The Parent Experience

What’s it like having a child at Wilde School?

Having a child at Wilde School can be challenging at times.  It is certainly more difficult than having a child at a traditional school.  Wilde students need more and better nourishment (they burn a lot of fuel).  They need more attention to their dress i.e. dressing for the elements at all times.  They often come home muddy and exhausted.  But they are much happier going to school, they are more self motivated and often less inclined to use screens.  

What’s different?

There are some key differences between Wilde School and a traditional school setting:

1. Outdoor and Experiential Learning:

One of the most distinctive features of Wilde School is its emphasis on outdoor exploration and experiential learning. Students spend significant time outdoors, engaging with nature, participating in hands-on activities, and learning through real-world experiences.

2. Focus on Emotional Intelligence:

Wilde School places a strong emphasis on nurturing emotional intelligence alongside academic learning. Students are encouraged to develop self-awareness, empathy, resilience, and interpersonal skills, fostering personal growth and well-being.

3. Holistic Approach to Education:

While traditional schools often prioritize academic achievement, Wilde School takes a more holistic approach to education, emphasizing the development of the whole child – mind, body, and spirit.

4. Flexible Learning Environment:

Wilde School offers a more flexible and adaptive learning environment compared to traditional schools. Classes may be held outdoors, in community spaces, or other non-traditional settings, allowing for a dynamic and engaging learning experience.

5. Community-Centered Learning:

Wilde School fosters a strong sense of community among students, parents, teachers, and the broader community. Learning often takes place collaboratively, with students working together on projects, participating in community service, and engaging with local resources and experts.

6. Emphasis on Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship:

Wilde School places a high priority on teaching students about sustainability, environmental stewardship, and responsible citizenship. Students learn about the importance of caring for the environment and are encouraged to become active stewards of the natural world.

7. Alternative Assessment Methods:

In addition to traditional grading systems, Wilde School employs alternative assessment methods that focus on students' growth, creativity, and critical thinking skills. Assessment may include portfolios, projects, presentations, and self-reflection, providing a more comprehensive and personalised view of student learning.

Overall, Wilde School offers a unique and innovative approach to education that differs significantly from traditional schools, prioritizing outdoor learning, emotional intelligence, community engagement, and holistic development.

Expect your child to be exhausted at the end of the day, especially in the first two to three weeks.  Our program is much more active than a traditional school. This allows for more physical development but also neurological as we love to think and move at the same time. Research shows this lends to enhancing neurological development. Think of it as cross fit for your brain. We send home report cards at the end of each semester but the focus goes beyond academic reporting to also include social, emotional and physical. In addition we develop a Strategic Student Plan with each family and student which outlines their goals and objectives for each of our four pillars.  

What’s the same?

At Wilde School, while we emphasize outdoor exploration and emotional intelligence, we also recognize the importance of providing a well-rounded education that aligns with certain traditional school aspects. Here are some similarities between Wilde School and a traditional school setting:

1. Educational Curriculum:

Wilde School offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers core subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social studies, ensuring that students receive a balanced education.

2. Qualified Teachers:

Just like traditional schools, Wilde School employs qualified and experienced teachers who are dedicated to providing quality education to students.

3. Assessment and Feedback:

Wilde School utilizes various assessment methods to evaluate students' progress and provide constructive feedback, similar to traditional grading systems.

4. Structured Learning Environment:

While Wilde School incorporates outdoor and experiential learning, it still maintains a structured learning environment with scheduled classes, assignments, and academic expectations.

5. Social Interaction:

Wilde School fosters a supportive and inclusive community where students can interact, collaborate, and develop social skills, mirroring the social dynamics found in traditional schools. However we go beyond that to actually teach social and emotional skills. E.g breaking down conflict, self regulation, maintaining relationship, etc.

6. Extracurricular Activities:

In addition to academic learning, Wilde School offers extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to explore their interests, talents, and passions outside of the regular curriculum.

7. Parental Involvement:

Wilde School values and encourages parental involvement in their children's education, fostering a collaborative relationship between parents, teachers, and students, similar to traditional schools.

By incorporating these traditional school elements alongside its unique focus on outdoor education and emotional intelligence, Wilde School strives to provide a holistic and enriching learning experience for all students.


