One-to-one comparison


  • QUICK SUMMARY

     

    Elmwood School

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Polaris School and Centre

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    Basics

    Basics


     

    Founded

     

    1915

     

    2018


     

    Enrolment

     

    370

     

    40


     

    Grades

     

    Preschool to 12

     

    JK to 12


     

    Gender

     

    Girls

     

    Coed


     

    Living arrangements

     

    Day

     

    Day


     

    Language of instruction

     

    English, French

     

    English


     

    Faith Based

     

     


     

    School focus

     

    Academic

     

    Academic


     

    Developmental Priorities

     
    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."

    Academics

    Academics


     

    Curriculum

     

    Progressive, International Baccalaureate

     

    Waldorf


     

    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).
     
    Standard-enriched
    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.

     

    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

     

    15 to 17

     

    8 to 12


     

    Special needs support

     

     


     

    Gifted learner support

     

    Accelerated curriculum

     


     

    Preschool/K curriculum

     
    Play-based
    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.
     
    Waldorf
    Highly group-oriented and with a strong emphasis on creative and imaginative play, Waldorf preschool and Kindergarten programs have very little to no emphasis on academics. A Waldorf environment will often feel more like a home than a traditional classroom -- the goal being to instill comfort and and a sense of predictability in students’ day. This emphasis on comfort and predictability also manifests through a heavy use of repetition: for example, teachers might read the same story multiple days in a row. Waldorf schools ask parents to refrain from offering children TV or computers at home, and aim to develop in children a connection to the natural world. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Tuition

    Tuition


     

    Day Tuition

     

    $15,540 to $29,700

     

    $6,000 to $12,000


     

    Boarding Tuition

     

     


     

    Financial aid (FA)

     

    Yes

     

    Yes


     

    Students on FA

     

    24%

     

    0%


     

    Eligible grades for FA

     

    6 to 12

     

    None


     

    Median FA package size

     

    $6,800

     

    $0

    Enrollment

    Enrollment


     

    Avg. enrollment per grade

     

    23

     

    3


     

    Percent in boarding

     

    0%

     

    0%

    Admissions

    Admissions


     

    Admissions rate

     

    70%

     

    0%


     

    Day entry years

     

    Preschool, JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 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 Preschool - 12

     

    Yes: grades K - 8


     

    SSAT required

     

    No

     

    No

  • SCHOOL REVIEWS

     

    Elmwood School

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Polaris School and Centre

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    The Our Kids Review

    The Our Kids Review

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Elmwood was founded in 1915 by Theodora Philpot who, in addition to having a great name, was well ahead of her time in the world of education. Like Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, and others, she felt that traditional education wasn’t meeting the needs of students, both academically and personally. She wanted to offer an alternative, one that was student-centric, and that would stimulate a love of learning rather than the rote memorization of facts. She felt that there should be a bit of poetry in the course of daily life, and a bit of joy, too. She began that first year with just four students, all of whom were boys. Despite the obvious differences—it’s now home to nearly 400 students, all of whom are girls—the spirit of the school nevertheless is reflective of Philpot’s vision. The school is one very much centred on possibility, creating opportunities for students to explore their world and to find their place within it. The ideal student is a girl looking for a vibrant, challenging, community-oriented academic environment.
    Read The Our Kids Review of Elmwood School

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    information not available

    User reviews

    User reviews

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    information not available

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    "Within the nest which her classroom represents, she is secure in the certainty of what is and is not, yet free to explore and make sense of the world and her place in it."
    Safaa Abdelmagid - Parent   (Sep 15, 2021)
    My daughter adores her teachers at Kindergarten and feels a strong sense of ownership towards her cl...
      View full review

    "I have been impressed by how the teachers have been tackling Math in first grade as I watched my son learn..."
    Noha Naqeeb - Parent   (Sep 15, 2021)
    Polaris has been a wonderful safe haven for my anxious, restless son. Everyday he came home with les...
      View full review

    "There is a commitment at Polaris to truly know and meet each child where they are, even when they are having a difficult day."
    Leah Cogan - Parent   (Sep 15, 2021)
    My sons have found in Polaris a gentle refuge, particularly during this last year and a half of unpr...
      View full review

    Our Take

    Our Take

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Elmwood was founded in 1915 by Theodora Philpot who, in addition to having a great name, was well ahead of her time in the world of education. Like Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, and others, she felt that traditional education wasn’t meeting the needs of students, both academically and personally. She wanted to offer an alternative, one that was student-centric, and that would stimulate a love of learning rather than the rote memorization of facts. She felt that there should be a bit of poetry in the course of daily life, and a bit of joy, too. She began that first year with just four students, all of whom were boys. Despite the obvious differences—it’s now home to nearly 400 students, all of whom are girls—the spirit of the school nevertheless is reflective of Philpot’s vision. The school is one very much centred on possibility, creating opportunities for students to explore their world and to find their place within it. The ideal student is a girl looking for a vibrant, challenging, community-oriented academic environment. 

