AN OUR KIDS REPORT:Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. vs. The Sycamore School

one-to-one comparison:

View Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E.'s full report
VS.
View The Sycamore School's full report

  • SCHOOL LOCATION

    Distance From

    Map

    Address

    Address

    12 Bond Crescent, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4E 3K2, Canada

    615 Wellington Street, London, Ontario, N6A 3R6, Canada

  • SCHOOL OVERVIEW

    Basics

    Basics

    Founded

    1993

    2012

    Enrolment

    280

    30

    Grades

    1 to 8

    8 to 12

    Gender

    Coed

    Coed

    Living arrangements

    Day

    Day

    Language of instruction

    English

    English

    Faith Based

    School focus

    Academic

    Academic

    Developmental Priorities

    Intellectual
    The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."
    Balanced
    Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.
    Balanced
    Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.
    Emotional
    The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."

    Academics

    Academics

    Curriculum

    Traditional

    Liberal Arts

    Curriculum pace

    Accelerated
    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).
    Student-paced
    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    Academic culture

    Rigorous
    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”.
    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.

    Avg. Class Size

    Varies

    6

    Special needs support

    Learning, Developmental, Behavioral

    Gifted learner support

    Dedicated gifted school

    In-class adaptations

    Preschool/K curriculum

    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.

    Tuition

    Tuition

    Day Tuition

    $18,500

    $20,200

    Boarding Tuition

    Financial aid (FA)

    No

    No

    Students on FA

    0%

    0%

    Eligible grades for FA

    None

    None

    Median FA package size

    $0

    $0

    Enrollment

    Enrollment

    Avg. enrollment per grade

    35

    6

    Percent in boarding

    0%

    0%

    Admissions

    Admissions

    Admissions rate

    75%

    94%

    Day entry years

    SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    Boarding entry years

    Day admissions deadline

    Rolling

    Rolling

    Boarding admissions deadline

    Not available

    Not available

    Interview required?

    Yes: grades 1 - 8

    Yes: grades 8 - 12

    SSAT required

    No

    No

  • OUR PERSPECTIVE

    The Our Kids Review

    The Our Kids Review

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    information not available

    Our Take

    Our Take

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    The PACE program was developed with gifted students in mind, based in an understanding of what they share—overall ability—as well as what they don't, such as specific talents, interests, and curiosities. The term of art is differentiated programming, though it's a term that can easily lend itself to misunderstanding. It doesn't mean that different students proceed through the curricula at different rates or are each given separate tasks based on their individual abilities. Rather, within a differentiated program all students proceed at the same pace through the material, while instructors provide multiple entry points that address the needs of individual students within the class. The ideal student is one who has been identified as gifted, and who requires challenge in order to succeed in academic work.

    View full report

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    The Sycamore School doesn’t look like a typical school—it occupies a house in downtown London—and, in fact, it isn’t a typical school, which is why families turn here. The students arrive having demonstrated their skills and academic abilities, yet, for a range of reasons, aren’t reaching their potentials in a more traditional learning environment. Instruction is cooperative, allowing students to take responsibility for their learning in consort with their instructors. One of the goals is to motivate learners, and to help them find their own unique paths to success. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a very close-knit, student-oriented setting, and who is capable of operating at the top of his or her peer group. 

    View full report
  • INSIDER PERSPECTIVES

    Written Reviews

    Written Reviews

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    "he administration and teaching staff truly want all students to succeed to their highest potential."
    Melanie Maresch - Parent   (Mar 09, 2023)
    Both of our kids love the culture and environment at PACE. They have many close friendships that hav... View full review

    "It offers a challenging, yet well-balanced curriculum in every grade."
    Yuliya M - Parent   (Mar 13, 2023)
    Our daughter's experience at the Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. has been rewarding. She has ... View full review

    "The quality of teaching at PACE has always surpassed our expectations."
    Raminder Juneja - Parent   (Mar 22, 2023)
    Both of our children have had wonderful experiences at PACE. The collaborative, supportive learning ... View full review

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    information not available

  • School’s perspective

    Who are you, as a school?

