UNIVERSITY PREPARATION PROGRAM
A student’s journey at Blyth Academy Thornhill culminates in the University Preparation Program for Grades 11 and 12. Here, preparing for post-secondary education is the primary focus, with increased focus on developing opinions, interpreting information, independent learning, and active participation in our small-group setting.
Our dedicated and compassionate guidance head provides course selection advice, emotional support, access to workshops and skill improvement resources, as well as university preparation, selection, university visits, and application advice. They meet with each student, every term, to ensure they are on the right academic path and address issues and goals they may have personally and academically. With a campus size of 90 students, our guidance counsellor is able to provide individual attention and relate to students on a personal basis, providing ongoing advice throughout the school year.
As the four-term, two-course approach of Grade 11 and 12 mimics the academic semester structure of post-secondary education, students are prepared to manage their timetable, use their self-directed study skills, and benefit from the familiar “round-table” tutorial system. At Blyth Academy Thornhill, students are taught to advocate for themselves, nurture a strong instructor-student relationship, and be active members of their school.
Our University Preparation Program students can take advantage of all of our campus facilities, including the science labs, student lounges, student support room, quiet study room, student clubs, and intramural sports teams.
The academic year of the Blyth Academy University Preparation Program is divided into four terms of ten and a half weeks. This cutting-edge restructuring of the traditional academic school year has dramatic benefits for the student. Our University Preparation students take only two courses per term, as opposed to a more traditional semester setting (four courses a semester) or a full-year setting (eight courses daily spanning the entire academic year), meaning that our students are able to manage their academic workload much more effectively. Two-hour classes, taken five days a week, allow more time for in-depth review and for individual attention to our students on an ongoing basis.
Students select their courses at the start of the school term, and are given their schedule and room assignments. The third period is free for independent study, assignments, extracurricular activities, guidance counsellor visits, independent exercise programs, sport training, or other homework.
Students entering Grade 12 at Blyth Academy may only need six credits to graduate. In this case, Grade 12 students take two courses in Term 1, two courses in Term 2, two courses in Term 3, and then are eligible to graduate in April, leaving time to enjoy a victory lap, one of our exciting travel programs, or take a part-time job in advance of departing for University. If desired, Grade 12 students can take two Blyth Summer School credits during July and August before the start of the school year, allowing for graduation and all of its benefits as early as February.
IN THE COMMUNITY
At Blyth Academy, students are encouraged to take part in field trips outside the campus to gain life skills and a deeper connection to rural communities in and around the GTA. Students gain hands-on experience during Canadian Adventure Expeditions, which run each term for our students in the University Preparation Program. The weeklong educational journey takes photography students in term one to the Wildlife Research Centre in Algonquin Park. In term two, students take part in a Recreational Leadership Management class in Muskoka.
In term three students head to Northern Ontario for Environmental Resource Management. In partnership with Lakehead University, our fourth term students in Earth and Space Science class have the opportunity to visit the university campus and use their facilities including state of the art telescope.
Our field trips outside of the city are in an effort to connect our urban students to rural communities in and around the GTA.
Cooperative Education is the fastest growing area of Secondary School Education. Our guidance counsellor works hard to ensure students are presented with the best possible learning opportunities outside of the school by engaging in advanced planning with each student and communicating with local institutions of interest.
Our students have opportunities for co-op placements at various institutions in a wide variety of fields of work including organizations dedicated to the field of Medicine, Science, Technology, Education & Mathematics/Music, Theatre, Advertising, Marketing, and Pet Care and Health.