AN OUR KIDS REPORT:Wesley Christian Academy vs. Explore Nature

one-to-one comparison:

View Wesley Christian Academy's full report
VS.
View Explore Nature's full report

  • SCHOOL LOCATION

    Distance From

    Map

    Address

    Address

    22 Heritage Road, Markham, Ontario, L3P 1M4, Canada

    125 Brentcliffe Rd, Toronto, Ontario, M4G 3Y7, Canada

  • SCHOOL OVERVIEW

    Basics

    Basics

    Founded

    1988

    2020

    Enrolment

    400

    24

    Grades

    Nursery/Toddler to 8

    JK to 3

    Gender

    Coed

    Coed

    Living arrangements

    Day

    Day

    Language of instruction

    English

    English

    Faith Based

    School focus

    Academic

    Nature-based

    Developmental Priorities

    Spiritual
    The goal is to cultivate "individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith and respect for God or a higher power."
    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.

    Academics

    Academics

    Curriculum

    Traditional

    Progressive

    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

    15 to 20

    Varies

    Special needs support

    Gifted learner support

    Accelerated curriculum

    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.
    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.

    Tuition

    Tuition

    Day Tuition

    $11,300 to $13,760

    $5,575 to $13,750

    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

    31

    4

    Percent in boarding

    0%

    0%

    Admissions

    Admissions

    Admissions rate

    100%

    100%

    Day entry years

    Nursery/Toddler, Preschool, JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

    JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3

    Boarding entry years

    Day admissions deadline

    Rolling

    Rolling

    Boarding admissions deadline

    Not available

    Not available

    Interview required?

    No

    No

    SSAT required

    No

    No

  • OUR PERSPECTIVE

    The Our Kids Review

    The Our Kids Review

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    information not available

    Our Take

    Our Take

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Not all Christian schools are created the same, and Wesley is one that builds from the values of the Christian faith, using them to inform the delivery of the curriculum and the lived experience of the school. The school began as a pre-school program in 1988 and has grown since then, including a move into an expanded facility in 2004. Today the size of the school is at the mean for Canada, with approximately 350 students. It’s small enough to maintain a close, connected feel throughout the school, while large enough to allow for a full spectrum of curricular and extra-curricular programming. Families who enroll here are drawn by the strength of the academic offering, the breadth of programming, and the attention to personal and interpersonal development.

    View full report

    EXPLORE NATURE

    With its unique forest school approach, Explore Nature stands out as an innovative school that transcends the conventional classroom setting. Immersed in nature, the school enables children to experience enhanced focus, reduced anxiety, and deepened self-awareness. Explore Nature’s commitment to personalized learning is clear with their 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, which allows them to cater to the unique learning styles of each child. Beyond the standard Ontario curriculum, the school’s holistic education includes mindfulness sessions, literacy and numeracy growth, and the chance to care for animals in collaboration with Pawsitively Pets. These experiences foster empathy, responsibility, resilience, and a broad range of emotional and social competencies. At the heart of Explore Nature is a commitment to students' overall well-being and a balanced development through creating positive connections with the self, others, and the environment.

    View full report
  • INSIDER PERSPECTIVES

    Written Reviews

    Written Reviews

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    "Each year we can see [our daughters'] transformation and maturing because of the mentoring and care at Wesley."
    Amy Yeung - Parent   (Aug 22, 2018)
    I have three daughters at WCA, For all 3 of them, their teachers have been the highlight of their ... View full review

    "It has been amazing to witness ... [our children's] desire to learn, and their love for school."
    Valerie Wong - Parent   (Sep 05, 2018)
    I have three daughters and a son who attend Wesley Christian Academy. Prior to coming to Wesley two... View full review

    EXPLORE NATURE

    "The teachers are well-equipped to have kids working on skills appropriate to their level in any subject."
    Karen Sadler - Parent   (May 17, 2023)
    My daughter is thriving thanks to the small, collaborative nature of this school. The teachers work ... View full review

    "I can't say enough about the positive benefits of sending your child to a forest school where immersion in nature is part of the everyday experience."
    Alicia Shala - Parent   (Jun 01, 2023)
    This school is all around amazing. My kiddo has a lot of energy and needs space to move around and e... View full review

  • School’s perspective

    Who are you, as a school?

