choose to send their children to a private school for a variety of reasons,
such as the school offers an educational approach that is better suited to
their child or they believe that private schools achieve better academic
results. Selecting the right school in the city is no easy task and one common
question parents have is "Does a private school in
follow the Ontario curriculum?
schools in Ontario
operate independently of the government as businesses or non-profit
organizations and are not regulated by the Ministry of Education. Because
private schools are considered independent entities, they are not required to
follow the Ontario curriculum.
While some private schools may still choose to follow the
Ontario curriculum, other schools may enhance the core curriculum with courses
that reflect the mission and principles of the school. For example, private
schools with a mission of developing well-rounded citizens may require students
participate in mandatory extracurricular athletics or arts programs.
Developed in Geneva, Switzerland, the International
Baccalaureate (IB) program allows students to engage in a rigorous
pre-university program and earn the internationally recognized IB Diploma. The IB was created in 1968, with the mandate
of giving students the required tools for success in an increasingly
IB curriculum is notoriously challenging and strives to
foster a breadth of knowledge and cultural awareness in over 140 countries
worldwide. The IB program offers three levels:
Primary – For students as young as age three, this program
focuses on developing inquisitive minds.
Middle Years – At age eleven, this program encourages
students to make connections between subject matter and the outside world.
Diploma – Geared towards high-school students in their final two
years of study, the program aims to prepare students for university success and
eventual participation in the global marketplace.
The renowned IB program is offered by many top prep schools
in Toronto and all three levels of
study draw on international educational materials and focus on:
- Acquiring a second language;
- Interdisciplinary study;
- Extracurricular and community involvement.
The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)
requires that all major assignments are marked or moderated externally and that
final examinations are globally standardized. Leading Toronto
adopted the IB programming many years ago to offer a curriculum that is
considered to be of the highest quality around the world.
Schools that Follow the Ontario Curriculum
Most private high schools will offer the Ontario public
school curriculum, because students must graduate with the Ontario Secondary
School Diploma (OSSD) to gain entrance into a provincial university.
To maintain standards, private schools that offer the
OSSD, are inspected by Ministry officials on a recurring basis to determine
whether the school continues to meet Ministry requirements in regards to:
- Evaluation policies.
Curriculum that's Right for Your Child
A private school in
Toronto can follow the Ontario curriculum, depending on how the school wishes
to operate. Choosing
the best curriculum on paper won't necessarily be the best school for your
Similar to a career, a private school that follows a
particular curriculum may be right for one child, but not right for another.
The final decision for a private school with a curriculum that is the right fit
ultimately comes down to both the parents and the child.