Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Student Learning

JK to Grade 6

Our Junior School students explore social justice ideas in action. Conversations about leadership, ethical citizenship, voice and identity are part of our learning. We draw many connections between our Reggio-inspired pedagogy and social justice education.

Each year, the Junior School determines a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) theme as a way to learn about equity and social justice issues.

List of 4 items.

  • Exploring LGBTQ+ Rights

    Two Grade 5 students wrote a play about a transgender student being bullied. This provoked a class investigation into gender, where we examined stereotypes, LGBTQ+ rights, pay equity, the history of voting rights and women leaders. Our research led us to connect with the 519 Community Centre and to a study of the Equal Families Act.
  • Investigating Culture

    In seeking to build our understanding of what individuals, families and societies value, the Grade 2 classroom was set up with fifteen different types of bread, and students contributed insights about the way their family interacts with bread and other foods. They looked at the connections between the type of bread and cultural values, religious practices and historical and political factors, and came to understand that culture is a manifestation of group customs, arts and social institutions.
  • Learning From Indigenous Perspectives

    Our primary and junior grades learn from special guests such as Indigenous storytellers, ecologists and activists, as well as reading and studying treaties. Students in Grades 4 and 5 have examined the seven grandfather teachings and reconciliation.
  • Speaking Out

    Our Grades 4 to 6 classes tackle the big ideas of voice, ethical citizenship and leadership. Students have researched and presented topics such as the acceptance of gay marriage in synagogues, the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and racial equity.

Grades 7 and 8

In Grades 7 and 8, you will see many different voices represented in our learning, our conversations, and up on our walls. We value listening and learning from one another and we celebrate each other.  

Every faculty and staff member considers how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) practices affect students at a social-emotional, pedagogical and curricular level. They integrate Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ voices into the classroom experience. They also embrace Indigenous ways of thought in the sciences, and select a diverse range of artists across drama, music and visual arts.

List of 3 items.

  • Asking Questions

    In Grade 7 Humanities we ask, "Who was present for this conversation and decision?" as a way of thinking about major events or shifts during early colonization of Turtle Island.  By looking at how Indigenous peoples were excluded from conversations and decisions about land, resources and governance, and their resistance and responses to that exclusion, we can see the effects that persist today.
  • Living on a Limited Budget

    In Grade 8 Math, students develop an understanding of the experiences of a newcomer family arriving in Toronto. They are given actual social assistance rates to budget living in Toronto for a month. It is an eye opening experience as students see how class, race, the security of a livelihood and lived experiences intersect.
  • Reporting on Social Justice Issues

    In Grade 8 English, our annual journalism project engages with social justice issues in Toronto. Students go on field trips to explore issues in the city, interview people in the community, write about the experience, and share their findings with their peers.

Grades 9 to 12

Faculty and students in Grades 9 -12 actively engage in the work of anti-racism, anti-oppression and culturally responsive teaching and learning. We promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) practices in all aspects of our school curricula and programming. In recent years, we have been pleased to support the establishment of student affinity and ally groups.

List of 5 items.

  • Questioning the Data

    In Grade 12 AP Statistics, we ask, “Why does a quality census matter? Why do some governments want census data to be reduced? Why does a diverse sample make for better science and research, statistically?” We examine quality control and why hearing from every voice matters. We tackle the uncomfortable role of statistics in the history of genetics and eugenics, race as stratification, and the complication of race determination.
  • Recognizing Racism and Discrimination

    In Grade 10 History, students examine racism and how it has impacted Indigenous people and Black Canadians and political activism during and after the First World War. They discuss the immediate and long-term consequences of residential schools and early-twentieth century attitudes towards immigrants, such as the role of xenophobia and privileging of white immigrants.
  • Supporting Equity in Entrepreneurship

    In Grade 9 Business, we explore Canada’s economic initiatives in supporting Black and Indigenous businesses. Students examine the inequity in entrepreneurship and Canada’s recent initiatives to support marginalized groups.
  • Thinking Critically About Science

    In Grade 11 Biology, we seek to understand how scientific classification and the nature of science has led to racist ideas. Students discuss the scientific classification system and how Carolus Linnaeus originally classified all human beings into four categories, which ultimately paved the way for scientific racism. We explore how the nature of science can be flawed, competitive and biased.
  • Understanding Democratic Rights

    As part of a study on democratic rights, Grade 12 Law students participated in a national dialogue on lowering the voting age to 16. They examined the history of marginalized groups, such as the intellectually disabled, Indigenous and Black people, women and prisoners who have been denied the right to vote or have faced barriers. They looked at equality rights in the Charter from the angles of age, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability, and critically examined the justice system in ensuring fairness and equity to various groups in Canada.