    Who are you, as a school?

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    "At WCA, our preschool encourages inquiry and exploration, but we give children a head start by developing competency through phonics and math. For those in Grade 1-8, we use selected Ontario Curriculum with supplementary materials that may exceed Ministry requirements. This is balanced with sports, music, and drama clubs. All of this rests on a strong foundation formed with daily Bible classes and a weekly chapel service. As Christians, we will share our beliefs but we also warmly welcome families from ALL faiths."

    EXPLORE NATURE

    "Explore Nature is a unique outdoor education school (K-3) nestled in Leaside. Small class sizes (6:1) and serene forest classroom allow for hands-on learning and curiosity-driven exploration. Learning outside improves attention, reduces anxiety and cultivates self-awareness. In addition to the Ontario curriculum, we offer mindfulness sessions, literacy and numeracy development, and the chance to care for animals. Our passionate teachers create an inclusive environment where individual learning styles are embraced."

    • A focus on personal growth, well-being, and positive relationships
    • Learning outside improves attention, reduces anxiety, and cultivates self-awareness.
    • Weekly mindful sessions, literacy and numeracy development, and the chance to care for animals
    • Small class sizes and multi-age groups nurture leadership skills and collaboration
    • Hands-on learning and curiosity-driven exploration

    Array

    What do you do differently and uniquely well?

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    "Families choose Wesley for academic excellence and spiritual foundation. Much of this is achieved through our dedicated teachers and administration team who have long term commitments to the school and students. They think of, care about, and view each child as a whole person. The focus is not just on the student’s academic performance. Wesley is about gently guiding and encouraging students towards their full potential and helping them realize that God has an amazing plan for each of them."

    EXPLORE NATURE

    "Explore Nature stands apart from other schools by offering a unique blend of outdoor education and holistic development. Our forest school approach fosters a deep connection with nature and provides students with hands-on experiences that ignite their curiosity and love for the natural world. Our school goes beyond traditional classroom walls, allowing children to learn and explore in a serene and calm outdoor environment."

    Array

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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

    Array

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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

    Array

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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

    Array

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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

    Array

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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    "Wesley is a small school but offers a strong academic focus often only found in larger and more expensive private schools. Furthermore, the academics are rounded out with a spiritual foundation to help develop one’s moral compass and extracurricular activities to broaden one's interests in the arts, music, and sports. Wesley has been referred to as the “best kept secret in Markham” in terms of value for the quality of education received."

    EXPLORE NATURE

    "Explore Nature goes beyond academic learning, equipping students with essential tools for managing stress, building resilience, and promoting overall well-being. By tailoring the learning experience to individual needs and building upon students' unique starting points, we foster a sense of achievement, boosting their self-esteem and motivation. Students graduate from Explore Nature with the tools to thrive in diverse settings and become compassionate and confident leaders in their communities."

    Array

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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

    Array

    What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    "At Wesley, we don’t just say we care about our students. We really mean it – whether it is giving a child a clean pair of uniform pants to wear when they are covered in mud after slipping outside, giving a primary student a special container for their tooth that just fell out, or asking the kitchen staff to make an impromptu bagged lunch for a child who forgot to bring one for a field trip. It’s the "little" things that go unnoticed but come with entrusting your child to our school."

    EXPLORE NATURE

    "Our school's partnership with Pawsitively Pets offers students a unique opportunity to interact with and care for rescue animals. This hands-on experience not only teaches children about empathy, responsibility, and animal welfare, but it also instills a sense of pride and confidence in their abilities. By nurturing a caring relationship with animals, students develop a deep appreciation for all living creatures, fostering a compassionate and empathetic mindset."

    Array

    What might families find surprising about your school?

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    "Further to the academic and spiritual focus of our school, many of our dedicated staff pour hours into our extracurricular activities, and it is reflected by the students’ responses. Nearly 90% of our students participate in our annual Christmas play – whether it is via acting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument or emceeing. We also enter multiple teams to compete with other Christian schools throughout the year in 7-8 different sports. The pennons in the gym are reflective of our success!"

    EXPLORE NATURE

    "We prioritize building positive connections with self, others, and nature. Through meaningful experiences and relationships, our students develop a strong sense of self-awareness, empathy, and respect for others and the environment. A focus on positive connections enriches well-being and personal growth, promoting a balanced lifestyle. By providing a nurturing and inclusive space to express their emotions and develop self-regulation skills, we empower them to navigate challenges with confidence."

