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The Arts

Dance, drama, music and media & visual art help students develop knowledge and skills that can be applied in many other endeavours. Participation in the arts encourages innovative, creative, critical and “out of the box” thinking. Arts courses help students deepen their awareness and appreciation of diverse perspectives and provide ways of perceiving, interpreting, organizing and questioning various aspects of our world.

Participation in the arts encourages students to be responsible and critically literate members of society as they become self-aware and self-confident. Learning through the arts fosters integration of a student's sensory, cognitive and motor capacities while being intellectually rigorous disciplines that use complex symbols to communicate meaning and understanding. The arts curriculum in each of the subject areas is based on four central ideas: developing creativity, communicating, understanding culture and making connections.

Business Studies

Business is an integral part of every young adult’s future. It influences their careers, incomes and opportunities for personal enterprise. Business has a significant effect on the standard of living and the quality of life of Canadians, while having a growing impact on the environment in which they live. Young adults must be prepared to engage in business activities with confidence and competence, both nationally and internationally.

Students who pursue a business education will develop an understanding of how business functions, the role it plays in society and the opportunities it generates. Business studies creates a strong foundation for those who wish to train in specialized areas such as management, international business, marketing, finance, accounting, entrepreneurship and information & communication technology, whether through practical applications in the workplace or in postsecondary education.

Canadian and World Studies

The Canadian and world studies program encompasses five subjects: civics, economics, geography, history, law and politics. In studying these subjects, students learn how people interact with and within their social and physical environments today, and how they did so in the past. Students develop the knowledge and values they need to become responsible, active and informed Canadian citizens in the twenty-first century.

In addition, students develop practical skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, research, inquiry and communication skills. Courses in Canadian and world studies contribute significantly to students’ understanding of Canada’s heritage and its physical, social, cultural, governmental, legal, and economic structures and relationships. Students learn to apply and transfer these skills and understandings in other secondary school subjects, in their future studies, and in today’s rapidly changing world.

Classical Studies & International Languages

Today’s students are living in an international community: nations and peoples throughout the world depend on each other not only for their economic survival and social stability, but for the success of their undertakings in most areas of human activity. In such a world, communication on the international plane is of crucial importance and knowledge of languages an invaluable asset.

The study of classical and international languages helps students to develop the skills they need to communicate effectively with people from other countries and at the same time, improve their skills in the English language. Moreover, learning more than one language develops the ability to think creatively and to solve problems effectively.

Computer Studies

Students live in a technologically rich world, and computer studies provides them with the knowledge and skills to understand the underpinnings of current computer technology while preparing them to engage with emerging technologies. Computer studies is the study of ways of representing objects and processes in computer technology. It involves defining and analyzing problems – designing solutions and developing, testing and maintaining computer programs.

Computer studies is relevant for all students because it incorporates a broad range of transferable problem-solving skills and techniques, including logical thinking, creative design, synthesis, team work and evaluation. A foundation in this discipline will introduce students to the multiple opportunities afforded by this dynamic field and will begin to prepare them for a range of rewarding careers.


To participate fully in the society and workplace of the 21st century, today’s students need to be able to use language with skill, confidence and flexibility. The English curriculum offers a challenging program that recognizes the central importance of language as a fundamental element of identity and culture. Students become aware of the many purposes for which language is used and the diverse forms it can take to serve particular purposes and audiences.

The plethora of texts students encounter on any given day contain messages which reflect the biases and opinions of their creators. Since notions of 'reality' are based on messages that have been constructed, author’s attitudes, interpretations, and intent must be thoughtfully and critically evaluated by readers. Students increasingly become critical consumers of texts--they question texts and assess their validity, express opinions, support their opinions with sound arguments, evidence from the text and from their prior experiences, and they transform texts when the messages contained disadvantage groups of people. The English program encourages students to develop a lifelong love of reading and writing, speaking, listening that will enable them to better understand themselves and others. It prepares students for the literacy demands they face as Canadian citizens and members of the global community.

English as a Second Language & English Literacy Development

The ESL and ELD curriculum expectations are designed to help English language learners develop the skills they need to develop proficiency in everyday English as well as proficiency in academic English, allowing them to integrate successfully into the mainstream school program.

ESL courses are designed for English language learners who have had opportunities to develop language and literacy skills in their own language appropriate to their age or grade level.

ELD courses are designed for English language learners with limited prior schooling who have not had opportunities to develop age-appropriate literacy skills in any language. These courses provide an accelerated program of literacy development for these students.

French as a Second Language

French is not only one of Canada’s two official languages, but is also widely used throughout the world. Knowledge of a second language is valuable for a number of reasons. Students strengthen their first-language skills and enhance their critical and creative thinking abilities while they tend to become more tolerant and respectful of other cultures. In addition, the ability to communicate in another language provides students with a distinct advantage in a number of careers, both in Canada and internationally.

