University of Toronto Schools ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS
Curriculum Liberal Arts
Curriculum approach at UTS: Liberal Arts
UTS has a Liberal Arts approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
Our Kids definition: Liberal Arts curricula share with traditional programs their emphasis on core knowledge-acquisition, but tend to borrow more best practices from the progressive approach. A Liberal Arts program might still feature group work and projects, for example, contrary to the more singular emphasis on tests and essays at a Traditional program.
Traditional - 39%
Progressive - 34%
Montessori - 11%
Reggio Emilia - 1%
Waldorf - 1%
What UTS says about their overall curriculum and approach:
UTS provides an environment for high-achieving students to realize their potential through its enriched curriculum (including AP courses) and wide range of co-curricular opportunities. UTS graduates take initiative and innovate as socially-responsible global citizens.
Pedagogies and subject courses:
Mathematics approach at UTS: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.Compare UTS's Mathematics with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 69%
Traditional math - 25%
Discovery math - 6%
What UTS says:
Through study of mathematics at UTS, students will develop the mathematical concepts and skills required of knowledgeable citizens and become prepared for successful studies in university. There is a dual emphasis on application of mathematics to real world applications such as personal finance, statistics and computer science and recognition of the beauty of pattern, shape and design inherent in pure mathematics. In addition to developing computational skills, students will develop their critical thinking abilities and reasoning techniques through study of problem-solving involving numerical analysis, algebra and geometry. For those students showing a keen interest and/or extraordinary mathematical ability, the department sponsors a student-run mathematics club, and encourages participation in local, provincial, national and international mathematical contests.
Textbooks and supplementary materials:
No textbooks used for math courses.
Science approach at UTS: Equal Balance[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 UTS's Science with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 67%
Expository - 6%
Inquiry - 27%
Studies in General Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are offered at the academic and university preparation levels in order to prepare students for University. The aim of these courses is to involve students in the process and philosophy of science while learning the factual knowledge relevant to the courses. Courses will include laboratory investigations, discussions, seminars, and research projects. In the senior grades it may be possible for students to undertake more extensive investigations.
Treatment of evolution:
Subject Offered Evolution as consensus theory Evolution as one of many equally viable theories Evolution is not taught
Topics covered in curriculum:
Subject Offered Biology Chemistry Ecology Geology Meteorology Physics Physiology Zoology
Literature approach at UTS: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.Compare UTS's Literature with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 75%
Traditional - 21%
Social justice - 4%
What UTS says:
In our study of literature and language at UTS, the principal objective is the development of an inquiring and perceptive mind. Clarity, depth, and creativity in oral and written expression are valued. Through reading, speaking, listening, writing, and the exploration of various media, students will be encouraged to reflect upon the nature of the human experience.
Subject Offered Canadian lit American lit European (continental) lit World (non-Western) lit English lit Ancient lit
Humanities and Social SciencesEqual Balance
Humanities and Social Sciences approach at UTS: Equal Balance[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 UTS's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 81%
Perennialism - 8%
Pragmatism - 11%
What UTS says:
The school’s Vision and Mission calls upon students to become socially responsible global citizens. Social responsibility and global citizenship are the core subject matter of UTS’ offerings in Canadian and World Studies which seek to build, by reflecting upon the past, understanding the present, and planning for the future, competencies in the skills, knowledge, and attitudes we require to make effective decisions fully aware of their implications for ourselves and the wider communities of which we are a part. At the senior level, Canadian and World Studies offers a number of courses in specialized disciplines, including Civics, Law, Politics, Economics and Philosophy. This specialization exposes students to the study of various social science and humanities disciplines which they may choose to pursue in further depth at the university level.
