The Priory is a premier coeducational school specializing in elementary education where all stakeholders recognize that "Happy Children Learn Best." Committed to best practices in early childhood education, The Priory is a place where a child’s imagination and creativity are harnessed and celebrated, and where meaningful learning takes place in a nurturing and caring environment. Excellence in teaching and an enthusiasm for learning is at the heart of the school’s mission.
Fully independent school, not requiring a certificate of eligibility
Small school with one classroom per grade level, providing a personalized, family environment
Highly active parent community with many opportunities to get involved
Whole child approach to education, prioritizing the social and emotional health of students
An English school with a strong French language program to promote success in a bilingual community
Strong, well-rounded curriculum and extra-curricular activities
Specialists in early childhood education
Situated in a quiet residential area, but close to the Mount Royal as well as downtown
Learning at The Priory School during COVID-19
What learning looks like now: As a house of learning, the faculty and staff at The Priory School strive to teach the highest standards of hygiene practices, from the very first day of school. This gives us our best chance to mitigate the risks of transmission on campus. It is our responsibility, as a school, to do everything in our power to provide the safest environment possible for our Priory Community.
This is why we have made the decision to implement standards and practices that exceed those mandated by the MEES:
-All students (Kindergarten to Grade 6) are encouraged wear a face mask when indoors
-Only staff and students are be permitted to enter the building
-Public areas such as the library and locker rooms will be closed
-Extra hand washing stations have been installed in key locations
-Students will wear the gym uniform 5 days/week
-Students use hand sanitizer or wash their hands every time they enter or leave their classroom. This also applies when they enter or leave the building
-As usual, all food will be provided by our in-house kitchen service, including morning and afternoon snacks
-Contact free electrostatic technology is used to disinfect our building frequently and efficiently
-High-grade air purifiers have been purchased for every classroom and common area
-Extra after-school staff have been hired so that students can remain in their designated clusters
-Students enjoy three outdoor recesses per day plus three outdoor gym classes per week, weather permitting
Curriculum delivery for 2020/21:
K - Gr. 6
What The Priory School says: The Priory School is currently offering in-person classes for the majority of our students. However, for those students who must remain home for health reasons or who have not yet arrived in Montreal, the school provides a Distance Learning Portal where remote students can access daily work and activity from their classroom teachers and specialists as well as make real-time connections with their classmates and teacher through video platforms, such as Zoom.
The Priory was founded in 1947 with 25 students, though it grew quite quickly in the early years. When the school moved to its current location in 1961, it was officially opened by Governor General Georges Vanier, giving an indication of the profile the school had developed in a relatively short period of time. The founders, Frances E. Ballantyne and Alphonsine Howlett, believed that children “learn by doing,” something that was revolutionary for the time. Howlett said of The Priory that “it is a school for the children. We are opposed to the idea of ‘children for the school.’ We had seen evidence around us that children had too little interest in their studies and we wanted a school where pupils would want to learn and would enjoy learning.” While the school has grown over the years, it has remained true to those initial ambitions. The school’s most robust capital campaign, begun in 2010, added to the instructional spaces, including provisions for 21st century literacies. A strong sense of community within the school is also a notable draw.
Interviews with alumni and parents
The Priory School - Our Kids Insider Perspective: Parents
In this Perspective:
[00:57] - What are your son’s likes and dislikes?
[01:49] - What kind of learner is your son?
[02:36] - Why did you choose The Priory over other schools?
[05:10] - What was the application process like?
[06:14] - What was your child’s overall experience like at the school?
[07:10] - Was the school efficient at adapting to your children’s’ learning styles?
[08:39] - Were there any changes in your children’s demeanor that they picked up in school?
[10:17] - Is the school’s atmosphere contributing to each student’s ability to grow and develop as a person?
[10:50] - What values have you seen demonstrated by the school in actual practice?
[14:01] - Are there leadership opportunities available for the students?
[17:15] - Did The Priory help your children improve upon any specific skills?
[18:14] - What were the classroom sizes like?
[19:47] - Were you happy with the classroom sizes?
[20:37] - What was the relationship like between teachers and students?
[21:50] - What was the relationship like between teachers and parents?
[22:56] - What forms of parent involvement are available?
[24:32] - Do you feel like there are shared values among the parents?
[26:05] - Was there anything about The Priory that you found surprising?
[27:02] - What were your children's favourite takeaways from the school?
[28:34] - What did you appreciate most about the school?
[29:18] - What are the 3 main reasons why you would recommend this school to another parent?
[31:29] - What would you improve about The Priory?
[34:29] - Is there anything that you feel is important to share about the school that I haven’t mentioned?
[36:46] - Was The Priory’s online-learning transition during COVID surprising to you?
[39:21] - How did The Priory’s adapted graduation ceremony make your daughter feel?
[40:09] - What advice would you give your past self before embarking on this experience?
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 Priory School: Progressive
Priory School has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive?]
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.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 27%   Traditional - 43%   Liberal arts - 18%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 1%
What Priory School says: The shared Priory philosophy believes that if every child feels secure, respected, and valued, then in turn they will achieve great things. In short, “happy children learn best”.
These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net
Equal balance - 69%   Traditional math - 28%   Discovery math - 3%
What Priory School says: Diverse mathematical materials and resources are used to enrich the program. Problem solving is the major focus of the mathematics curriculum. At the cycle 3 level, students learn to decode the elements of more complex situational problems. They further expand their repertoire of problem solving strategies. Students are encouraged to use manipulative materials as they model problems, to use appropriate mathematical language as they share ideas, and to validate their own solutions. Significant attention is also given to the development and practice of basic skills.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: http://pearsonerpi.com/en/primaire
Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.
Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
What Priory School says: The school's Learning Specialist works collaboratively with the classroom teachers to tailor instruction and curriculum to help each Priory student flourish academically. The Learning Specialist runs the Priory Enrichment Program (PEP) which provides both in-class and small-group support for students experiencing academic difficulties, and also provides enrichment opportunities for students who would benefit from the additional challenge. The Learning Specialist is also responsible for implementing the Cycle One (Grades 1 & 2) individualized reading program which provides weekly one-on-one differentiated reading instruction to Cycle One students with reading material that matches their reading ability.
DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What Priory School says: This information is not currently available.
The systematic approach to teaching beginner writing focuses on directly imparting explicit sentence construction strategies, along with planning, revising, and editing skills. Students are asked to learn these explicit strategies and skills and practice them before applying them in more holistic writing assignments. Grammar and parts of sentences tend to have a central role in systematic writing instruction.
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.
Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
What Priory School says: À la fin du troisième cycle, votre enfant pourra établir les contextes géographique et historique des sociétés du passé. Il reconnaîtra l'influence des personnages et l'incidence d'événements sur les organisations territoriale et sociale, ou sur des changements qu'elles ont connus. Il pourra aussi repérer des traces du passé dans des réalités patrimoniales actuelles. Votre enfant pourra aussi vous parler de ses forces et de ce qu'il peut améliorer.
The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
What Priory School says: À la fin du troisième cycle, votre enfant devrait exprimer plus couramment en français ses besoins personnels et sociaux et communiquer plus spontanément et efficacement, tant à l'oral qu'à l'écrit, avec ses pairs. Il devrait se sentir à l'aise avec la littérature française et capable de choisir des livres par rapport à ses intérêts personnels. Il pourra diversifier ses lectures, établir des liens entre différents textes et les communiquer à différents interlocuteurs. Votre enfant approfondira ses connaissances par rapport à la langue française et à la culture québécoise. Il pourra participer à de nombreux échanges en français avec ses pairs et la communauté francophone.
Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
Computers and Technology at schools on OurKids.net
Medium integration - 48%   Light integration - 18%   Heavy integration - 34%
What Priory School says: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at The Priory enhances learning. Students use ICT in a variety of ways: creating, composing, exploring, analyzing, communicating and collaborating. Technology is used as a tool and is integrated into the curriculum at all grade levels. Students have access to a Mac Lab, which includes a robotics lab, a mobile iPad cart, Smartboards and computers running Windows in the classrooms. The goal of the ICT Program is to provide students with the skills to thrive in a continuously changing world.
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 Priory School: Academic
Priory School has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).
[Show: About Academic?]
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.
What Priory School says: The Priory Kindergarten is designed to provide an intensive start to French learning experiences. Learning through play, exploration and experimentation are important components of the program. Through these mediums, children learn to express themselves confidently, interact harmoniously with others and gain a better understanding of the world around them. Learning through play allows each child to build a strong foundation from which to begin elementary school.
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 Priory School: Standard-enriched
Priory School has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
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 Priory School says: This information is not currently available.
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: Emotional
The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
What Priory School says: This information is not currently available.
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.
Priory School offers No support
Priory School offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
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.
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).
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.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
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 (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
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.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.
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.
Competitive sports: 3 Recreational sports: 13
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
The Priory School offers 14 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
What Priory School says about their tuition: The Tuition includes all other Fees including: Meals, Didactic Materials, (computer technology, book rental, school supplies), as well as Student Life Fees (Sports, Games, Special Events and Field Trips). There is no extra billing throughout the year for activities, events or field trips.
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
This school works with Apple Financial Inc. for processing financial applications The Priory School has financial assistance programs available. The Priory uses the services of Apple Financial and their Financial Aid for Canadian Students (FACS) program as a third party organization to assess the needs of families. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please follow this link http://www.applefinancialservices.ca.
Merit based Scholarships
The Priory School does not offer merit-based financial awards.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
K to Gr. 6
Average class size
12 to 24
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
Submit a completed Application to the Admissions Office.
Include a certified copy of your child's birth certificate or bring the original with you when you come for your personal interview.
Submit your child's most recent report card, or school transcript, if applying for grades 1-6 and any form of evaluation you have received from a daycare or nursery school if you are applying for Kindergarten. If this is not available at the time of application, please make arrangements to have it forwarded to The Priory.
Submit a recent photo of your child (passport size).
Include a non-refundable application fee of $50. Please make cheques payable to The Priory School.
Have your child's present teacher or daycare worker fill out the appropriate Confidential School Report and have it sent to The Priory School. Download the appropriate Confidential School Report form and give it to child's teacher. This form should be mailed directly back to The Priory School.
Acceptance Rate: 75%
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Day Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Type of student Priory School is looking for:
This information is not currently available.
Dear Parents, Imagine a school where children can be children and achieve academic excellence; where teachers go above and beyond to personalize learning and encourage students to reach their full potential. I am proud to say that I am the headmaster of just such a school - The Priory School. Founded in 1947 based on Catholic traditions, The Priory is an independent, co-educational elementary school from Kindergarten to Grade 6 providing a strong, challenging curriculum, in a nurturing and caring learning environment. At The Priory, your child will benefit from the School’s mission to nurture each child’s inherent curiosity, develop an enthusiasm for learning and encourage intellectual and creative initiative. Our small class sizes ensure that each student’s individual needs are met and we are committed to providing a rewarding educational experience that fosters academic and personal growth in partnership with parents. The Priory has become “a home away from home” for many and has provided a nurturing learning environment that is supportive, inspiring and aware of individual needs. We are proud of our sterling reputation within the educational community, and invite you to come and see for yourself what The Priory is all about.