What is a WILDE School?

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fostering changemakers

Wilderness Integrated Leadership Development

WILDE stands for a philosophy born of a core belief that the greatest learning is found in real life experiences. WILDE School is focused on teaching the individual and fostering “the changemaker.”

We focus on ‘rewilding’ the students' thinking: to be free to formulate new ideas, problem solve, and think creatively irrespective of normative educational standards. We integrate and go beyond the provincial curriculum to develop a program that inspires and ignites curiosity and growth.

Education Beyond Four Walls

How do you prepare students for a future that we cannot predict? How do you pack for an adventure on which you don't know what to expect?

You focus on developing core competencies such as grit, perseverance, creativity, adaptability, sustainable happiness, and learning how to learn. This way students will thrive in any future they choose.

Exploring Local

We often set up mobile outdoor classrooms in the rivers, historic and cultural sites and parks of our beloved Blue Mountains. All locations are within 25 minutes of both Collingwood and Thornbury.

Dressing for Success

Part of our program is dressing for the weather and we educate both students and parents on how to be comfortable in our natural environment no matter the weather.

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A Place to Strive for Inspiration & Creativity

Small Class Sizes

Teachers are able to give their full attention to individual students.

An Engaging Curriculum

Our ‘living curriculum’ truly engages students as it forms around the students' interests and the opportunities presented to us in nature and our community.

Working with Our Brain's Physiology

Like preparing for a ski race, we get our students in a peak state of flow through so that they are highly engaged and their brains are able to retain much more information. Nature, it turns out, is our biggest enabler of this.

FUN!

You can’t underestimate the power of fun in a child’s learning process. Think about the times when you’ve learned the most. Were you bored?

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drawing out the child's internal compass

Empowering our Future Leaders

Emerging evidence & research strongly suggests that experiences in nature not only boost academic learning, but enhance personal development, and environmental stewardship.

Positive shifts in the following leadership qualities have all been linked to learning in a natural environment:

Perseverance, Resilience, and Grit

Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Teamwork and Social Skills

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An Education Revolution Designed for Success

Our WILD School program is designed using the science of early brain development. We go beyond mastering core proficiencies (for example, mathematics and literacy) in order to develop critical and creative thinkers with an entrepreneurial mindset.

By utilizing the environment & landscape, movement, and inquiry, we ensure that when students are actively learning they are at a peak state for optimal comprehension and retention.

We nurture the whole child, giving them control in their lives and in their learning, so that they can thrive with purpose in our rapidly changing world.

Mental, Physical, Emotional, Connectivity

4 Pillars of The Wilde Program

In addition to the basic core competencies (e.g. Math, Writing, Science, etc.), our holistic approach to education focuses on four foundational pillars: Mental, Physical, Emotional, and Connectivity.

These pillars nurture students' well-being through mental agility, physical health, emotional intelligence, and meaningful community and natural connections. At Wilde School, we educate the whole child, fostering confidence, resilience, and readiness to make a positive impact in their lives and communities.

Mental

The Mental pillar focuses on fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and intellectual curiosity, equipping students with the cognitive skills and adaptability needed for lifelong learning and academic success.

Emotional

The Emotional pillar centres on cultivating emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and resilience, empowering students to understand and manage their emotions effectively, build strong interpersonal relationships, and navigate life's challenges with confidence and empathy.

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Physical

The Physical pillar emphasizes the importance of physical health, wellness, and outdoor exploration, encouraging students to engage in regular physical activity, develop healthy habits, and connect with their environment.

Connectivity

The Connectivity pillar promotes meaningful connections, community engagement, and global awareness, inspiring students to collaborate, communicate, and contribute positively to their local and global communities, fostering a sense of belonging and social responsibility.

By doing so, our students are more engaged and more aware of the social and physical world around them. Our students retain more information, are more creative, and become dynamic thinkers who are passionate about learning.

Leadership Development

At Wilde School, leadership is more than just a skill—it's an essence that permeates our entire educational approach.

Our dedicated Leadership Program integrates seamlessly into our curriculum, with weekly themes that resonate in both the classroom and our renowned Wilde Friday program. Rooted in our core values, we instill the qualities of a leader in every student, shaping them to become compassionate, resilient, and effective leaders in their communities and beyond.

Our Leadership Program focuses on fostering the following key characteristics in our students:

Listen:

Wilde students are attentive and perceptive, practicing active listening to understand and connect with their peers and surroundings. They recognize the importance of emotional regulation, self-awareness, and effective communication in building meaningful relationships.

Engage:

Embracing active participation, Wilde students immerse themselves in experiences, seizing opportunities to learn and grow both inside and outside the classroom. They understand that true learning comes from engagement and curiosity.

Adapt:

Resilient and adaptable, Wilde students thrive in the face of challenges, embracing new experiences and letting go of the need to control outcomes. They demonstrate grit, perseverance, and a positive attitude, essential traits for overcoming adversity and achieving success.

Demonstrate:

Leading by example, Wilde students showcase their skills, creativity, and independence, connecting ideas and embodying the core values of leadership in their interactions with peers and mentors.

