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Unionville College:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades Preschool TO Gr. 10 — Unionville, ON (Map)

Unionville College:


Curriculum Traditional, Montessori

[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 UC: Traditional, Montessori

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

[Show: About Traditional, Montessori?]

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 UC's Curriculum with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Traditional - 40%
  Liberal arts - 13%
  Progressive - 34%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 1%
  Waldorf - 1%

UC has a Montessori approach to supplementary curriculum.

Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Instead of listening to whole-class lessons, Montessori classrooms allow students to choose which "tasks" or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles - their essential feature being they contain a right answer and allow for selfcorrection. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on lessons being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with students developing a sense of self-sufficiency, confidence and curiosity.

What UC says about their overall curriculum and approach:

Unionville College offers a challenging academic environment coupled with a balanced, whole-child approach to education for students in grades 1 to 8. Students master curricula that is one year ahead their current grade level, with the support of caring and enthusiastic teachers who cater to individual talents and needs. Coursework and extra-curricular learning is informed by a project-based, hands-on approach. Students explore diverse topics, from international relations, financial literacy, robotics, and 3-D printing to the performance of instrumental jazz at an advanced level. Our iPad program and other cutting-edge technologies are hallmarks of our school, provided in our state-of-the art facility which includes a top-rate, professionally equipped theatre for school performances. Personalized attention, committed teachers and administrative accountability inspires students to strive for excellence. Every parent is heard, and every student at Unionville College is guaranteed a learning experience that is beyond the Ontario curriculum -- a learning experience unlike any other.

Montessori program(s) offered

Montessori toddler
Middle School
High School


Focus Special needs
Academic Gifted

Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Equal Balance

    Mathematics approach at UC: Equal Balance

    UC 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 UC's Mathematics with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 70%
      Traditional math - 25%
      Discovery math - 5%

    What UC says:

    For the past 11 years, UMS students have surpassed achievement expectations for every grade in mathematics, as measured by the CAT-4 Canadian Achievement Test and reported by Psychometrics Canada Ltd. In 2015, our grade 7 and 8 students participated in the Gauss Contest, set by the Centre for Education at the University of Waterloo. Nearly one-quarter of our contest participants earned scores of 89% or higher. For the Canadian National Mathematics League, set by the University of Windsor, our grade 6 and 7 students placed second and third, respectively, nationally. Five of our students earned spots in the top twenty students nationwide. Overall, our grade 6 and 7 students earned second place out of more than 200 schools, and our grade 8 students finished 13th out of 164 participating schools.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    Grade 1 to 7 use My Math/Glencoe Math, an innovative, research-based numeracy program. Our Grade 8's use Nelson Principles of Mathematics, which is an academic Grade 9 textbook in line with our year-ahead program.

    Calculator policy:

    Students are encouraged to use mental math until intermediate levels where graphing is necessary.

  • Early Reading


    Early Reading approach at UC: Phonics-intensive

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

    [Show: About Phonics-intensive?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare UC's Early Reading with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Phonics-intensive - 44%
      Whole language - 2%
      Balanced literacy - 54%

    What UC says:

    The Unionville Montessori School Elementary program continues the intensive early reading program in which students are immersed in the Casa program. Using dynamic classroom resources and learning tools, our teachers create benchmark reading levels and monitor individual progress. Printable books, or projected interactive books on the Smartboard, are supplemented with worksheets and activity-based lessons, along with a host of interactive resources and develop key reading skills. These resources include Headsprout, Learning A - Z and Raz Kids. Levelled books ensure success in the classroom with developmentally appropriate books at 27 different reading levels. Students as early as grade 1 are encouraged to use iPad apps to supplement the text-based reading programs, and improve learning with the addition of colour, images, graphics and games. The balanced literacy program emphasizes the instruction of grammar and vocabulary in the context of a narrative or text, as well as a phonetic approach.

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

    What UC says:

    UMS students write the CAT-4, the Ontario Writing Assessment and Comprehension Attitude Strategies Interests.

