skills on the well-tested assumption that higher levels of math learning require a students’ deeper understanding of math as a basis of success. Singapore’s three step learning model of concrete, followed by visual representation, followed by the more abstract (questioning and solving written equations) has become a finely tuned method for math learning in many educational jurisdictions worldwide.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.
Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.
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 Sterling Hall says: Guided Reading has become a proven method of helping boys use and develop strategies to read with greater independence and fluency. Each boy in Grades 1 – 3 receives direct support from a reading teacher as he reads and processes texts at increasingly challenging levels of difficulty. Reading teachers work with small groups of boys ( 6 or 8 boys) reading at a similar ability. Guided reading tends to deliver greater enjoyment of reading over the long term, because it helps boys to construct meaning from what they read and to master an understanding of increasingly complex words and grammatical structures. Interaction with their teacher and reading peers keeps boys' confidence with reading intact and evolving as they learn.
DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What Sterling Hall says: This information is not currently available.
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 Sterling Hall says: Our Grade 4 classes are piloting a new approach to the teaching and leaning of written composition. The 6+1 Trait Program is a world-renowned framework for guiding the instruction of writing. It is built around an educator-identified and researched common understanding of what good writing looks like; namely that there is a clarity of ideas, good organization, clear voice, effective word choice, fluent sentences, effective use of grammatical conventions and clear and effective presentation. The program gives teachers and students a common and easily-understood vocabulary for the teaching and assessment of writing in all disciplines. The approach answers the question of what is essential for good written composition, for all audiences and purposes. It is a tested foundational tool that sets up a boy\'s life-long approach to good writing, a skill that is essential to success at all levels of education and beyond.\n
Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
Learn about the different science approaches
Teaching approach: Boys revel in our active, hands-on inquiry - a mainstay of Sterling Hall School science curriculum. Experiences are enhanced by adhering to a scientific method, in which boys become increasingly autonomous through their years at our school. Their experiential learning is deepened through a strong foundation in science concepts and thought. In addition to traditional classroom experiences, our boys enjoy the use of project-based learning challenges, opportunities for group and independent research and learning through experiments. Through innovative academic practices and boy-focussed programming, students are inspired and empowered to engage deeply in the sciences. We know that boys need to have strong relationships with their teachers in order to learn. Old Boys have even come back to SHS in their free time to pursue independent inquiry projects, accessing the resources of beloved teachers and our up-to-date learning environments and tools.\n
Topics covered in curriculum:
Treatment of evolution:
|Evolution as consensus theory|
|Evolution as one of many equally viable theories|
|Evolution is not taught|
These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
Learn about the different literature approaches
What Sterling Hall says: Guided Reading has become a proven method of helping boys use and develop strategies to read with greater independence and fluency. Each boy in Grades 1 – 3 receives direct support from a reading teacher as he reads and processes texts at increasingly challenging levels of difficulty. Reading teachers work with small groups of boys ( 6 or 8 boys) reading at a similar ability. Guided reading tends to deliver greater enjoyment of reading over the long term, because it helps boys to construct meaning from what they read and to master an understanding of increasingly complex words and grammatical structures. Interaction with their teacher and reading peers keeps boys\' confidence with reading intact and evolving as they learn.
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 Sterling Hall says: Conceptual understandings learned through the social sciences are universally experienced by students through their years at SHS. Continuity and change, historical significance, ethics, perspective, cause and consequence and factual evidence are lenses through which our students experience and learn about their own communities and those around the globe. Our boys enjoy learning engagements that ignite their curiosity and require them to practice critical and creative thinking in social studies. Sterling Hall boys are ignited by the opportunity to engage in relevant, age-appropriate issues and share learning with authentic audiences. SHS boys are known for their exemplary community citizenship, a key criteria in how and what they learn in social studies. It is not unusual to find boys taking action from their learning and reaching out into their community to help. \n
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 Sterling Hall says: Many of Sterling Hall’s best educational practices are prompted by the best educational research. Studies repeatedly show that when subjects are taught in isolation from each other, students are denied an opportunity to connect with knowledge from a variety of angles and their experience with any one subject is limited, as is their retention. In our Grades 6 and 7 program, we have integrated our Social Science and English programs. A boy's examination of fictional works may find the subject matter set in the same period being studied in History. In Grade 8, we have integrated our Science and Social Science program. A mapping unit in Physical Geography may connect directly with an examination of the planet’s hydrosphere in an Earth Science unit. This interconnected approach to learning mimics how the learner’s brain itself is constructed; where knowledge is only retained through multiple connections in a web-like formation.
