Why Junior School at SMUS?

Director of Junior School reads with Kindergarten students

The Junior School is a place of joyful learning, where your child will discover their passions and interests

We are a community that creates a culture of excellence, thinks critically and creatively, and is nurtured through supportive relationships. We are your partner in your child’s journey.

Reggio-Emilia Inspired

The Junior School program is inspired in the early years by the Reggio-Emilia approach. This globally recognized educational philosophy grounds us in our belief that children are competent and capable learners who can express their understanding in many ways. Learning is experiential and aligns with the interests and passions of children.

Experiential Education

Following the BC elementary curriculum, the SMUS Junior School academic approach goes above and beyond. Ours is not a textbook program. We prioritize student engagement, which often means getting out of the classroom or using our Imagination Lab, so students can learn in different settings and with a variety of materials. These experiences are connected to in-class lessons to extend student learning.

Personalized Learning

Teachers get to know your child as a unique person and as an individual learner. The school also focuses on seven qualities (curiosity, resilience, integrity, balance, initiative, collaboration and empathy) to help students develop into lifelong learners. We call this Portrait of a Learner.

The Importance of Play

In an academic context, the role of play can sometimes be overlooked and yet it is vital to development. Play is when children grow their social and emotional skills through creativity, cooperation and critical-thinking. Play is a part of student life at the Junior School and it often inspires classroom experiences, giving opportunity for children's natural curiosity to lead the learning.
 

Margaret LincolnPlay is the most natural and innate activity children can do. Each day I watch students have fun through play, and I watch them grow and learn with everything they do on the playground.
Margaret Lincoln
Junior School program specialist
The Virtues

A focus of the Junior School is character education, including leadership and service, which is designed to reinforce the work of parents at home. The virtues are character traits we want all students to exhibit to become successful in school and life. Examples of virtues include courtesy, gratitude, modesty, trust and kindness. A different virtue is highlighted every month and the whole school works together to model that virtue.

Small Class Size and Specialist Teachers

We keep our class sizes deliberately small with a ratio of one degreed teacher for every six students. Homeroom teachers teach the core foundational subjects, while specialist teachers add their expertise in many other subjects, including French, visual art and music. All teachers engage in professional development and incorporate the latest research into their teaching practice to provide the best possible learning environment.

Everything Under One Roof

SMUS parents love the variety of opportunities offered in one place. With after-school and weekend sports and clubs, you won't need to drive all over town to give your children a variety of experiences.
 

JacobI know you'll like it here because there is so much here to like - all the different subjects and spaces to work. The teachers are like family and really connect with you. I feel we have a good way of learning here.
Jacob
Grade 5
Joy of Learning

The highest priority of the Junior School is to foster a joy of learning. Our school exudes warmth, and parents tell us that their children love coming to school and love being a part of the community. That feeling is shared by our teachers and staff who love having them at our school.