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Star Academy:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades Preschool TO Gr. 8 — Mississauga, ON (Map)

Star Academy:


Curriculum Traditional

[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

Curriculum approach at Star Academy: Traditional

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

[Show: About Traditional?]

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.

Compare Star Academy's Curriculum with other schools on
  Traditional - 39%
  Liberal arts - 14%
  Progressive - 34%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 1%
  Waldorf - 1%

What Star Academy says about their overall curriculum and approach:

The ‘whole student’ is important to us, and therefore our curriculum focuses on a learning environment that addresses cross-curricular academics as well as the social, emotional and physical well being of our students. We develop students who are community-minded and globally focused. Our students are encouraged to challenge themselves, take leadership roles and try new things in order to discover their passions and what makes them tick. Star supports students who require additional assistance to reach their full potential. General tutoring, as well as reading programs such as Orton Gillingham and Direct Instruction programmes like Reading Mastery, are available.



Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Equal Balance

    Mathematics approach at Star Academy: Equal Balance

    Star Academy 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 Star Academy's Mathematics with other schools on
      Equal balance - 70%
      Traditional math - 25%
      Discovery math - 5%

    What Star Academy says:

    From their first exploration into Mathematics to their understanding and solving of complex problems, Star Academy students develop confidence and competence with their numeracy skills. Recognizing the value of repetition to master math facts, students are also provided manipulatives and opportunities to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of Mathematics. Our teachers design lessons with a focus on understanding each question, not just finding an answer. Our low ratio ensures we can identify the specific area of skill development needed for each individual. Just as a fluid reader needs to develop fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and decoding skills a competent Mathematics student must possess conceptual understanding, decoding of language and symbols, procedural fluency, adaptive reasoning skills and productive disposition. There is a balance between traditional ways in which Mathematics has been taught and projects including financial literacy to ensure students are prepared for their world.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    Traditional textbooks are incorporated to acquire the skills to extrapolate the needed information from a ‘busy’ page of problems. All grades use a variety of everyday materials to reiterate the value and application of Mathematics in our daily lives.

    Calculator policy:

    A calculator is an advantageous tool once the student understands the formulas being calculated. Being able to use a calculator means more than plugging numbers in to it; students must have a sense of what is being asked to see if calculations are reasonable.

  • Early Reading

    Balanced Literacy

    Early Reading approach at Star Academy: Balanced Literacy

    Star Academy has a Balanced Literacy approach to Early Reading (as opposed to Phonics-intensive, Whole Language approach).

    [Show: About Balanced Literacy?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare Star Academy's Early Reading with other schools on
      Balanced literacy - 54%
      Phonics-intensive - 44%
      Whole language - 2%

    What Star Academy says:

    The importance of early literacy should not be underestimated. It has been shown as the best indicator of long-term school success. Because of this Star Academy has an exceptionally strong early literacy programme that incorporates solid phonics and a whole language approach ensuring best teaching practices, while engaging our young learners. Passionate Ontario Certified teachers who have experience and a wealth of knowledge provide not only a literacy-rich environment, but use a cross-curricular approach to ensure that language is alive and used all day, every day in a manner that children enjoy and employ. Students are also exposed to language and words well beyond their actual reading capabilities as we understand that cognitive abilities need to be extended and explored. Social studies, Science, the Arts, provide rich opportunities for increased vocabulary development using Direct Instruction and exploration, ensuring deep-rooted success that will be the cornerstone of all other learning.

    DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    What Star Academy says:

    DIBELS testing allows Star Academy three things: ensures children are challenged; informs teaching; shows parents growth.

