With just 700 square km and 5,000,000 people, Singapore consistently tops tables in mathematics results, notably TIMSS, (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study, nces.ed.gov/timss/) where in Grades 4 and 8, it has always ranked first in world-wide testing. The secret to Singapore math is that it slows down the learning process and more thoroughly grounds elementary students in the fundamentals.

Trafalgar Castle School has included Singapore Math curriculum at grades 5 and 6 since 2011. We have monitored the results and success of the curriculum and watch Trafalgar students flourish with better skills and understanding. Our teachers continue to learn additional strategies within the program and directly engaged with Singapore math professional development.

Building upon the student success with Singapore Math, Singapore Science was implemented in Grades 5 to 8 in 2013. Based upon recognized world accomplishments, the programme is designed to cultivate a sense of curiosity. Already, this is evident with the girls of Trafalgar.

Students gain scientific knowledge using real-life contexts and develop critical thinking and observational skills as they complete a variety of hands-on explorations as they explore topics in Physics, Biology, and Chemistry.

Latin is taught to all students in Grades 5 to 8, as well as at the high school level. Studying Latin introduces our girls to the rich tradition of the classical world, enriches their vocabularies in English and French, and sharpens their writing skills. By including Latin, we are able to create true connections between this richly historical language and other subjects.

This course places the focus of study on language structure and function, culture knowledge, as well as skills training for listening, speaking, reading and writing. The textbook for the students named Learn Chinese With Me aims to foster studentsí ability to communication in Chinese language. The students also will explore more aspects of Chinese culture by participating in some interesting activities, for example, drawing Peking Opera Masks, doing Paper-cutting and so on, to enable students to gain a comprehensive understanding of Chinese language and culture.

Instrumental music has blossomed over the past years at the Castle and continues to grow in both numbers and passion.  There are two set band concerts every year, in December and May.  Along with many opportunities to perform at special events such as Christmas Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch with Santa, May Day and various Chapels.  Students in Grades 7 and 8 perform at the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival and the Castle Band performs at the Ontario Band Associationís Music Fest.  Both groups have award winners! 

In 2013, members of the Castle Band performed in Chicago, and in 2015, the Band and Choir performed in Boston.  We are looking forward to many more trips in the future.  Students in Grades 9 through 12 music classes learn the material required for them to take ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) grades 1 through 4 practical exams on their band instruments.

Vocal and Choral

We continue to offer private lessons in both piano and voice.  As of 2011 we have a full-time choir of dedicated singers who sing at many events in the school year, including the Carol Service, Arts Week Spring Concert, May Day, and many other events throughout the year.  Keeping with tradition, many members of the Choir participate yearly in the CISMF (Conference of Independent Schoolsí Music Festival) performance at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.  In past years, over 50 students have been involved yearly in the Music Festival...an astounding percentage. 

Theory

Using the ABRSM theory curriculum in our Music classes, each grade is being taught approximately half of the requirements for each grade level.  Therefore, students would be able to complete exams at the end of Grade 6, 8, 10 and 12 potentially graduating having completed up to and including a Grade 4 theory exam with the ABRSM.

"A Castle without music is just a building, it has no soul", said one Medieval philosopher or another.  Trafalgar Castle definitely has soul!

In 2013, a new Robotics Course was added into the Grade 10 vernacular. This course, Design Technology, exposes students to a variety of real-world applications of Robotics. First, the students will use a software called STEM Virtual Robotics Kit, developed by Cogmation from Manitoba, which includes a programming language called 12Blocks. They will develop knowledge and skills by programming their virtual Lego NXT Robot to perform various tasks.

Students will then apply what they learned in the virtual world to the real world using a real Lego NXT Robot. Next, the students will use VEX Robotics to learn how to design (using CAD software), build and programme bigger robots to perform assigned tasks.

The students will have an option to choose what their final course project will beÖ for the robotics enthusiast, they can choose to build and programme a robot that will perform a difficult challenge like lifting an object. For the biologist, they can choose to build a prosthetic that will perform a specific task to benefit an organism.

Given our successful years leading us to the World Championships with FIRST Robotics and the interest among our students to enter engineering programmes at university, this course adds a vital element to the student technological experience.

Trafalgar Castle School is thrilled to offer The Little Red Schoolhouse: University of Chicago Writing Program. This program, taught to all first-year students at the University of Chicago, addresses clear writing, with the reader's perspective in mind. Most readers intuitively spot the difference between good and bad writing. Drawing on these intuitions, Little Red Schoolhouse defines principles of writing clearly that students then apply to their own writing. Grammar and diction are included in the curriculum, but students focus on developing powerful strategies of persuasion.

Students will learn to build powerful arguments by anticipating questions readers ask:

1. What do you want me to do or think?

2. Why should I do or think that?

3. How do I know that what you say is true?

4. What about this other idea, fact, or conclusion?

5. Why should I accept that your reasons support your claim?

Although we teach the program in our Senior English courses, its reach extends beyond the English classroom and improves our students' performance in all subjects. 

I-Think, from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business, is a unique programme focused on investigating integrative and critical thinking skills.

In past years, our students have explored a variety of tools and strategies that are essential to the Integrative Thinking Methodology.

A core component of the process involves embracing the complexity of a situation by generating different solutions in the problem solving process.

The I3 (pronounced I-Cubed) Initiative is transforming the way that Trafalgar students learn by creating a context for the application and exploration of knowledge in real-world settings. Building on the rigour and diversity of the Schoolís world-best curricula, students are guided to ask complex questions and attempt to answer them through experiences beyond the Castle walls. The program strives to help students make meaningful connections between their courses and the wider world and increase their confidence, capacity and adaptability.

I3 has three components:

Integrative Thinking
Students employ the Rotman School of Managementís I-Think process to apply conscious mental models to explore "wicked questions" and complex issues that arise through the interplay of their central questions and the off-site experiences.

Immersive Experiences
Students enter into real-world settings that are personally relevant so they can solidify their learning, build self-confidence and develop a broader perspective on the world.

Interconnected Learning
Students are challenged to see the patterns and meanings that emerge in their off-site activities so that they can make connections between their diverse courses, subjects and experiences.

Trafalgarís exchange program is an exciting opportunity for students in Grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 to travel to one of our partner schools in Canada, Australia, Spain, South Africa & Chile.  Students travel to their exchange destination and experience the culture, learning and life experiences of their host school.  This opportunity is reciprocated when the exchange partner comes to Trafalgar to experience life and learning at the Castle.

The exchange program is a unique experience for Trafalgar girls as it provides opportunities for each participant to integrate their academic studies with life experiences in the real world, while exploring and adapting to new situations outside the walls of the classroom.   These life-experiences are exactly the opportunity that enables our graduates to build self-confidence, independence and resiliency.  An exchange experience serves to enrich the learning that takes place in the classroom and it is an excellent way for girls to make connections across Canada and around the world!

Read more about the Exchange Program here.

The program is offered to students in Grades 8-12. In the Fall the program begins with introductory practices on the water once a week until the end of October.  The team continues with a 'Train to Row' program throughout the winter season. This dryland training  helps athletes develop the necessary skills to move on to the water in the spring. From April - June, rowers will train 4-5 times a week through the Durham Rowing Club in Port Perry and compete in Novice Rowing Competitions.  

For girls who are looking for higher level of competition, a competitive program will be offered that will involve an increased level of training and commitment with the possibility of attending competitive regattas in June such as the Ontario High School Championships in Welland and the Canadian High School Rowing Championships in St. Catherines.