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Passages Centre for Self-Directed Learning:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades Gr. 6 TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


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Passages Centre for Self-Directed Learning ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS

Curriculum Progressive

[Show definition of Curriculum]

Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.

Curriculum approach at Passages Centre: Progressive

Passages Centre has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).

[Show: About Progressive?]

Our Kids definition: 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.

Compare Passages Centre's Curriculum with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Progressive - 34%
  Traditional - 41%
  Liberal arts - 13%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 0%
  Waldorf - 1%

What Passages Centre says about their overall curriculum and approach:

Passages supports Learners to use materials, and curriculums that meet their goals. We are not a one-size-fits-all approach therefore learning materials are individualized.


Approach

Focus
Academic

Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Equal Balance

    Mathematics approach at Passages Centre: Equal Balance

    Passages Centre has an Equal Balance approach to Mathematics (as opposed to Traditional Math, Discovery Math approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.

    Compare Passages Centre's Mathematics with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 69%
      Traditional math - 26%
      Discovery math - 5%

    What Passages Centre says:

    Math is explored through a Learner's interest and desire explore math more fully. We offer daily scheduling of Math which they can choose to attend

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    No formal textbook is used unless a learner chooses one.

    Calculator policy:

    Calculators are used as needed.

  • Writing

    Equal balance

    Writing approach at Passages Centre: Equal balance

    Passages Centre has an Equal balance approach to Writing (as opposed to Systematic approach, Process approach approach).

    [Show: About Equal balance?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare Passages Centre's Writing with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 80%
      Systematic approach - 9%
      Process approach - 11%

    What Passages Centre says:

    Writing is done as needed or desired. It can be done for a purpose (resume, application, letter) or for interest and exploration (stories, poems, opinion, comments).

  • Science

    Equal Balance

    Science approach at Passages Centre: Equal Balance

    Passages Centre has an Equal Balance approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Inquiry approach).

    [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 Passages Centre's Science with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 69%
      Expository - 5%
      Inquiry - 26%

    Teaching approach:

    Science is explored when learners show interest. Often the inquiry is the result of field trips and interaction with the media.


    Treatment of evolution:

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

    Topics covered in curriculum:

    SubjectOffered
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Ecology
    Geology
    Meteorology
    Physics
    Physiology
    Zoology
  • Literature

    Equal Balance

    Literature approach at Passages Centre: Equal Balance

    Passages Centre has an Equal Balance approach to Literature (as opposed to Traditional, Social Justice approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.

    Compare Passages Centre's Literature with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 76%
      Traditional - 21%
      Social justice - 3%

    What Passages Centre says:

    Reading is done primarily individually. Often one learner will encourage another to read a book of interest.


    Program covers:

    SubjectOffered
    Canadian lit
    American lit
    European (continental) lit
    World (non-Western) lit
    English lit
    Ancient lit
  • Social Studies

    Expanding Communities

    Social Studies approach at Passages Centre: Expanding Communities

    Passages Centre has an Expanding Communities approach to Social Studies (as opposed to Core Knowledge, Thematic approach).

    [Show: About Expanding Communities?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare Passages Centre's Social Studies with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Expanding communities - 30%
      Core knowledge - 37%
      Thematic - 33%

    What Passages Centre says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Humanities and Social Sciences

    Pragmatism

    Humanities and Social Sciences approach at Passages Centre: Pragmatism

    Passages Centre has a Pragmatism approach to Humanities and Social Sciences (as opposed to Perennialism, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Pragmatism?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare Passages Centre's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Pragmatism - 11%
      Perennialism - 7%
      Equal balance - 82%

    What Passages Centre says:

    Although humanities topics are explored in a pragmatic way, they are entirely determined by the learners interest.

  • Foreign Languages

    What Passages Centre says:

    If a learner wants to learn a language other than English, coaches and mentors will help them find the most suitable method that matches their learning style.


    Language instruction offered in:

    SubjectOffered
    Chinese-Cantonese
    Chinese-Mandarin
    French
    German
    Greek
    Italian
    Japanese
    Hebrew
    Latin
    Russian
    Spanish
    ESL
  • Fine Arts


    Program offers:

    SubjectOffered
    Acting
    Dance
    Drama/Theatre
    Graphic Design
    Music
    Visual Arts

    What Passages Centre says:

    The arts do play a significant role in the Centre, but the program is totally determined by the learner with support.

  • Computers and Technology

    Medium integration

    Computers and Technology approach at Passages Centre: Medium integration

    Passages Centre has a Medium integration approach to Computers and Technology (as opposed to Light integration, Heavy integration approach).

    [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 Passages Centre's Computers and Technology with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Medium integration - 53%
      Light integration - 18%
      Heavy integration - 29%

    What Passages Centre says:

    Learners choose to use digital technology as needed. Mentors guide learners to using technology to meet their goals.


    Program covers:

    SubjectOffered
    Computer science
    Robotics
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What Passages Centre says:

    Passages has access to a gym and bowling alley. Regular PE classes are hosted with outdoor activities created spontaneously.

