Our academic vision guides our educational experience. At St. Andrew’s College, we are committed to pioneering the future of education, inspiring good citizenship, and promoting inclusiveness in all aspects of the school.
- We empower students to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.
- We develop the capacity to innovate and adapt to our ever-changing world.
- We cultivate critical-thinking skills, so decisions are based on a broad range of criteria.
- We inspire engaged, caring, and reflective global citizens.
- We promote integrity, resiliency, and leadership.
- We implement technology wisely to enhance learning.
- We nurture the creative process and celebrate excellence in performance.
- We encourage curiosity in a boy-friendly, collaborative, and supportive environment.
- We champion eloquence and the art of communication.
- We reinforce the pillars of citizenship to better our campus and the broader community.
- We build leadership capacity and a thoughtful and collaborative culture.
Additionally, we are committed to providing programs and curricula that promote inclusion and equity. Given our unique value propositions as a single-gender school, we need to be particularly mindful of how we promote healthy understandings of masculinity and femininity, which are neither limiting nor stereotypical in nature. To that end, our community regularly engages in careful work to define a vision for what our school can and should look like. This vision guides us as we consider the best ways to add meaningful programs and set thoughtful policies. We aspire to foster:
- an authentic, connected community
- courageous and, at times, disruptive collaboration
- an open acceptance of gender and sexuality
- a diverse student body and staff
- a supportive, networked community
- intentional curriculum reflective of our commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity
- spaces, places, symbols, and rituals which are welcoming
- unabashed and genuine students
Enriched Academic Programs
Enriched & Extended French
If your child comes from an immersion background, St. Andrew’s offers an Enriched French stream in Middle School and an Extended French program in Upper School. Students in these programs will participate in additional French credits and opportunities en route to achieving their French certificate upon graduation.
Reach-Ahead Math Program
Middle School students seeking an enriched mathematics experience can participate in our Reach-Ahead Math program. This means they are learning the curriculum at an accelerated rate, ensuring the experience is challenging and enriching for all.
- In Grade 5, the content includes mainly Grade 5 but some Grade 6 curriculum.
- In Grade 6, the content is roughly evenly split between the Grade 6 and Grade 7 curricula.
- In Grade 7, the content includes some Grade 7 but mainly the Grade 8 curriculum.
- In Grade 8, the students are streamed, with those who have demonstrated that they will thrive in the Reach-Ahead Math program taking the Grade 9 Principles of Mathematics course and those who have demonstrated that they will be more comfortable working at grade level taking the Grade 8 math course.
Grade 8 students who continue with the Reach-Ahead Math program and perform well on the final exam will earn a high school credit for MTH1W and be recommended for Grade 10 math in their Grade 9 year. Once they reach Grade 11, the extra math credit will allow them greater flexibility in scheduling their final two years, which may include Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
AP Capstone is a diploma program from the College Board (a not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity) based on two, year-long AP courses: AP Seminar, a prerequisite for AP Research. The program goes above and beyond the curriculum, allowing students to tackle real-world issues and develop key skills that will help them succeed beyond university. In both courses, students investigate a variety of topics in multiple disciplines. Both courses guide students through completing a research project, writing an academic paper, and presenting their project. In addition to producing insightful research, students are tasked with excelling in four additional Advanced Placement (AP) courses to earn the AP Capstone Diploma.
Through the design and implementation of the McEwen Leadership program in 2007, St. Andrew’s educates future generations of leaders and successful alums. This specialized business leadership program for Grades 11 and 12 focuses on experiential education and leadership skills development. Students apply to be part of the program and implement the knowledge and understanding of the Introduction to Business course content to new and unique business case study situations. Successful applicants are involved in various leadership and extra-curricular roles at SAC (councils, clubs, sports teams, etc.), particularly the DECA, Entrepreneurship, and Investments clubs.
Our two-storey makerspace allows students to bring their ideas to life. The school’s constructivist and constructionist teaching methods are implemented across all disciplines, with science, robotics, and engineering courses finding this approach most fruitful. A student’s curiosity is nurtured under these models, and our new makerspace, unveiled in 2021, allows teachers to enrich educational offerings and puts learning ahead of lecturing. Taking an active role in the learning process is far more meaningful for students and helps them better understand and develop connections between the concepts being studied. It is a place that encourages ideation, collaboration, and exploration.
Our Robotics program has long been a centre of excellence at SAC. We understand the importance of providing students with a comprehensive education that fosters their interests and prepares them for future success. That’s why we are so proud of our Robotics program, which fully immerses students in the dynamic realm of VEX robotics and RoboCup (an international scientific initiative with the goal of advancing the state of the art of intelligent robots). With our dedicated team of mentors and enthusiasts, we consistently excel in competitions, perennially qualifying for the provincial tournament. But our achievements don’t stop there. To further support our students’ passion for robotics, we offer a robust curriculum that includes computer science and computer engineering courses, empowering them with invaluable skills from Grades 10 to 12.
