Major breakthroughs in brain research have shed much light on the ways in which students learn. SMUS has incorporated much of this research into our curriculum to advance our techniques in both teaching and learning, making SMUS one of the most learner-centred university preparatory environments in Canada.


Here are some of the recent areas in which we have received recognition:

  • SMUS was recently recognized as a model in assessment practices at the Assessment Training Institute’s Fourth Annual Sound Grading Conference in Portland.
  • SMUS assessment practices are cited as examples of good policy in Ken O'Connor's book A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades (2nd edition).
  • SMUS was asked to present on our AP program at the annual Advanced Placement conference in Vancouver; the first time in the history of the AP program in Canada that an independent school was invited to present at this conference.
  • On the strength of our recent work in curriculum mapping, SMUS was one of three Canadian independent schools invited to take part in a national webcast on that topic.
  • SMUS broke new ground in education when it hired Heather Clayton as Director of Learning. This new position has helped our teachers apply brain-based learning research and best practices to SMUS and helped our school determine how best to meet the needs of learners in a demanding academic context where the fundamental goal is outstanding preparation for higher learning.


Part of providing an outstanding education is hiring, developing and retaining an outstanding faculty. Our teachers are passionate and articulate people who are extremely respected by their peers. Not only do they engage students in the classroom, but they also form a collaborative team that works together to support each and every student. Many of our faculty have been recognized with prestigious awards:

Teacher (Subject) Award
Margaret Skinner (Senior School Math) Cornell Outstanding Educator Award
Terence Young (Senior School English) Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Mike Jackson (Senior School Science) Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Peter Gardiner (Senior School Biology) Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Adrian French (Director of Learning) Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History