Academically, the program is rigorous, involving students in accurate self-assessment and individualized goal setting that emphasizes challenge, achievement, and accountability. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and centered on topics that have personal and societal relevance, and that allow for discussion and debate.
Adolescents need to be respected and allowed choice, not only to develop independence but also to help them experience personal dignity. Students are given the freedom to select research project topics that are important to them individually. There are also periods for independent work each day – focused freedom, to allow the students to independently prioritize their work and manage it according to their learning style.
The Ontario Curriculum is often exceeded and there is a strong emphasis on skill development (research, writing skills, project writing, oral communication, problem-solving, studying and test taking). Grade 9 courses are incorporated into the program and students will earn Grade 9 OSSC credits for these sessions.
French as a Second Language is a strong core component of the program, integrated into ongoing humanities studies. Math is taught throughout the year to allow students to continually practice their skills.
The Arts and Physical Education are integrated into the program year round. Opportunities are provided to explore a variety of creative arts. Experts in the field are invited into the class as part of the integrated curriculum. Regular physical education classes are scheduled and students also participate in interscholastic sports with other Ottawa independent schools.