Middle School students are experiencing a period of rapid growth and personal development. They are developing a greater understanding of the world around them, a creative empathy to solve problems, and energy that fuels them to take action. At Pickering College, we have designed an academic program that meets the needs of this time in their lives. With a 21st century, integrative and exploratory approach to learning, students connect to the real world through project-based inquiry.
The Pillar Years is the unique Middle School framework within the Pickering College Global Leadership Program. Over the three years in Middle School, each student’s personalized program explores two central questions: Who am I, and what can I do? Informed by pedagogical research of 11-14-year-olds, the program is active and action-based. It focuses on outdoor education, public speaking, service and servant leadership, leadership, as well as followership, all of which are interwoven within the rich and varied academic curriculum.
Throughout their years of Middle School, students explore four strands: Adventure, Wisdom, Community and Freedom. Each strand is deeply embedded into curricular and co-curricular activities. Students also have a wide range of opportunities to accumulate Pillar Pursuits or interdisciplinary project outcomes for each strand. The final strand, Freedom, is completely student directed and culminates in an Expression of Self where students exhibit their development in their chosen area through self-selected mediums and artifacts.
Our students participate in learning experiences that promote student engagement and ownership
We believe that each young person should become actively aware of the larger world. Our Middle School students learn to be good stewards of the earth and its resources.
- They will respect and value the diverse ways people look, speak, think, and act.
- They will develop the interpersonal and social skills necessary to learn, work and play with others harmoniously and confidently.
- They will learn to recognize, articulate, and make responsible and ethical decisions concerning their own health and wellness.
- They will assume responsibility for their own actions and look out for others.
Through leadership opportunities, global education, and community service, our students understand local, national, and global civic responsibilities and demonstrate active citizenship through participation in endeavours that serve and benefit those larger communities.
In the Middle School, community represents one of the four program pillars. This strand is deeply embedded into the curriculum through a focus on learning about global mindedness, citizenship, and helping students practice social action, advocacy, and engagement in their project work.
We value interdisciplinary studies and make decisions that reflect the needs, interests, and special abilities of the students. Our team-oriented approach to teaching and learning creates exciting experiences for all students. Our educators have the professional commitment and passion to make a positive difference in the life of every young adolescent they teach.