Departments

Arts

Experiences in the arts – dance, drama, media arts, music, and the visual arts – play a valuable role in the education of all students. Through participation in the arts, students can develop their creativity, learn about their own identity, and develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and a sense of well-being. Since artistic activities involve intense engagement, students experience a sense of wonder and joy when learning through the arts, which can motivate them to participate more fully in cultural life and in other educational opportunities.

 

Business

Business activity affects the daily lives of all Canadians as they work, spend, save, invest, travel, and play. It influences jobs, incomes, and opportunities for personal enterprise. Business has a significant effect on the standard of living and quality of life of Canadians, and on the environment in which they live and which future generations will inherit. Eventually, all students will encounter the world of business, whether they work in urban or rural areas. They must be prepared to engage in business activity with confidence and competence.Young people need to understand how business functions, the role it plays in our society, the opportunities it generates, the skills it requires, and the impact it can have on their own lives and on society, today and in the future.

The business studies program will build a strong foundation for those who wish to move on to further study and training in specialized areas such as management, international business, marketing, accounting, information and communication technology, or entrepreneurship. It will also provide practical skills for those who wish to move directly into the workplace.

 

DAW Business Blog 

Canadian and World Studies

In Canadian and world studies, students develop skills, knowledge and understanding, and attitudes that will serve them both inside and outside the classroom, including in the world of work and as responsible citizens in the various communities to which they belong. The focus of teaching and learning in the Canadian and world studies curriculum is the development of ways of thinking and of transferable skills that students need in order to acquire and apply knowledge and understanding. Students apply these concepts of thinking and skills in a variety of contexts to examine information critically; to assess the significance of events, developments, and processes; to develop an understanding of and respect for different points of view; to reach supportable conclusions; and to propose solutions to, and courses of actions to address, real problems. 

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education provides secondary school students with a wide range of rigorous learning opportunities connected to communities outside the school. It is designed to recognize and respond to the diversity of Ontario’s student population, and it can engage all students. In cooperative education, students learn in safe, culturally responsive environments in the community, and they are actively involved in determining what they learn, how they learn, when and where they learn, and how they demonstrate their learning. Participation in cooperative education can lead to transformational change, engaging students in unique experiences that they will remember throughout their lives.

Cooperative education promotes the acquisition and refinement of skills, knowledge, and habits of mind3 that support education and career/life planning and fosters positive attitudes towards learning that help students become independent, lifelong learners. Cooperative education contributes substantially to a comprehensive education and career/life planning culture by focusing on:

    • helping students acquire skills and knowledge related to the community experience;
    • providing opportunities for students to inquire and reflect on their experiences in order to gain a greater knowledge of themselves and their opportunities and a growing understanding of how they can shape their future;
    • providing personalized experiences to meet students’ particular learning and motivational needs.

Modern Languages

 

English

The English curriculum is based on the belief that language learning is critical to responsible and productive citizenship, and that all students can become successful language learners. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills that they need to achieve this goal. It aims to help students become successful language learners.

Successful language learners:

    • understand that language learning is a necessary, life-enhancing, reflective process; communicate – that is, read, listen, view, speak, write, and represent – effectively and with confidence;
    • make meaningful connections between themselves, what they encounter in texts, and the world around them;
    • think critically;
    • understand that all texts advance a particular point of view that must be recognized, questioned, assessed, and evaluated;
    • appreciate the cultural impact and aesthetic power of texts;
    • use language to interact and connect with individuals and communities, for personal growth, and for active participation as world citizens.

Guidance

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 will help students better manage their time, resources, and dealings with other people to improve their opportunities for success both in school and in their future lives. 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.

Health and Physical Education

Healthy Active Living Education courses in Grades 9–12, and specialized destination courses in Grades 11 and 12. This curriculum helps students develop an understanding of what they need in order to make a commitment to lifelong healthy, active living and develop the capacity to live satisfying, productive lives. Healthy, active living benefits both individuals and society in many ways – for example, by increasing productivity and readiness for learning, improving morale, decreasing absenteeism, reducing health-care costs, decreasing anti-social behaviour such as bullying and violence, promoting safe and healthy relationships, and heightening personal satisfaction.

Research has shown a connection between increased levels of physical activity and better academic achievement, better concentration, better classroom behaviour, and more focused learning. Other benefits include improvements in psychological well-being, physical capacity, self-concept, and the ability to cope with stress. The expectations that make up this curriculum also provide the opportunity for students to develop social skills and emotional well-being.

Library

 Library Learning Commons

Mathematics

Mathematical knowledge becomes meaningful and powerful in application. This curriculum embeds the learning of mathematics in the solving of problems based on real-life situations. Other disciplines are a ready source of effective contexts for the study of mathematics. Rich problem-solving situations can be drawn from closely related disciplines, such as computer science, business, recreation, tourism, biology, physics, or technology, as well as from subjects historically thought of as distant from mathematics, such as geography or art. It is important that these links between disciplines be carefully explored, analysed, and discussed to emphasize for students the pervasiveness of mathematical knowledge and mathematical thinking in all subject areas.

Science

Scientific literacy can be defined as possession of the scientific knowledge, skills, and habits of mind required to thrive in the science-based world of the twenty-first century. The notion of thriving in a science-based world applies as much to a small-business person, a lawyer, a construction worker, a car mechanic, or a travel agent as it does to a doctor, an engineer, or a research scientist. While the specific knowledge and skills required for each of these occupations vary, the basic goal of thriving in a science-based world remains the same. Science courses have been designed for a wide variety of students, taking into account their interests and possible postsecondary destinations.

Some courses have been designed to serve as preparation for specialist studies in science-related fields; others have been designed for students intending to go on to postsecondary education but not to study science; yet others have been designed with the needs of the workplace in mind. The overall intention is that all graduates of Ontario secondary schools will achieve excellence and a high degree of scientific literacy while maintaining a sense of wonder about the world around them. Accordingly, the curriculum reflects new developments on the international science scene and is intended to position science education in Ontario at the forefront of science education around the world.

Social Sciences and Humanities

The discipline of social sciences and humanities in the Ontario secondary school curriculum encompasses five subject areas: equity studies, family studies, general social sciences, philosophy, and world religions. Although these subject areas are very different from one another, they all systematically explore the ways in which individuals influence and are influenced by families, communities, cultures, institutions, and societies, and by ideas, norms, and values. The social sciences – represented in this curriculum by courses in equity studies, family studies, and general social sciences – explore individual and collective human behaviour and needs as well as patterns and trends in society.

Courses in this area shed light on a variety of social structures, institutions, relationships, and power dynamics. The humanities – represented in the curriculum by courses in philosophy and world religions – explore fundamental questions and ideas about human nature and the human condition. In all five subject areas encompassed by the secondary program in social sciences and humanities, students are exposed to social theories, specialized concepts, and research findings, as well as a range of tools related to investigation and analysis, to help them understand themselves, their families, their communities, and society as they strive to find meaning in the world around them.

Special Education

Information for Senior Students

Durham College Upcoming Virtual Transition Events 

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. The policy outlined in this document is designed to ensure that technological education in Ontario enables students to meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. The power, reach, and rapid evolution of technology demand a curriculum that will enable students to become technologically literate – that is, able to understand, work with, and benefit from a range of technologies.

Students need to acquire the technological skills and knowledge that will 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 implications of technological innovation. Students who pursue careers in technology will also need these high-level skills to develop solutions to technological challenges or to provide the services required in their chosen fields.