Astolot Educational Centre ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS
Curriculum approach at Astolot: Traditional
Astolot has a Traditional approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
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 - 32%
Montessori - 11%
Reggio Emilia - 0%
Waldorf - 2%
What Astolot says about their overall curriculum and approach:
Ontario Curriculum requirements will be met by accommodating for visual, auditory and kinesthetic leaning. Students working on the same topic may approach the curriculum or completion on their product (essay/power-point/oral presentation) with their learning style in mind. Involvement of students and parents is essential to establishing curriculum delivery for students.
|Academic||Special needs , Gifted|
Pedagogies and subject courses:
Mathematics approach at Astolot: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 69%
Traditional math - 26%
Discovery math - 5%
What Astolot says:
Grades 1-8 math is structured with the Jump Math books. Each student gets two workbooks per grade, and once the booklets are complete they can advance into upper-level booklets. The teacher provides direct instruction to the class, then works individually with the students at the level they are at. Each class has approximately 10 students.
Textbooks and supplementary materials:
Jump Math Books are used for elementary grades. Nelson Secondary Mathematic books are used for high school math.
Calculators are allowed during certain math problems. Graphing calculators are used in high school grades.
Early ReadingBalanced Literacy
Early Reading approach at Astolot: Balanced Literacy[Show: About Balanced Literacy?]
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.Early Reading at schools on OurKids.net:  Balanced literacy - 57%
Phonics-intensive - 41%
Whole language - 2%
What Astolot says:
Both Phonics and whole language instruction are focused on for Literacy. 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. Whole Language reading programs eschew sublexical (under the word-level) training, focusing instead on getting students to infer and guess at words based on their understanding of the larger meaning of the sentence (“context-clues”). Students are given ample opportunity to read actual literature (age-appropriate) along with strategies for using semantic-based clues to pronounce unrecognized words.
DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What Astolot says:
Wilson Reading Program is used to assess reading level.
Writing approach at Astolot: Equal balance[Show: About Equal balance?]
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.Writing at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 79%
Systematic approach - 10%
Process approach - 11%
What Astolot says:
There is an equal balance between systematic writing approach and process writing approach. 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. The process approach to teaching beginner writing aims to get students writing “real things” as much as possible and as soon as possible. The goal is to create the right environmental conditions to encourage a love of writing and a motivation to write well. With children invested in the writing process -- through assignments children find meaningful -- students are then given feedback on how they can improve.
Science approach at Astolot: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
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.Science at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 70%
Expository - 5%
Inquiry - 25%
We offer an equal balance between inquiry scientific approach and expository science approach. 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. 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.
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 Astolot: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.Literature at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 75%
Traditional - 22%
Social justice - 3%
What Astolot says:
There is an equal balance of traditional literature and social justice inspired literature. 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. 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. In social justice- inspired programs, literature is not viewed as something to be merely decoded and “appreciated”: rather, it is viewed as a catalyst to social action. Choice of texts tends to favour contemporary works.
Social StudiesCore Knowledge
Social Studies approach at Astolot: Core Knowledge[Show: About Core Knowledge?]
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).Social Studies at schools on OurKids.net:  Core knowledge - 40%
Expanding communities - 27%
Thematic - 33%
What Astolot says:
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).
Humanities and Social SciencesEqual Balance
Humanities and Social Sciences approach at Astolot: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.Humanities and Social Sciences at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 81%
Perennialism - 8%
Pragmatism - 11%
What Astolot says:
Perennialism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes the idea of education being a kind of “conversation” between generations, and so frequently turns to “Great Works” and “Big Ideas” for teaching-content. Perennialist programs approach past works on their own terms; as if they might actually help students understand “today” better. Past works are not viewed as mere historical artifacts, but as gateways to a deeper understanding of the human condition. History (and, by extension, the humanities in general) therefore plays a large role in perennialist curriculums, though social sciences like economics, psychology, and sociology can still be taught. Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience.
Foreign LanguagesEqual Balance
Foreign Languages approach at Astolot: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.Foreign Languages at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 63%
Audio-lingual - 3%
Communicative - 34%
What Astolot says:
These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
Fine ArtsEqual Balance
Fine Arts approach at Astolot: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.Fine Arts at schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 65%
Receptive - 2%
Creative - 33%
Subject offered Acting Dance Drama/Theatre Graphic Design Music Visual Arts
Visual studio philosophy:
What Astolot says:
We believe in expressive art. Creativity is inherently subjective. Our goal is to create an open and non-judgemental environment for students to experiment, innovate, and find the artist within.
Computers and TechnologyMedium integration
Computers and Technology approach at Astolot: Medium integration[Show: About Medium integration?]
Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.Computers and Technology at schools on OurKids.net:  Medium integration - 52%
Light integration - 17%
Heavy integration - 31%
What Astolot says:
For high school classes, students are required to have a computer to type assignments. However, hand writing is an option for some students and for certain assignments. Students are allowed their assistive technology whenever it applies.