  • Writing

    Equal balance

    Writing approach at UC: Equal balance

    UC 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 UC's Writing with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 79%
      Systematic approach - 9%
      Process approach - 12%

    What UC says:

    The balanced literacy program further extends the Montessori methods so that phonics, vocabulary and constructing meaning is integrated into the creation of writing skills. Our advanced academic program for the early grades is founded upon a personalized approach to learning. Programs are individually placed, and a resource teacher is available to support children who are developing writing skills. Students grade 3 and up study novels and write answers to comprehension questions based on the text. Students in the higher grades study grammar and vocabulary using interactive, online software and workbooks. They are also are instructed in essay writing and speech writing to prepare for our annual Speech Festival. Many students in grade 8 are reading and writing at a level that is suited for an advanced academic course in a high-school setting. All students in need of resource support receive individualized instruction as needed.

  • Science

    Equal Balance

    Science approach at UC: Equal Balance

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

    Teaching approach:

    Science is a vital curriculum area at Unionville Montessori School, where students from grades 1 to 8 have access to a fully-equipped, top-tier science lab. In the lab, and in classes, students in primary, junior and intermediate levels experience science through inquiry-based learning, where they can understand the scientific facts, theories and concepts through hands-on experiments and activities. Students at UMS receive more instruction in math and science than the norm, as part of the school-wide focus on an integrated, cross-curricular STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focus. Students who excel in science develop a strong ability to think critically, and a talent for creative thought and excellent communication and collaborative skills.

    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 UC: Equal Balance

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

    What UC says:

    UMS pupils work at a grade-ahead level in Language Arts. Students in the primary grades work with concepts such as the elements of narratives, the features of various literary genres such as the "legend," or "fable," and grasp abstract concepts such as the main character or hero. Beginning in grade 3, students complete a novel study, wherein they are encouraged to make inferences and to prove their argument in traditional literary critique form. Senior students work with complex texts from various cultures and time periods, and are encouraged to explore fundamental themes and to apply literary terms. In grades 1 to 8, literary study is founded upon our character education program whereby students are encouraged to reflect upon honesty, self-discipline, integrity and personal responsibility, and to explore their own values and the values and the customs of diverse cultures.

    Program covers:

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


    Social Studies approach at UC: Thematic

    UC has a Thematic approach to Social Studies (as opposed to Core Knowledge, Expanding Communities approach).

    [Show: About Thematic?]

    Our Kids definition: The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.

    Compare UC's Social Studies with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Thematic - 32%
      Core knowledge - 38%
      Expanding communities - 30%

    What UC says:

    Social Studies for grades 1 to 6 takes a thematic approach and encourages depth and breadth through independent study projects on various topics and themes. Our UMS curriculum highlights Canadian geography and history for grades 1 to 6, but also extends and enriches those topics with a global view and context. Teachers plan tangential learning activities and challenges, and also incorporate the use of SMART Boards, media-based resources and iPads to teach both process and content. Social Studies often leads to research projects and learning that emphasizes higher-order thinking. In addition, students in grades 5 to 8 participate in annual class trips to destinations that reinforce classroom learning, including Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Quebec. UMS also frequently sponsors school trips to destinations in the United States, such as New York City, and in Europe, with a bi-annual trip to Paris, France.

  • Humanities and Social Sciences

    Equal Balance

    Humanities and Social Sciences approach at UC: Equal Balance

    UC has an Equal Balance approach to Humanities and Social Sciences (as opposed to Perennialism, Pragmatism approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.

    Compare UC's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 83%
      Perennialism - 7%
      Pragmatism - 10%

    What UC says:

    The UMS approach to grade 7 and 8 history and geography extends and enriches the commonly studied Ontario curriculum with a global view and international context. Teachers plan tangential learning activities and challenges, and also incorporate the use of SMART Boards, media-based resources and iPads to teach both process and content. Social studies often leads to research-based projects and learning that emphasizes higher-order thinking. UMS also frequently sponsors school trips to destinations in the United States, such as New York City, and in Europe, with a bi-annual trip to Paris, France.