    Who are you, as a school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    "P.A.C.E. provides a differentiated curriculum built on greater depth and breadth of instruction. Our primary goal is to identify and enhance the abilities of our students, while simultaneously addressing their social and emotional needs. P.A.C.E. is based on the premise that gifted children require high-powered learning experiences to challenge their minds and ensure intellectual growth and achievement. A fully balanced program, including Arts and Athletics, complements this specialized academic program."

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    "The Sycamore School offers personalized, alternative education recognizing that today’s learners must be capable of independent, flexible thinking in times of continuous change. The school has developed a unique approach in educating students who struggle with personal anxiety and stress. High school courses are offered within a multidisciplinary framework enabling positive learning experiences. Collaborative, welcoming classes are taught by subject specialists whose enthusiasm may further spark student engagement."

    • All assignments are guided during the class; homework is limited to reading or viewing assignments.
    • Students are immersed in one course/semester, 8-10 semesters/year.
    • Class size is always less than 10 students.
    • Choose in-person or online, live-streamed classes & 2 online credit grad requirement onsite.
    • Live-streaming means that absences do not mean missing out on course concepts.
    • Families can choose vacations that enable students to sign in remotely
    • Support videos, information and assignments are posted online and accessible any time.
    • Assessment & Evaluation strategies can be tailored to student learning styles.
    • Guidance enables students to choose courses that fit their life plan but allow for changes.
    • Choices within courses, including compulsories, that honour student interests.

    Array

    What do you do differently and uniquely well?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    "Our students work best in the small community atmosphere that they have chosen to guide their path to high school graduation. Students are supported by their teachers and other staff who adapt the learning opportunity to reflect student learning preferences, ambitions and life goals."

    Array

    What tradeoffs has your school made to serve families in this way?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    What key junctures in your school's history have most shaped its present?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    What type of student is a good fit for your school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    Under what conditions would you advise a family against choosing your school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    To your knowledge, why do families choose your school over others?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    "Our students and their families have chosen The Sycamore School for the low student: teacher ratio that is, on average 1:6. Our micro school population ensures a less stressful environment for students and a more co-operative and inclusive atmosphere for those who wish to focus on completing their high school education."

    Array

    How would you characterize your school's image amongst the public?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    "Since The Sycamore School has worked hard to avoid the traditional school-like setting, students and their parents learn to appreciate the home like surroundings; homeschooling parents refer to TSS as the homeschool away from home. We are proud of that difference."

    Array

    What might families find surprising about your school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    "Students and their families often comment on the atmosphere of caring that they feel in the entire school population … students and staff. There is an easy integration among students and staff of differing grades, ages, genders and cultures that creates a community of learners. Completing assignments at school with teacher assistance enables families to participate more fully in after school activities."

    Array

    What improvements or changes has your school made recently?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    How will your school change in the next 5 years?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Information not available

  • SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

    Message from school leadership

    Message from school leadership

    My journey at P.A.C.E. began in 1999 and in 2019 I was delighted to assume the role of Director/Principal. The most rewarding part of my job is interacting with the students. They are fun loving, witty and demonstrate an intellectual curiosity that is any educator's dream. The energy level in the building is very high, the questioning by the students is incessant, and there are a lot of laughs. The skills for succeeding at P.A.C.E., whether in the role of teacher or student, are the same: a love of learning, high motivation, an excellent work ethic and a sense of humour. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by excellent teachers and a strong administrative staff: Liana, the Assistant to the Director; our Vice Principals, Caroline Corbit and Joanne Abela; and our Administrative Assistant, Irina. Every September we look forward to yet another passionate and exciting year for all.

    Learning in the 21st Century requires that schools change with the times. Bodies of knowledge do not stagnate and education must not continue to do so. At the turn of the 20th Century, John Dewey believed that "the teacher should only provide background information and have the students work together in groups on the concept. This should start conversation and discussion, and give rise to valuable collaboration. Although the written exam would continue to play an important role, particularly presentations, projects and other evaluation techniques are used to keep track of the progress."

