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Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Old Oct 19th 2019, 4:38 pm
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Default Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

We have moved to Toronto with two kids (8 and 6). They completed year 3 and 1 respectively in a London private day school. We moved to Toronto and they are now in a top-10 local TDSB school. Because entry is by age here, they are now in grade 3 and 1. I find both kids are at least two years ahead of their classmates. We have spoke to their teachers but there is no possibility to promote them up a grade. There are no extension classes either and the ability to cater to their academic level is next to nill in the class. My son has recently been tested for giftedness in grade 3 but I have no idea about the result of this test yet or how our options change if he qualifies.

I am looking for some advice on (a) how to approach TDSB to allow their needs to be taken more seriously or (b) alternative school options in Toronto. We would have loved to send them to a British school but none exists. We are thinking private schools may be an option but not sure if our situation is caused more by differences in UK/North American pedagogical approach (in which case we would face the same issue in the private system).

The difference in schooling has been the most challenging issue in our move, as we are not sure whether we will be here for two years or permanently. But right now we feel our kids are not learning much compares to what they were in London, and it is providing a reason to go back.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

I go against the grain on the educational threads due to having pursued education for my children in Toronto as hard as the Chinese parents of their competitors. Still, I have some sympathy for the common view that small children are behind in Canada but it evens out toward the end of high school. Your time of stay is critical, if you're here permanently then the standard advice applies; find an IB school move your children to the feeder schools for it (in our case the Collège français).. If you're only here short term then I think you need to put up the cash for whichever schools feed UCC or Branksome or Appleby.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

tive school options in Toronto. We would have loved to send them to a British school but none exists. We are thinking private schools may be an option but not sure if our situation is caused more by differences in UK/North American pedagogical approach (in which case we would face the same issue in the private system).

The difference in schooling has been the most challenging issue in our move, as we are not sure whether we will be here for two years or permanently. But right now we feel our kids are not learning much compares to what they were in London, and it is providing a reason to go back.
[/QUOTE]

We moved almost 2 years ago and are facing a similar issue. If you are planning to be here for a while then you have to accept that this is the education system here and focus on the positives I.e. it actually allow kids to be kids and enjoy their childhood rather than having the relentless pressure (we moved right after my daughter passed the 11 plus). My daughter is adamant that she wants to attend a British university and for that reason only we are looking at private options for Grade 9.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Originally Posted by advent25 View Post
My daughter is adamant that she wants to attend a British university and for that reason only we are looking at private options for Grade 9.
I don't know that that is necessary. Our children had offers from universities in Europe based on their scores in the IB and the (US) SAT and, as noted above, they attended a state funded high school. I would think moving for university is less of an issue than a move back earlier in life. I don't think it would be money well spent as what is primarily being purchased at private schools is a network of contacts; it's not much help knowing half the government of Canada if you live in Tower Hamlets.
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I don't know that that is necessary. Our children had offers from universities in Europe based on their scores in the IB and the (US) SAT and, as noted above, they attended a state funded high school. I would think moving for university is less of an issue than a move back earlier in life. I don't think it would be money well spent as what is primarily being purchased at private schools is a network of contacts; it's not much help knowing half the government of Canada if you live in Tower Hamlets.
This.
I also read an article a couple of years ago (but can't remember where now so you might want to research yourself) that said that state schools in affluent areas of the gta had significantly better results than the private options.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

I have some experience of private schools in Toronto, not as a parent.
One of the schools DBD mentions runs IB right from Junior Kindergarten. If I had the money i would certainly send my children there.
In my opinion the IB is a superior program to anything else offered.
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Old Oct 23rd 2019, 3:10 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Thanks. We tried to get into the French system (Via Monde) as I am fluent but as kids are not, they were not granted admission. I can't see how we could target College Francais. French immersion is also not an options for us as oversubscribed. I'm starting to look at IB schools and can see York School and Sunnybrook as possible options but not much else.
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Old Oct 23rd 2019, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Do any of the state schools in your area offer IB?

Several of them do here in Vancouver, including our local high school.
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Old Oct 23rd 2019, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

boys or girls?

for girls you could look at Branksome Hall

also check out IB Schools Of Ontario
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Old Nov 2nd 2019, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

We are planning to move to Toronto next summer with a 12 yr and 10 yr old and have been looking into this as well. Although we don't currently have any plans to return back to the U.K but was always comforting to think that in the worst case if things really don't work out, we could move back before year 10 for my eldest son. He could then pick up where we left off. However looking into schools and now wondering how far behind he would be to other year 10s has definitely added to the pressure of getting this right.