  • Foreign Languages

    Equal Balance

    Foreign Languages approach at UC: Equal Balance

    UC 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 UC's Foreign Languages with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 65%
      Audio-lingual - 2%
      Communicative - 33%

    What UC says:

    Students are UMS are progressively introduced to French vocabulary beginning as early as age 2, in our Pre-Casa and Casa program. Formal instruction in French begins in grade 1, giving elementary students several years of head start in French. During French lessons, students learn vocabulary and develop conversational skills, using a fun and interactive approach involving stories, props, music, games and activities. The main resource for French instruction is AIM -- Accelerative Integrated Method -- a system which uses hand gestures to represent and mimic sounds and words. This is a popular movement-based approach to learning that is especially helpful for active, high-energy students that enjoy expressing themselves through large-muscle movement (kinaesthetic learning).

    Language instruction offered in:

  • Fine Arts

    Equal Balance

    Fine Arts approach at UC: Equal Balance

    UC 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 UC's Fine Arts with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 64%
      Receptive - 2%
      Creative - 34%

    Program offers:

    Graphic Design
    Visual Arts

    Visual studio philosophy:


    What UC says:

    Inspired by the value of the arts, it is our goal to not only enhance the artistic abilities of our students but also to develop an awareness and appreciation of various art forms. Visual arts allows students to unleash a wave of talent through different media including drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats.

  • Computers and Technology

    Heavy integration

    Computers and Technology approach at UC: Heavy integration

    UC 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 UC's Computers and Technology with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Heavy integration - 30%
      Light integration - 18%
      Medium integration - 52%

    What UC says:

    One of the emerging trends has been the introduction of advanced technological resources within the classroom. UMS has embraced this idea and is proactively taking a measured approach towards incorporating innovative methods of learning, changing the face of the classroom environment. Our mandate, “Excellence in Education,” is the driving force behind this initiative. Education must be forward-leaning, recognizing that the “real world” for which students are being prepared is dynamic, with exponential changes especially in technology. Innovation is at the forefront of our priorities, in order to give your child the necessary skills to grow as a lifelong learner.

    Program covers:

    Computer science
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What UC says:

    Regular exercise is essential to children’s overall health and positive development. Students participate in formal Physical Education classes with trained teachers, as well as in a wide variety of intramural and competitive sports teams. Our competitive teams compete against other local schools. Physical Education classes follow the Ontario Health and Physical Education Association curriculum. In these classes, not only do the students have the opportunity to be physically active while learning important skills, but they also work on developing their self-esteem, learn about good sportsmanship, and develop positive exercise habits while having a great deal of fun. Our Elementary programme also offers students many sports teams, such as basketball, volleyball, golf, swimming, soccer, cross country, floor hockey, and many more.

  • Advanced Placement courses

    9 courses
    • AP Statistics
    • AP World History
    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP English Literature and Composition
    • AP Environmental Science
    • AP French Language
  • Sex and health education

    Ontario curriculum

    Sex and health education approach at UC: Ontario curriculum

    UC 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 UC's Sex and health education with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Follows provincial curriculum - 59%
      Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 41%

    What UC says:

    This information is not currently available.

Preschool/K Curriculum Montessori

[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 UC: Montessori

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

[Show: About Montessori?]

Our Kids definition: Montessori programs aimed at preschool and Kindergarten- aged children allow young learners to choose which “tasks” or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles -- the essential features of these puzzles being they contain a “right answer” and allow for self-correction. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on learning being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with children developing a sense of self-sufficiency and confidence. Specially trained teachers act as guides, introducing children to progressively more difficult materials when appropriate. A Montessori classroom is typically very calm and orderly, with children working alone or, sometimes, in small groups.

