Merrick Preparatory School ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS
Curriculum approach at Merrick Preparatory: Traditional
Merrick Preparatory has a Traditional approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
Our Kids definition: 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.
Liberal arts - 14%
Progressive - 33%
Montessori - 11%
Reggio Emilia - 1%
Waldorf - 1%
International curriculum & programs at Merrick Preparatory: Duke of Edinburgh's Award
What Merrick Preparatory says about their overall curriculum and approach:
Merrick Preparatory School follows the Ontario provincial curriculum for Grades 9 to 12. We offer a wide range of University and Open level courses designed to assist students in gaining their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Upon graduation, our students have the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to gain entrance to top world ranked universities in Canada and internationally. Our graduates have maintained a 100% university placement rate to their first choice university since our founding in 2012. All of our students also write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test and, for those requiring additional support, we offer the Ontario Literacy Course in Grade 12. We also offer three hours of IELTS preparation for international students.
Pedagogies and subject courses:
Mathematics approach at Merrick Preparatory: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Mathematics with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 69%
Traditional math - 25%
Discovery math - 6%
What Merrick Preparatory says:
Each class begins with students being presented with complex, real-world problems they have not yet been taught how to solve. During these discovery-learning sessions students are encouraged to collaborate with their classmates and to think critically and creatively to develop approaches to the problem using their current knowledge. For the remainder of the class, learning is done more traditionally with the teacher guiding students as they build on their knowledge. Students learn increasingly advanced tools in the form of mathematical equations, algorithms and technologies which allow for greater efficiency when solving complex problems. Teachers present these tools through traditional instructional lessons. Students develop mastery using these tools through daily practice with ample teacher support. Students then revisit complex, real-world problems using their newly learned equations, algorithms and technologies to solve the problems efficiently and accurately.
Textbooks and supplementary materials:
We use Ontario Ministry of Education recommended textbooks that prepare students for university business and engineering.
Students require a scientific calculator for all math courses. Use of scientific non-graphing calculators is allowed on most quizzes, assignments, tests and exams. Graphing calculators are not recommended as graphing calculators are not allowed during many tests and exams.
Science approach at Merrick Preparatory: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Science with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 68%
Expository - 6%
Inquiry - 26%
Science is taught in an expository capacity but is strongly supported by inquiry learning. Students learn the foundational information through direct teacher instruction to support vocabulary acquisition. Students are then encouraged to think critically about these new ideas and demonstrate their learning through investigative and experiential learning techniques. Students are given lab experience and then asked to design their own lab to answer a scientific question as part of their summative assignment. These strategies are designed to support and encourage student curiosity about scientific concepts. Students are engaged in classroom activities through the use of online labs and demonstrations, as well as hands on practical lab experience.
Treatment of evolution:
Subject Offered Evolution as consensus theory Evolution as one of many equally viable theories Evolution is not taught
Topics covered in curriculum:
Subject Offered Biology Chemistry Ecology Geology Meteorology Physics Physiology Zoology
Literature approach at Merrick Preparatory: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Literature with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 75%
Traditional - 21%
Social justice - 4%
What Merrick Preparatory says:
An equal balance of traditional and social justice inspired programs is the focus of our literature program. Core concepts and theories are discussed and deconstructed in detail using a variety of teaching methods. These methods include, but are not limited to, instructor-centred, learner-centred, content-focused, interactive and participative, lecture, multi-subject, cross-curricular as well as differentiated learning methods. There is particular emphasis on analyses of content where students become ‘experts’ on specific literature texts. Class discussions as well as participation are a major component of teaching literature. Students will develop critical thinking and essay skills as well as social deconstruction.
Subject Offered Canadian lit American lit European (continental) lit World (non-Western) lit English lit Ancient lit
Humanities and Social SciencesEqual Balance
Humanities and Social Sciences approach at Merrick Preparatory: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 81%
Perennialism - 8%
Pragmatism - 11%
What Merrick Preparatory says:
As a diverse and multicultural school, Merrick Preparatory School includes a variety of teaching approaches. Our focus is to ensure thorough understanding of core concepts while keeping the learning progressive and relevant. There is particular emphasis on critical thinking, investigation and deconstruction. Throughout all of our courses there is a strong focus on discussion, participation, debate and careful reflection of change over time. Developing critical thinking skills is an essential part of our course work.
Foreign LanguagesEqual Balance
Foreign Languages approach at Merrick Preparatory: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Foreign Languages with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 64%
Audio-lingual - 3%
Communicative - 33%
What Merrick Preparatory says:
Our English as a Second language courses incorporate an audio-lingual approach in conjunction with the communicative methodology. Through imitation and daily choral repetition, the students become actively engaged in their English language learning. Immediate feedback is given to students to ensure they are correctly and efficiently using language forms until it becomes habitual. Worksheets are regularly administered with some explicit grammar instruction. Students extend their listening and speaking skills by the usage of inflection and completion drills, whilst doing authentic conversational practice within the context of a daily setting. Students are required to narrate and respond to a variety of cultural pieces and media texts in the target language. Our blend of audio-lingual and communicative styles is an effective and productive pedagogical approach to English language acquisition.