Subject offered Computer science Robotics Web design
What Astolot says:
Physical education takes place in the neighbourhood park and at outdoor education centres. Elementary students get an hour outside each day. High School students get an hour break with the option and encouragement to go outside. During spring and fall, all students are outside most days. Physical Education classes follow curriculum, and go beyond the curriculum to focus on team building and cooperation.
Advanced Placement coursesThis information is not currently available.
Sex and health educationOntario curriculum
Sex and health education approach at Astolot: Ontario curriculum
Astolot has an Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).[Show: About Ontario curriculum?]
The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net:  Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%
Approach to sex and health education:Astolot has a approach Fairly value-based (as opposed to Mostly value-neutral approach).[Show: About Fairly value-based?]
Sex is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues .Astolot has a approach Progressive (as opposed to Traditional approach).[Show: About Progressive?]
This approach might involve placing more emphasis on things like planned parenthood, different types of families, sexual and gender identities, diversity, and social justice.
What Astolot says:
Astolot begins with the importance of healthy relationships with friends and classmates. Being kind, considerate, having manners and understanding differences are all important for healthy relationships in a person's future.
Learn about Astolot Educational Centre's languages of instruction and enrolment.
Astolot offers English as the primary language of instruction.
Language of enrolment include: English, French
Astolot Educational Centre'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.
Astolot Educational Centre offers online courses to students.
What Astolot says about their course format:
Synchronous: Students and teachers meet Monday to Friday during class times, using Zoom and Google classroom.
Academic support and services
|Dedicated teacher per course|
|Student progress tracker|
|Regular office hours|
|Special needs support|
What Astolot says about their academic support and services:
Exam proctoring: All test and exams are proctored in person or online.
Regular office hours: Teachers are available at scheduled times during the school day. A teacher or student may request a meeting.
Additional support: Small class sizes offer extra support. Educational assistants are also available and will be assigned by the classroom teacher. Tutoring is also available at an extra cost.
Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched
Curriculum Pace approach at Astolot: Standard-enriched
Astolot has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
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 - 18%
Student-paced - 23%
What Astolot says about their curriculum pace:
Enrichment is possible as multi-aged classrooms allows for the flexibility of students to attend the classroom best suit for their learning requirement.
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 Astolot says about their flexible pacing:
Gifted students have the opportunity to be placed in a higher grade level for subjects they excel in.
Academic Culture Supportive
Academic Culture approach at Astolot: Supportive
Astolot has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
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.
Rigorous - 51%
What Astolot says about their academic culture:
Astolot has a “supportive” academic culture focusing on developing student learning strategies and self-advocacy. Academic performance is a welcomed benefit of our focus. Astolot students proceed to post secondary with the necessary skills to be successful. We have a supportive academic culture to turn students from frustrated to engaged learners. Astolot is focused on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
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: Balanced
Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.
What Astolot says about their developmental priorities:
At Astolot, we believe that the basic needs (security, trust, health) need to be addressed before academic success can be obtained. Our goal is to increase student's intellectual level, through addressing their emotional and social needs. We want our students to be academically strong, creative, critical thinkers with the learning skills required for success beyond high school. We also want our students to be emotionally intelligent and confident, capable of learning both about themselves and others.
Special needs support Special needs school
Astolot is a Special needs school
Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.
What Astolot says about their special need support:
Astolot provides space for specialists to work with students to receive support for dyslexia, occupational therapy, social skills development and speech-language therapy.
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 Astolot says:
Astolot has the ability to support students with mild disabilities, but not severe disabilities since we do not modify curriculum. Extra support is offered to students struggling to access the curriculum or demonstrate their learning. Our small classroom sizes allows teachers to provide specific attention to students with a learning challenge.
|Social skills programs|
Gifted learner support Dedicated gifted school
Curriculum Delivery: Acceleration
The main focus is on acceleration. This means that all students work at a much quicker pace than public school peers (usually working at least one grade-level ahead).
|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 Astolot says about their gifted learner support:
Astolot's student population includes approximately 25% gifted students each year. Accommodations are student specific, curriculum choices are made with staff, parent and student input.
In grade Gr. 12, Astolot students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.
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What Astolot 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. 7 to Gr. 12|
|Prose (narrative)-based feedback||Gr. 1 to Gr. 8|
|Academic achievement reporting||Gr. 1 to Gr. 12|
|Habits and behaviour reporting||Gr. 1 to Gr. 12|
|Parent-teacher meetings||Gr. 1 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.
Astolot Educational Centre offers 0 competitive sports and 4 recreational sports.
- Ice Skating
Astolot Educational Centre offers 4 clubs and extracurricular programs.
What Astolot says about their extracurricular activities:
- 2022-2023 should see a return of school clubs as distancing restrictions will be lifted and students are in person,
- Ski Club - Wednesday evenings, not during the Pandemic
- Robotics Club - 2019 2nd place winner for design
- Chess Club - 2 students have reach Master's level, ability to teach chess
- Dungeons and Dragons Campaign - Fridays at Lunch, virtual also
- Knitting Club - during lunch in the winter
- Dance Party has been very popular during lock downs.
- Among Us is a popular games played with grade 7 8 teachers one afterschool per during hybrid learning.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Astolot Educational Centre
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