These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
Learn about the different foreign languages approaches
What Sterling Hall says: We provide engaging second language instruction suitable for the age and stage of each boy. In JK - Grade 5, students benefit from oral repetition in which they participate actively and receive immediate feedback. Using the Accelerated Integrative Method (AIM), students build a foundation through role play, dramatizations, rehearsal of gestures and related vocabulary. This active method of learning a second language that mimics first language development increases risk taking, a skill that leads to greater language acquisition. Boys further develop their thinking and communication in the Grade 6-8 French program. In addition to explicit grammar instructions, they enthusiastically debate, role play, and collaborate on projects and presentations for authentic audiences. Throughout the years of study, SHS students are encouraged to communicate only in French. Technology enhances learning, providing access to the greater French community. Our goal is to develop our students’ love and appreciation for language learning.
Languages Offered: • French
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
Visual studio philosophy:
What Sterling Hall says: Unique to our school, our Visiting Artists Program offers Sterling Hall boys the opportunity to meet, observe and interact with a professional Canadian artist. This interpersonal connection adds life to our curriculum and lets our students observe artistic excellence and achievement first-hand.
Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
Learn about the different computers and technology approaches
What Sterling Hall says: Digital literacies enhance teaching and learning and are interwoven throughout the SHS curriculum. In JK- Grade 3, digital skill development and early digital literacy through IT classes are key features of early digital learning. By the time students are in Grade 4, they are well-versed in most of the Google Apps suite, and can navigate our Learning Management System independently. Students throughout the grades can choose to use a digital platform for many in-class tasks. Boys in Grade 6 enjoy opportunities to expand their interests and skills through our extension class. Grade 7 use Photoshop software to explore surrealism in our Visual Arts program. Grade 6-8 may choose a digital-coding elective class. In other curriculum areas, tech literacies enhance their learning experiences. SHS has multiple and varied devices available to our students and chas a Bring Your Own Device practice for Grade 7-8 students. \n
What Sterling Hall says: Our Athletics Program is specifically designed for boys in their formative years. Boys receive daily physical education as well as many co-curricular athletics opportunities. As a small school, we are able to offer athletics activities for each boy, from the newest player to the competitive athlete, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. Boys of all skill levels can try a new sport, strive competitively and enjoy inclusive team play with classmates and friends. The main goals of our athletics program are to help boys develop physically, socially and emotionally, build positive relationships with their teachers and peers, develop a lifelong ability to make healthy lifestyle choices and foster a love for physical activity.
|Topics||We begin covering this topic at:||Begins in Ontario|
|Body parts||Gr. 1||Gr. 1|
|Nutrition||Gr. 1||Gr. 1|
|Human development||Gr. 1||Gr. 1|
|Puberty||Gr. 4||Gr. 4|
|Sexual health and hygiene||Gr. 4||Gr. 4|
|Reproduction||Gr. 5||Gr. 5|
|Pregnancy||Gr. 7||Gr. 7|
|Sexually transmitted infections||Gr. 7||Gr. 7|
|Sex and decision-making||Gr. 7||Gr. 7|
|Contraception||Gr. 8||Gr. 8|
|Sexual orientation||Gr. 8||Gr. 8|
|Gender identity||Gr. 8||Gr. 8|
|Misconceptions relating to sexuality||Gr. 10|
|Relationships and intimacy||Gr. 8||Gr. 8|
|Bias and stereotyping about sex||Gr. 12|
|Sexual harassment||Gr. 9|
|Body image issues||Gr. 7||Gr. 7|
|Mental illness||Gr. 11|
|Social justice and diversity|
What Sterling Hall says: This information is not currently available.
What Sterling Hall says: This information is not currently available.
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 Sterling Hall says: Kindergarten is the beginning of an exciting learning journey for children and their families. We welcome our youngest learners by offering a safe, supportive and stimulating environment in the Kindergarten classrooms. This is a time of discovery, growth and wonder when we foster independence, self-help skills, confidence and a love for learning. The program follows a rigorous curriculum to ensure that students are well-prepared for entry into Grade 1 while also providing opportunities for learning though play-based exploration and inquiry. Students engage in activities that are hands-on and that offer opportunities for differentiated learning.