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    Founded in 2018, Polaris is relatively new, formed through the coming together of a number of families seeking something different, more responsive, perhaps richer than was available at the time. The school isn’t a Waldorf school in name, though is built on the Waldorf principles, the core being that learning should begin from a place of imagination and creativity, and build from the students’ innate curiosities. Polaris is the pole star, the north star, the one that people for centuries have used for navigation, and the metaphor is apt—education is conceived here as a kind of navigation through the curriculum, through the world, and toward a greater understanding of ourselves, our talents, and our relationships with others. The school is small, and has all the benefits that we associate with small schools, including a high degree of student engagement with others, a rich, close-knit social experience, and a marked agility in developing unique programs. Interaction with families and parents is close, regular, and open.

  • SCHOOL DESCRIPTION

     

    Elmwood School

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Polaris School and Centre

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    Highlights

    Highlights

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    • Recognized for academic excellence
    • Welcoming, inclusive and diverse community
    • International Baccalaureate World School (PYP, MYP, DP)
    • Round Square and Apple Distinguished school
    • Merit- and need-based scholarships available

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    information not available

    Description

    Description

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Elmwood is one of the most innovative girls’ schools in North America, offering all three levels of the IB Programme. Acclaimed for its academic excellence, caring atmosphere and strong community spirit, Elmwood is a school where girls are encouraged to stretch themselves, try new things, create and explore. We strike a balance between traditional academic goals and innovative approaches to achieving those goals. We create inquiring lifelong learners, engaged global citizens, and confident, compassionate leaders.

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    Our holistic approach focuses on the whole child, head, heart and hands. We strive to help students become confident, creative & independent thinkers ready to face the future, with the tools needed to meet an ever-changing world. Artistic expression, practical skills and movement are integrated into academic subjects through hands-on and experiential learning, providing a rigorous academic program. Learning becomes an engaging journey of discovery of the world and oneself that inspires a lifelong love of learning.

  • PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE

     

    Elmwood School

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Polaris School and Centre

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    Message

    When we talk to the girls about what makes their school special we get as many different answers as we have students. Not far from every girls answer though is family and confident young women. There is something here for each and every girl to love, to get involved in and to find inspiring. 

    Over 100 years ago, Theodora Philpot, an entrepreneurial and visionary woman, founded Elmwood School. Although the subjects we teach and the manner in which we teach have evolved dramatically since 1915, Mrs. Philpot would still recognize the essence of the school she created. Every girl here is known and valued-we see them as individual girls on individual journeys, and we inspire each girl to reach her full potential. That is the School's mission statement, and it is something every member of our community lives every day 

    Our holistic approach to girls' education combines superior academics with outstanding co-curricular activities and healthy lifestyle choices. The powerful and supportive all-girls environment here gives students the freedom to stretch themselves, take risks and learn from their mistakes. We are specialists in how girls learn, so we can tailor things to exactly what works best for them. 

    At the base of everything is our reputation for academic excellence. Elmwood is the only school in Ottawa accredited to deliver all three levels of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme ranging from preschool right up to the senior grades. This is a fully transferable, world-class education, and the combination of the "gold standard" IB program and a strong Ontario curriculum is the best preparation for university and beyond 

    When girls graduate from Elmwood they are ready to move on to the next phase of their education with confidence. They have become inquiring, lifelong learners with an exceptional education, confident, caring leaders and compassionate, engaged global citizens. 

    I hope you will come visit us soon. We all look forward to sharing our school with you.

    Best regards,

    James Whitehouse, Head of School 

    information not available

  • ACADEMICS

    • OVERALL CURRICULUM

       

      Elmwood School

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Polaris School and Centre

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


      Primary Curriculum

      Primary Curriculum

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Progressive


      Secondary Curriculum

      Secondary Curriculum

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      International Baccalaureate

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Information not available


      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Waldorf schools are available from preschool to Grade 12, though they are most popular at the younger ages. Waldorf schools are unmistakably "progressive". Rudolf Steiner, their intellectual forefather, believed the educator's first task should be to help students develop an aesthetic appreciation for life and learning. Sometimes incorrectly conflated with Montessori schools, Waldorf schools focus on developing the "whole child" - emphasizing collaborative, hands-on learning, along with the arts and music, which are integrated into other areas of study.