The aim of the French as a second language (FSL) curriculum is to prepare students to perform effectively in the challenging world they face by providing them with the skills they need to communicate in a second language. To make the curriculum relevant to students’ lives, knowledge and skills are taught in contexts that reflect their interests and experiences.

Guidance & Career Education

The guidance and career education program plays a central role in secondary school by providing students with the tools they need for success in school, in the workplace, and in their daily lives. In particular, the curriculum focuses on skill development that helps students better manage their time, resources, and dealings with other people.

Courses in guidance and career education actively involve students in research, inquiry, problem-solving, and decision-making processes related to planning for postsecondary education, training, or work. The guidance and career education program is designed to recognize the diverse abilities, strengths, and aspirations of all students, providing them with knowledge and skills that benefit them throughout their lives.

Health & Physical Education

Healthy active living benefits both individuals and society in many ways, including increasing productivity, improving morale, decreasing absenteeism, reducing health-care costs, and heightening personal satisfaction. There is a growing body of scientific research indicating that involvement in daily physical activity leads to improved academic performance.

The health and physical education curriculum has been designed to provide learning experiences that help students realize their potential in life. Students develop an understanding of the importance of physical fitness, health, and well-being and the factors that contribute to them; a personal commitment to daily vigorous physical activity; and positive health behaviours, skills and knowledge they require to participate in physical activities throughout their lives. This practical, balanced approach helps students move successfully through secondary school and beyond.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Our world is increasingly interconnected and interdependent, with communications networks exchanging information around the globe, creating new forms of collaboration and transforming the nature of work and learning. New areas of study develop to advance human knowledge and respond to the challenges of our changing world with insight and innovation. These include areas that often combine or cross subjects or disciplines, such as space science, information management systems, alternative energy technologies and computer art and animation.

Students also require interdisciplinary skills that focus on the issues themselves, especially skills related to the research process, information management, collaboration, critical and creative thinking and technological applications. Students with well-developed information studies skills and knowledge have increased marketability in a variety of careers and employment opportunities.


Today’s mathematics curriculum must prepare students for their future roles in society. It must equip them with essential mathematical knowledge and skills and most importantly, with the ability and incentive to continue on their own learning. The development of mathematical knowledge is a gradual process. Thus, a coherent and continuous program is necessary to help students recognize the underlying principles of mathematics.

The mathematics courses offered at the secondary level build upon the fundamentals of important skills, concepts, processes, and attitudes that are fostered through elementary school. The strands used are similar to those of the elementary program, with adjustments made to reflect the new directions mathematics takes in secondary school. The mathematics curriculum promotes lifelong learning for students by encouraging the application of problem-solving skills to other disciplines and real world situations.

Using a variety of instructional, assessment and evaluation strategies, teachers provide numerous opportunities for students to develop skills of inquiry, reasoning, problem solving and communication as they investigate and learn fundamental concepts. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts – to the goals and concerns of the world in which they live – will motivate students to learn and to become lifelong learners.


Science has played an increasingly important role in the lives of all Canadians, underpinning much of what we take for granted, from life-saving pharmaceuticals to clean water, the places in which we live and work, and communication via information technologies.

A scientifically and technologically literate person is one who can read and understand common media reports about science and technology, critically evaluate the information presented and confidently engage in discussions and decision-making activities regarding issues that involve science and technology.

The science curriculum, including biology, chemistry, earth and space science, environmental science and physics provides students with the opportunity to achieve excellence and a high degree of scientific literacy while maintaining a sense of wonder about the world around them.

Social Science and Humanities

The social sciences and humanities program encompasses four areas: general social science, family studies, philosophy and world religions. While each area has its own focus, all courses share a common purpose: the study of human beings and their interaction in and around the world.

Through both hands-on experiences and the methods of inquiry applicable to the disciplines, students in the social sciences and humanities study human behaviour and society within fields such as sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Through the critical examination of the structures, processes, and relationships on which these fields shed light, students learn about the wide range of factors that have influenced and continue to affect peoples, cultures, and societies. Courses in social sciences and humanities equip students with the knowledge, dispositions, and skills to appreciate and assess humanity’s ongoing attempts to understand and articulate the meaning and purpose of life.

Technological Education

Technological innovation influences all areas of life, from the daily lives of individuals to the work of business and government, to interactions on a global scale. It helps meet basic human needs and provides tools for improving people's lives and exploring new frontiers.

A variety of subject areas allow students to acquire the technological skills and knowledge that allow them to participate fully in a competitive global economy and to become responsible citizens in an environmentally vulnerable world. To succeed in today's society, students need to be effective problem solvers and critical thinkers, able to understand, question, and respond to the demands of today’s workforce. Students who pursue careers in technology also need high-level skills to develop solutions to workplace challenges or to provide the services required in their chosen fields.

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