If you want to learn more about Montessori education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also check out our guide to Montessori preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

Compare UC's Preschool/K Curriculum with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Montessori - 26%
  Play-based - 24%
  Waldorf - 2%
  Reggio emilia - 7%
  Academic - 41%

What UC says about their preschool/K curriculum approach:

The Montessori approach is a student-centered and student-directed teaching method that is offered within a prepared environment, which fosters exploration, experimentation, creativity, and respect. Our Casa programme builds on the foundation of the Montessori Method with extremely popular enhancements and additional learning opportunities for our students in music, science, visual and dramatic arts, and more.

Montessori Approach Non-orthodox

Unionville College's Montessori approach. Learn about this school's class practices and policies as well as its curricular and teaching approach.

  Primary Lower Elementary Upper Elementary Middle High
Age groupings
How children are grouped by age for each class.'
2.5 to 6
Uninterrupted work periods
The longest uninterrupted work period for each class.'
2 hours
Tests and assignments
How often students are given tests or assignments in each class.'
Never (Orthodox)
Graded work
How often students have their work graded in each class.'
Never (Orthodox)
Arts and crafts
The percentage of a typical student's day that is spent on arts and crafts in each class.'

Overall approach

40% of schools

Schools that adhere strictly to the original Montessori program. They follow Montessori principles to the letter.

Moderately Orthodox
40% of schools

Schools that adhere to the original Montessori program and principles. On occasion, though, they supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

Moderately Non-Orthodox
13% of schools

Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but sometimes supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

6% of schools

Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but often supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

Classroom practices

  • Whole-class lectures Moderately orthodox


    Whole-class lectures should never be given. Students learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

    Moderately orthodox

    Whole-class lectures should only be given occasionally (e.g., at the beginning of a term or unit). Students usually learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

    Moderately non-orthodox

    Whole-class lectures should be given semi-regularly (e.g., at the beginning of a lesson or a week). While students often learn best through group and independent work, it's sometimes important for teachers to set the stage for and contextualize learning.


    Whole-class lectures should be given often (e.g., every day). While group and independent learning is important, teachers need to provide lectures on a regular basis to provide the foundation for learning.

  • Special education Moderately orthodox


    External special education support isn't necessary. Core teachers can deal with all special education needs, by offering the relevant support for each student.

    Moderately orthodox

    External special education support is only rarely necessary. For instance, a psychologist might be brought in to help out a student with a severe developmental disorder.

    Moderately non-orthodox

    External special education support is quite important. Outside specialists are needed for a fairly wide range of special needs, such as developmental and learning disabilities.


    External special education support is very important. Outside specialists are regularly brought in to support students with many different types of special needs, including developmental and learning disabilities, language and speech issues, behavioural issues, and advanced learning abilities.

  • Specialist classes Non-orthodox


    We don't have any specialist teachers or classes. Core teachers are well-equipped to teach all subjects.

    Moderately orthodox

    We only use specialist teachers and classes in rare cases (for instance, to teach a second language). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach almost all subjects.

    Moderately non-orthodox

    We have a fairly wide range of specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, and art). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach most subjects.


    We have many specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, art, gym, science, and math). It's important that students receive specialized instruction in many subjects.

  • Modern-day technology Non-orthodox


    Modern-day technology is never used in the classroom. This can interfere with students' social and emotional development and can be a distraction.

    Moderately orthodox

    Modern-day technology is very rarely used in class, since it can be a distraction and interfere with development. Students at the upper levels, though, might be permitted to use a computer or a tablet to do research for a specific project.

    Moderately non-orthodox

    Modern-day technology is used in moderation since it can be a distraction. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, and multimedia projects.


    Modern technology is used fairly regularly. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, multimedia projects, and to learn keyboarding skills. Teachers may sometimes also use digital media, such as interactive whiteboards, to teach lessons or introduce topics.

Teaching assistants

This school uses teaching assistants.