Foreign LanguagesEqual Balance
Foreign Languages approach at UTS: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.Compare UTS's Foreign Languages with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 65%
Audio-lingual - 2%
Communicative - 33%
What UTS says:
The goal of the French program is to give students the opportunity to become functionally bilingual, to achieve a high degree of proficiency. Learning cooperatively is an essential part of this program. The German and Spanish programs provide students with opportunities to develop thinking, analytical and communication skills in everyday and literary usage of these languages. Students will acquire a high degree of language proficiency. In addition to classroom, computer lab and library research activities, additional language immersion experiences are offered. The Latin program offers students the opportunity to study the foundation language and culture of the Romans, Extensive work in etymology and linguistic comparison direct the students to make connections between Latin and English and other modern languages.
Language instruction offered in:
Subject Offered Chinese-Cantonese Chinese-Mandarin French German Greek Italian Japanese Hebrew Latin Russian Spanish ESL
Fine ArtsEqual Balance
Fine Arts approach at UTS: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.Compare UTS's Fine Arts with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 65%
Receptive - 2%
Creative - 33%
Subject Offered Acting Dance Drama/Theatre Graphic Design Music Visual Arts
Visual studio philosophy:
What UTS says:
Expressive Arts at the University of Toronto Schools includes Drama, Interdisciplinary Studies (Art and Design), Music and Visual Arts. Students develop creative and critical thinking skills and apply the creative process through these subject areas while building on vital forms of communication. The development of dramatic, musical, interdisciplinary and visual literacy enables students to foster awareness and appreciation in the arts in their own and other cultures. In producing their own creative works, they communicate their insights while developing artistic skills and aesthetic judgment.
Computers and TechnologyMedium integration
Computers and Technology approach at UTS: Medium integration[Show: About Medium integration?]
Our Kids definition: Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.Compare UTS's Computers and Technology with other schools on OurKids.net:  Medium integration - 52%
Light integration - 18%
Heavy integration - 30%
What UTS says:
Computer science courses at UTS provide a detailed look at the principles of computing with an eye toward possible careers in scientific or computer related fields. Throughout each course a conscious effort is made to focus on concepts and principles that will be of lasting value in the face of changes and improvements in technology. Additional enrichment opportunities in Computer Science at UTS are available through student run clubs when there is sufficient interest and computing contests when it is feasible to offer them.
Subject Offered Computer science Robotics Web design
What UTS says:
The aim of the Health and Physical Education program is to encourage students to enjoy being physically active and to motivate them to be more physically active on a regular basis. The program emphasizes regular participation and involvement in a variety of enjoyable physical activities. The program strives to meet the needs of young people by providing a balanced curriculum of individual and group activities. These activities stress ways to improve physical fitness, competence and awareness in conjunction with relevant health issues and leadership opportunities. Classes will use the school gym, Robert Street playing field, swimming pool and Ridley Fitness Centre. Motor skill development, physical fitness, and living skills are all integral parts of the curriculum.
Advanced Placement courses19 courses
- AP Physics 1
- AP Physics 2
- AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
- AP Physics C: Mechanics
- AP Research (Second part of the AP Capstone program)
- AP Seminar (First part of the AP Capstone program)
- AP Statistics
- AP World History
- AP Biology
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Chemistry
- AP Chinese Language and Culture
- AP Computer Science A
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature and Composition
- AP French Language
- AP Human Geography
- AP Macroeconomics
- AP Microeconomics
Sex and health educationOntario curriculum
Sex and health education approach at UTS: Ontario curriculum
UTS 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 UTS's Sex and health education with other schools on OurKids.net:  Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%
Approach to sex and health education:UTS has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
Our Kids definition: By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.
What UTS says:
The University of Toronto Schools follows the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education for the Province of Ontario.
Learn about University of Toronto Schools's languages of instruction and enrolment.
UTS offers English as the primary language of instruction.
Language of enrolment include: English, French, Mandarin
Curriculum Pace Accelerated
Curriculum Pace approach at UTS: Accelerated
UTS has an Accelerated approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Student-paced approach).
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).
Standard-enriched - 56%
Student-paced - 26%
What UTS says about their curriculum pace:
UTS remains strongly committed to the liberal arts and sciences curriculum which provides the opportunity for, and expectations of, an expanded and enriched program. Thus, individual fast-tracking and early course specialization are not compatible with our philosophy.