  • Writing

    Equal balance

    Writing approach at Star Academy: Equal balance

    Star Academy 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 Star Academy's Writing with other schools on
      Equal balance - 79%
      Systematic approach - 9%
      Process approach - 12%

    What Star Academy says:

    Writing is a complex progressive task and needs to be taught and evaluated over a number of broad headings: Content, Form, Conventions, and Process. Within each of these broad headings there are sub-sets that need to be taught and practiced. At Star Academy we break down this complex task and ensure that each of the 21 skill sets that make up our Writing programme are age and developmentally appropriate. These skill sets are taught by both direct instruction and creative writing, ensuring that both systematic development and creative processes are delivered. Skills are analyzed through thrice yearly writing analysis for each student guaranteeing excellence in both programming and in student mastery. Our students leave Star with excellent writing skills and the knowledge to tackle any form or style.

  • Science


    Science approach at Star Academy: Inquiry

    Star Academy has an Inquiry approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Inquiry?]

    Our Kids definition: 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. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.

    Compare Star Academy's Science with other schools on
      Inquiry - 27%
      Expository - 5%
      Equal balance - 68%

    Teaching approach:

    Exploring the world around them and marveling at each discovery is one of the fundamental joys of childhood. Instead of squashing this enthusiasm, at Star we capitalize on it by ensuring the skill sets needed for good Scientific learning are incorporated naturally into the exploration, and guiding the learning and knowledge development. Children are naturally curious about their world, whether it is watching butterflies in the garden or understanding the physics behind baseball. Research shows that bringing Science to life for them will keep them engaged in the Sciences longer, and will open the doors for 50% more post-secondary programmes.

    Treatment of evolution:

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

    Topics covered in curriculum:

  • Literature

    Equal Balance

    Literature approach at Star Academy: Equal Balance

    Star Academy 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 Star Academy's Literature with other schools on
      Equal balance - 76%
      Traditional - 21%
      Social justice - 3%

    What Star Academy says:

    Teaching Literature crosses many subjects and curricula. In it's broadest sense it is a window into past cultures, times and peoples and helps us understand our present day self, society, history and economics. It also is also used to "teach" about plot, characterization, themes, mood, as a way to facilitate essay writing and critique works by self and others. Clearly these skills need to be taught understanding how and when children develop reading and writing skills.

    Program covers:

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

    Expanding Communities

    Social Studies approach at Star Academy: Expanding Communities

    Star Academy 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 Star Academy's Social Studies with other schools on
      Expanding communities - 29%
      Core knowledge - 38%
      Thematic - 33%

    What Star Academy says:

    Children very naturally push back the boundaries of their world, and at Star our Social Studies programme helps do this, getting them to think deeper and more broadly about the world and its' peoples. History, Geography, politics and economics when taught together ensures a more comprehensive understanding and one that does not segment their learning.

  • Humanities and Social Sciences


    Humanities and Social Sciences approach at Star Academy: Perennialism

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

    [Show: About Perennialism?]

    Our Kids definition: 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. There is a strong Liberal Arts bent to perennialist programs. The key goals are to develop critical thinking, a strong foundation of core knowledge (or “cultural literacy”), and persuasion skills through informed debate and extensive practice in essay writing.

    Compare Star Academy's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on
      Perennialism - 7%
      Pragmatism - 10%
      Equal balance - 83%

    What Star Academy says:

    History and Geography need to be taught in a manner to keep it "alive" for students. No longer is it necessary to drill dates, people and locations. A deeper understanding of the "whys" is important to help students both assimilate the information and become critical thinkers about how it affects today's lives and decisions on individual, national and international levels.

  • Foreign Languages

    Equal Balance

    Foreign Languages approach at Star Academy: Equal Balance

    Star Academy has an Equal Balance approach to Foreign Languages (as opposed to Audio-Lingual, Communicative approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.

    Compare Star Academy's Foreign Languages with other schools on
      Equal balance - 65%
      Audio-lingual - 2%
      Communicative - 33%

    What Star Academy says:

    Like all of our content driven courses, we strive to ensure that students get realistic, global instruction in French. While it is important that the language structures be taught and tested, equally it is important that authentic texts and learning about cultural backgrounds be present.

    Language instruction offered in:

  • Fine Arts

    Equal Balance

    Fine Arts approach at Star Academy: Equal Balance

    Star Academy has an Equal Balance approach to Fine Arts (as opposed to Receptive, Creative approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.