      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Some private schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programming. The "Diploma Programme" is offered to students in the final two years of high school, while the "Primary Years Programme" (ages 3 to 12) and "Middle Years Programme" (ages 11 to 16) serve as preparation for the diploma program.


      What the school says about their curriculum

      What the school says about their curriculum

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      We believe that the best kind of education is one that combines a world-class curriculum, passionate teachers, innovative teaching methods and small class sizes, so every student gets individual attention. Elmwood exceeds the expectations of the provincial curriculum and is more rigorously evaluated than any other school in Ottawa. At Elmwood, we encourage and challenge our students to strive for academic excellence and inspire them to develop a lifelong love of learning, knowing that this strong foundation of knowledge and skills is crucial for success in the 21st century. Our outstanding faculty draws on best practices in girls’ education as they inspire students to be principled, knowledgeable, and reflective learners. From the early years to graduation day, Elmwood students benefit from a program of study that is student-directed, inquiry-based, rigorous, relevant and specifically designed to prepare students for life and work beyond the classroom.

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      The Waldorf curriculum meets the changing cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs of the student as they travel through the different stages of development in their grade school years. Our interdisciplinary and holistic approach integrates experiential learning, creativity, academic rigor, and social responsibility. Students are presented with a wide variety of cognitive, artistic, physical and practical tasks and activities to help them flourish and express themselves on multiple levels. Our teachers cultivate a life-long love of learning with engaging, hands-on activities and a deep respect for building relationships in a classroom setting that also values individuality.

    • COURSE PEDAGOGIES

      • Mathematics

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: math approach type

        Our take: math approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Math classes are delivered by the main lesson teacher and utilize different activities especially in the lower grades that address the three main cognitive learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Through stories, artwork, movement, natural math manipulatives, and practical applications students at a Waldorf school experience math in a truly multi-sensory approach. As well, math work is reinforced in other classes like Handwork, Woodwork, Foreign Languages and Eurythmy. The students' math knowledge and understanding is deepened in the upper grades with increasing complexity, continued multisensory approaches and scheduled skills classes to support ongoing skill development, fostering a deep mathematical understanding.


        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Students make their own "textbooks", solidifying what they have learned, and making the experience meaningful and joyful, as well as serving as a tool for memorization. From grade six on, students are also presented with various sources of supplementary materials.


        Calculator policy

        Calculator policy

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Calculators are not used until later in middle school, often not until grade eight. until then the focus is on mental math and pen and paper math, ensuring arithmetic calculations and mathematical concepts have been deeply cemented before moving to a tool to aid in calculations.

      • Early Reading

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Balanced Literacy

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Balanced Literacy


        Our take: early reading approach type

        Our take: early reading approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        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.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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.


        What the school says about their early reading program

        What the school says about their early reading program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Although Waldorf education's approach to reading and writing is different from traditional methods practiced in mainstream education, "literacy development in Waldorf schools cultivates awareness, appreciation, and skill in both the spoken and written word, following a developmentally sound approach that helps to ensure that students claim a love of literature, language and writing as their birthright." Dianne McGaunn and Kat Marsh, Early Literacy Learning in Waldorf Education


        DIBELS testing

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        No

      • Writing

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Equal balance


        Our take: writing approach type

        Our take: writing approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        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.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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.


        What the school says about their writing program

        What the school says about their writing program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        The Waldorf curriculum places a strong emphasis on hand-writing skills particularly on cursive writing which often begins in grade two. From the very beginning, Waldorf students are creating their own lesson books with printing and handwriting and illustrations reflecting their new knowledge in the focus subjects whether that be a simple fable, a lesson farming, or a class in geography, physics or physiology. The students take pride in their work and naturally the books become more elaborate and the writing more comprehensive in the middle school grades. Not only is cursive writing an important tool for cognitive development, it also gives our teachers another opportunity to reinforce literacy skills including vocabulary building, spelling, comprehension and grammar throughout the various subject lessons.

      • Science

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Inquiry


        Our take: science approach type

        Our take: science approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        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.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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.


        What the school says about their science program

        What the school says about their science program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Information not available


        Topics covered in science curriculum

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

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


        Treatment of evolution (value)

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Physics

      • Literature

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: literature approach type

        Our take: literature approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        The rich literature chosen for each grade reflects the students' developmental stages and permeates every class and lesson through poetry, plays, stories and novels. The Waldorf curriculum strives to inculcate love for language and expression in all its forms and every curricular subject is used to grow moral values, ethics, respect and curiosity for the world in all of its diversity. The literature chosen and the comprehensive approach allows fundamental concepts and a wide variety of themes to be explored freely and appreciated in both classroom work and theatrical productions.