  • Advanced Placement courses

    This information is not currently available.
  • Sex and health education

    What Passages Centre says:

    This information is not currently available.

Language English

Learn about Passages Centre for Self-Directed Learning's languages of instruction and enrolment.

Passages Centre offers English as the primary language of instruction.

Language of enrolment include: English

Curriculum Pace Student-paced

[Show definition of Curriculum Pace]

This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.

Curriculum Pace approach at Passages Centre: Student-paced

Passages Centre has a Student-paced approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Accelerated approach).

[Show: About Student-paced?]

Our Kids definition: 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.

Compare Passages Centre's Curriculum Pace with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Student-paced - 25%
  Standard-enriched - 57%
  Accelerated - 18%

What Passages Centre says about their curriculum pace:

Through mentoring Learners decide content and pace


Flexible pacing style

Type Offered
Subject-streaming (tracking)
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
Differentiated assessment

What Passages Centre says about their flexible pacing:

Learners regularly check in with mentors or coaches.

Academic Culture Supportive

[Show definition of Academic Culture]

Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.

Academic Culture approach at Passages Centre: Supportive

Passages Centre has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).

[Show: About Supportive?]

Our Kids definition: 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.

Compare Passages Centre's Academic Culture with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Supportive - 51%
  Rigorous - 49%

What Passages Centre says about their academic culture:

With a strengths-based approach we allow Learners to explore and create timelines for academics that meets their goals.

Developmental priorities Balanced

[Show definition of Developmental priorities]

Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.

Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced

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

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 Passages Centre says about their developmental priorities:

Our priority is to recognize learners as individuals and help them be the best they can be. Through self-direction, the learner determines how they can thrive.

Special needs support Indirect Support

[Show definition of Special needs support]

Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.

Passages Centre offers Indirect Support

Students remain in a regular classroom for the whole day; the teacher receives special training in accommodating special needs and/or learning disabled students.

What Passages Centre says about their special need support:

When a child's need for autonomy is beyond what schools can offer, self-directed learning is an option. This suits many with ADHD and ASD (level 1)

A - Forms of Support
Accommodation:
Modification:
Remediation:
B - Environments
Indirect Support:
Resource Assistance:
Withdrawal Assistance:
Partial Integration:
Full-Time Class:

Special NeedNeed
Forms of SupportA
EnvironmentsB
ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
    Dyslexia (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.
    Dyscalculia
    This 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.
    Dysgraphia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
    Language Processing Disorder
    This 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 Deficit
    A 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.
  • Developmental
    Autism
    Refers 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 Syndrome
    On 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 syndrome
    his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
    Intellectual disability
    This 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 syndrome
    This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
    Fetal 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 Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    roubled 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 Depression
    This 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 anxiety
    This 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 thoughts
    This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    This 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.
  • Physical
    Multiple sclerosis
    This 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 palsy
    his 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 dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
    Spina Bifida
    This 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.
    Blindness
    Visual 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."
    Deafness
    Hearing 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 Fibrosis
    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
    Multiple physical
    Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.

Read our guide to special needs schools and special education


Academic support

TypeOffered
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

TypeOffered
Accommodations
Modifications
Extra support

What Passages Centre says:

Passages adapts as much as feasible so that there is a fit within the community.


Additional support

TypeOffered
Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Psychotherapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support No Support

[Show definition of Gifted learner support]

Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.

Curriculum Delivery: This information is not currently available.

Class structure

Program Offered
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

In-class adaptations

Program Offered
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 Passages Centre says about their gifted learner support:

This information is not currently available.

Homework Policy

[Show definition of Homework Policy]

Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.

Nightly homework

In grade Gr. 12, Passages Centre students perform an average of No homework of homework per night.

789101112
Passages Centre0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins
Site Average54 mins58 mins76 mins87 mins102 mins110 mins

What Passages Centre says about their flipped classroom policy:

This information is not currently available.

Extracurricular Activities

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.

Sports offered

Passages Centre for Self-Directed Learning offers 0 competitive sports and 10 recreational sports.

  Competitive offered          Recreational offered
all sports]
  • Archery
  • Curling
  • Ultimate
  • 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

Clubs offered

Passages Centre for Self-Directed Learning offers 7 clubs and extracurricular programs.

  Clubs offered           Clubs not offered
all clubs and programs]
  Foreign Language Club
  Habitat for Humanity
  Jazz Ensemble
  Math Club
  Musical theatre/Opera
  Ballet and Classical Ballet
  Online Magazine
  Outdoor Club
  Outdoor Education
  Paintball
  Photography
  Poetry/Literature club
  Radio club
  Robotics club
  Round Square
  School newspaper
  Science Club
  Scouting
  Student Council
  Yearbook
  Yoga
  Animation
  Art Club
  Astronomy Club
  Audiovisual Club
  Band
  Chess Club
  Choir
  Community Service
  Computer Club
  Dance Club
  Debate Club
  Drama Club
  Environmental Club


THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Passages Centre for Self-Directed Learning

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