A Place Where Girls Excel
For almost a century, Elmwood’s Junior School has been part of a community of learners where girls are challenged by rigorous academic expectations and pedagogical excellence, and valued as unique individuals in a compassionate and respectful environment. Elmwood graduates are renowned for their academic achievement, personal confidence, self-discipline and commitment to community service: we believe that the foundation for these qualities begins in Junior School. From the moment our students enter our doors, they are part of a community that is committed to the ideals of integrity, achievement and social responsibility. From Kindergarten on, an Elmwood girl knows that she has a voice; her opinions are sought and respected. In turn, each Elmwood girl knows the value of listening to and learning from the opinions of others. Elmwood celebrates its status as a truly global community, welcoming girls from over 30 different countries. Together, we are committed to creating internationally minded, successful and engaged citizens for the 21st century.
Explore the links below to learn more about Elmwood's Junior School Programme (JK to Grade 5).
- International Baccalaureate Program
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate provides an outstanding framework for the curriculum in our Junior School. Our academic programme is shaped by five essential PYP elements: concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes and action. These elements form the basis of an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary approach to learning that makes authentic and meaningful connections between subject areas. At Elmwood, the questions our students ask are as important as the answers they find. Our small class sizes and passionate, dedicated faculty ensure that each girl has a highly-individualized learning experience. The Junior School’s exceptional co-curricular programme and commitment to community service enable each girl to develop leadership skills through competition and collaboration. Whether taking part in a Shakespeare play, programming a robot or conquering the rock wall at our leadership camp, each girl is encouraged to step outside her comfort zone and be a risk taker. By the time our students reach Middle School, they are reflective, caring and engaged learners, eager for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
- Academic Excellence
Academic excellence forms the cornerstone of each girl’s experience at Elmwood. Elmwood graduates have 100% acceptance rate to their universities of choice, often with substantial financial scholarships. In Elmwood’s Junior School, an outstanding academic foundation is delivered through the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate. The IB PYP is based on research into best educational practice from around the world, and the result is an exciting, dynamic and rich curriculum that challenges our girls to be inquirers and critical thinkers. Our curriculum covers all strands of the Ontario Ministry curriculum and our students consistently exceed grade level expectations in core subjects. Students receive differentiated instruction to enrich their learning.
All girls receive daily instruction in French, with students in Grades 4 and 5 divided into Core and Extended French groups. Our innovative Everday Math programme instills a love of mathematics in all of our students. A life-long passion for learning begins in the earliest years of a child’s education and Elmwood students are engaged and curious learners. Our students are frequently assessed by their teachers, using a variety of diagnostic tools. Additionally, Elmwood students compete against students across Canada through national standardized tests and contests.
Some key features of our academic programme:
- All students in Grades 3 and 5 sit the national CAT 3 test, scoring, on average, 16 – 18 months above grade level in reading, writing and mathematics
- Students in Grades 4 and 5 participate in the annual national Fibonacci Math Contest
- Students in Grades 4 and 5 participate in the annual Dictée P.G.L., an international French competition
- Enrichment opportunities in math are also available to students in grades 4 and 5 through participation in the Weizmann Institute’s “Math By Mail” programme
- Students in Junior School also have the opportunity to be paired with Senior Student mentors for curriculum enrichment and review.
Watch a video about illustrations Senior Kindergarten students created in Technology class
Watch a video of Grade 1 students explaining non-fiction books
Watch a video of Grade 1 students designing an online game
Watch a video of Grade 2 students demonstrating a simple machine
Watch a video about the Grade 2 Unit of Inquiry: The View From Here
Watch a video of Grade 5 students solving a math problem
Elmwood girls are leaders. Inspired by the principles of the International Baccalaureate and by superb role models in our Middle School and Senior School, our Junior School students develop from an early age the qualities that enhance leadership: initiative, integrity, reliability, determination, compassion and fair play. Elmwood’s supportive, challenging environment encourages each girl to step outside of her comfort zone and take appropriate risks. During her time in Elmwood’s Junior School, each girl will have the opportunity to participate in the following activities:
- Mentorship of younger students by Grade 5 students
- Participation in House Council
- Kindergarten and dining hall monitors (Grade 5)
- Big Sister/Little Sister programme (JK – Grade 2)
- “Amiga” programme to welcome new students to Elmwood
- International, national and local community service initiatives
- Annual Leadership Camp (Grade 5)
- Student-initiated action in response to research conducted through our International Baccalaureate PYP Units of Inquiry
- Classroom Ambassadors (grades 1 – 5)
- Global Citizens
As IB students, Elmwood girls see themselves as global citizens with a responsibility to understand, appreciate and contribute to the world beyond Canada’s borders. Elmwood’s Junior School welcomes students from more than 30 different nationalities. Each student’s cultural heritage is shared and celebrated through our International Baccalaureate Programme of Inquiry. Students learn to understand different perspectives on a variety of issues. They learn how vital it is to be able to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” Throughout the year, students have an opportunity to share their family traditions and heritage through stories, poetry, artifacts and song. Our annual International Night is an all-school event where students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 celebrate their cultural heritage with the wider Ottawa community through music, dance and songs.