        Domains covered by the literature program

        Topics covered in literature curriculum

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

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

      • Social Studies

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Expanding Communities


        Our take: social studies approach type

        Our take: social studies approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        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.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).


        What the school says about their social studies program

        What the school says about their social studies program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Using an interdisciplinary approach, Geography and History lessons are explored so that children develop an awareness of different landscapes, cultures and human conditions. The succession of events in history, presented in the form of storytelling, brings students to appreciate a wide variety of aspects of humanity and its evolution geographically, culturally, socially and economically. Cause and effect in the natural world awakens the students' awareness and sense of responsibility and compassion. Social Studies classes in the early grades begin with the students' immediate surroundings and then explore Canada's diverse regions. In the Upper Grades, critical thinking and analytical judgement are developed through studying the Revolutions and Modern History. Historical eras are also explored through other mediums like music, art and drama.

      • Humanities and Social Sciences

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Upper grade students have a budding inner awareness and a burgeoning interest in worldly matters and the Waldorf Humanities and Social Science curricula reflect this growth. The Social Science curriculum meets their interests with History studies that explore the Renaissance and Revolutions and with Geography classes that explore Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Topics in world geography that encompass physical, social, cultural, economic and political conditions allow for thoughtful reflection and lively debate. Biography classes, that focus on a wide variety of prominent figures from political leaders to scientists to activists, also engage the adolescents' own growing individuality.

      • Foreign Languages

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Communicative


        Our take: foreign language approach type

        Our take: foreign language approach type

        ELMWOOD 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.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

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


        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        The teaching of foreign languages in a Waldorf school is a vital part of the curriculum and learning another language has many benefits: flexibility of thinking, cultural connection, improved memory function, and enhanced problem solving skills. French is presently offered in the elementary grades and when available, German language instruction is also offered. There is a significant emphasis on auditory and oral learning in the first three grades and the teacher aims to immerse the students in the living atmosphere of the language and culture.


        Language instruction offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        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)

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Information not available

      • Fine Arts

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Creative


        Our take: fine arts approach type

        Our take: fine arts approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        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.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.


        What the school says about their fine arts program

        What the school says about their fine arts program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        The Waldorf curriculum is fundamentally an artistic curriculum and artistic work permeates all facets of every lesson, every day. Both academic or technical subjects are approached with an aesthetic sensibility. Additionally, extra fine art lessons are also given to engage the developing child as their capacity for thinking, feeling and creating unfold. Students have the opportunity to develop skills in fine art disciplines including painting, music, sculpting, theatre, drawing and literature.


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

      • Computers and Technolgy

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        Approach

        Approach

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Heavy integration

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Light integration


        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.


        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Information not available

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        The elementary student is engaged intellectually, emotionally and physically through the interactions of teachers and students, nourishing their needs and promoting a natural approach to the transfer of knowledge and the development of capacities for learning. In the early grades the negative impacts of screen time outweigh the benefits of human interactions and outdoor play, so screen time is strongly discouraged. Upper grade students do have the opportunity to use technology to complete research projects and other academic tasks set by the teacher.


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

      • Physical Education

         

        Elmwood School

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        Polaris School and Centre

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


        What the school says about their physical education program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        ELMWOOD SCHOOL

        At Elmwood, we believe that competitive sports help our students develop into determined, well rounded global citizens and teach them the grit and determination that gives them the stamina to see things through. We also believe that every girl can find an activity she can become passionate about. Elmwood is a place where the beginner can dip her toe and try new sports or national competitors can develop further and receive focused academic support. The girls regularly take on new sports and quickly learn the skills needed to not only progress but to excel in their chosen activity. In the middle school, our aim is to give the opportunity to play on a competitive team for whichever sport they choose.

        POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

        Although movement is always integrated into the Main Lesson, students have additional weekly Physical Education classes throughout all grades. Movement is considered essential for the harmonious development of the child due to its many benefits. Physical activity improves coordination, spatial awareness, orientation, balance, synchronization, social bonding, self-discipline, confidence, endurance, determination and mood. Classes are more playful and non-competitive in the early grades, while competitive games and team sports are introduced at the beginning of grade six.