    Compare Star Academy's Fine Arts with other schools on
      Equal balance - 65%
      Receptive - 2%
      Creative - 33%

    Program offers:

    Graphic Design
    Visual Arts

    Visual studio philosophy:


    What Star Academy says:

    A few years ago, The Canadian Journal of Education published a study that compared the academic test scores of students who had the arts regularly integrated into their daily academics with those who did not. Over the three years of the study, the students who had regular arts education consistently scored higher academically (Smithrim and Upitis 121). This goes against the old school of thought that the arts are taught at the expense of academics. Star Academy has long since understood the symbiotic relationship between the arts and academics. Our Arts programmes supports: creative thinking, risk taking, innovation, experimentation, collaboration.

  • Computers and Technology

    Heavy integration

    Computers and Technology approach at Star Academy: Heavy integration

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

    [Show: About Heavy integration?]

    Our Kids definition: A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.

    Compare Star Academy's Computers and Technology with other schools on
      Heavy integration - 30%
      Light integration - 18%
      Medium integration - 52%

    What Star Academy says:

    Using laptops and Smartboards in every class and classroom, Star has evolved a program that empowers students to use technology in a responsible, skillful and meaningful way. Technological empowerment begins in kindergarten. Students learn basic skills and develop an awareness of the creative power of technology. The Internet is introduced as a research tool, and once again being responsible citizens is key. Students publish journals and share projects with classmates both online and via the Smartboard. Grade 7&8's engage in social media to support environmental projects. Coding is woven into our programming and students and staff are amazed at what can be created. We advocate teaching students about technology and its useful properties - it is an integral part of their world, responsibility and knowledge are key.

    Program covers:

    Computer science
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What Star Academy says:

    There is a growing body of research that supports a positive direct relationship between physical activity and cognitive development. Specifically, there is a positive relationship between regular physical activity and improved executive functions (selective attention, working memory and the ability to effectively switch tasks). So, the more physically active, the more academically successful! All students, from Kindergarten through Grade Eight, participate in 40 minutes of programmed PhysEd class every day. PhysEd classes at Star Academy engage all students ensuring no one feels left out. Our specialized PhysEd teachers spend as much time planning these classes as they would for any other subject area and set specific learning goals for each individual student. The results have been outstanding, with notable improvements in health and skills-related fitness, cognitive skills, as well as social and emotional development. Students go their academic classes more focused, with greater self-esteem, in a spirit of collaboration.

  • Sex and health education

    Ontario curriculum

    Sex and health education approach at Star Academy: Ontario curriculum

    Star Academy 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 Star Academy's Sex and health education with other schools on
      Follows provincial curriculum - 59%
      Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 41%

    Approach to sex and health education: Fairly value-based

    Star Academy has a approach Fairly value-based (as opposed to Mostly value-neutral approach).
    [Show: About Fairly value-based?]

    Our Kids definition: 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 .

    Star Academy has a approach Progressive (as opposed to Traditional approach).
    [Show: About Progressive?]

    Our Kids definition: 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 Star Academy says:

    Sex-ed curriculum at Star Academy is taught through the lens of respect of self and others. Understanding the students individually helps centre the education around appropriate delivery of topics, ensuring the information is relevant and logical. Parents are always informed of upcoming topics.

Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

[Show definition of Preschool/K Curriculum]

Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)

Preschool/K Curriculum approach at Star Academy: Academic

Star Academy has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).

[Show: About Academic?]

Our Kids definition: Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

Compare Star Academy's Preschool/K Curriculum with other schools on
  Academic - 41%
  Play-based - 24%
  Montessori - 26%
  Waldorf - 2%
  Reggio emilia - 7%

What Star Academy says about their preschool/K curriculum approach:

Following solid research, Star Academy recognizes the importance of teaching strong literacy skills at an early age. Through imaginative free play, language-based lessons, the Arts, independent and guided hands-on activities, students develop language and cognitive abilities that render social intelligence, creative thinking, self-regulation, reading, writing, and problem-solving skills. Star Academy’s Kindergarten it is filled with lessons, music, singing, dancing, improvisations, chatter, and of course, laughter. Academic and social expectations are formally taught to ensure that students quickly become part of a respectful and caring community, eager to learn and expand their independence and knowledge in a safe and trusting environment.

