Micro School. Big Learning.
At Summit Micro School, we strive to build a meaningful learning experience that meets the needs of a wide variety of learning styles and interests. All programs are based in sound research and reflect the best practices from a range of curricula and methodologies. The core skills of Reading, Writing and Math, are taught through individualized programs with small group. Our Interdisciplinary Units are built using Ontario Curriculum expectations, the principles of 21st Century Skills development, Project Based Learning methodologies, and the integrated concepts of STEM learning. Working collaboratively, our team builds inquiry units for each of our three age groups. As an additional element, to round out the program and teach to the whole child, we include explicit lessons and activities based around character development and mindfulness. Students regularly engage in conversations and projects centred on friendship, empathy and respect.
Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning (PBL) is an exciting instructional model that engages students in meaningful projects with real-life applications. Theme units of study begin with a proposed problem, challenge or project that students work towards. Deep understanding of curricular content becomes a necessity for students to solve the problem or complete the project successfully, while the emphasis remains on development of cognitive skills. Students are invested in their projects and rigour remains high as they work to the deadline to deliver the solution or product to an authentic audience.
Personalized Learning at SMS
At SMS, Personalized Learning means we do not take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to education. Each student is assigned appropriately levelled materials to build their foundational skills of Math and Literacy. Flexible seating and work spaces allow for students to work comfortably, independently or with their peers. The Project-Based Learning approach naturally allows for differentiated content and provides students the opportunity to be inquisitive and curious and engage with subjects on a deeper level. Personalized learning incorporates meaningful self-reflection and goal setting guided by teachers. While allowing for individual learning styles and some student choice, programs and learning goals are crated by school faculty, including teachers, specialists and our admin team. Students are responsible for meeting expectations regarding positive participation in the programs including homework and any other classroom responsibilities.
International leaders and think-tanks agree: In order to keep pace and be successful in today’s modern, digital world, students need to develop “21st Century Skills”.
At Summit Micro School we provide a rich and cohesive curriculum that builds these essential skills while students develop a meaningful understanding of content knowledge.
Our 21st Century classrooms foster:
- Critical Thinking
- Creativity and Innovation
- Technology Literacy
Project Based Learning (PBL) implicitly develops 21st Century Skills through meaningful interdisciplinary project work. Knowledge is applied and skills are developed through inquiry that has context and purpose. PBL allows our teachers to engage all students, addressing both their preferred learning styles and natural academic abilities. Students have the opportunity to work outside the classroom with members of our community and with industry experts to come up with real solutions. Through Project Based Learning students develop a love of learning as they see purpose in all of the work they do.
Math and Language: A strong foundation in the core language subjects are essential for success in school, and in life. We support Reading and Writing skill development with individualized programs that develop areas in need of remediation and enrich areas of strength. Students work with a diverse selection of resources that have been carefully chosen for them, ensuring that the work is always challenging enough to make continuous progress. Reading programs may consist of vocabulary development, spelling, phonics, reading comprehension and oral fluency. Tailored writing programs include grammar, composition and hand writing. Students practice and apply the learned language skills during project work at their specific level, always striving to achieve their potential.
We believe that the social and emotional needs of a child are just as important as intellectual needs and require consideration and support to help students achieve success. Character Education and mindfulness therefore have both explicit and implicit roles in our curriculum.
Programs incorporate themes of friendship, respect, open-mindedness and community. We also take time throughout our day to practice mindfulness activities to help remain calm and focussed.
Students who require additional help to work through social and emotional challenges find support through understanding and caring staff who assist students in developing the skills they need for conflict-resolution and relationship building giving them the tools to take on these challenges independently.
Executive Functioning (EF) is fundamentally related to Working Memory, Cognitive Flexibility and Inhibitory Control and includes the practical skills of organization, time management, prioritization, task initiation and completion, perspective taking and emotional regulation. These skills are necessary to be successful at school, in relationships and in life in general. EF skills develop throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. Challenges with any one of these skills can have a profound impact on students in the social and academic environment.
At SMS, we utilize a formal Executive Functioning curriculum that supports the overall development of organizational skills for students at all levels, including study skills. The Project Based Learning approach allows for the application of these skills in a meaningful context. For students with EF challenges, additional supports are provided, including explicit goals as part of their Personalized Learning Program and guidance for parents to support their child at home with strategies and expectations that are consistent with school to ensure optimal development of these skills.
Top 10 Reasons Parents Love Summit Micro School:
- Personalized Learning
- Passionate Teachers
- Mixed-Age Classes
- Critical Thinking
- Small Class Sizes
- Digital Literacy and Computational Thinking
- Experiential Learning
- Project-Based Learning
- Close-knit Community
Top 10 Things Summit Micro School is NOT:
- Desks in rows
- Teaching to the test
- Comply and Conform
- Huge classes
- Outdated curriculum
- Factory schooling
- Standardized tests
- An institution