Flexible pacing style
|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|
What UTS says about their flexible pacing:
This information is not currently available.
Academic Culture Rigorous
Academic Culture approach at UTS: Rigorous
UTS has a Rigorous approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Supportive approach).
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”.
Supportive - 50%
What UTS says about their academic culture:
The University of Toronto Schools is a community of active learners. Most students are best described as high achieving, with many identified as gifted. They truly enjoy both the academic and co-curricular program. UTS students excel in many areas as demonstrated by the variety of prizes and awards won at the National and International level.
Developmental priorities Balanced
Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.
Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."
What UTS says about their developmental priorities:
Vision Statement UTS is a transformative learning community focused on intellectual growth and individual development. We build on a tradition of academic distinction and leadership to develop socially responsible, global citizens.
Special needs support Withdrawal Assistance
UTS 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.
What UTS says about their special need support:
Learning disabilitiesDyslexia (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.DyscalculiaThis 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.DysgraphiaThis is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.Language Processing DisorderThis 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 DeficitA 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.
DevelopmentalAutismRefers 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 SyndromeOn 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 syndromehis is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.Intellectual disabilityThis 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 syndromeFetal 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 EmotionalTroubled behaviour / troubled teensroubled 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 DepressionThis 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 anxietyThis 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 thoughtsThis involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.Drug and alcohol abuseThis 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.
PhysicalMultiple sclerosisThis 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 palsyhis 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 dystrophyMuscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.Spina BifidaThis 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.BlindnessVisual 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."DeafnessHearing 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 FibrosisCystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.Multiple physicalAccommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Read our guide to special needs schools and special education
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities
What UTS says:
UTS employs a full school support model. Students are supported by a team of 4 guidance counsellors, 2 social workers, and 2 student success teachers, and a school nurse. Students with identified learning differences will receive accommodations, as recommended by a psycho-educational assessment or medical professional. UTS makes every effort to support the needs of every student.
|Social skills programs|
Gifted learner support Dedicated gifted school
Curriculum Delivery: Acceleration and enrichment
There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.
|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 UTS says about their gifted learner support:
The University of Toronto Schools offers enriched programming for motivated learners throughout the curriculum.
In grade Gr. 12, UTS students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.
|UTS||60 mins||60 mins||90 mins||90 mins||120 mins||120 mins|
|Site Average||54 mins||59 mins||76 mins||88 mins||104 mins||113 mins|
What UTS says about their flipped classroom policy:
This information is not currently available.
Report Card Policy
How assessments are delivered across the grades
|Lettered or numbered grades||Gr. 7 to Gr. 12|
|Prose (narrative)-based feedback||Gr. 7 to Gr. 12|
|Academic achievement reporting||Gr. 7 to Gr. 12|
|Habits and behaviour reporting||Gr. 7 to Gr. 12|
|Parent-teacher meetings||Gr. 7 to Gr. 12|
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.
University of Toronto Schools offers 19 competitive sports and 18 recreational sports.
- Cross-country skiing
- Downhill skiing
- Field Hockey
- Ice Hockey
- Track & Field
University of Toronto Schools offers 29 clubs and extracurricular programs.
What UTS says about their extracurricular activities:
- Other Clubs and Extracurricular Programming include:Amnesty Club;Best Buddies; Classics Society; Dance Committee; Dramatic Productions, including "The Show" (yearly musical theatre production written, choreographed and created independently by UTS students); Gay-Straight Alliance; Gender Equity Committee; Modern Language Newspaper ("Echo"); Music: Bands, Choirs, Orchestras; Public Speaking; Publicity Club; Reach for the Top Team; South Ontario Model Assembly (SOMA); Stage Crew; The Cuspidor (monthly student newspaper); The Twig (student yearbook); UTS Wellness Committee
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: University of Toronto Schools
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