The Junior School (JK - Grade 6) is a place to explore, grow, discover, collaborate, create and have lots of fun. It is the first step in the lifetime adventure of learning.
Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach®, we see our students as individuals who are curious about the world around them and have the aptitude and intellect to learn. We use fundamental concepts from the Ontario curriculum to build a strong foundation in essential academic skills, such as math, literacy and research, while learning and discovering as a group.
Students enthusiastically dive into projects. They work with one another and their teachers to answer important questions and solve complex problems in real-life contexts that matter to them. They test new ideas and develop approaches using diverse materials and tools, both digital and physical. Master teachers enrich the experience by creating an inspiring learning environment. When complete, students present what they’ve learned to their peers, deepening understanding and building self-confidence.
Our light-filled building inspires creativity and collaboration and makes learning visible. Student voices and ideas are everywhere, expressed through photographs, stories, sculptures, videos, paintings and more. Our walls celebrate the process of learning, inspire others and guide future exploration.
Our Core Principles
Co-Curriculars that Deepen Learning
Sports teams, community outreach, assemblies, Chapel, mentoring, leadership – for Junior School students these co-curricular activities are all part of discovering themselves and the world around them.
From an early age, our students are given many opportunities to lead. They learn critical leadership skills such as listening and collaborating. In Grade 6, they take on more responsible roles within the Junior School community.
Lynda Watters, Junior School Principal
Students’ voices, theories, knowledge and lived experience can be seen and heard throughout our learning environment, and are important parts of our community. Our students engage deeply as they acquire knowledge and skills that prepare them for the future.
Shelley Van Benschop, Visual Arts Specialist and Lead Teacher
Moved and inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, we at BSS embrace the power of collaborating, co-constructing and curriculum creating. We see this as being and becoming together.
Junior School Life
Every Junior School student is welcome to join a team or athletic club and develop fundamental skills. Sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, track & field, volleyball and softball.
From an afternoon exploring a local ravine to overnight trips of one to three nights, outdoor education is an important part of Junior School life.
And because you can’t like what you don’t know, our Fun Plus program introduces students to diverse activities and skills. From ballet to robotics and Mandarin to cooking, Fun Plus is an opportunity to find a new passion.
What learning looks like in the Junior School
List of 5 items.
How can we keep our pets safe?
Grade 5 students designed and constructed a safe enclosure for their class rabbit. They interviewed experts in architecture, engineering and veterinary science, sketched out designs and built prototypes. They created a budget for materials and presented a funding proposal to school leadership. Finally, they unveiled the finished enclosure at a special ceremony at the end of the year. Students engaged in design thinking and the engineering design process while developing building and budgeting skills, as well as a sense of empathy for our animal companions.
How do you represent your unique self?
Grade 2 students explored the concept of identity through an authentic and meaningful challenge: representing themselves in a collaborative design project. They brainstormed ideas to represent themselves, translated those ideas into unique marks, printed them on hand-dyed fabric, and hand-stitched the patches together. The finished Community Quilt showcased each student within a communal context. Students learned skills like fabric dying, block printing and sewing, as well as practicing design thinking, self-reflection and abstract thinking.
How do you turn a design into reality?
Guided by a design thinking process, Junior Kindergarten students embarked on a creative journey to design their own birdhouse. They began by brainstorming ideas, using building blocks and LEGO, that could be transferred to a digital medium. They were encouraged to venture beyond the conventional notions of what a birdhouse should look like, and were exposed to images and sounds to fuel their creativity. From there, they observed the creation of digital design sketches using Adobe Illustrator, and had the chance to experiment with the software themselves. Once the drawings were completed, students watched as the laser cutter turned their ideas into reality. Through this project, students applied the design process to build structures, practiced collaborative and abstract thinking, and were exposed to design technology.
What is our relationship to the food we eat?
Grade 1 students partnered with Grade 6 to build a Mini Garden Atelier project. This indoor garden helped students learn the practical skills of gardening and small-scale food production. It also created reciprocal and deep relationships with plants and the food we eat - the beginning of a shift towards a more sustainable connection to food and consumption. While thinking like scientists, students also understood the impact of humans on the environment and described the characteristics of living things.
What's in the water?
Seeking to discover more about water, Grade 3 students explored different facets of this powerful element. One group studied the flow of water, using logs and sticks in the nearby ravine creek to create dams and bridges. Another group searched for the creek’s beginning; unable to find it, they began asking deeper questions about the water cycle. In the classroom, students set up a water lab, where they observed the qualities of water and sediment with magnifying glasses and microscopes. They read relevant books and wrote stories and poetry, furthering their literacy skills. They practiced self-expression through movement, and created a collective piece of art that honed their teamwork skills and showcased their learning.