Language English

Learn about Star Academy's languages of instruction and enrolment.

Star Academy 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 Star Academy: Student-paced

Star Academy 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 Star Academy's Curriculum Pace with other schools on
  Student-paced - 26%
  Standard-enriched - 56%
  Accelerated - 18%

What Star Academy says about their curriculum pace:

No two children learn in the same way, at the same time with the same material. Education is a continuum along subjects and skill sets. Goal setting, identifying expectations and next steps for children, and allowing for personalization provide flexibility in learning.

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 Star Academy says about their flexible pacing:

Exceptional teachers and a solid curriculum are crucial to flexible pacing. Star Academy's differentiated lessons and assessments allow for growth beyond expectations. Students who love learning and take initiatives is the result.

Academic Culture

[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.

What Star Academy says about their academic culture:

While academic rigor can exist without a holistic, supporting environment, one should not have to choose between the two.In fact, research has suggested that without a culture of clear standards and support, academic excellence may be short lived. Star Academy understands and delivers this.

Developmental priorities Intellectual

[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: 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 Star Academy says about their developmental priorities:

Decades of educational research have confirmed the need to develop children in a holistic manner. Academic achievement is vital, yet children truly flourish in an environment where social, emotional and physical development are considered essential. We believe that children should—even at the earliest age—develop an awareness of the larger community. At Star Academy, students are given meaningful opportunities to apply their emerging talents to enrich their world. Star Academy’s Five Pillars of Child Development (Academic, Physical, Social, Emotional, Global) are the embodiment of our commitment to holistic education and ensures that everyone develops to their full potential.

Special needs support Withdrawal Assistance

[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.

Star Academy offers Withdrawal Assistance

Students remain in a regular classroom for most of the day, but are pulled out for extra support from a qualified special education teacher.

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

Special NeedNeed
Forms of SupportA
  • 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.
    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.
    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
    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.
    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."
    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

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

Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

Extra support

What Star Academy says:

All children have the right to learn in an environment that understands and supports their learning style. Many programmes offer support to "keep up" but at Star we believe, like building a house, the foundation must first be strong and secure. Tutoring support and curriculum adjustments to meet a child where they are at will support learning and growth.

Additional support

Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support Dedicated gifted class

[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 Star Academy 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. 8, Star Academy students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

Star Academy0 mins0 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins
Site Average6 mins7 mins15 mins18 mins24 mins30 mins35 mins42 mins54 mins59 mins

What Star Academy says about their flipped classroom policy:

Math is typically a subject where flipping the classroom works best, specifically for the older grades. Flipped lessons, with teacher moderating, allow students to achieve more and understand in greater depth. It also allows for differentiation and gifted learning.

Report Card Policy

[Show definition of Report Card Policy]

While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.

How assessments are delivered across the grades

Lettered or numbered gradesPreschool to Gr. 8
Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to Gr. 8
Academic achievement reportingJK to Gr. 8
Habits and behaviour reportingJK to Gr. 8
Parent-teacher meetingsJK to Gr. 8

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

Star Academy offers 2 competitive sports and 11 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

Star Academy offers 16 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
  Poetry/Literature club
  Radio club
  Robotics club
  Round Square
  School newspaper
  Science Club
  Student Council
  Art Club
  Astronomy Club
  Audiovisual Club
  Chess Club
  Community Service
  Computer Club
  Dance Club
  Debate Club
  Drama Club
  Environmental Club

What Star Academy says about their extracurricular activities:

  • Noon and afterschool clubs allow students to explore and take risks in areas that they may not have before. New clubs are constantly being added based on student interest and choice. Senior students help lead clubs.


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