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 style||= offered|
|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|
What Sterling Hall says about flexible pacing: With our focus on individual attention to accommodate different learning styles, The Sterling Hall School provides every opportunity for students to be successful. Academic Success helps students with varying abilities achieve their academic goals.
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 Sterling Hall says: This information is not currently available.
What Sterling Hall says: Our Core Value of Sterling Character states that we value and develop confidence and resilience, kindness and respect, with the courage to advocate for oneself and for others. Our aim is to instill in each of our graduates a strong moral and performance character that will equip him to be a capable contributor and leader within his communities and an outstanding world citizen.
Sterling Hall can provide support for mild disablities. Sterling Hall does NOT provide specialized support for moderate-to-severe learning disabilities, developmental disabililties, behavioural/emotional disorders, or physical disabilities.
|Support Type||= offered|
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
|Support Type||= offered|
Formal adjustments are made to the delivery of lessons to help mitigate the learning difficulty or exceptionality. The underlying content and expectations remain unchanged with accommodations, however. (Example: allowing a student to write tests in a quieter room).
The underlying content and expectations are modified and/or simplified for the sake of the student. (Examples: allowing student to use a calculator on a test when other students can't; allowing students to bring word-banks or "cheat sheets" into certain tests, etc)
|Extra support |
Research-based therapeutic measures that target and ameliorate the underlying weakness.
Sterling Hall does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.
In grade 8, The Sterling Hall School students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.Nightly Homework
|Sterling Hall||0 mins||0 mins||15 mins||15 mins||15 mins||15 mins||30 mins||30 mins||30 mins||30 mins|
|Site Average||5 mins||7 mins||16 mins||18 mins||24 mins||29 mins||34 mins||40 mins||54 mins||58 mins|
How assessments are delivered across the grades:
|Lettered or numbered grades||JK to 8|
|Academic achievement reporting||JK to 8|
|Habits and behaviour reporting||JK to 8|
|Parent-teacher meetings||JK to 8|
|Non-lunch recess||Frequency |
How often recess takes place, not including lunch recess.
Weather permitting, whether recess takes places inside or outside.
How many minutes of non-lunch recess time are offered per day, on average.
|Lunch recess||Amount |
How many minutes of lunch recess time are offered per day, on average.
What Sterling Hall says: Recess is very important to boys, to be able to run off some energy. We would never take it away as a form of punishment.Non-lunch recesses: All of this school’s non-lunch recesses take place between classes or academic periods. Recess segmentation: This school segments recesses by grade
What Sterling Hall says: This information is not currently available.
|Track & Field|
|Grade range that need-based aid is offered:||7 to 8|
|Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid||3%|
|Average aid package size||$60,000|
|Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid||1%|
|Total aid available||$60,000|
This school works with Apple Financial Inc. for processing financial applications
This information is not currently available.
|Interview||JK - 8|
|SSAT (out of province)|
The SHS Admission Process
The SHS Admission Process is designed to help you learn more about The Sterling Hall School in a fun and relaxed setting. We will learn about your son through group assessments or individual meetings. As well, we will meet with you to discuss the assessment and next steps. The meetings are casual and friendly.
We admit students with a wide range of backgrounds, provided we feel they have a good chance of achieving success in our program. During the interview process, we get to know you and your son in order to discover if SHS is a good fit.
If you are looking for a small school offering single-gender education, a school whose values parallel yours at home, then The Sterling Hall School may be the right choice for your son.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Type of student The Sterling Hall School is looking for: We admit students with a wide range of backgrounds, provided that we feel they will have a good chance of achieving success in our program. During the interview process, we get to know you and your son in order to discover whether SHS is a good fit for him.
Student Entry Points
|16 (100%)||2 - 4 (100%)||14 (100%)||0 - 2 (100%)||2 - 6 (100%)||0 - 2 (100%)||2 - 4 (100%)||2 - 4 (100%)||0 - 5 (100%)||0 - 2 (90%)|
About the Stewardship Program developed at SHS “ In a socially toxic environment such as the one we face today in North America,we must both work to detoxify theculture and strengthen kids to resist it. Stewardship Seeds is just such a curriculum of caring that can teach the vital lessons of character. I have reviewed it carefully and I endorse it fully." James Garbarino, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children Loyola University Chicago and Author of Lost Boys (about the Columbine High School tragedy) “ I have seen many unusual things today – your school is a unique laboratory. The students’ leadership is not confined to the classroom, it is pervasive and evident everywhere.” Michael G.Thompson Ph.D., Author of Raising Cain “ The Grade 8 programme at SHS continues to be so impressive and innovative in all aspects.” Hal Hannaford, Headmaster, Selwyn House School, Montreal “At SHS, the boys are involved in authentic research inquiries, where they investigate issues and concerns of deep interest to them, seeking out information from resources in print, on-line, and from international experts and authorities through email interviews. They are truly learning for life.” David Booth, Professor Emeritus OISE, University of Toronto and Chair of Literacy, Nipissing University ...