    The London School pedagogy considers these notions and takes them forward into the 21st Century where all that exists as knowledge is available to everyone who knows how to access it in the online forum, how to evaluate the credibility of the information and how to interpret its meaning. Students no longer must prove their worth by spouting the wisdom of the ages but rather by developing the discernment required to use knowledge to its best advantage; how to apply it to everyday life and how to evaluate the impact of certain knowledge and actions from the appropriate historical perspective. We do not want future generations to repeat past mistakes but we do want them to understand how their choices and actions will shape their future. What our students need to know remains to be seen. It is our job to ensure that they have the confidence and skills to recognize the value and application of knowledge as presented to them through a variety of personal and school experiences.

  • ACADEMICS

    • OVERALL CURRICULUM


      Primary Curriculum

      Primary Curriculum

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Traditional

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Liberal Arts


      Secondary Curriculum

      Secondary Curriculum

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Information not available

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Information not available


      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments - which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Liberal Arts curricula share with traditional programs their emphasis on core knowledge-acquisition, but tend to borrow more best practices from the progressive approach. A Liberal Arts program might still feature group work and projects, for example, contrary to the more singular emphasis on tests and essays at a Traditional program.


      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Not applicable

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Not applicable


      What the school says about their curriculum

      What the school says about their curriculum

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      P.A.C.E. is a magnet school for students who have been identified as intellectually gifted by means of a psycho-educational assessment. The curriculum is differentiated through various methodologies and strategies i.e. compacting, identifying learning styles, creative problem solving, acceleration, inquiry-based learning, addressing the critical thinking skills, sophisticated field studies, greater depth and breadth of instruction, etc. in order to meet the special needs and characteristics of gifted kids. Our courses reflect high powered learning experiences for our gifted learners, including pre-AP courses offered in grade 8. To address the needs of the whole child, wonderful Fine Arts, Athletic, and Co-Instructional Programs complement our strong academic program. There is something truly special about being surrounded by people passionate about everything they do.

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Our progressive liberal arts program aims to deepen the learning experience while strengthening skills and exciting a passion for learning in a creative, collaborative environment. We focus on building opportunities for success and provide a stimulating intellectual environment where students can shape their academic goals. We work with family teams for anxious and stressed students and develop personalized academic plans for students experiencing school refusal that has compromised their success in traditional schools. The High School program, leading to the OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) for which our school is authorized to grant credits on behalf of the Ministry of Education, is based on the courses offered toward the OSSD as outlined in the Ministry document entitled Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy & Program Requirements. Each course is presented in a manner that accommodates individual learning needs at a pace that supports student success.

    • COURSE PEDAGOGIES

      • Mathematics


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: math approach type

        Our take: math approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.


        What the school says about their math program

        What the school says about their math program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        P.A.C.E. is a blend of old and new, allowing for the mastery of basic skills while creating exciting new initiatives in how to learn mathematics. It's not all about numerical operations but the understanding of mathematical concepts and the application of mathematics to real world experiences.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Information not available


        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        A number of different textbooks are used at the high school level. But, most importantly, we create Resources Booklets for our students which allows us to draw from many different sources.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Textbooks are used as reference, not followed as curriculum delivery systems.


        Calculator policy

        Calculator policy

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        To foster the development of mental math students in grades 1-6 do not use calculators. Starting in grade 7 calculators are used for basic computational skills. Graphing calculators are taught and used in grades 8- 12, but only scientific calculators (without graphing capabilities) are used for evaluations.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Calculators are used as a tool; not as a crutch.

      • Early Reading


        Approach

        Approach

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Phonics-intensive

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Not applicable


        Our take: early reading approach type

        Our take: early reading approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their early reading program

        What the school says about their early reading program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Children entering in to grade 1 are reading at various levels; from one or two sentences with pictures, to chapter books. Therefore, often there are 2 or 3 reading groups each with different reading assignments. Typically, by January, all of the children have reached a comparable level in their reading fluency but not necessarily in their reading comprehension. By the end of grade one all of the children are reading the same novels.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Information not available

      • Writing


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Not applicable


        Our take: writing approach type

        Our take: writing approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        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.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their writing program

        What the school says about their writing program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Our children love to write, and we begin to introduce analytical writing as well as creative writing in grade one; the sophistication of which increases as writing assignments are introduced into writing categories: poetry, short stories, essays, and dialogues/monologues.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Information not available

      • Science


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: science approach type

        Our take: science approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        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.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        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.