Language instruction offered in:
Subject Offered Chinese-Cantonese Chinese-Mandarin French German Greek Italian Japanese Hebrew Latin Russian Spanish ESL
Fine Arts approach at Merrick Preparatory: Receptive[Show: About Receptive?]
Our Kids definition: Receptive arts programs emphasize art history (visual, music, theatre, etc) and appreciation over creating or “making” art. Students learn about various artistic works and movements, and are asked to reflect on their underlying aesthetic features and principles. The goal is to give students a core body of knowledge related to the arts, while developing their cognitive, emotional, and aesthetic sensibilities. Studio-work is still a component of most reflective programs, but it plays less of a role than in creative programs.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Fine Arts with other schools on OurKids.net:  Receptive - 2%
Creative - 33%
Equal balance - 65%
Subject Offered Acting Dance Drama/Theatre Graphic Design Music Visual Arts
What Merrick Preparatory says:
At Merrick Preparatory School, teachers provide a receptive approach to teaching drama. Teachers provide cross-curricular opportunities to discuss historical content in areas of visual, musical, theatrical arts and how they have changed over time. Students have the opportunity for hands on application of set design and costume design. Students will also develop their own monologues and plays in a learner-centered method of instruction. A major emphasis is placed on participation/involvement, response to change and application. Students will also learn from an audience perspective and reflect on the various techniques and movement used on stage.
Computers and TechnologyMedium integration
Computers and Technology approach at Merrick Preparatory: Medium integration[Show: About Medium integration?]
Our Kids definition: Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Computers and Technology with other schools on OurKids.net:  Medium integration - 52%
Light integration - 18%
Heavy integration - 30%
What Merrick Preparatory says:
Merrick Preparatory School offers a high degree of technological integration in all our classrooms. Through the use of OneNote, teachers provide our students with an interactive, online learning environment where lectures can be reviewed, student work posted and assessed, and regular individual feedback provided all within an easily-accessible electronic platform. Students are required to bring with them laptop/desktop devices in order to access the OneNote network.
Subject Offered Computer science Robotics Web design
What Merrick Preparatory says:
We offer the Health Active Living Education credit (Physical Education) in our grade 9 program. Physical Education is a major part of our holistic approach to student life. Students must choose 2 co-curricular activities for at least an hour each day, including baseball, soccer, basketball, ball hockey, ice hockey, badminton, volleyball, track, among others. All activities have a structured educational component. Physical Education is encouraged by all staff in order to keep the students active, healthy, and entertained. During the winter months, students are brought to local fitness clubs to supplement physical activity. Our residential program has mandatory activities on weekends often involving a physical component. In addition, we have a weight room with various free weights, weight machine, heavy boxing bag, ellipticals, running machines, stationary bike, and rowing machine (erg).
Advanced Placement coursesThis information is not currently available.
Sex and health educationOntario curriculum
Sex and health education approach at Merrick Preparatory: Ontario curriculum
Merrick Preparatory has an Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).[Show: About Ontario curriculum?]
Our Kids definition: The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.Compare Merrick Preparatory's Sex and health education with other schools on OurKids.net:  Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%
Approach to sex and health education:Merrick Preparatory has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
Our Kids definition: By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.
What Merrick Preparatory says:
With students attending our school from over 15 countries, discussions of sexuality have strong cultural basis. We provide a broad and open perspective and allow students to discuss their viewpoints in an open, thoughtful and respectful way, while at the same time providing fact based and science based information.
Learn about Merrick Preparatory School's languages of instruction and enrolment.
Merrick Preparatory offers English as the primary language of instruction.
Language of enrolment include: English, French, Spanish
Merrick Preparatory School's online learning approach and offerings. Learn about this school's online programs and courses offered, its course formats, and its teaching and learning approaches.
Merrick Preparatory School offers online courses to students.
|Period||Grades||Number of Courses||Start - End|
|Fall||9 to 12||4||Sep 06, 2022 — Jan 31, 2023|
|Winter||9 to 12||4||Feb 01, 2023 — Jun 23, 2023|
|Fall||9 to 12||4||Sep 05, 2023 — Jan 31, 2024|
|Winter||9 to 12||4||Feb 01, 2024 — Jun 21, 2024|
What Merrick Preparatory says about their course format:
Synchronous: Live Synchronous Learning Platform to allow students to be in class with their teachers and classmates. Earn your Ontario Secondary School Diploma online with Merrick Prep.