Middle School Project-Based Learning Program
Friday IGNITE Days: Inspiring Growth Through Novel Interests Technology and Experiences. Students learn, collaborate, and explore new and varied passions, participating in the following rotations: outdoor education, wellness, drone workshops, field trips, and EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion). The Engineering and Design Challenge provides an opportunity to explore the world of engineering while being introduced to a variety of skills and design strategies that will help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. Past projects include SpaceX – Journey to Mars, Battle on the Quad, and Board Game Bonanza.
Arts and Co-Curricular Plus
Our Arts and Co-Curricular Plus (ACPlus) is a unique program integrated into the school schedule. It allows Upper School students to explore their interests, develop their passions, and expand their experiences. Through this voluntary program, students participate in a wide variety of activities, ranging from art and music to communication and coding. Offerings include ceramics, rock band, university cooking, robotics, bagpiping, life drawing, debate, investment club, Model UN, and other activities of interest to students. Students opt for up to two different activities each term, with more than 95 per cent of Upper School students participating in at least one activity. The program provides a supportive and engaging environment for students to develop new skills, meet new people, and cultivate their passions. By choosing to take part, students not only enhance their academic experience but also build life skills that will benefit them beyond St. Andrew’s.
Middle School Arts
Our weekly arts programming allows students to delve into areas of the arts they find interesting and explore new disciplines. They can choose from the following:
- Visual Arts: budding artists are given extra time in the studio to explore all types of mediums and participate in ceramics, prints, paintings and drawings, three-dimensional sculptures, and sewing.
- Instrumental Music: The Middle School Band program is ideal for students who excel in music and are excited to begin playing a band instrument. The Middle School Drumming program is available to any Middle School student interested in learning the art of pipe band drumming. Students learn the basic drumming rudiments and rhythms common in pipe band repertoire. Aspiring pipers and drummers are encouraged to begin to learn the bagpipes or snare drum as early as possible. Many Middle School piping students become part of the Upper School academic piping and drumming programs and graduate with a lifelong hobby of piping or drumming.
- Debating & Public Speaking: Students are encouraged to think quickly, respond to prompts, and, in debating, craft counterarguments on the spot, working to effectively deliver such with style, clarity, and impact. Many participate in formal tournaments.
- Drama: This is the perfect program for students who want to explore the world of acting. They participate in hilarious and engaging improv games. Skills taught include teamwork, confidence, stage presence, stage voice, learning to think on the spot, and creating something from nothing.
- Robotics: Students learn how to build and program robots using Lego EV3 to perform various tasks and functions. There are opportunities to compete in robotics competitions, which is a nice introduction to the Upper School Robotics program.
- Media: This co-curricular program introduces students to a variety of media, including audio, photo and video editing software, green screen filming, and photo/video camera techniques. They will regularly create original works, both solo and collaboratively.
Pipes & Drums and Bagpiping
Students can opt to study piping and drumming starting in Grade 5. Pipers learn increasingly complex and demanding finger work, develop a repertoire to include marching and ceremonial pieces, and improve their ability to maintain and tune the instrument. Students who study bagpiping also study general music theory and are expected to be members of the Pipe Band, which has existed at SAC since 1915. Drumming teaches pipe band snare drum and introduces students to competition-style marches and drum fanfares. Drumming students are expected to be part of the Drum Corps.
St. Andrew’s aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and lead active lives. Through participation in a wide range of physical activities, students develop knowledge and skills related to movement competence and personal fitness that are the foundation for active living. They are also taught how their own well-being is affected by, and affects, the world around them. The campus boasts world-class facilities, and our philosophy is to expose students to a wide variety of activities while helping them develop physical, social, and personal skills that will help them meet with success in the future.
Teachers are encouraged to identify learning outcomes relevant to educating for sustainable development. It is vital to the future of our planet that the next generation of community leaders and global citizens has a strong understanding of the environment, climate change, and the importance of conservation. Students want to help make a difference.
For three weeks each summer, we offer the St. Andrew’s Society for Service Around the World (SASSAW) trek allowing students to do community service on a global scale. Past trips include the following destinations: South Africa, Peru, Thailand, Kenya, Ecuador, Malawi, Namibia, Brazil, Kenya, India, Chile, Costa Rica, and Fiji. Students fundraise all year to raise enough money to support the service project they will be working on. SASSAW engages students in an academic course, registration, and work toward their direct-entry Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, as well as a pre-trip in the fall, then the formal trip in August.
The Leadership and Music programs involve all Upper School students and kick off the school year with overnight fall camps. Leadership students head out to overnight camps, and music students participate in a special camp program on campus.
Beyond the Gates
Every September, Middle School students pack their bags and hop on a bus for an outdoor educational experience called Beyond the Gates, designed to challenge them, allow them to connect with nature, and meet friends. Each student returns with a greater appreciation of nature and their potential.
We support students through our Guided Learning Centre (GLC) so they can flourish in the classroom. Through this concept unique to St. Andrew’s, we recognize some students have trouble keeping up, others tend to hand in work late, some may be going through a challenging time that leads to an unbalanced schedule, and yet others benefit from the support of a supervised learning area.
Students are provided with myriad opportunities to excel and access extra help after school in math, science, and writing. Time management, completion of missed assignments, and academic support are some of the ways our GLC is there to help. Faculty members can also find support through the centre for students who miss assessment opportunities due to other school commitments.