        What the school says about their science program

        What the school says about their science program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        A variety of methodologies work best with our students. It is very important for our students to be exposed to the expert, to work effectively with their peers, and to creatively design their own scientific experiments.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Information not available


        Topics covered in science curriculum

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

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

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

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


        Treatment of evolution (value)

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Zoology

      • Literature


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: literature approach type

        Our take: literature approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.


        What the school says about their literature program

        What the school says about their literature program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Literature comes alive through multiple interpretations and rich performance tasks that include choral speaking, debates, trials, videos, music and drama.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Choices of Literature are based on individual choice with teacher approval of relevance to curriculum expectations. Current literature in all genre is explored. Reading, writing, analysis and thought are presented as means of enjoyment in learning.


        Domains covered by the literature program

        Topics covered in literature curriculum

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Ancient lit
        English lit
        World (non-Western) lit
        European (continental) lit
        American lit
        Canadian lit

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Ancient lit
        English lit
        World (non-Western) lit
        European (continental) lit
        American lit
        Canadian lit

      • Social Studies


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Not applicable


        Our take: social studies approach type

        Our take: social studies approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        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.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their social studies program

        What the school says about their social studies program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Through our broad-based issues and themes, students learn in a very holistic manner as opposed to learning content and facts in isolation. The exploration of the dynamic activities enhance the critical thinking skills and students learn how to apply, analyze and evaluate information. It is through these theme based assignments that our younger students learn to hone their research skills - both through written report and oral presentation.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Information not available

      • Humanities and Social Sciences


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

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

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

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


        What the school says about their humanities and social sciences

        What the school says about their humanities and social sciences

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Through our life skills course, civics, history, law, philosophy and classical civilization students develop their critical thinking skills through discussion, debate and analytical essay writing. Students enjoy discussing BIG IDEAS while respecting the opinions of their peers in a safe and open learning environment. Application to real life experiences remains an important aspect of any social science or humanities course.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Since student choice and interest is germane to the success of their learning experience, current thought and discovery is examined within the appropriate historical perspective. Content is explored through various lenses especially those of the indigenous peoples of the world.

      • Foreign Languages


        Approach

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Communicative


        Our take: foreign language approach type

        Our take: foreign language approach type

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        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.


        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        The acquisition of French as a second language includes the concrete sequential mode of learning as well as interactive group work. Our French Language program addresses the four components: Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Written and Oral Expression. Students study French cultural and language heritage as well as the constructs of formal grammar.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        In response to student interest, many First Nations Languages may be offered. Oneida and Lunaape languages have been well received by First Nations and non First Nations students.


        Language instruction offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Hebrew
        ESL
        Spanish
        Russian
        Latin
        Japanese
        Italian
        Greek
        German
        French
        Chinese-Mandarin
        Chinese-Cantonese

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Hebrew
        ESL
        Spanish
        Russian
        Latin
        Japanese
        Italian
        Greek
        German
        French
        Chinese-Mandarin
        Chinese-Cantonese


        Learning a foreign language is required until

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        Information not available

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Information not available

      • Physical Education


        What the school says about their physical education program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

        The development of a healthy mind and body is critical to success.

        THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

        Our Healthy Active Living Plan is focused on building opportunities for health and wellness that can last a lifetime. We approach fitness from an outdoor education platform that enables youth to engage with nature and creates a learning environment that extends beyond the classroom walls.

    • CURRICULUM PACE


      Pace

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Student-paced


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      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).

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Information not available

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Students may choose open prerequisite subjects from other grade levels based on interests and/or special abilities. Assignments and evaluation techniques are tailored to specific learning strengths; for example oral exams or quizzes or power point instead of essay.

    • ACADEMIC CULTURE


      Culture


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      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”.

