Middle and Senior School

Grades 7 and 8

Grades 7 and 8 are pivotal stages of development. Inquiry and project-based learning in these grades ensures that students are excited about and feel supported in their learning. The learning is exploratory, integrative, relevant and grounded in the Ontario curriculum. It provides a strong academic foundation for future learning in Grades 9 to 12.
Teachers provide a framework for student projects, helping to break the inquiry process down into manageable steps. They ensure that every student is challenged appropriately. A key component of any project is the creation of an exhibition or presentation, self-reflection and peer feedback. These three aspects prepare students to be self-aware learners and leaders.
    • A math teacher sits at a table with a student while the student writes on a whiteboard

Grade 7 and 8 Curriculum

  • A broad preparation, with all students required to take humanities (English, history and geography), STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), French, physical education, visual arts and either band or strings
  • Accelerated math and French programs that enable some students to achieve a Grade 9 credit by the end of Grade 8
  • Options, a series of co-curricular activities built into the school day that enrich the Ontario curriculum with further skills and experiences
  • Outdoor education that is integrated into the curriculum
  • Weekly Chapel services
We provide a nurturing environment for students at this critical age. Teachers and counsellors serve as advocates, advisors and mentors. Social and emotional learning is part of everything we do. The Grade 7 and 8 Counsellor and Advisory teachers play a special role in supporting students through pre-adolescence.

List of 5 items.

  • Leadership and Community Engagement

    Through activities in their Advisory class, students learn about different ways of leading and following. They learn by being leaders through Assembly, Chapel, teams, councils, events and workshops. 

    An important part of leadership is fostering empathy and caring. Our Community Engagement program encourages students to connect with and sustain a commitment to people and issues beyond themselves. This nurtures ethical citizenship through service to others. Experiences have included Ve’ahavta Street Outreach, Churches on-the-Hill Food Bank, Humewood Home, Pollinator Pathways, Cedarvale Terrace Long-term Care Home, and Russell Hill Retirement Residence.
  • Grade 7 and 8 Counsellor

    The Grade 7 and 8 Counsellor is available to help students thrive, inside and outside of school. Among her roles, she:

    • Conducts classroom group activities
    • Offers one-on-one and small group guidance sessions
    • Sponsors peer mediation
    • Serves as a resource in classroom activities
    • Provides a bridge between home and school, often meeting with parents
  • Advisory Teachers

    Grade 7 students belong to an Advisory class in which they take the majority of their subjects. One of the core subject teachers becomes their Advisory teacher. These teachers are there to support students by listening and gently guiding them through the ups and down of school life in Grade 7. 

    In Grade 8, classes are divided into smaller groups and assigned an Advisory teacher. Advisory groups build community and provide an opportunity for students to develop trusting relationships with faculty and other students within their grade. It is an opportunity for students to look inward and outward, understanding and caring about their impact on others.
  • Options

    The Options program runs twice a year, providing a variety of activities to choose from. Options gives students an opportunity to work with peers who are not in their class or grade. Students are encouraged to take on something new they have not done before. These activities can range from learning a new skill to being active or helping others. Some past activities include kitchen chemistry, dance, climbing, jewelry making, sewing, sign language, making sleeping mats for homeless shelters, games and app design.
  • Co-Curriculars

    We know that learning happens everywhere. In Grades 7 and 8, there are many opportunities to practice leadership, experience the outdoor world, learn through travel and participate in teams, clubs and affinity groups. Learn more about co-curriculars at BSS.

    A variety of experiences take our students beyond their usual urban environment, whether a hike nearby or an overnight expedition in the wilderness. The Statten-Northway Award inspires Grade 7 and 8 students to be involved in service, skills development and physical activity. Students also have opportunities to travel outside the province or country, opening new horizons and expanding their cultural awareness.

Tim Somerville, Science Teacher and Activity Lead

Inquiry based learning works because we know that students are always more engaged when they choose their own topics, find relevance in the content, and are challenged to explain their learning in a method of their own design.

What learning looks like in Grade 7 and 8

List of 4 items.

  • Learning in a STEM Wonderland

    Grade 7 and 8 students applied their understanding of design thinking, the scientific method, and engineering to create the whimsical world of Wonderland for the play Through the Looking Glass.
    Read More
  • Mapping Indigenous Culture and History

    The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada shows the locations of Indigenous communities, residential schools, reserves and more. 
    Read More
  • Middle School Reads

    Modeled on CBC Radio’s Canada Reads, Middle School Reads is an annual program that engages students in reading and reflection through passionate debate. 
    Read More
  • Superhero Cellfies

    Grade 8 students randomly selected a cell, such as a phagocyte or corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis cell, and researched the cell’s characteristics and functions.
    Read More