Walden International School is a Candidate School in pursuit of International Baccalaureate (IB) World School status and will continue to expand its grade offerings that will offer to students the full IB continuum. Walden’s dedication to wellness and international mindedness ensures students are well-prepared for post-secondary studies and beyond. Its current delivery of the Primary Years Programme demonstrates its ongoing commitment to nurturing young people who will mature into globally responsible citizens.
The Our Kids review of Walden International School
The work of Walden, as suggested by the school’s name, is informed by the work of Henry David Thoreau, specifically the idea that working within a natural setting, allowing curiosity to guide you, is the basis to working with others and knowing your place in the world. The offering of the IB program underscores that world view, as does an emphasis on getting into nature. It’s a noisy world. Kids need quiet, and Walden rightly makes that a priority. Instruction is student driven, seeking to inspire curiosity, while also capitalizing on the interests that students bring into the classroom. While academics are strong, it’s the values that the school promotes that is a particular draw to the families that enroll here.
Daphne Perugini, Head of School
Our children are suffering. Not simply because they have been subjected to high stakes testing or exposed to ongoing threats of job action. Or because they are immersed in politically-motivated curriculum or repeatedly face the pressures of surviving in the 21st Century. Our children are suffering because their basic educational needs have been ignored. I’ve witnessed first-hand as a teacher, Administrator and parent the toll on children when focus has been shifted away from a moral purpose — disinterest, insecurity, anxiety, depression …
My frustrations with a system that would not support the authentic development and delivery of student-centred curricula that promotes confidence and truly fuels creativity and innovation are the inspiration for Walden International School. Children need to be nurtured in a learning environment that allows them the freedom to imagine possibilities, to explore capacities and, ultimately, to achieve purpose. They must be taught how to be curious, collaborative, and mindful — being well leads to doing well.
While we will work towards becoming an authorised IB World School in the coming years, our immediate focus is to open your child’s eyes and heart to progressive, experiential and service learning through an interdisciplinary and global lens. Through critical thinking and reflection, they will develop independence and self-reliance as they continue on their journey to self-discovery. We look forward to meeting, working and learning with your family.
What Walden says: Walden International School has strategically formed a curriculum that focuses on inquiry, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Rather than relying on traditional content-driven pedagogy, Walden offers a more process-driven and experiential approach. Students in the Walden Primary School programme will be well prepared to transition from a transdisciplinary focus to an interdisciplinary model in the Upper Years. Students in Grades 6 to 9 will complete the Baccalaureate Foundations: Advanced Diploma Preparation programme that features interdisciplinary studies in the areas of Commerce, Humanities, and Natural and Quantitative Sciences. The Foundations Programme also offers daily Personal and Leadership Development and features a weekly, critical thinking course that asks students to reflect on what they know and how they know it. This course will build the foundation for the Theory of Knowledge course taken in the IB Diploma Programme. Walden International School is currently pursuing authorization to become an IB World School.
Discovery Math turns traditional math on its head: it frequently begins by introducing a novel problem to students, and works its way back to “discovering” a method of solving the problem. The goal is to ground mathematical procedures and algorithms firmly in their applications, and to challenge students to think critically about how they might go about solving the problem right from the beginning. Generally associated with the “Chicago Math” movement and related Everyday Math textbooks (Grades 1 to 6), Discovery math spends less classroom time mastering established algorithms and more time getting students invested in and thinking critically about novel mathematical problems and concepts. In this sense Discovery Math aims to establish conceptual and applied understand before procedural understanding.
Learn about the different mathematics approaches
What Walden says: Baccalaureate Foundations will focus on in student-centred learning. The teacher's mandate, which will be achieved through inquiry-based lessons, is to help students become quality, independent, self-directed learners.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: TBD
Calculator policy: Students will be encouraged to utilize learning technologies available to them in the classroom and/or to use personal devices that will supplement the teacher's learning objectives. Students will be explicitly taught appropriate applications that will maximize the potential of learning technologies both in- and outside the classroom.