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      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 the school says

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Our aim is for our students to meet their graduation requirements at their own pace, within the expectations of Ontario Secondary School curriculum in a positive manner that is meaningful and memorable for the individual .


      Approach to student honours

      Approach to student honours

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      "We honour and distinguish our brightest students, using them as examples for other students to follow."

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      "We intentionally avoid all forms of public distinction between students in terms of academic performance."

    • DEVELOPMENTAL PRIORITIES


      Primary

      Primary

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Intellectual
      The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Balanced
      Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.


      Secondary

      Secondary

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Balanced
      Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      Emotional
      The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Addressing the needs of gifted children through a well balanced education that attends to the cognitive as well as social emotional needs of the children allows for us to groom good people who will be productive citizens in society.

      THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

      The Sycamore School's Trillium Teaching method has been designed to enable students to develop personal resilience, discernment and empathy so that they can bring a sense of purpose and strength to their future.

  • SPECIAL NEEDS SUPPORT

    FORMAL SUPPORT FOR DISORDERS, DISABILITIES, AND EXCEPTIONALITIES

    A - Forms of Support

    Accommodation:
    Modification:
    Remediation:

    B - Environments

    Indirect Support:
    Resource Assistance:
    Withdrawal Assistance:
    Partial Integration:
    Full-Time Class:
    Forms of Support Environments Forms of Support Environments
    ADHD (moderate to severe)
    This is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviors can interfere with school and home life.
    Learning disabilities
    Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
    This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
    This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
    Dyscalculia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
    Dysgraphia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
    Language Processing Disorder
    This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
    Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
    These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
    Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
    A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
    Developmental
    Autism
    Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
    Asperger's Syndrome
    On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
    Down syndrome
    his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
    Intellectual disability
    This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
    Williams syndrome
    This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
    Behavioral and Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
    Clinical Depression
    This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
    Clinical anxiety
    This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
    Suicidal thoughts
    This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
    Physical
    Multiple sclerosis
    This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
    Cerebral palsy
    his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
    Muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
    Spina Bifida
    This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
    Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
    This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
    Blindness
    Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
    Deafness
    Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
    Multiple physical
    Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.

    Additional support

    Additional support

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    INFORMAL SUPPORT FOR MILD DIFFICULTIES

    Learning Strategy

    Extra Support

    Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD

    Extra support

    Accommodations

    Extra support


    Additional support

    Additional support

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy


    What the school says about their special needs support

    What the school says about their special needs support

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Accommodations: preferential seating, computer use, lighting alternative, reduced sensory stimuli if possible, Use of headphones/music when appropriate, Cue transitions, Breaks, Using timers/planners, self-monitoring Additional: Written/Verbal explanations, Visual cues, supportive peer placement, reduce/minimize distractions, address fragrance sensitivity, increase distance between desks, alternative workspace, direct instruction, simplified format, smaller, chunked amounts of work, repetition of information, scribing, note sharing, focus prompts, verbal/visual signals to begin, positive reinforcement, peer assistants, responses given privately, mind mapping, use graphic organizers, hands-on materials/activities, manipulatives, dramatization of information, note taking instruction, teacher modelling for notebook organization, active participation, acceptable alternatives; provision of video tutorials, extended time, alternative locations or formats, large print, one question per page, increased line spacing; Providing a designated reader, headphones/music, visual tracking tools , space to stand, recording devices to capture oral responses and encouraging verbal and/or graphic responses


    What happens if child develops disorder while enrolled/Should families seek enrollment if child has disability

    What happens if child develops disorder while enrolled/Should families seek enrollment if child has disability

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    P.A.C.E. is able to provide limited accommodations for students with learning disabilities i.e. extra time on tests and exams.

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    High school aged students typically may have previously diagnosed learning disabilities; The Sycamore School will refer students to an appropriate clinician for assessment and/or renewed assessment as indicated. The Sycamore School offers accommodations to students with learning disabilities who are able to work toward achievement of graduation requirements with minimal support. Small classes may be the support that individual students need.

  • EXTRACURRICULARS

    Competitive

    Comp.

