Academic Ambition

Junior School (Grades 2-5)

Welcome to the Junior School!

I would like to warmly invite you to the Junior School at TFS. We are a vibrant, diverse and supportive community of students, teachers and parents. There are so many ways here for our students to stretch and grow, as they foster academic ambition and a growth mindset. Our students study transdisciplinary units of inquiry with their homeroom teacher, and learn with subject specialist teachers in English, music, art and physical education. It is at the Junior School where they first experience competitive sports, and focus on both French- and English-language mastery, among many other things.

As for my own background, I am from France, I am a father, an educator and I am passionate about the arts and just about any sport you can think of. Balance is such an important part of life, I feel, and I want our students to learn that the different spheres in their own lives need to be cared for. It doesn’t just take strong academics to have a good life – this balance is vital. Student life, home life and academics should all work hand-in-hand.

The Junior School provides fantastic opportunities for students to develop as individuals and citizens – students can explore their interest in poetry, drama and music, discover the connections between what they learn in class and what they study in TFS’ ravine, and deepen their passion for global issues, coding and robotics. They do all this using the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program (PYP) as a framework, while learning the content of the curricula of Ontario and France. This very global approach to education gives our students a unique perspective and a feeling that they can truly make a positive difference in the world.

Junior School students enjoy being representatives for the school, whether reaching out to local organizations for community service or contacting national organizations as they conduct research for their PYP Exhibition in Grade 5.

Our students develop compassion, integrity and as citizens, in an environment where they can take risks, work through challenges and see the rewards of their efforts.

The Junior School years are so important in our students’ lives, because this is where they develop all the skills they need for high school and beyond. In addition, though, the social aspect of school life during these grades is critical. This is a time when friendships are so important, and students will have many chances to work as a team, and individually, and find out so much about themselves.

Finally, I have to say that our parents are incredible partners at the Junior School. Our Parents’ Association is very involved; they are a dynamic, energetic team, and their involvement can be felt branch-wide. We see our parents regularly at drop-off and pick-up time, during our very popular international weeks, pizza days, and special events like Terry Fox and sports days. They are always present.

With that strong partnership between students, parents and our fantastic team of educators, the Junior School is an amazing place to be.

Alexandre Ferrand
Principal, Junior School

List of 3 items.

  • Academic ambition at the Junior School

    Once students move into Grade 2 (CE1), they transition from La p’tite école into the Junior School at the Toronto campus.

    Students in these grades continue learning the curricula of France and Ontario through the framework established by the Primary Years Program (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization.

    The IB is a highly regarded program of international education. Its PYP program is introduced to our students starting in Pre-Kindergarten and continues to the end of Grade 5 (CM2). It follows an inquiry-based model of learning.
  • Bilingualism in action

    In Grade 2, students begin to receive focused instruction in the English language. Our English program is based on the Ontario curriculum, and goes far beyond its scope. The purpose is to develop the language in many ways and forms. Children create journals, storyboards, use mind mapping and other techniques to engage with the language, fostering communication skills, developing confidence and creativity and deepening their critical thinking.

    The results? TFS students consistently perform in the 99th percentile for English on the Canadian Test of Basic Skills.
  • Bringing academics into a wider realm

    As students mature, aspects of the curriculum lend themselves to a wider approach to learning. For instance, introducing studies on children’s rights provides opportunities to develop leadership skills; students address the issue with their younger or older peers at a school assembly using a multi-media presentation they produce themselves.

    Similarly, students embark on more specific field trips and, beginning in Grade 3, on overnight trips. This link to the real world is a key aspect of the PYP, and cements knowledge and understanding of subject matter in a way that cannot be achieved by classroom learning alone.