How we see Sunnybrook School
The 50-page review of Sunnybrook School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.Read our in-depth review
How Sunnybrook School sees itself
"Sunnybrook is an IB co-ed school for students from JK to Grade 6. Positive, nurturing relationships at school give our students the confidence to challenge themselves; SBS teachers create a welcoming classroom experience in which all students can reach their potential. Academic learning at SBS is balanced, holistic and engaging; the PYP is enhanced with Singapore Math, Phys Ed, Music and Library, as well as French classes daily. Our strong arts program fosters creativity and self expression."
"Sunnybrook is a small school with a strong community that provides a challenging, high quality International Baccalaureate PYP curriculum. Sunnybrook was the first PYP accredited school in English Canada, and our IB students have agency, are critical thinkers, and learn to take action in the world. Sunnybrook School is Coed, inclusive, and serves a diverse community. Our small size means we know each student well and can tailor our curriculum and school experience to their individual needs."
"The number one reason parents choose Sunnybrook School is our caring, inclusive community. Our small size and devoted staff mean that students feel a strong sense of belonging. Students love that everyone knows them in the school, and everyone cares about them and their education. Through our IB program, we nurture a love of learning and curiosity about the world. The combination of strong community, high academic and personally differentiated learning makes Sunnybrook a truly special school."
"Our approach to learning constantly engages our students. In their own words, “The learning is fun, challenging, you learn so much, not just lectures, there’s varied learning, it’s collaborative, and you learn from other students, not just teachers.” From junior kindergarten to their graduating year when their learning is showcased in the grade six PYP Exhibition, our students have had the advantage of a rich, engaging curriculum delivered by teachers who know and care about their progress."
"The heart of Sunnybrook School and its outstanding success is our dedicated staff. Because of our low staff turnover, our teachers are known and loved by our students and parents, and often students look forward to each grade level knowing the teacher they will have in upcoming years. In the words of a parent, “You see the individual child and their unique strengths. You nurture that like a flame. I have seen both boys grow in confidence since being at SBS. It has been truly transformational.”"
"#1 - First IB PYP accredited school in English Canada
#2 - Very high success in grade seven school acceptance.
#3 - The annual musical includes every child from grade 1 to 6
#4 - SBS has its 70th year anniversary this year, and in that time it has had only three principals
#5 - A BIG small school that is a hidden gem"
Performances in the SBS Arts Studio highlight student talents.
Our Arts Studio has a fully equipped stage for assemblies and small performances.
The Arts Studio also has a full supply of creative materials for art classes
Our playground is loved by all grades!
SBS is located on a residential street in central Toronto
Our Playground offers a range of activities
SBS has a 1:1 iPad program for all grades JK - GR 6
Smartboards in every classroom
Library class is the inquiry hub of the school.
Library class is a special time for sharing and learning about literature
Our library is a comfortable space, where reading and a love of books is nurtured.
How people from the school’s community see Sunnybrook School
Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone
Teralee Brunn, Principal
Sunnybrook invites you to become a part of a very special school. Flexible, dynamic, lively learning to challenge, provoke and engage young minds. At Sunnybrook School we succeed in channeling the energy, enthusiasm and joy of elementary boys and girls into disciplined, thoughtful learning. The small size of our school enables us to know our students and their families, giving greater meaning to the triangle of child, home and school. Our size also enables us to showcase all our students and their work.
With a long, proud history of innovation. We search the world for excellence in elementary education, bringing world class programs to our school. The IB Primary Years Program (IB PYP) enriches and complements our philosophy, giving us an outstanding framework for assessment and curriculum development. Our qualified teachers have extensive IB training; five members of our staff are on the faculty of IB. The IB Program enables us to give our students the world. In our quest for excellence, we have adopted the Singapore Math Program, an enlightened, engaging and effective approach to mathematics learning.
Sunnybrook has remained small because we believe that small schools are good for both students and teachers. Our graduates benefit from the small school environment by becoming confident, self-assured, inquiring young people, ready for the world of a larger middle school. Our faculty is both the heart and the backbone of our dynamic school. The core of a teacherʼs work is to nurture curiosity and inspire learning. Visit our website to learn more; we encourage you to visit our school to see for yourself what Sunnybrook will offer your child. We forward to meeting you.
If you’re considering a small school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Since smaller schools have smaller and less diverse student populations than big schools, it can sometimes be more challenging for your child to find a like-minded group of friends—friends with similar interests, values, etc.
“It’s important to look at the social makeup of the school,” says Ruth Rumack of Ruth Rumack's Learning Space. "Is there enough variety that your child will have a group that they feel connected with? Because you want to have friends that are like-minded and you want to be in a social situation where you feel honoured and respected. Variety can also be found in extracurriculars, leadership programs, and sports activities, which tend to have kids with a wide range of personalities.”
Also, make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your social child. “For instance, a school focusing on individual learning instead of group learning may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff, Toronto-based education consultants at Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s personality.”
Throughout the continuum—from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to the Diploma Programme (DP)—the IB offers plenty of group work, projects, and activities, which can be great for extroverts who often enjoy social and collaborative learning. Also, “Since IB schools have a strong emphasis on community service and activism, your child will have great opportunities to harness their outgoing and collaborative personality,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. These schools will also give your child the chance to interact and spend time with a bright, motivated, and ambitious group of kids who may have interests similar to them.
However, given the challenging curriculum and heavy workload of the IB, it can sometimes leave less time for socializing. This makes it especially important to ask about social opportunities at the school, including the ability to interact with different peer groups, both in class and out.
Smaller schools often have small classrooms and tight-knit communities, which can make it easier for your introverted child to come out of their shell, make friends, and feel like they belong. Since they’re less socially overwhelming, your child should find it easier to navigate their social environment. And since they’re conducive to group work, small classes often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills.
Of course, small schools normally have a less diverse student population than big schools, which can sometimes make it more challenging to find a group of like-minded peers—peers with similar personalities, interests, values, etc. This makes it especially important to ask a school about its extracurricular programs, which can help your introverted child establish an intimate social circle.
IB schools give your child the opportunity to interact and spend time with a bright, motivated, and ambitious group of kids who may have interests similar to them. Due to the IB’s heavy focus on group work, the programme offers a social and collaborative learning environment, which can help your introverted child overcome their shyness and get to know their peers well. This can relieve some of the pressure associated with having to take the initiative outside of class to make friends.
Just make sure any school you're considering offers enough independent work time for your introverted child—something which can vary widely between IB schools.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Sunnybrook School
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