What UC says about teaching assistants:

TAs are found in every class and are an essential and integral part of the classroom teaching team. They support the lead Montessori Teacher and students, help with programming, teaching, supervision and communication with families.

Language English

Learn about Unionville College's languages of instruction and enrolment.

UC offers English as the primary language of instruction.

Language of enrolment include: English, Mandarin

Curriculum Pace Accelerated

[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 UC: Accelerated

UC has an Accelerated approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Student-paced approach).

[Show: About Accelerated?]

Our Kids definition: The main curriculum accelerates beyond the pace of the provincial one; ALL students do the work of OLDER public-school peers in tangible and measurable ways. This accelerated pace is maintained by the teachers and school, (through textbook selection, topic selection, grading, assignment standards and expectations, etc).

Compare UC's Curriculum Pace with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Accelerated - 18%
  Standard-enriched - 56%
  Student-paced - 26%

What UC says about their curriculum pace:

Our Elementary programme implements the Ontario Curriculum at an advanced level with low student/teacher ratios, small class sizes and highly-trained educators. The advanced curriculum means that students are learning a grade ahead in the subject areas of language, math, science and social studies.

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 UC says about their flexible pacing:

In our Montessori classrooms students are encouraged to work independently, as well as in small groups. As each child is an individual, they are encouraged to learn at their own pace, following their own personalized programming while being guided and monitored by our specially trained and nurturing teachers.

Academic Culture Rigorous

[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 UC: Rigorous

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

[Show: About Rigorous?]

Our Kids definition: A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

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

What UC says about their academic culture:

Our belief is that children are very capable and given the right opportunity and environment can excel academically at a very young age. Our Montessori classrooms provide students with the perfect environment to encourage development of essential skills as they develop a strong academic foundation. Students are challenged and encouraged as they progress through the enriched Montessori curriculum, with an emphasis on language and math skills development, before entering our elementary program, which follows the Ontario curriculum at a year-ahead.

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: Social

The goal is to cultivate "socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better."

What UC says about their developmental priorities:

Character Education is an important cornerstone of our curriculum. While we encourage our students to develop independent thinking and creativity, we also encourage respect and integrity and place emphasis on the value of teamwork, kindness and compassion. All of our students are encouraged to be good citizens, in school, and out in the world.

Special needs support Partial Integration

[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.

UC offers Partial Integration

Students are placed in a separate special education class, but are strategically integrated into a regular classroom for certain periods.

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 UC says:

Students in a Montessori classroom learn at their own pace following an individualized programme. This type of environment naturally provides accommodation for students who may have difficulties with some areas of learning as students are able to move at their own pace through the curriculum with the support and guidance of our specially trained teachers. Activities and materials that students can manipulate hands-on before moving to more abstract learning, encourage children to develop a more thorough understanding of what they are learning, encouraging greater success.

Additional support

Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support Dedicated gifted school

[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: Acceleration and enrichment

There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.

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 UC says about their gifted learner support:

With a specialist teaching staff, our Gifted and Talented (G.A.T.E.) students are supported with in-depth learning, a greater emphasis on independent study, sophisticated discussion and cross-curricular integration. Our G.A.T.E. students will be immersed in higher level creative thinking, problem solving and research skills. Multiple teaching strategies are employed, including learning centres, blended programs, acceleration and independent study. The instructional planning makes content more abstract, complex and interrelated.

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. 10, UC students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

UC15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins90 mins90 mins
Site Average2 mins6 mins8 mins15 mins18 mins24 mins30 mins36 mins42 mins54 mins58 mins76 mins88 mins

This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).

What UC says about their flipped classroom policy:

This information is not currently available.

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
Academic achievement reportingGr. 1 to Gr. 8
Habits and behaviour reportingGr. 1 to Gr. 8
Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool 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

Unionville College offers 16 competitive sports and 5 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

Unionville College offers 22 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 UC says about their extracurricular activities:

  • Our athletic program is one of the top in the region, our teams are always placing top 3 in tournaments and competitions that they attend.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Unionville College

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