    • PRESCHOOL/K CURRICULUM

       

      Elmwood School

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Polaris School and Centre

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


      Approach

      Approach

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Play-based


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Highly group-oriented and with a strong emphasis on creative and imaginative play, Waldorf preschool and Kindergarten programs have very little to no emphasis on academics. A Waldorf environment will often feel more like a home than a traditional classroom -- the goal being to instill comfort and and a sense of predictability in students’ day. This emphasis on comfort and predictability also manifests through a heavy use of repetition: for example, teachers might read the same story multiple days in a row. Waldorf schools ask parents to refrain from offering children TV or computers at home, and aim to develop in children a connection to the natural world. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Our nurturing environment encourages our youngest students to feel secure and helps them start to build their independence. We balance a rich, academic environment with creative and purposeful play, helping students construct a solid base of knowledge of the world around them. A skilled, dedicated educator who is an expert in early childhood education and inquiry-based learning leads each classroom. In our purpose-built Junior School, the Kindergarten classrooms are designed to meet the needs of our youngest students. Through experiential and imaginative play, Elmwood students engage in early literacy activities and tackle mathematical problems using a variety of strategies, helping them establish a strong foundation for their future studies.

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      The Kindergarten program celebrates childhood, respecting the developmental needs of young children, through joy and a sense of wonder. Each child is seen and honoured as a unique part of the class community. Relationships are at the heart of a warm and nurturing atmosphere, as the children make meaningful connections to themselves, others, nature and the world. Slowing down and protecting the children’s senses brings a healing gesture to the children. Through creative free play, the children explore their interests, exercise their imagination, express themselves and develop their social-emotional skills. The enriched oral language program, through poetry, song, storytelling and beautiful books, lays a strong literacy foundation. Healthy bodies and sensory integration underlie learning, and movement is greatly encouraged.

    • CURRICULUM PACE

       

      Elmwood School

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Polaris School and Centre

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


      Pace

      Pace

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Accelerated

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Standard-enriched


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      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).

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      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.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Information not available

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Information not available

    • ACADEMIC CULTURE

       

      Elmwood School

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Polaris School and Centre

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


      Culture

      Culture

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Rigorous


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      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”.

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      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

      What the school says

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Elmwood offers an enriched programme combining the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP). The IB promotes an internationally recognized, inquiry-based curriculum, which focuses on skill development and brings together learners and teachers from around the globe. Girls thrive in our nurturing community where they are challenged by highly engaged teachers who are experts in personalizing the learning of each girl. Elmwood graduates exemplify the school motto: Summa Summarum—the highest of the high. They are academically strong, socially adept, confident and resilient young women.

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Information not available


      Approach to student honours

      Approach to student honours

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Information not available

    • DEVELOPMENTAL PRIORITIES

       

      Elmwood School

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Polaris School and Centre

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


      Primary

      Primary

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

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

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

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


      Secondary

      Secondary

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Not applicable
      Not applicable

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Not applicable
      Not applicable


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ELMWOOD SCHOOL

      Elmwood’s curriculum focuses on developing the whole girl – we want students to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically during their years with us. Here they feel free to take risks, stretch themselves, and by doing so learn the true extent of their abilities. Our graduates are inquiring, life-long learners, compassionate, engaged global citizens, and confident, caring leaders.

      POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

      Information not available

  • EXTRACURRICULARS


    Elmwood School

    Polaris School and Centre

    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

     

    Elmwood School

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Polaris School and Centre

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE


    Clubs Offered

    Topics covered in science curriculum

    ELMWOOD 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

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    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

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

  • ADMISSION

    Admissions

    Admissions

     

     

    Admissions rate

     

    70%

     

    0%


     

    Day entry years

     

    Preschool, JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 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 Preschool - 12

     

    Yes: grades K - 8


     

    SSAT required

     

    No

     

    No


     

    SSAT(out of province) required

     

    Yes: grades 6 - 12

     

    No


     

    Entrance exams required

     

    Yes: grades 6 - 12

     

    No


     

    Entrance essay required

     

    No

     

    No


     

    Application fee required

     

    No

     

    No

    Type of student school is looking for

    Type of student school is looking for

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    At Elmwood, we’re looking for motivated and enthusiastic girls who will contribute positively to the life of the school through their motivation, intellectual curiosity and willingness to try new things.

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    All families seeking an alternative, holistic, Waldorf-inspired education are welcome. When you join Polaris, you become part of a community and everyone is encouraged to become an active and engaged member of the school and of your child's school experience.

    What the school says

    What the school says

    ELMWOOD SCHOOL

    Interested families should fill out our online application form: http://www.elmwood.ca/application-form/

    POLARIS SCHOOL AND CENTRE

    At Polaris, our admissions process is meant to help facilitate the decision-making process and ensure that Polaris is the right school for your child and your family. We strive to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and welcome your questions. Our admissions application was created to provide us with enough information to see if we can meet the needs of your child and your expectations. It is just as important for us to know who you are, as it is for you to know who we are.

    Please visit our website for more details and/or to begin the admissions process.




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