A PERSONALIZED APPROACH
Welcome to Blyth Academy Downsview Park, and thank you for considering us for this critical phase of your child’s education and young life.
Blyth Academy has an average class size of eight, ensuring every seat is at the “front” of the room.
Your child will learn, play and grow alongside charismatic teachers. The atmosphere will be experiential and participatory, and students will eventually feel as accountable to themselves and to one another as they are to their teacher.
The sense of community here is palpable, and at the same time, each child’s experience is more personalized than could ever be possible in traditional classrooms with 20 or more students.
Through Blyth Academy’s Middle Years Program, we work to reach all students, igniting interests, building skills, and creating the strongest base possible for them to flourish in high school and beyond.
Inside our cheerful and inclusive classrooms all students — not just the extroverted — are heard and engaged.
We are able to personalize your child’s education based on his or her individual learning styles, interests, and academic levels. This allows students to work at a pace that is comfortable enough to build confidence, but also one which allows teachers to ensure that all students are appropriately challenged in their learning.
Our teachers do not teach to the ‘median’; the highest achievers are pushed, and those with specific academic needs are accommodated and strengthened.
Our teachers are all certified by the Ontario College of Teachers and many have postgraduate degrees — but that is just the beginning. We select our teachers not only for their qualifications but at least as much for their empathy, enthusiasm and dedication to their students’ success.
Our teachers love what they teach, and are passionate about connecting with young people — anything less simply won’t fit. Parents also play a vital role in their child’s education. We hold ourselves to the highest standard (quality and frequency) of communication between home and school, involving parents as part of the educational team supporting their child. Information will flow freely between us in partnership; happy updates as well as needed reminders!
Blyth Academy follows the curriculum expectations set out by the Ontario Ministry of Education. From this strong academic base, we integrate student interests, experiential hands-on learning activities within and beyond our walls, and an empathetic approach to teaching and learning. We have developed a strategy for incorporating literacy and numeracy across the curriculum in an effort to support the provincial mandate to improve student achievement in these essential skills.
Our program is coherent and integrated, allowing for learning opportunities in literacy and numeracy throughout the school day, no matter which subject class students are in.
We incorporate research and evidence-based inquiry and decision making approaches in the classroom that will support students’ success in both of these critical areas.
No child ever goes unseen in a classroom at Blyth Academy, and our families can be confident that their child is getting personalized academic support and care. This is our promise and we expect to be held accountable to it.
The well-being of our students — intellectual, physical, and emotional — is at the core of Blyth Academy’s Middle Years Program. Our enriched curriculum will foster students’ curiosity, get them engaged, and help them identify personal interests.
Regular attention to wisdom on nutrition, wellness, and exercise is a key part of this. Our class sizes ensure that each one of our students feels heard and valued every day and in every class. This is no usual claim or familiar ambition: it is critical to what we offer and do.
We offer concrete models to students on HOW to study, rather than merely telling them TO study; how to organize and be productive with their time; how to manage and prioritize tasks and goals; and how to maintain calm on even the toughest days.
When our Middle Years students progress to high school within Blyth Academy or beyond, they will do so with a positive and assured sense of self: identified interests, healthy habits, academic rigour, and an emotional awareness substantially founded.
BEYOND THE BLYTH ACADEMY WALLS
Blyth Academy students have unique opportunities that take them beyond the boundaries of their classrooms and minds.
Our Middle Years Program supports our students in becoming thoughtful citizens (‘earthlings’!) and well-rounded individuals. With integrated travel opportunities as well as regular local enrichment, our students begin at a young age to understand their responsibilities as global citizens.
Participation in many community-based initiatives is incorporated into classwork, and students give back in their own community.
We also strive to instil vital life skills in our students. Skills that are so important in our daily lives but are not given sufficient due in many schools – from budgeting and money management to making healthy eating choices and maintaining a good mind/body balance. Our students will build strong tools for life as well as their future academic pursuits.
SPORT, PLAY AND PURSUITS
Blyth Academy Downsview Park’s Middle Years Program includes a full and adaptive range of extra-curricular activities and leadership opportunities at every grade level.
Our campuses have partnerships with local businesses and community services giving our students access to a rich variety of resources to learn, play and thrive.
Membership in the Small Schools Athletic Federation gives us a competitive sports schedule in both team and individual pursuits: cross-country, track, soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, hockey, skating, swimming, cross-country skiing, triathlon, tennis, golf and more.
Cooking, second language opportunities, music, fitness/wellness, social activism, writing/ journalism, film and photography — there is something for every pursuit, and a pursuit for everyone to discover!
THE MIDDLE YEARS – BEFORE AND AFTER
At Blyth Academy, we meet our new students exactly where they are.
Who a child is today is always okay; but it’s not okay to stay there for too long. In our months and years together, we will focus on ensuring that all of our students are constantly learning and building. When the time comes, they will be ready for the next level of their education. For our Middle School students, this includes giving them a glimpse of what life is like in secondary school.
Some of the activities and approaches your child will experience are: writing exam style tests in grade 8; spending “days in the life” of a secondary school student; being taught several best practice strategies for studying, note taking and stress management; being involved in “houses” or teams with students from other grades; and being paired with a high school mentor.
We invite you to come in for a visit to experience first hand how Blyth Academy’s approach to the Middle Years Program can benefit your child and your family.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Jamie took the short flight of steps from the parking lot to the school two-at-a-time.
“Morning, Jamie!” said the Head of Guidance cheerfully. “You must be so excited for your adventure this afternoon.”
Jamie WAS excited. He and his classmates were heading out to learn about lasers and optics and play a game of laser tag at a location nearby. They had been discussing lasers in both their math and science classes, and today were going to get a chance to see them in action.
Jamie joined his classmates and teacher in their classroom and readied himself for the day ahead. His teacher got the day started with some background and cues for a discussion about a news story, and Jamie and his classmates all contributed ideas and questions.
After getting caught up on current events, the group of friends moved on to a morning of language arts and social studies. Today they were reading short stories written in different parts of the world and looking at the geographic regions in which those stories were written. Soon they would be writing their own short stories and sharing them with the children at the daycare down the street.
All of a sudden it was recess time, and Jamie and several of his friends grabbed their baseball gloves and headed out to the yard to play; a few hung back to read their novels in the book corner.
French followed recess, and today the Grade 11 French class was coming from the attached high school to teach them about different countries around the world where French was the primary language — en Francais, bien sur.
After a quick lunch in the Student Commons, Jamie and the other middle school students grabbed their backpacks and headed out to catch the bus that would take them to their laser tag adventure where they spent the afternoon doing a hands-on lab, listening to a lecture, and then heading in to the team competition arena for an exhausting set of laser tag challenges.
Upon return, their teacher reviewed what they needed to bring home, and signed off on student agendas. Some of the middle schoolers opted to stay at school for after-school robotics or triathlon clubs, while others hurried home to get ready for hockey or music practice. Jamie decided he wanted to finish his laser tag assignment while it was still fresh in his mind, so he stayed with the after-school support teacher to complete his work before calling his mom for a ride home.
He hoped that the evening would pass quickly because tomorrow his class planned to head to the park for their math lesson and he was already excited. Jamie said goodbye to his teacher and the Campus Administrator on his way towards the door.
“Hey Jamie,” called the Principal as he walked by his office. “I know your brother has a big test in Grade 11 Biology tomorrow — don’t forget to remind him to study!” he said with a wink.
Jamie was only too happy to oblige, knowing his homework was already done for the night and that both the trampoline and TV were all his for the evening ahead.