    Recreational

    Rec.

    Competitive

    Comp.

    Recreational

    Rec.

    Badminton

    Baseball

    Basketball

    Canoeing/Kayaking

    Cricket

    Cross-country skiing

    Cycling

    Downhill skiing

    Equestrian

    Fencing

    Field Hockey

    Figure Skating

    Football

    Golf

    Gymnastics

    Ice Hockey

    Ice Skating

    Lacrosse

    Martial Arts

    Mountain biking

    Racquet Ball

    Rowing

    Rugby

    Running

    Sailing

    Skateboarding

    Snowboarding

    Soccer

    Softball

    Squash

    Swimming

    Tennis

    Track & Field

    Volleyball

    Weightlifting

    Wrestling

    Archery

    Curling

    Ultimate


    Clubs Offered

    Clubs offered

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Ballet and Classical Ballet
    Yoga
    Yearbook
    Student Council
    Scouting
    Science Club
    School newspaper
    Round Square
    Robotics club
    Radio club
    Poetry/Literature club
    Photography
    Paintball
    Outdoor Education
    Outdoor Club
    Online Magazine
    Musical theatre/Opera
    Math Club
    Jazz Ensemble
    Habitat for Humanity
    Foreign Language Club
    Environmental Club
    Drama Club
    Debate Club
    Dance Club
    Computer Club
    Community Service
    Choir
    Chess Club
    Band
    Audiovisual Club
    Astronomy Club
    Art Club
    Animation

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Ballet and Classical Ballet
    Yoga
    Yearbook
    Student Council
    Scouting
    Science Club
    School newspaper
    Round Square
    Robotics club
    Radio club
    Poetry/Literature club
    Photography
    Paintball
    Outdoor Education
    Outdoor Club
    Online Magazine
    Musical theatre/Opera
    Math Club
    Jazz Ensemble
    Habitat for Humanity
    Foreign Language Club
    Environmental Club
    Drama Club
    Debate Club
    Dance Club
    Computer Club
    Community Service
    Choir
    Chess Club
    Band
    Audiovisual Club
    Astronomy Club
    Art Club
    Animation


    What the school says

    What the school says

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    • Our students participate in many extracurricular competitions, most notably in drama and improv, robotics, reach for the top, model UN, chess and athletics.
  • Financial Aid

    Grades eligible

    Grades eligible

    Students on aid

    Students on aid

    0%

    0%

    Avg. aid package (annual)

    Avg. aid package (annual)

    $0

    $0

  • ADMISSIONS

    Admissions

    Admissions rate

    75%

    94%

    Day entry years

    SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    Boarding entry years

    Day admissions deadline

    Rolling

    Rolling

    Boarding admissions deadline

    Not available

    Not available

    Interview required?

    Yes: grades 1 - 8

    Yes: grades 8 - 12

    SSAT required

    No

    No

    SSAT(out of province) required

    No

    No

    Entrance exams required

    No

    No

    Entrance essay required

    No

    Yes: grades 8 - 12

    Application fee required

    No

    No

    Type of student school is looking for

    Type of student school is looking for

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    The first critierion for P.A.C.E. is that the student is identified as intellectual gifted. We are looking for bright individuals who are passionate about learning and are productive citizens within the school.

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    Teens who are experiencing anxiety, depression, sensory overload, social anxiety and/or school refusal and who have demonstrated the ability to complete credits toward the OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma but may who require more time in order to meet the graduation requirements.

    What the school says

    What the school says

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    All students are required to have a psycho-educational assessment (WISC V).  If the student scores in the 95th percentile or higher in verbal reasoning and visual perception, on paper, that child would qualify for P.A.C.E.  The next step would be to have a meeting with the family and for the student to visit for the day. Feedback regarding the child's visit is provided. 

    THE SYCAMORE SCHOOL

    The deposit  of $2,000.00 represents part of the total yearly tuition and as such is applied to monthly tuition at the rate of $200.00/month or fraction thereof over the ten month period.

  • NOTABLE ALUMNI

    Alumni

    information not available
    information not available

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