CURRICULUM

 

Fostering an educational environment that provides a balance of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills is the best strategy for securing future success.  A solid foundation in math and science, balanced with art, music, collaboration, language and communications skills, is fast becoming a global ideal. The WWJH program is a unique combination of Montessori philosophy and curriculum optimizing preparation for traditional High School environments.  Challenging and engaging, it encourages academic independence, interaction and leadership.  West Wind’s Junior High model prepares our graduates for the accelerated pace and academic demands of the Ontario High School Curriculum. 

Two-Year Cycle

The WWJH program runs over a two-year period.  During this time key Ontario Provincial Curriculum standards are met or exceeded.  Some classes, such as math, French, music and physical education, run throughout the year with a conventional timetable.  Science, language, humanities, and health are taught in an integrated manner, consisting of several sessions throughout the year. 

Sessions

The Junior High program is split up into several topic-based sessions over the year, and are set up to allow students time to complete an in-depth study on the theme.  These interdisciplinary topics are developed considering Montessori pedagogy, the Ontario curriculum, student interests and engagement, current issues, and potential career paths.

Each session involves a mix of group and independent learning, and culminates with an independent study project.  Students are able to determine the direction of their study, and have input into the language, art, and presentation components of their work.  Teachers act as facilitators of the student’s learning. 

Enrichment

WWJH is an academically rigorous program that challenges and engages students.  Individualized goal setting is used for all students, allowing us to challenge each student to work at an optimal level.  Because goals are set weekly for all subjects, we are able to adapt the program to each student’s needs at any given time.  Students are able to work at their own pace in each subject.  This helps when more time is needed with specific concepts, as well as ensuring that those ready for more challenge are not held back.  Gifted students are able to work ahead and pursue appropriate enrichment opportunities. 

As adolescents thrive with choice, our program uses ‘focused freedom’.  Although provided with assistance and goals, students have a fair amount of choice to determine what they are working on during work periods as well as the style of assignments they will complete.   Our individual goal setting keeps students accountable, while their relative freedom with work helps them to learn appropriate decision making and independence. 

Great Lakes and Heritage Rivers Curriculum

Running as an on-going theme at WWJH, the Great Lakes and Heritage Rivers Curriculum involves interdisciplinary studies that focus on the geography, history, and science of important Canadian waterways and watersheds, recognizing our unique location and the associated wealth of our Canadian ecological heritage from a global perspective.  The goals of these studies are to help students:

  • understand the importance of clean water resources to the sustainability of life;
  • see first-hand and experience the ways in which people and society use water resources;
  • recognize ways in which human activity affects the quality and quantity of freshwater resources;
  • understand how our waterways have contributed to our culture; and
  • appreciate the need to work together to improve our water resources. 

Through hands-on activities, speakers, and field trips, this program helps prepare learners to deal with some of the most pressing issues this generation will live to face.  Since 2009, WWJH students have circumnavigated the Great Lakes, travelling 15 000+ km, and connecting on common and disparate issues with other students in both Canada and the U.S.A.  Our students have more knowledge about the world’s most amazing fresh water resource than perhaps any students before. 

The challenges facing the Great Lakes will have international ramifications, and more than ever, people need to know how to deal with them. We hope to give our students an edge in their future paths as they begin to embrace the complexity of the issues by equipping them with knowledge and fostering creative problem solving skills.  This experience provides them with motivation to recognize and seize elusive opportunities and create change through stewardship and progressive leadership. 

Community Involvement

As adolescents become active members of society, opportunities to be involved in the community are integral to becoming aware of their role in society and of the contributions they can make.  Students at this level have both a need and a responsibility to work within the larger community in activities that will help them gain an understanding of how interdependent we are.  WWJH students have several opportunities to deepen community involvement, including:

  • Career days
  • Mentoring younger students
  • Helping with work and chores around the school grounds and office
  • Volunteering (both during and after class hours)
  • Field trips (planned by both teachers and students)
  • Event planning

Physical Education Program

The WWJH gym program is designed to encourage lifelong participation in physical activity. The primary goal is to ensure a healthy future through deepening each student’s perception, knowledge and experience of their personal well-being.  This goal is achieved through active participation in a number of different sports and activities over the course of the school year.   In addition to on-site activities, our typical off-site programs include a skating and shinny program, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, canoe, kayak and paddle boarding, badminton, soccer, golf and a CPR course.  Students are also given opportunities to plan, organize and run games or activities for each other and younger students within the school community.  As of 2012, Dearcroft is an associate member of the Private School Athletic Association (PSAA).  This provides students with an opportunity to compete against other schools in cross country, swimming and track and field.

 

 

 

dearcroft / westwind
45 years...

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IN THE HEART OF OAKVILLE

HISTORY

West Wind originated as the senior campus of Dearcroft Montessori School (est. 1968), and acted as an independent preparatory day school program offering Senior Elementary (grades 4 – 6) and Junior High (grades 7/8).  In 2008, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Dearcroft Montessori, we combined as a single campus.  Our program is now fully operated from the Dearcroft campus at 1167 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville. 

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Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding our programs or would like to know more about West Wind, please feel free to contact us. You may email us at: contact@westwindms.com or contact our office by telephone for further information.

Address: 1167 Lakeshore Road East
  Oakville, Ontario
  L6J 1L3
   
Telephone: (905) 844-2114
Fax: (905) 844-3529
Directors: Lynda Phippen, B.A., AMI, AMS
  Gordon Phippen, B.Sc. AMS
Administrator: Catherine DeBorba, B.A.A.