One thing that I have done is get in touch with a high school teacher we know there. She mentioned the following:

"Any newcomers would go through WWTW(we welcome the world) they usually do assessments and place children appropriately"

Can't find much information about this on the net, wonder if anybody else has come across this? She's going to get me further info from a colleague.

Has anybody moved back to the U.K. with secondary school age kids and if so what was your experience?
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Old Nov 3rd 2019, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

I’m not in Toronto, but did arrive with an 11 year old who was going into middle school, grade 6. Middle school was hard as he was bored stiff and had covered the vast majority of the broader curriculum before he came here. He didn’t like grades 9 and 10 much either and struggled with his attitude, and concentrated on track and field etc, which was good socially. Grades 11 and 12 went splendidly though as he’d started on the IB programme. He graduated last year with good marks and, is loving the first year of uni

It really feels like a minefield moving here. You don’t come here to specifically screw up the life of your children and I think the vast majority come here to give their kids more opportunities later on. At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the more invested we have been in his studies the better he has done. We took our eye off the ball when he was 15 or so and we were having a few family problems and it all went a bit pear shaped...but I think we’ve recovered

Very best of luck...moving here doesn’t always seem easy, and it’s damned hard work, but eventually it gets better
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Old Nov 3rd 2019, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Originally Posted by SoftwareDev View Post
We are planning to move to Toronto next summer with a 12 yr and 10 yr old and have been looking into this as well. Although we don't currently have any plans to return back to the U.K but was always comforting to think that in the worst case if things really don't work out, we could move back before year 10 for my eldest son. He could then pick up where we left off. However looking into schools and now wondering how far behind he would be to other year 10s has definitely added to the pressure of getting this right.

One thing that I have done is get in touch with a high school teacher we know there. She mentioned the following:

"Any newcomers would go through WWTW(we welcome the world) they usually do assessments and place children appropriately"

Can't find much information about this on the net, wonder if anybody else has come across this? She's going to get me further info from a colleague.

Has anybody moved back to the U.K. with secondary school age kids and if so what was your experience?
Welcome Centres
https://www.tdsb.on.ca/test1/New-to-...eption-Centres

Last edited by Siouxie; Nov 3rd 2019 at 5:35 pm.
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Old Nov 3rd 2019, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Both our girls went through the elementary system here in BC. But at Grade 8 the local High School is one of these "progressive - self paced" places. We felt compelled to put our eldest into the private system. The youngest will follow next year when she reaches Grade 8. When we looked at the options where we live, we felt the expense was an investment worth making. I fully concede that financially we are privileged to be in the position that we have the option to take the path we have.
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 1:27 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

thanks... just what I was looking for
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Need advice on primary schooling in Canada (Toronto)

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
I’m not in Toronto, but did arrive with an 11 year old who was going into middle school, grade 6. Middle school was hard as he was bored stiff and had covered the vast majority of the broader curriculum before he came here. He didn’t like grades 9 and 10 much either and struggled with his attitude, and concentrated on track and field etc, which was good socially. Grades 11 and 12 went splendidly though as he’d started on the IB programme. He graduated last year with good marks and, is loving the first year of uni

It really feels like a minefield moving here. You don’t come here to specifically screw up the life of your children and I think the vast majority come here to give their kids more opportunities later on. At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the more invested we have been in his studies the better he has done. We took our eye off the ball when he was 15 or so and we were having a few family problems and it all went a bit pear shaped...but I think we’ve recovered

Very best of luck...moving here doesn’t always seem easy, and it’s damned hard work, but eventually it gets better
maybe I’m over thinking it but definitely something that is putting a lot of pressure on us. The children love the time they spend there, have spent lot of their summers there. Appreciate it’s going to be completely different to them going on vacation but they are adamant they want to move and would leave tomorrow if they could. They are doing well at school here so the pressure to get this right and not take any opportunities away from them is definitely very worrying. Hoping to be in over in Toronto soon so will definitely pop into the local schools and ask if there is any option to have them tested when they arrive and see what grade they need to be put in. Even if it’s unlikely they would!
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