Stewardship at SHS focuses on how we treat each other in and outside school. This program is one of the offerings of The Sterling Institute, using curriculum developed by SHS Faculty. Materials have been piloted in international boys’ schools and reviewed by experts in education. These programs encourage innovative learning and are now being purchased by educators in both single gender and co-ed schools. Boys in every Division spend time in our state of the art facilities: The Eaton Shier Gym, The Poile Art Studio, The Pryde Science Lab, The Sullivan Music Centre and The Cheddie and McFarlane Computer Labs, all of which are facilitated by specialist teachers. The Physical Education program offers all students an opportunity to learn new athletic skills and tactics, participate in competitive and cooperative games, enhance teamwork and sportsmanship, and develop strength, flexibility, and awareness. Daily physical activity in every grade keeps our boys fit. By the end of Grade 8, students understand the importance of taking ownership of their well-being and personal development. ...
Our students learn about leadership firsthand through the many opportunities offered both inside and outside the classroom. Older boys mentor younger students through initiatives such as Book Buddies, Techno Buddies and House activities. Each year, a Student Council is elected with representatives from each homeroom. The Head Boy and Prefects run every Assembly and many SHS events in addition to meeting monthly with the Student Council in order to set goals, plan initiatives, and promote school spirit. Younger boys look up to and aspire to become the leaders of the school. In this Division, boys select one elective course that runs for an hour each week for the entire school year. These electives allow boys to use the skills developed in the Inquiry Program. They include: - Journalism - Film Studies - The Music Business - Robotics - Yearbook Design - Coaching - Buisness & Finance - Photography - Virtual reality Programming - Drama Our Grade 7 and 8 boys also study Philosophy â usually taught in Grade 11 or 12. This program is an overview of the basic principles and importance of self reflection and self-realization. âItâs different from other classes; itâs an intellectual experience that furthers learning and thinkingâ. Grade 8 student The mentorship program provides every Grade 8 student access to a teacher/advisor in a one-on-one setting. These meetings are in the interest of the students; they can be informal meetings covering self-awareness, school admission concerns, or simply chats discussing anything that the student wishes to discuss. Even simple things like going to lunch, playing basketball or going for a run are valuable, and time well spent with a mentor. In Grade 7, boys go on a Dog Sledding trip! This week long experience develops their understanding of team work, unselfishness and leadership. It is a true Canadian experience! Boys participate in an incredible outward bound education experience in Grade 8.The North Waters Temagami trip immerses our boys in wilderness adventure through beautiful and rugged country, allowing them to test boundaries outside their mental and physical comfort zone. ...
Along with introducing and practicing the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, our Primary Division endeavours to foster the love of learning in our young students by engaging them in the Inquiry Program.The aim of the SHS Boys Model of Inquiry is to provide the support boys need in their journey to become expert inquirers (to think and behave like researchers). It promotes discovery, innovation and risk. Students are encouraged to wonder by exploring and generating questions, as well as planning and predicting what happens during the course of their inquiry. Our Primary Faculty also work to promote the boys’ independence – from tying their own shoes to dressing for recess and looking after themselves. Leadership starts early at SHS. Boys in the Primary Division are elected to the Student Council and have a voice in decisions affecting our boys. ...
"Simply, you have given my sons a life experience they would never receive anywhere else." "What a warm environment for our son. You have great teachers who are encouraging, attentive and caring. It is such a great place to be." "I'd like to thank you and the educators of Sterling Hall for transforming our son from the boy he was in September to the confident boy he has become. His success is a testament to a faculty that is genuinely interested in the boys." "Our son is lucky to be a member of the SHS community. Everything has been amazing -Teachers, Principals and school personnel from other schools should spend some time at SHS to better themselves and their schools." ...
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