Academic support and services
|Dedicated teacher per course|
|Student progress tracker|
|Regular office hours|
|Special needs support|
Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched
Curriculum Pace approach at Merrick Preparatory: Standard-enriched
Merrick Preparatory has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
Our Kids definition: 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.
Accelerated - 17%
Student-paced - 25%
What Merrick Preparatory says about their curriculum pace:
Small class sizes averaging 10 students: opportunities for experiential learning; MSIP and evening study with teacher support; lessons tailored to language needs; additional instructional hours above provincial requirements (140 vs 110); one hour of tutorial support per day; two hours of supervised homework per night.
Flexible pacing style
|Multi-age classrooms as standard|
|Ability-grouping (in-class) as common|
|Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)|
|Regular guided independent study opportunities|
What Merrick Preparatory says about their flexible pacing:
Use of OneNote online classroom platform to allow students to explore and revise topics at their on pace and close teacher tracking of student progress. We create opportunities for students to delve deeper into content. Paperless classroom with electronic submission and reporting for ease of tracking and individualized learning.
Academic Culture Rigorous
Academic Culture approach at Merrick Preparatory: Rigorous
Merrick Preparatory has a Rigorous approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Supportive approach).
Our Kids definition: 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 - 51%
What Merrick Preparatory says about their academic culture:
Merrick Preparatory School promotes a rigorous academic culture that challenges students to reach beyond their grasp within a supportive environment. Our students’ learning extends beyond the classroom through a comprehensive residential life curriculum, as well as mandatory supervised study sessions five evenings per week. Students are also part of small-sized, teacher-led advisor groups and provided with one hour per day additional tutorial support in any subject they may be struggling in.
Developmental priorities Intellectual
Primary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Social
The goal is to cultivate "socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better."
What Merrick Preparatory says about their developmental priorities:
With young men and women drawn from around the world, we nurture an intimate campus environment that empowers students with the discipline to persevere in their studies, the freedom to explore new opportunities, the confidence and creativity to express themselves both in and beyond the formal classroom. We aim to shape students to take calculated risks, to try something new, and to challenge themselves in academics, co-curricular activities and community service. We aim to have a large impact on a small number of students versus a small impact on a large number of students and ensure they have the skills, knowledge and confidence to be successful in university and life beyond.
Special needs support No support
Merrick Preparatory offers No support
Merrick Preparatory offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
Learning disabilitiesDyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.DyscalculiaThis is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.DysgraphiaThis is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.Language Processing DisorderThis is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor DeficitA characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
DevelopmentalAutismRefers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).Asperger's SyndromeOn the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.Down syndromehis is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.Intellectual disabilityThis is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).Williams syndromeFetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
Behavioral and EmotionalTroubled behaviour / troubled teensroubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.Clinical DepressionThis is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.Clinical anxietyThis is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.Suicidal thoughtsThis involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.Drug and alcohol abuseThis involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
PhysicalMultiple sclerosisThis is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.Cerebral palsyhis refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.Muscular dystrophyMuscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.Spina BifidaThis is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.BlindnessVisual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."DeafnessHearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).Cystic FibrosisCystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.Multiple physicalAccommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Read our guide to special needs schools and special education
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities
What Merrick Preparatory says:
Our school provides an academically rigourous environment and we provide additional academic support for students aiming to gain entry into top world ranked schools.
|Social skills programs|
Gifted learner support No Support
Curriculum Delivery: This information is not currently available.
|Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)|
|Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)|
|Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)|
|Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)|
|Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)|
|Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)|
|Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)|
What Merrick Preparatory says about their gifted learner support:
This information is not currently available.
In grade Gr. 12, Merrick Preparatory students perform an average of >2 hours of homework per night.
|Merrick Preparatory||60 mins||120 mins||160 mins||160 mins|
|Site Average||76 mins||88 mins||104 mins||113 mins|
What Merrick Preparatory says about their flipped classroom policy:
This information is not currently available.
Report Card Policy
How assessments are delivered across the grades
|Lettered or numbered grades||Gr. 9 to Gr. 12|
|Prose (narrative)-based feedback||Gr. 9 to Gr. 12|
|Academic achievement reporting||Gr. 9 to Gr. 12|
|Habits and behaviour reporting||Gr. 9 to Gr. 12|
|Parent-teacher meetings||Gr. 9 to Gr. 12|
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
Merrick Preparatory School offers 7 competitive sports and 19 recreational sports.
- Downhill skiing
- Ice Hockey
- Ice Skating
- Martial Arts
- Track & Field
Merrick Preparatory School offers 16 clubs and extracurricular programs.
What Merrick Preparatory says about their extracurricular activities:
- We offer a variety of co-curricular activities based on student interest. Since our founding in 2012 we have offered 44 different co-curricular activities
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Merrick Preparatory School
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