Empathize:

Compassionate and understanding, Wilde students practice empathy in their leadership, valuing diverse perspectives and collaborating effectively to achieve common goals. They demonstrate courage and compassion, placing themselves in others' shoes and fostering a supportive and inclusive community.

Respect:

Treating everyone and everything with respect, Wilde students uphold the dignity and worth of each individual, learning from positive role models and contributing to a harmonious and respectful Wilde School community.

At Wilde School, our Leadership Program is not just about developing leaders for the future—it's about nurturing the leaders within each student today, empowering them to make a positive impact in their lives, families, communities, and the world.

We shall not cease from exploration.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started,
And know the place for the first time.
-
T.S. Elliot
Poet and essayist
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Our Method

Three Frames of Learning

Wilde School uses a learning pedagogy commonly referred to as the Three Frames of Learning. This method is designed to provide a consistent, relevant, well-rounded and comprehensive learning experience. The three frames of learning are:

Proficiency Frame

Thematic Frame

Experiential Frame

These frames of learning can also be thought of as a practice-apply-try paradigm:

Practice:

Where we practise and improve intellectual competencies across different proficiency disciplines. This is primarily the only focus of a traditional education program.

Apply:

When we can apply the skills we have been practising and developing through exciting and engaging thematics. This would be akin to scrimmages in a hockey game.

Try:

Where we can directly engage in new, exciting, and challenging activities through hands-on, active experiences. This would be akin to playing an actual hockey game.

Does the cost of tuition also include the Wilde Bus service?

The tuition does not cover the cost of our convenient Wilde Bus service. This is a separate service that parents can book each semester, or if it suits your convenience, as a one-off payment at the beginning of the year.

Does The Cost Of Tuition Also Include Field Trips?

No, the cost of tuition does not include regular field trips; these are considered an additional expense. However, camping trips are included in the tuition fees, offering students valuable outdoor learning experiences and opportunities for personal growth.

How Can I Apply For Admission To Wilde School?

To apply for admission to Wilde School, please complete our online application form and submit the required supporting documents. Our admissions team will review your application and contact you to schedule an interview and assessment as part of the admissions process.

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 Can I Schedule A Tour Or Learn More About Wilde School?

We invite you to visit our campus, meet our educators, and experience the Wilde School difference firsthand. Please contact our admissions office to schedule a tour or attend one of our open house events to learn more about our programs, philosophy, and community.

Is Financial Aid Or Scholarship Available For Tuition?

Yes, Wilde School is committed to making our holistic educational experience accessible and affordable for all families. We offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities to eligible families based on demonstrated need.  Please see our Wilde Way Bursary for more information.

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 Are Your Winter Safety Guidelines? Can They Stay Inside On Very Cold Days?

We prioritize student safety and well-being in all weather conditions, including winter. Our winter safety guidelines include dressing appropriately for the weather, staying hydrated, and taking regular indoor breaks when necessary. We closely monitor outdoor conditions and adjust activities accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable learning experience for all students.

What Do You Do For Safety If There Is A Thunderstorm / Lighting / Forest Fire?

We prioritize student safety and monitor weather conditions closely. In the event of severe weather or forest fires, we follow established safety protocols, including seeking shelter indoors and communicating with families as necessary.

What Is The Response Time For EMS / Fire / Police If There Is A Serious Emergency?

We have established protocols and emergency response plans in place, and emergency services can typically respond within 20 minutes in the event of a serious emergency.

How Do I Get To Wilde School?

Wilde School is conveniently located with easy access by car, horse 😉 or our Wilde Bus service. For detailed directions and transportation options, please visit our contact page.

Is Wilde School A Peanut Free Environment?

Yes, Wilde School is a peanut-free environment to ensure the safety and well-being of all students with allergies or dietary restrictions.

Is There A Lunch And Snack Program Available?

No, we do not offer a lunch and snack program at Wilde School. Students are required to pack their own lunches, and it is essential that these meals are substantial and of high quality to support their nutritional needs throughout the day. We encourage families to prioritize healthy and balanced meals that align with our holistic approach to well-being and learning.

Are There Any Additional Costs such as Equipment, Books, Etc.?

There may be additional costs for specialized equipment, books, and optional extracurricular activities or programs. We strive to keep additional costs to a minimum and provide families with a detailed list of required and optional items at the beginning of each school year.

Does Tuition Increase Every Year? If Yes, By How Much?

Tuition might go up annually to help the school meet its financial requirements and keep improving. We want to keep our programs accessible for many families and also need to cover important costs. Expected tuition increases are usually in line with inflation and the cost of making our school better. We promise to be open about any changes and will let families know early about any tuition changes.

What If My Child Does Not Adapt? What About Refunds / Cancellations?

We want all of our students to love Wilde School and the overwhelming amount of our students do, however providing a positive education experience is our foremost priority. We strongly encourage a trial day or even multiple days so that your students gets a feeling for the Wilde Way.

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.