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Junior
Secondary

An Emphasis on English

Preparing students to thrive around the world

As students move through the grades, the percentage of their day spent in English increases from 50% in grade 5 to 60% in grades 6 and 7 to 70% in grades 8 and 9. This ensures that those students who wish to pursue higher education overseas have the academic vocabulary to thrive wherever their studies take them, while maintaining the solid foundation in Mandarin that will allow them to flourish in China.

The Deans Program

Personalized support and mentorship across the social and physical changes of adolescence

The deans at Avenues are full-time mentors whose sole responsibility is the social-emotional well- being and academic success of their students. Working closely with faculty and acting as a point of contact for parents, deans ensure that students are fully supported and appropriately challenged at school. In 6th grade, students are assigned a dean who will work with them through 9th grade.

Discussion-Based Learning

Learning Through Dialogue

In the Junior Secondary years, we introduce students to the powerful pedagogy of discussion-based learning. It works like this: instead of sitting in rows, students sit at a round table, so they can make eye contact with one another. Instead of standing at the front, their teacher sits shoulder-to-shoulder with students as part of the circle and guides the discussion by asking incisive questions. Students respond, then follow up by asking their own questions. Wrong answers are not penalized; instead, their inaccuracy is revealed through further questioning. Every student is a visible part of the discussion and each is encouraged to speak. As a method of building confidence, empathy, and public speaking skills, discussion-based learning is unparalleled.

High Intensity Practice

An innovative program to build essential thinking skills through persistent practice

Based on the idea that the best way to cultivate lifelong skills is to spend deliberate time practicing with expert guidance, Avenues developed the High-Intensity Practice (HIP) program for students in the Secondary Division. In 20 minute bursts of creative and analytical freedom, students cultivate essential thinking skills—mental agility, empathy, creativity, and critical thinking— through persistent practice.

Global Journeys

Life-changing international experiences developed and led by Avenues faculty

Immersion in another culture, language and society is the most direct way to cultivate global citizens who are at ease beyond their borders. Global Journeys programs are designed to push students beyond their comfort zones and develop the skills and perspectives necessary to understand and solve global-scale problems. Each program is structured around a particular topic or theme linked to the Avenues curriculum, helping students to make deep connections between their classroom learning and their experiences in the wider world. Previous programs have included studies of art history in Italy, climate change in New Zealand and astronomy in Hawaii.

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