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 Walden says: Students are given opportunities to independently explore written texts facilitated by classroom teachers.
DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What Walden 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 Walden says: Students are taught different styles of writing, context for different forms of expression, and opportunities to produce creative pieces.
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: Natural Science (aka "Science") will be introduced in a transdisciplinary manner and later taught in an interdisciplinary manner with Quantitative Science (aka "Math") during JK-10. Not unlike the other courses in the Primary School and Baccalaureate Foundations programmes, and especially for studies in Natural Science, learning will be student-driven, organic, and experiential (where possible).
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 Walden says: Resources and materials will be studied through an interdisciplinary lens. Literature written by and about indigenous people will be on a comprehensive Reading List. The students will be expected to dive deeply into the literature and analyse its content in differing contexts.
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 Walden says: Students will be taught historical themes and where possible, connections will be made to relevant and current context.
These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
Learn about the different foreign languages approaches
What Walden says: French as a second language will be introduced to the Primary School students. Students will learn popular stories and will have opportunities to explore and practice the language in social contexts. French, Spanish and Mandarin will be offered once authorized as an IB World School. Students will experience Foreign Language in an online learning environment (with blended learning opportunities with on-site teachers).
Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish
These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
Learn about the different fine arts approaches
Visual studio philosophy:
What Walden says: Dramatic Arts will be offered as interdisciplinary study under Humanities.
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 Walden says: Learning technologies will be integrated as needed and as per the comfort level of the teacher and students.
What Walden says: Physical Education as a course will not be offered at Walden International School. Instead, students are expected to participate in and monitor daily physical and mindfulness activities that promote wellness and well-being. Teachers will address daily "physical education" during Personal and Leadership Development, as well as formally focus on wellness and physical activity on Wellness Wednesdays.
Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula
|Completely segregated |
We completely segregate or separate secular and religious curricula. We don't teach them together or combine them in any ways.
|Mostly segregated |
We mostly segregate or separate secular and religious curricula. We teach very few, if any, secular and religious subjects together, and we don't combine them in any significant ways.
|Completely integrated |
We completely integrate the secular and religious curricula. We combine the teaching of religious and secular subjects for the entire, or almost the entire, day. Almost all of our units integrate secular and religious instruction.
|Mostly integrated |
We have a highly integrated curriculum. We integrate most of our religious and secular subjects. We teach a few secular and religious subjects on their own, though.
|Not applicable |
This doesn't apply to us because we don't have a religious curriculum.
Approach to teaching religion
|Scripture as literal |
Our religious scripture is a factual text that is literally the word of God. Our task is to understand it and clarify its meaning.
|Scripture as interpretive |
Our religious scripture, while the word of God, is open to interpretation and discussion.
What Walden says: Formal religious education is not offered at Walden International School; although religious references may be made and discussed in the context of the Humanities curriculum.
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.
What Walden says: The focus of Walden Primary School programme will be the child's experience, characterised by self-directed activity. Further to this, teachers will integrate transdisciplinary themes, such as who we are and sharing the planet, that are reflective of those introduced in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. The implementation of the Primary School is part of the school's plan to pursue the designation of a fully authorised IB World School offering the continuum.
The main curriculum accelerates beyond the pace of the provincial one; ALL students do the work of OLDER public-school peers in tangible and measurable ways. This accelerated pace is maintained by the teachers and school, (through textbook selection, topic selection, grading, assignment standards and expectations, etc).
|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 Walden says about flexible pacing: Students who require additional academic support will be offered tutorial time with Walden teachers as required. Parents will be kept apprised of student progress during the school term and will be invited on a needs-basis to discuss appropriate strategies that will optimize learning supports for their children.
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 Walden says: While the ultimate goal for students is preparation for (the IBDP) and for entrance into and success at University, Walden International School staff also stress the importance of wellness, the learner profile, personal and leadership development, critical thinking, essay writing and, overall communication skills.
What Walden says: Walden International School believes in educating the whole child through a Liberal Arts curriculum. Additionally, mindfulness and reflection are practiced during the Personal and Leadership Development course and on Wellness Wednesdays.
