Welcome to Essex Junior and Senior Public School, located in the Christie Pits neighbourhood of Toronto. Our school serves 285 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Approximately thirty-five percent of our students are of English-speaking backgrounds, the remaining sixty percent represent about 30 other language groups. Our school mottos are “work hard, work smart and work together”; and, “be kind, be gentle and take care of each other”.
Our focus at Essex is on academic excellence. We work hard to create an inclusive, safe, friendly and stimulating environment where students, staff, parents/guardians and others are valued and respected for their diversity and uniqueness. We are dedicated to providing exemplary programming for our students. Our programs foster academic excellence, critical thinking, self-discipline and a love of learning. We believe that all children can learn successfully and attain high levels of academic and social success. Walk into our school and you will understand what we mean.
At Essex we recognize that language is the key to all learning. We provide our students with the skills to be critical thinkers by the higher order questions we ask them in all subjects of the curriculum. Our primary classes provide balanced literacy programs that meet the needs of all learners. We provide our students with the foundational skills to be successful readers and writers. We use appropriate ongoing assessment and evaluation strategies to drive instruction. As part of a Model Schools Strategy, our Grade One class is equipped with 20 iPads minis which support early literacy development in the classroom.
Mathematics continues to be the focus for our staff this year. We believe that excellent mathematics instructions start with acquiring the basic skills that will allow students to solve problems across the curriculum. Our staff teaches mathematics not by following a text but by using a number of resources available to them. Manipulatives are a critical part of our math program as is the integration of technology. Technology is used as a tool used across the curriculum in many of our classrooms. Our school is equipped with a computer lab consisting of 30 laptops. Also, as part of the Ministry’s Renewed Math Strategy, the school has 300 minutes of math instructions per week. Some of the mathematics instruction is integrated into Science, Geography, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) blocks.
The arts also play a vital role in our school. Our students receive direct instruction in music by dedicated music teachers. In FDK to Grade 6, teachers integrate visual arts, dance and drama into their daily program. In Grades 7-8, the arts are taught by specialist teachers. There is also a dedicated Physical Health and Education teacher and a number of athletic teams including cross country, badminton, basketball, and various other sports are offered throughout the year.