    Array

    What improvements or changes has your school made recently?

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

    Array

    How will your school change in the next 5 years?

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    Information not available

    EXPLORE NATURE

    Information not available

  • SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

    Message from school leadership

    Message from school leadership

    Walk through the doors of Wesley Christian Academy and you will immediately feel that this is some place special. The chatter of busy children, the encouraging and wise quotations on the walls and the faces of caring, exceptionally qualified, and dedicated educators are but a few of the differences.

    We are committed to providing all the necessary components to help each child reach his or her potential. An outstanding curriculum complemented with music, arts, physical education, and studies in foreign languages enrich the program. In order to develop a strong moral character, there must be a yardstick to measure it against. For us, our measure is based on Biblical Christian values.

    Our success is evident in the lives of our many graduates who have gone on to attend some of the finest universities in Canada and abroad. Each story of these fine young men and women encourages us to continue to inspire, educate and love each student. Our future depends on their future. We are dedicated to ensuring that their future has every opportunity we can give. Come and see why Wesley is a purposeful choice.

    As the principal of Explore Nature, I am thrilled to welcome you to our vibrant learning community. At Explore Nature, we believe in the transformative power of outdoor education and experiential learning. Our dedicated team of educators is committed to providing your child with an exceptional educational experience that fosters a deep connection with nature, cultivates a love for learning, and nurtures their overall well-being.

    We are proud to offer a unique curriculum that combines academic excellence with meaningful outdoor experiences. Our students engage in hands-on activities, explore the wonders of the natural world, and develop essential skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving.

    At Explore Nature, we celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and the value of each student's unique talents and abilities. We provide a safe and supportive environment where students can express themselves, take risks, and grow both academically and personally.

    I invite you to explore our website, schedule a visit, and discover firsthand the exceptional educational opportunities that await your child at Explore Nature. Together, let's inspire a lifelong love for learning, foster a deep connection with nature, and empower our students to become compassionate and engaged global citizens.

  • ACADEMICS

    • OVERALL CURRICULUM


      Primary Curriculum

      Primary Curriculum

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Traditional

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Progressive


      Secondary Curriculum

      Secondary Curriculum

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Information not available

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Information not available


      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      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.

      EXPLORE NATURE

      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.


      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Not applicable

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Not applicable


      What the school says about their curriculum

      What the school says about their curriculum

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      We offer a time tested effective curriculum with strength in language arts and mathematics. We have specialized teachers for music, physical education, and French. Our program is faith based and offers a Biblical world view.

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Information not available

    • COURSE PEDAGOGIES

      • Mathematics


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Traditional Math

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Equal Balance


        Our take: math approach type

        Our take: math approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Building a strong foundation through repetition and drills ensures that students are well prepared to apply the new concepts in various situations that challenge them with higher order thinking skills as demonstrated in the performance tasks.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Math concepts are introduced through implicit teaching, and each strand is structured according to the Ontario Curriculum. Once introduced, concepts can then be explored through experiential based learning in the forest, using nature to explore how each idea presents itself in the real world, as well as cross-curricular connections, such as graphing colours found in nature, or exploring shapes in natural art.


        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Information not available

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Nelson Math


        Calculator policy

        Calculator policy

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Calculators are permitted in the intermediate grades.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Information not available

      • Early Reading


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Phonics-intensive

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Balanced Literacy


        Our take: early reading approach type

        Our take: early reading approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        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.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Reading instruction begins by teaching students the sounds and syllables associated with each letter. Students participate in guided reading groups and independent reading programs to enhance their fluency, accuracy and comprehension.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Explore Nature uses the dual coding theory to teach literacy, encoding language as sensory information that can be taught through phonics and sight word skills, as well as conceptual imagery that includes whole word concepts and comprehension. A systematic phonics program is used to support and fill learning blocks in readers of all grades, with a whole language reading and writing program used in all subjects to support the reading of age-appropriate literature.