Walden offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
|Support Type||= offered|
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
Summary: Individual support will be discussed and provided as required.
What Walden says: The Primary School and Baccalaureate Foundations programmes (and, eventually the IB Diploma Programme) are rigorous, academically demanding programmes that will require curiosity, conscientiousness, organisation and self-discipline, in addition to advanced cognitive ability. Staff will discuss with parents the commitment and range of ability required for overall success in these programmes. Parents would be expected to make an informed decision about enrolling their child at Walden International School.
All students enrolled at Walden are on an accelerated curriculum -- whether they are classified as gifted or not. This means they perform the work of older peers in the provincial system..
Dedicated gifted programs:
|Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)|
|Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)|
Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.In-class adaptations:
|Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)|
|Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)|
|Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)|
|Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)|
|Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)|
What Walden says: This information is not currently available.
In grade 10, Walden International School students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.Nightly Homework
|Walden||90 mins||90 mins|
|Site Average||73 mins||84 mins|
This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).
How assessments are delivered across the grades:
|Lettered or numbered grades||9 to 10|
|Prose (narrative)-based feedback||9 to 10|
|Habits and behaviour reporting||9 to 10|
|Parent-teacher meetings||9 to 10|
|Track & Field|
This information is not currently available.
|Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to —|
All incoming students are eligible to qualify for this scholarship. Call for details.
|Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to —|
See 'In the News' for details.
|Interview||9 - 12|
|SSAT (out of province)|
Please visit our OpenApply portal by clicking here.
Type of student Walden International School is looking for: Walden students are academically motivated, independent, keen starters, and well-rounded in preparation for the rigours of the IB Diploma Programme and inherent challenges of post-secondary studies. Our learners strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.
Student Entry Points
|10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)||10 - 15 (95%)|
The teaching staff at Walden International School are conscientious individuals who embody the school’s philosophy in inspiring and empowering students to become future leaders.
They are members in Good Standing with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and are certified to effectively deliver the IB curriculum. Staff are committed to ongoing professional learning and modelling lifelong learning to our students....
Walden International School will seek candidacy status in pursuit of becoming an authorised IB World School offering the Primary Years Programme and the Diploma Programme and, eventually, the full IB continuum. Unlike other secondary schools in Ontario, Walden International School will deliver exclusively an international curriculum, enabling us to focus on the core values of the IB philosophy.
The IB aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. It is also different from other curricula because it encourages students to think critically and challenge what they are told; is independent of governments and national systems, and therefore able to incorporate best practice from a range of international frameworks and curricula; and, encourages students to consider both their local and international environment.
Walden International School encourages and guides students in helping to contribute to a more positive future through intercultural understanding and respect....
Online study is featured in our schedule to genuinely internationalise the learning experience, cater to a variety of learning styles and develop students who will be savvy in the global marketplace.
Pamoja Education is the only IB approved online course provider. They work in close collaboration with the IB to develop and deliver authorised online Diploma Programme courses. Pamoja Education continues to develop innovative ways to provide students and teachers with a collaborative and dynamic online learning environment to support students in achieving their academic potential....
Baccalaureate Foundations: Advanced Diploma Preparation was developed by the founders of Walden International School for high school students intending to pursue the IB Diploma Programme. It is designed to support the comprehensive scope of a liberal arts curriculum and the rigours of international education by bridging prior learning with a unique interdisciplinary pedagogy.
The trilateral model of Baccalaureate Foundations: Advanced Diploma Preparation is delivered over two years and features studies in Commerce, Humanities, and Quantitative and Natural Sciences. Online learning is introduced in the second year as preliminary study for the academic challenges of IB Diploma Programme courses and for promoting fluency in this emerging learning and working environment.
Walden is excited to serve the growing community of Brampton by expanding their academic offering to the primary years. Now enrolling JK-9. ...
School founders invest $500,000 in grants for Ontario's best and brightest students. Available to all incoming Grade 8 students. ...
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