Curious about Wilde School and our programs? Contact us anytime and we'll be happy to walk you through our programs, our approach, and answer any questions you might have.

How Can Parents Get Involved At Wilde School?

We value parent involvement and believe in fostering a strong partnership between home and school. Parents can volunteer in classrooms, participate in school events and committees, and engage in regular communication with teachers and administrators to support their child's educational journey at Wilde School.

How Does Wilde School Support Students With Diverse Learning Needs?

At Wilde School, we prioritize inclusivity and personalized learning. Our educators are skilled in differentiating instruction to meet each student's unique needs, offering additional support, accommodations, or enrichment as required to ensure every student thrives. The small class sizes at Wilde School further enhance this tailored approach, allowing for individualized attention and fostering a supportive learning environment where every student can succeed.

What Is The Class Size At Wilde School?

We maintain small class sizes to ensure personalized attention and meaningful connections between students and teachers, fostering a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Typical class sizes are usually around 12 and not exceeding 14.

Does Wilde School Offer Any Extracurricular Activities Or Programs?

Yes, Wilde School offers a diverse range of extracurricular activities and programs tailored to the interests of our students. Our offerings have included clubs such as pottery, theatre, gardening, mountain biking, and canoeing. Given the size of our school, our sports teams primarily focus on individual sports like cross-country running and Nordic skiing, providing students with opportunities to develop skills, build teamwork, and pursue their passions outside of the classroom.

What Happens After Grade 8? How Is The Transition Back To High School?

At Wilde School, our focus extends beyond academics to equip our students with essential life skills such as grit, perseverance, and adaptability. A significant component of our middle school program is cultivating the ability to become autodidacts, or self-directed learners. Our graduates are well-prepared to navigate any challenges life may present. Our holistic approach to education fosters resilience, curiosity, and a love for learning, empowering students to thrive in diverse educational settings and make a positive impact in their future endeavours.

How Do You Monitor Academic Success Of Your Students? Do You Provide Report Cards?

We regularly assess and monitor student progress through ongoing formative and summative assessments, teacher observations, and student portfolios. We provide comprehensive report cards twice a year to communicate student achievement and growth in alignment with the Ontario curriculum. In addition, we create a Strategic Student Plan with our students and parents that sets out their goals and objectives for the year. We revisit this plan halfway through the year and re-evaluate its trajectory.

Do You Follow The Ontario Curriculum?

Yes, Wilde School adheres to the Ontario curriculum, but we enrich this framework with our distinctive approach which we call ‘the living curriculum’ and includes experiential learning, outdoor exploration, and character development. Our curriculum is not only about meeting the standard educational requirements but also about inspiring a deeper love for learning and fostering essential life skills. What's particularly fascinating is that our students consistently surpass the baseline expectations for their grade level. This achievement is a testament to the effectiveness of our holistic educational model, which nurtures curiosity, resilience, and a passion for continuous growth in each student.

How Is Wilde School's Curriculum Different From Traditional Schools?

Our curriculum at Wilde School emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning, outdoor exploration, and the development of essential life skills alongside academic subjects. We focus on fostering a growth mindset, building healthy relationships, and instilling leadership qualities in our students to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

What Grades Does Wilde School Serve?

Wilde School offers programs from Kindergarten through Grade 8, providing a seamless educational journey from early childhood to early adolescence.  We will be announcing a unique High School program in the coming months.

What Is The Philosophy Behind Wilde School?

Wilde School is committed to providing a holistic and experiential learning environment that fosters curiosity, resilience, and a love for learning. Our educational approach integrates academic rigor with outdoor exploration, emotional intelligence, and community engagement to nurture well-rounded individuals prepared for lifelong success.

What Time Does School Start?

We would like students to arrive by 8:45 AM. This allows for their version of ‘water cooler time’. There is a lot of research surrounding the importance of transition times in students' daily routines in which they can free play, socialize and ground. It allows for students to ‘let a little air out of the tires’, which is very important for most students' concentration levels.

What Is Your Approach To Conflict Resolution?

We encourage parents to communicate with your child's teacher first, coming to the team of directors if you need further support. At WILDE School we teach our students to be proactive problem solvers and not let any problems grow because they were left unattended.