- Giving Back
Community service and charitable giving are integral elements of life at Elmwood, and our school has a time-honoured tradition of giving back to others. Whether through whole-school activities, House-sponsored programmes or individual initiatives, all of our Junior School students are active participants in causes that benefit other people—locally, nationally and internationally. In the past year alone, Junior School girls have participated in the following activities:
- CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) Elmwood’s Junior School is supporting ten girls in Africa through four years of high school to graduation
- CIBC Run for the Cure: For the 10th year, Elmwood School has raised the largest amount of money of any school in Ontario
- Terry Fox Run
- Holiday hampers for local families in need through the Shepherds of Good Hope programme
- UNICEF Annual Trick or Treat Fundraiser
- School supplies for a rural school in Ghana
- Canadian National Guide Dogs for the Blind
- Canadian Landmines Foundation
- Elizabeth Fry Society
- Interval House
- Fundraiser to support displaced persons in the Swat Valley (Pakistan)
- Operation Christmas Child
- Warm Clothing and Food drive
- The Arts
At Elmwood, we believe that a vibrant, dynamic Arts curriculum is essential to an outstanding educational experience. Junior School girls experience the Arts through the formal curriculum and through co-curricular clubs and activities. Our programme is enhanced by the opportunities afforded by our location in the Nation’s Capital: each year, Junior School students enjoy a concert series that includes performances by professional strings, wind and jazz ensembles from the National Arts Centre. Students also attend performances by Opera Lyra and participate in concerts and workshops organized by the NAC orchestra. Visual art is incorporated into the Units of Inquiry of the IB PYP. Each girl has the opportunity to participate in a variety of musical and drama productions throughout the year. In addition, each student studies percussion, voice, composition, recorder and Orff instruments during their music lessons. All music classes are taught by a talented subject specialist.
The Physical Education programme in Elmwood’s Junior School teaches our girls about the importance of a balanced, active lifestyle and a healthy body. Through engaging in wide variety of recreational activities, our younger students focus on participation, team spirit and good sportsmanship. Sport-specific skills in soccer, floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, track and field, badminton and tennis are taught at each grade level, with the opportunity for older Junior School students to try out for teams that compete with schools in the wider Ottawa area. In the fall, Junior School girls begin to compete for the Junior House Cup, a hotly fought competition that concludes in the winter with our competitive swim team programme.
- Clubs and Activities
Our rigorous academic programme is complemented by a vibrant range of co-curricular activities and clubs. Elmwood’s Junior School is constantly alive with enthusiastic activity, both at lunchtime and after school. Our students explore their individuality, athleticism and creativity through participation in the various activities that are available; in so doing, the girls learn more about themselves and their classmates. They develop the confidence to try new things and to step outside their comfort zone. The majority of our co-curricular activities are organized by Elmwood’s teachers and Senior Students, with experts brought in to enhance the programme when required.
Watch our Junior School Robotics Club build a crab robot
- The House System
From the moment that each girl arrives in Elmwood’s Junior School, she is a valued and vital member of the community. Elmwood’s warm, nurturing environment creates a genuine sense of belonging for each child. This camaraderie is enhanced by Elmwood’s House system. Each girl is a proud member of one of four Houses, named after famous women: Fry House, Nightingale House, Keller House and Wilson House. The purpose of the House system is to give each student a sense of belonging to a small, cross-grade group within the wider school community. The Houses also create a powerful school spirit and camaraderie, with older students assuming leadership roles and mentoring the younger students. Elmwood’s unique, inclusive spirit is celebrated twice yearly with the semi-annual “Spirit Afternoon,” during which girls in K-12 compete for the famous House cup. The four Houses also contribute to Elmwood’s strong tradition of community service, with each house responsible for annual fundraising for a specific charity.
Cutting-edge technology forms an essential component of Elmwood’s Junior School programme. All Junior School girls receive weekly IT instruction from an expert technology teacher. Use of technology is integrated into all Units of Inquiry in the IB Primary Years Programme. Our computer lab has a full range of flat-screen monitors for student use, and MacBooks are also available for specialized projects. Our students also have access to Smart Boards, flip video cameras, LCD projectors and a laptop cart for use in the classrooms.
Playful and Serious
The philosopher John Dewey once wrote: “To be playful and serious at the same time defines the ideal mental condition.” We believe that these wise words reflect our vibrant and welcoming Junior School community—a place where girls excel.
Visit our testimonials section to see what Elmwood parents are saying about the School.
When you look around our school, meet the girls, teachers and staff, you'll see the Elmwood difference. Elmwood is a place where girls belong, where integrity and respect are paramount and where potential is realized.>
Meet the Teachers
Resources for Download (PDF)
- Summer Reading List (Gr 1-5)
- Summer Reading List (Gr 6-12)
- 2013/14 School Year Dates
- Generic Consent Form
- Course Calendar (Gr 9-12)
- Strategic Plan 2010 - 2015
- Student Handbook