If you are looking for a school that will challenge you, this is a great school. Critical thinking and academic rigour are the norm, but it's a balanced approach. All students are required to partake in physical education and arts classes. One of the best things about SMUS is the Outdoor Leadership program, which offers students three outdoor trips from kayaking to mountain climbing in their Grade 11 year. Then in Grade 12, they help lead the Grade 11s. This school offers a large selection of AP classes. They have been ranked as the leading program amongst independent schools in Canada. The pass rate on the AP exams is 82% which is exceptional.
We believe the academic culture at SMUS is excellent. It mixes some of the latest thinking, such as experiential learning, Advanced Placement and leadership, while staying grounded in the academic realities of how students are measured when seeking their chosen university. We feel that our son is being taught the type of independent study habits he needs when he goes to university, while also being taught time management to pursue his chosen extracurricular activities. As parents, we are strong advocates of experiential learning and using the latest techniques and thinking to allow individualized learning excellence. SMUS has tried to integrate and open itself to this approach while staying rooted in a system that still forces traditional curricula. The most outstanding element of academics at SMUS for us as parents (and for our son) is the individualized academic advisory help he receives. We view our son's academic advisor as a much better version of ourselves as parents. The individual attention, advice and guidance he receives is perhaps the single most important part of SMUS. His academic advisor provides help and expertise that very few parents could provide themselves. His advisor seems to balance academic and life advice that is expertly unique to our son.
Above all else, the curriculum at SMUS strives to be balanced in all aspects. The classes are a healthy amount of challenging while also remaining fulfilling for the student themselves. I would have to say that the school doesn't just focus solely on numerical grades and whatnot, rather they aim to have each student actualize their inner potential. Their belief that all students are capable is one of their many strengths. SMUS offers many different AP classes and as my children took advantage of them, I feel that the combined environment of academic rigour with extracurricular balance has really prepared them for their post-secondary education. Essentially, while SMUS does value academic achievement, what the school really wants for its students is balance in all circles of life.