        DIBELS testing

      • Writing


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Systematic approach

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Equal balance


        Our take: writing approach type

        Our take: writing approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        The systematic approach to teaching beginner writing focuses on directly imparting explicit sentence construction strategies, along with planning, revising, and editing skills. Students are asked to learn these explicit strategies and skills and practice them before applying them in more holistic writing assignments. Grammar and parts of sentences tend to have a central role in systematic writing instruction.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Writing instruction begins with understanding basic concepts of sentence structure and the various parts of speech. As the students progress, they are given more opportunity to apply their skills in creative pieces as well as practical assignments.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        At Explore Nature, we foster a love of writing and equip our students with essential writing skills from a young age. Our approach to teaching writing in the younger grades is designed to engage students, encourage their creativity, and develop effective communication skills. We believe that writing is a powerful tool for self-expression, and we provide numerous opportunities for students to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through written expression. Through structured lessons and creative writing exercises, we nurture their love for writing and motivate them to become proficient writers. We take a systemic approach to teaching foundational writing concepts in the early grades. We guide students in correctly printing their names, emphasizing proper letter formation and alignment. Our teachers provide individualized support to students, recognizing their unique writing abilities and adapting instruction accordingly. They employ various instructional strategies, including modelling, guided practice, and peer collaboration, to writing proficiency.

      • Science


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Expository


        Our take: science approach type

        Our take: science approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Expository science is the more traditional method of teaching science: students learn scientific facts, theories, and the relationships between them through direct instruction by the teacher. These programs still incorporate hands-on experimentation and “live science”; however, relative to inquiry-based programs, expository science tilts towards content mastery and knowledge acquisition. Direct instruction ensures this acquisition process is efficient. Textbooks are emphasized (starting in earlier grades than inquiry-based programs), as are knowledge tests: students are asked to demonstrate they have thoroughly learned the content of the course, and can apply that knowledge to novel and challenging problems or questions.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations are followed throughout the grades as they relate to God’s world and understanding that God created the earth and all that is in it. Students are given opportunities to apply their knowledge in hands-on experiments as they develop their problem solving skills through scientific inquiry.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        We aim to instill a love for scientific inquiry, nurture curiosity about the natural world, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, introducing science through hands-on exploration and observation. Students engage in age-appropriate experiments, and sensory activities to develop their scientific skills and understanding. They learn to ask questions, make predictions, and gather evidence, fostering a sense of wonder and excitement about the world around them. We cover a wide range of topics, including life sciences, earth and space sciences, physical sciences, and environmental sustainability. We believe in fostering a strong connection to nature. Our outdoor learning environment provides the perfect setting for scientific exploration, allowing students to observe and interact with ecosystems, plants, animals, and natural phenomena firsthand. Our teachers serve as facilitators and guides, encouraging students to think critically and ask thought-provoking questions. They provide reflection, discussion, and self-assessment opportunities, nurturing a growth mindset and lifelong learning habits.


        Topics covered in science curriculum

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

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

        EXPLORE NATURE

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


        Treatment of evolution (value)

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Physics

      • Literature


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Traditional

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Not applicable


        Our take: literature approach type

        Our take: literature approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their literature program

        What the school says about their literature program

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Students study a variety of literature throughout the grades.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Information not available


        Domains covered by the literature program

        Topics covered in literature curriculum

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

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

        EXPLORE NATURE

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

      • Social Studies


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Expanding Communities

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Expanding Communities


        Our take: social studies approach type

        Our take: social studies approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        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.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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.


        What the school says about their social studies program

        What the school says about their social studies program

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations are followed throughout the grades. Students learn to explore and analyze the ways in which they can contribute to society as well as their role in their family, community, province, country and the world.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Our approach fosters students' understanding of their place in the world, promotes cultural awareness, and embraces the richness of Indigenous history and perspectives. Our social studies curriculum is designed to connect students with their immediate surroundings and expand their understanding to a global scale. We begin by exploring identity, family, and community, encouraging students to reflect on their experiences and how they contribute to the social fabric. Cultural themes are woven throughout our social studies curriculum to ensure a holistic and inclusive approach. We prioritize teaching the histories, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples, with a focus on pre-colonial and pioneer-settled Canada. Our teachers create a safe and inclusive classroom environment where students feel comfortable expressing their opinions, asking questions, and engaging in respectful dialogue. They facilitate discussions on social justice, human rights, and ethical issues, empowering students to become active participants in shaping a more equitable and sustainable world.

