A Deeper Perspective on High School

At TWS we provide an education for life; we work to inspire our students to evolve into creative thinkers who are personally centred and strongly connected to humanity and the environment. We call this education from a deeper perspective™.

This deeper perspective is founded on seven basic principles that underpin the TWS experience. 


Academic Integration

  • A Toronto Waldorf School High School student in a science classAs in life, content and themes of the TWS curriculum are interrelated and integrated through a range of subjects.
  • For example, in the Grade 12 History of Architecture Main Lesson block students delve into higher maths, sciences, history, geography, and cultural studies, all to build context of the evolutionary development of the human being’s capacity for abstract thought. Through a blending of classroom instruction with design and hands-on modeling to creating renderings of historically significant works of architecture students experience the relationship between disciplines and the process of moving from thought to deed.
  • Methodologies used address a range of learning styles so all students can relate to the material by having multiple senses engaged; auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners all benefit from the range of approaches. Each class encompasses listening, doing, thinking and speaking to build comprehension, retention and expression of the material.

The Right Thing at the Right Time

  • High school students working in the computer lab at Toronto Waldorf SchoolThe curriculum is carefully timed to present material when students are able to make the greatest use of the concepts.
  • For example, the Grade 9 student typically experiences the world as a series of either-or options, as black or white. In response, the curriculum in Grade 9 focuses on contrasts and polarities. This is seen in black and white drawing in Fine Arts, comedy and tragedy in English, thermal dynamics (hot and cold) in Physics. In Grade 9 the emphasis is on observation and facts, with an understanding of cause and effect relationships.
  • Each subsequent year, the focus shifts to address the students’ continued development.


How to Think, Not What to Think

  • Building the capacity to learn, and the interest in doing so, is a core tenet of education from a deeper perspective™. The focus on education for all of life, more than simply learning a curriculum, leads to learning how to learn and how to think. The resultant problem solving skills are invaluable in all walks of life, in and beyond school.
  • Developing creative thinking is a hallmark of Waldorf education; from building imagination in early years to working with the arts through the grades, there is a continual focus on creative and novel approaches to the challenges of life, be they academic, professional or personal

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Appreciation of Individuality

  • Toronto Waldorf School class tripRecognizing all students and their unique gifts and contributions is important at TWS. The breadth of the curriculum provides a platform for every student to shine, and be recognized and appreciated by peers.
  • Student report cards provide both numeric grades and extensive commentary, providing a rich picture of the student’s strengths, challenges and progress.


Environmental Stewardship

  • Planting at Toronto Waldorf SchoolCaring for the environment and building sustainability have been tenets of Waldorf education since its inception more than 90 years ago; TWS has been particularly ahead of the curve dealing with today’s most pressing issue for humanity, winning Vaughan’s Environmental Achievement award six times. Every day is Earth Day at TWS.
  • From the organic farm and garden to TWS’ in-house water recycling system, the importance of sustainability is deeply integrated into our curriculum. Following on the active gardening and composting done by Lower School students, all Grade Nine students spend three weeks living and working at an organic farm as part of the work experience program. Wilderness camping trips are an integral part of the High School experience


Experiential Learning

  • Education from a deeper perspective™ is a journey of discovery, rather than a path to acquiring information. Wherever possible the Waldorf approach involves observing the phenomena first: the chemical reaction; the common themes in the architecture of a period; the style of literature. After observation a theoretical understanding is developed. This approach enables a deeper understanding and better retention and application of the material.


Commitment to Culture & Community

  • TWS is a community for students and families of all cultures. We embrace and learn from our cultural mosaic reflecting traditions from around the world.
  • We honour the human experience through traditions and celebrate festivals through the year to encourage us to reflect and celebrate the connection of our lives to a deeper purpose. In a community as varied as ours, formal religion is practised outside the school.

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