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Willowbrook Heights:
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Grades Gr. 7 TO Gr. 12 — Burlington, ON (Map)


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Willowbrook Heights:
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Willowbrook Heights ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS

Curriculum Liberal Arts, Waldorf

[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 Willowbrook Heights: Liberal Arts, Waldorf

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

[Show: About Liberal Arts, Waldorf?]

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.

Compare Willowbrook Heights's Curriculum with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Liberal arts - 13%
  Traditional - 41%
  Progressive - 34%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 0%
  Waldorf - 1%

Willowbrook Heights has a Waldorf approach to supplementary curriculum.

Waldorf schools are available from preschool to Grade 12, though they are most popular at the younger ages. Waldorf schools are unmistakably "progressive". Rudolf Steiner, their intellectual forefather, believed the educator's first task should be to help students develop an aesthetic appreciation for life and learning. Sometimes incorrectly conflated with Montessori schools, Waldorf schools focus on developing the "whole child" - emphasizing collaborative, hands-on learning, along with the arts and music, which are integrated into other areas of study.


Approach

Focus Religious-based
Academic Christian (Non-denominational)

If you want to learn more about faith-based education, check out our comprehensive guide.
Read our detailed guide to learn all about Christian education.

Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Traditional Math

    Mathematics approach at Willowbrook Heights: Traditional Math

    Willowbrook Heights has a Traditional Math approach to Mathematics (as opposed to Discovery Math, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Traditional Math?]

    Our Kids definition: Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.

    Compare Willowbrook Heights's Mathematics with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Traditional math - 26%
      Discovery math - 5%
      Equal balance - 69%

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    This information is not currently available.

    Calculator policy:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Science

    Inquiry

    Science approach at Willowbrook Heights: Inquiry

    Willowbrook Heights has an Inquiry approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Inquiry?]

    Our Kids definition: Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.

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

    Teaching approach:

    This information is not currently available.


    Treatment of evolution:

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

    Topics covered in curriculum:

    SubjectOffered
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Ecology
    Geology
    Meteorology
    Physics
    Physiology
    Zoology
  • Literature

    Traditional

    Literature approach at Willowbrook Heights: Traditional

    Willowbrook Heights has a Traditional approach to Literature (as opposed to Social Justice, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Traditional?]

    Our Kids definition: In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.

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

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.


    Program covers:

    SubjectOffered
    Canadian lit
    American lit
    European (continental) lit
    World (non-Western) lit
    English lit
    Ancient lit
  • Humanities and Social Sciences

    Equal Balance

    Humanities and Social Sciences approach at Willowbrook Heights: Equal Balance

    Willowbrook Heights 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 Willowbrook Heights's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 82%
      Perennialism - 7%
      Pragmatism - 11%

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Foreign Languages

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.


    Language instruction offered in:

    SubjectOffered
    Chinese-Cantonese
    Chinese-Mandarin
    French
    German
    Greek
    Italian
    Japanese
    Hebrew
    Latin
    Russian
    Spanish
    ESL
  • Fine Arts

    Creative

    Fine Arts approach at Willowbrook Heights: Creative

    Willowbrook Heights has a Creative approach to Fine Arts (as opposed to Receptive, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Creative?]

    Our Kids definition: Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.

    Compare Willowbrook Heights's Fine Arts with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Creative - 33%
      Receptive - 2%
      Equal balance - 65%

    Program offers:

    SubjectOffered
    Acting
    Dance
    Drama/Theatre
    Graphic Design
    Music
    Visual Arts

    Visual studio philosophy:

    Expressive
    Disciplined

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Computers and Technology

    Light integration

    Computers and Technology approach at Willowbrook Heights: Light integration

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

    [Show: About Light integration?]

    Our Kids definition: Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.

    Compare Willowbrook Heights's Computers and Technology with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Light integration - 18%
      Heavy integration - 29%
      Medium integration - 53%

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.


    Program covers:

    SubjectOffered
    Computer science
    Robotics
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Religious Education

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Advanced Placement courses

    This information is not currently available.
  • Sex and health education

    Not Ontario curriculum

    Sex and health education approach at Willowbrook Heights: Not Ontario curriculum

    Willowbrook Heights has a Not Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Follows provincial curriculum approach).

    [Show: About Not Ontario curriculum?]

    Our Kids definition: The sex education curriculum does NOT follow the provincial one taught in public schools - either in terms of structure, pacing, focus, and/or tone.

    Compare Willowbrook Heights's Sex and health education with other schools on OurKids.net:
      Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 42%
      Follows provincial curriculum - 58%

    What Willowbrook Heights says:

    This information is not currently available.

Online Learning

Willowbrook Heights's online learning approach and offerings. Learn about this school's online programs and courses offered, its course formats, and its teaching and learning approaches.

Willowbrook Heights offers online courses to students.


Course format

TypeOffered
Distance
Asynchronous
Synchronous

Academic support and services

TypeOffered
Dedicated teacher per course
Exam proctoring
Student progress tracker
Regular office hours
Additional support
Study groups
Special needs support

Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

[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 Willowbrook Heights: Standard-enriched

Willowbrook Heights has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).

[Show: About Standard-enriched?]

Our Kids definition: 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.

Compare Willowbrook Heights's Curriculum Pace with other schools on OurKids.net:
  Standard-enriched - 57%
  Accelerated - 18%
  Student-paced - 25%

What Willowbrook Heights says about their curriculum pace:

Our rigorous English and Math curriculum doubles provincial standards. We emphasize effective writing, grammar, and literature to produce strong communicators and critical thinkers. Our spiral math program reinforces past learning for better retention and understanding.


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 Willowbrook Heights says about their flexible pacing:

Our students are placed at their level for English and Math curriculums. If they are on a specific career path and wish to take a course not offered by us, then we make accommodations for online programming where necessary.

Academic Culture Supportive

[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 Willowbrook Heights: Supportive

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

[Show: About Supportive?]

Our Kids definition: A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

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

What Willowbrook Heights says about their academic culture:

This information is not currently available.

Developmental priorities Balanced

[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: Balanced

Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.

Secondary Developmental Priority: Spiritual

The goal is to cultivate "individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith and respect for God or a higher power."

What Willowbrook Heights says about their developmental priorities:

This information is not currently available.

Special needs support

[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.

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

Special NeedNeed
Forms of SupportA
EnvironmentsB
ADHD
  • 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.
    Dyscalculia
    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.
    Dysgraphia
    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
    Autism
    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.
    Blindness
    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."
    Deafness
    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

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

Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

TypeOffered
Accommodations
Modifications
Extra support

Additional support

TypeOffered
Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Psychotherapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support No Support

[Show definition of Gifted learner support]

Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.

Curriculum Delivery: This information is not currently available.

Class structure

Program Offered
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

In-class adaptations

Program Offered
Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

What Willowbrook Heights says about their gifted learner support:

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

TypeGrades
Lettered or numbered gradesGr. 9 to Gr. 12
Prose (narrative)-based feedbackGr. 7 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

Willowbrook Heights competitive and recreational sports information not available.


Clubs offered

Willowbrook Heights clubs and programs information not available.


THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Willowbrook Heights

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