      • Humanities and Social Sciences


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Pragmatism

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Not applicable


        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their humanities and social sciences

        What the school says about their humanities and social sciences

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Students in grade 7 and 8 follow the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations for both history and geography. The history program studies early Canadian history. The geography program focuses on the world around them and how students can become responsible citizens. Students learn to analyze evidence in order to evaluate and compare past events and situations with present day events and situations.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Information not available

      • Foreign Languages


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Equal Balance


        Our take: foreign language approach type

        Our take: foreign language approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        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

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Through real-life situations students learn how to read, write and speak in the French language. The French program teaches the students an appreciation for the French culture. The Biblical aspect is incorporated into the French program through the memorization of Bible verses and the use of worship songs.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Information not available


        Language instruction offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

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

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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)

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Information not available

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Information not available

      • Fine Arts


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Equal Balance

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Not applicable


        Our take: fine arts approach type

        Our take: fine arts approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

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

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their fine arts program

        What the school says about their fine arts program

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        The arts curriculum focuses on music, visual arts and drama. All students participate in the music program. In grade1, and 2 students learn an appreciation for music through a focus on rhythm and vocal skills. In grade 3 students begin to apply their knowledge as they learn the ukulele. In grade 4, students learn to play the recorder. In grades 5-8, students meet the curriculum expectation in music through their learning of band instruments. In visual arts, students use a variety of forms of media as they learn about the principals and elements of art.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Information not available


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

      • Computers and Technolgy


        Approach

        Approach

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Medium integration

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Light integration


        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        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

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        The use of technology is incorporated into many aspects of the students’ learning. Students have weekly media classes in which they learn to use various technologies and programs. There are SmartBoards in classrooms to assist and support student learning. Students are taught to use technology in a responsible manner.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        A digital Smartboard is used to convey concepts that require extensive visuals, or to show videos of places or practices that can't be found in the classroom. Older students are taught to use digital presentation programs, such as Google Slides, to prepare them for a junior level classroom. Technology is also employed when needed by the curriculum, such as digital media as a part of Media Literacy, or coding as part of Mathematics.


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

        EXPLORE NATURE

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

      • Physical Education


        What the school says about their physical education program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

        The Physical Education program follows the Ontario curriculum expectations. It focuses on learning movement skills through cooperative games and developing students confidence, skills and interest in being physically active. The health portion of the program is guided by the Ontario curriculum in keeping with the values of the school.

        EXPLORE NATURE

        At Explore Nature, our approach recognizes the vital importance of physical education in a child's overall development. Teaching physical education promotes an active and healthy lifestyle while instilling a love for movement and physical activity. We provide a well-rounded physical education curriculum that combines structured lessons with opportunities for unstructured play and natural exploration. Our teachers integrate physical fitness activities seamlessly into our outdoor learning environment. Our physical education program focuses on developing fundamental movement skills like running, jumping, throwing, and balancing. Students build their coordination, strength, and agility through engaging and age-appropriate activities. We also emphasize the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and fair play, fostering social skills and cooperation. To ensure a comprehensive approach, we cover a range of activities, including games, sports, yoga, nature hikes, and outdoor adventure challenges. Our students can engage in nature-based activities that enhance their understanding of the environment while staying physically active.

    • PRESCHOOL/K CURRICULUM


      Approach

      Approach

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Academic

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Play-based


      Our Take

      Our Take

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      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.

      EXPLORE NATURE

      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.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Our school embraces the concepts of How Does Learning Happen by encouraging inquiry, exploration and well being. We foster a sense of expression and life long learning. We believe firmly in giving children the tools they need to develop competency in literacy and numeracy and therefore begin phonics and mathematics in preschool. We teach both manuscript and cursive writing and promote a sound set of foundations on which to build future learning.

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Information not available

    • CURRICULUM PACE


      Pace

      Pace

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Accelerated

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Student-paced


      Our Take

      Our Take

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      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).

      EXPLORE NATURE

      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

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Information not available

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Information not available

    • ACADEMIC CULTURE


      Culture

      Culture

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Rigorous

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Supportive


      Our Take

      Our Take

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      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”.

