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Kingsway College School:
The Our Kids Report > Key Insights
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Etobicoke, ON (Map)

Kingsway College School:

Kingsway College School KEY INSIGHTS

Each school is different. Kingsway College School's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

What we know

  • KCS goes beyond the standard Ontario curriculum to offer students multiple opportunities for enrichment.
  • The signature “Four Doors to Learning” program integrates Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Citizenship throughout the KCS curriculum.
  • The learning environment is firmly grounded in the realities of local and global communities, with students encountering experiential and problem-based learning from the earliest years.
Read our Feature Review of Kingsway College School

Handpicked excerpts

Kingsway College School manages to balance the warmth and close-knit community feeling of a small school with a forward-looking educational vision. This balance extends to everything KCS does, with challenging academic programs and extensive enrichment opportunities prioritized equally alongside students’ holistic development and well-being. The academic expectations are high, and students meet and exceed them. But the school promotes more than just scholarly achievement.

To capture its whole-child approach to education, KCS created the “Four Doors to Learning” framework, which encompasses Academics, Arts, Athletics and Citizenship. From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, curricular and co-curricular activities take students through each of these entryways to growth. The overarching aim is to create well-rounded, lifelong learners who are prepared to thrive in an ever-changing environment. “The school is always thinking about what skills 21st-century students will need to be contributing members of society,” says a KCS parent.

The learning environment is firmly grounded in the realities of local and global communities. Students encounter experiential and problem-based learning from the earliest years, culminating in the strikingly innovative real-world immersion in the Senior School curriculum.


Head of school Derek Logan knows that offering just 30 seconds of undivided attention to a child can have a lasting impact. “I believe we should always treat kids with respect, and show them that they matter,” he says. “When I became head of school in 2007, I wanted this to be a principal’s office where, 95 percent of the time, students are coming in to chat, ask me questions and show me their work. The remaining 5 percent would be coming for the reasons we usually associate with the principal’s office.”

Logan’s leadership style is collaborative and collegial, something his colleagues attested to. “I’ve always tried to surround myself with smart people who are willing to tell it like it is,” he says. “I don’t know all the answers, and I believe solutions can come from anywhere and anyone. The crucial thing for me when I’m sitting around a table with staff is that respect goes both ways.”

Head of Advancement Hallie McClelland sums up the assessment of Logan we heard expressed over and over again. “The culture of kindness and inclusiveness at KCS is driven from the top,” she says. “Derek is the warmest individual. He really believes in the human connection.”

He also believes in walking the talk, especially with the Three School Rules (Respect, Manners, and Try Your Best). “I try to live by them every day because the kids are always watching,” he says. “It’s not so much what you say to them, but how you behave on a daily basis.”


KCS designs all of its academic programs with a view to creating well-rounded, lifelong learners. Traditional academic achievement is certainly a priority, but it’s not the only priority.

The standards at KCS are high. Students strive to do their best and they tend to excel. It’s an academically rigorous school, yet the demands are tempered by a strong commitment to individualized instruction, academic support, and student well-being.

The school goes beyond the standard Ontario curriculum to offer students multiple opportunities for enrichment, whether by digging deep into projects tied to their interests or making connections with real-world issues through experiential learning.

STEM learning—whether it’s creating art with natural objects found in kindergarten students’ outdoor playtime or building robots and video games. Makerspace is integral to the enriched learning opportunities provided at both the Junior and Senior School campuses.

“Project-based learning is something that comes into play from a very young age at KCS and extends right into the Senior School,” says Matina Mosun, head of the Junior School. “We teach students to express their curiosity, apply their increased skills, and collaborate and problem-solve.”

KCS teachers are experts in their fields, with many holding multiple degrees and at least a decade of experience. “The turnover is low, which creates a strong faculty culture,” says Mosun, whose doctoral degree focused on how teachers adapt their practice to meet students’ needs. “Our teachers care so much and work so hard to create an environment where students feel driven and excited to learn.”


While most schools have come out of the pandemic with a new, or renewed, emphasis on student well-being, this has been a longtime priority at KCS.

When the school hired Tamara Drummond as the school’s first director of student and community well-being in 2013, few—if any­—elementary independent schools in Canada had a similar person on staff. Drummond has the advantage of a dual perspective, with training and experience as both a teacher and a Certified Canadian Counsellor.

“We recognize that student well-being is the foundation for everything,” says Drummond. “No matter how smart or how athletically gifted a child might be, if they’re not in a good place socially and emotionally then they’re not going to be able to perform and learn and improve and grow. That’s why my position was created­­­­­—to make sure that this knowledge is part of our culture and the teachers all understand it.”

Students in Grades 1 to 8 participate in the “Second Step” social-emotional learning program, which sparks dialogue around positive mental health through weekly conversations and curricular content. Grade 3 students dig even deeper into their emotions through the “Zones of Regulation” program. At assemblies, Drummond and other staff lead information sessions and discussion on healthy habits for mind and body, with students often contributing. There’s also a school nurse on staff to address the mental health challenges that often manifest as physical symptoms. And teachers integrate mindfulness skills into many aspects of the curriculum.

At the Senior School, there are just as many opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of holistic well-being and seek support in achieving it.


It’s no wonder that the co-curricular offerings at KCS are rich and varied, given the philosophy summed up in the school’s motto, “Expand possible.”

“We’re always encouraging students to try new things,” says Head of School Derek Logan. “It’s a safe environment where they can just see if they like something. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. There are no big consequences.”

Logan notes that parents often choose certain after-school activities for their children when they’re young, and it can limit students’ vision of their own capabilities. “I want the sports kids to have those artistic experiences, for example, and the music kids to be on a sports team or do rock climbing, or whatever gets them moving. Then maybe they’ll go home and say, ‘Hey Mom and Dad, this is something I’d like to pursue.”

There are more than 40 clubs in the Junior School for students to explore, from the usual suspects to some unique ones like Boot Camp, iPad Art Club, and Yoga Fit.

The goal of the co-curricular program, says assistant head of Junior School Mark Magee, is to avoid the narrowing of focus that’s become very common among students at younger and younger ages. “I know the phrase ‘whole child’ gets thrown around a lot, but we really try to get our students to develop all aspects of themselves.


The KCS student body is naturally close-knit and the school is very intentional in its efforts to nurture a cohesive community. The weekly assemblies at the Junior School go a long way towards creating unity and shared purpose within grades and across the divisions. Sometimes, the gatherings are all about fun and celebration – recognizing student achievements, enjoying student performances and presentations, and cheering on clubs and teams. At other times, the time in chapel is focused on listening and reflecting on more serious subjects, such as compassion and service. The House system also helps build cross-grade friendships and school pride through friendly competition and spirit days throughout the year.

The school cultivates leadership skills at every stage, even in the youngest learners. Primary students have the chance to speak at assemblies, sometimes with the assistance of older children, and Junior division students can be Reading Buddies. All Grade 6 to 8 students participate in a formal leadership program, prepping them to lead assemblies and serve as House Captains.

The KCS By Design program gets every Senior School student involved in concrete projects where they can develop —or polish—their leadership skills. “It’s like everyone is on student council, instead of just having a few at the top making decisions,” says faculty member Lindsay Pollock. The lack of hierarchy suits many teens, especially those who might not have engaged with student life in large, traditionally organized high schools.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Kingsway College School

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