      EXPLORE NATURE

      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

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Information not available

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Information not available


      Approach to student honours

      Approach to student honours

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Information not available

      EXPLORE NATURE

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

    • DEVELOPMENTAL PRIORITIES


      Primary

      Primary

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      Spiritual
      The goal is to cultivate "individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith and respect for God or a higher power."

      EXPLORE NATURE

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


      Secondary

      Secondary

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

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

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Not applicable
      Not applicable


      What the school says

      What the school says

      WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

      We strive to nurture the whole child. We build a program that meets the needs of the students intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

      EXPLORE NATURE

      Information not available

  • 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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    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

    EXPLORE NATURE

    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

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    • Our Wesley Wildfire sports teams compete in a range of ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) sports tournaments. Here are some of the highlights from the 2014-2015 school year: Jr. Volleyball (Div. B) Champions, Sr. Girls Volleyball (Div. B): 3rd Place, Sr. Boys Volleyball (Div. B): 3rd Place, Jr. Boys Basketball (Div. B) Champions, Sr. Girls Basketball (Div. B) Champions, Sr. Badminton (Div. A) Champions, Swimming (Div. B) - 2nd Place (Team). In addition to intramural and school team sports, all students at Wesley are part of a leadership team to enhance and support aspects of our school and community at large. This includes teams such as the Environmental Committee, Recycling, Design and Decor (to update and beautify school bulletin boards and public space), Prayer Leaders, Caring Team (to send cards and prayers to those in need), Chapel Team, etc.
  • 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

    100%

    100%

    Day entry years

    Nursery/Toddler, Preschool, JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

    JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3

    Boarding entry years

    Day admissions deadline

    Rolling

    Rolling

    Boarding admissions deadline

    Not available

    Not available

    Interview required?

    No

    No

    SSAT required

    No

    No

    SSAT(out of province) required

    No

    No

    Entrance exams required

    Yes: grades SK - 8

    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

    EXPLORE NATURE

    At Explore Nature, we welcome students who possess a sense of curiosity, a love for learning, and an appreciation for the natural world. We believe in fostering a supportive and inclusive community where students can thrive and develop to their fullest potential. We are looking for students who enjoy outdoor activities and have a natural curiosity about the environment. Our curriculum heavily emphasizes hands-on exploration and outdoor learning, so a willingness to engage with nature and the outdoors is important. While we welcome students from diverse backgrounds and abilities, it is important that students are able to meet the physical demands of our program, such as walking and carrying their own bags comfortably. Ultimately, we are looking for students who will embrace our educational approach, connect with our values of nature exploration, and actively participate in creating a positive and inclusive learning community at Explore Nature.

    What the school says

    What the school says

    WESLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

    If you are interested in applying for admission to Wesley Christian Academy and Early Learning Centre, please submit the following to the Admissions Office for each student in your family for whom you are applying:

    • A completed Application Form;
    • The non-refundable Application Fee of $200.00 for the Elementary School, or $100.00 for the Early Learning Centre, per child;
    • A copy of the Birth Certificate; and
    • A copy of the Report Card.

    Upon receipt of same, we will contact you to arrange for an interview with you and your child, which may include an assessment.  The interview and assessment will form part of our application review.

    If an offer of admission is made to your child, we will require a non-refundable Registration Deposit of $1,000.00 for Elementary School, or $400.00 for the Early Learning Centre and a non-refundable Enrolment Fee equivalent to the first month’s tuition, along with nine post-dated cheques for the balance of the tuition (or preauthorized payment form and void cheque), in order to secure his/her registration.

    EXPLORE NATURE

    At Explore Nature, we have a straightforward application process that welcomes all students who meet our basic requirements. We kindly request that students be potty trained to ensure a positive learning environment, as this promotes independence and hygiene.

    We prioritize fostering a deep connection with nature, so we recommend that students have an enjoyment of outdoor activities. Our curriculum heavily emphasizes outdoor exploration and hands-on learning, allowing students to fully engage with the natural world around them. Additionally, students should be able to walk and carry their own bags comfortably, as we often move between indoor and outdoor learning spaces.

    When applying, parents or guardians can complete our application form, providing the necessary details about the student. We encourage families to book a visit to our school, allowing them to experience our unique environment firsthand and ask any questions they may have.

  • NOTABLE ALUMNI

    Alumni

    information not available
    information not available

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