The Literary Field is a creative, colourful and vast land. At Aurora Alternative, the intention is to nurture critical and emotive thinkers, readers and writers, nourished by contemporary, thought provoking and engaging material (novels, films and documentaries, plays, music lyrics,  poetry, and so much more). Creative writing will be the focus of the first term. Students will develop their ability to use their imagination and connect with their inner author. They will develop their vocabulary range and will also be introduced to a variety of language conventions so as to extend their written expression. The second term will have more of an emphasis on analytical and debating skills with the intention that students are able to share their thoughts, opinions and feelings with confidence. 

Students will also have the opportunity to broaden their horizons with French and Spanish, which will be offered weekly.

Through the energetic world of numbers, students will develop their confidence with math skills and be guided to find ways to apply understanding of mathematical concepts to the real world. We will start by consolidating our understanding of numbers and the myriad of ways they can be expressed, (scientific notation, expanded form, exponents, fractions, square roots, percentages, algebra). As we continue, students will explore what it means to be financially literate and also consider notions of ethical investment and financial portfolios. As the year progresses, students will have opportunities to  look at the many ways that data can be be presented and we will thoughtfully examine how inferences, perspective and biases are used in the media. Measurement and Geometry will also be explored experientially and students will be encouraged to build structures that incorporate their mathematical understanding of  dimensions. Students will also be provided ongoing problem solving activities so that they can build a competency in applying their mathematical understanding and knowledge.

Science is all around us and within us! With this in mind, the science curriculum will be focused around four distinct units. 

  • The environment and the impact of climate change
  • The science of the human body
  • Structures and mechanisms 
  • Atoms, elements and compounds

Students will create their own inquiry questions which will form the starting point in discovery of these categories in greater depth and they will create a presentation to share with others, incorporating a range of multi-media possibilities. 

At Aurora, students will look at the history and geography of Canada through the lens of diversity and multiculturalism. Students will be invited to trace their own family history and deepen their awareness of how they got to be in Toronto today. We will explore the journey of our many immigrants and discover how life and society in Canada has been shaped by these communities. Trips to Kensington Market and a host of other neighbourhoods will be embedded into the program for this purpose. For Geography, we will ‘visit’ a kaleidoscope of different countries and landscapes. Students will select their own inquiries focusing on the attributes, issues and nature of their chosen country. In addition, we will celebrate and learn from Toronto and the many different areas that are on offer right at our doorstep, from the Brickworks, Leslie Spit, Toronto Islands to the Don Valley.

The Arts have always proven to be such an evocative and powerful gateway for self expression and communication. This will certainly be the case at Aurora Alternative! Students will delve into the realms of imagination and laughter through drama and improv, with the possibility of script writing and making short movies. Students will explore the colourful world of visual arts with the opportunity to express themselves through painting, photography and lino printing. Aurora Alternative will also invite students to develop their own edible garden. In the Spring and Summer terms, students will put their chef’s hat on and develop their cooking skills. 

This will be an integral part of the school day and students will be encouraged to move their bodies, play together and learn new skills. Students will have on-site access to      

  • gym equipment (exercise bike and weights)
  • basketball and volleyball nets
  • spike ball 

We  have many parks in the area with a range of green spaces, beach and creek areas and woodland. The possibilities for exercise here are endless. In addition, Aurora Alternative offers Wimbledon 101! As part of the Spring and Fall curriculum, tennis coaching will be offered on a regular basis.  


At Aurora, we aim to reclaim assessment and move away from the more traditional and static school testing. Every step will be taken to ensure that students feel positive about themselves. 

Aurora’s assessment philosophy centres around feedback and reflection. Students will learn how to successfully hear and give feedback. Students will be encouraged to create their own rubrics and learning goals. What better way to empower students and put them in the driver’s seat of their own learning. Students will also have regular conferencing with the teacher to talk about individual performance and create next steps so that work is never stagnant. Student will be evaluated through performance tasks, projects, critical and problem solving thinking, communication and collaboration.  Students will also create a portfolio of the work that reflects the students best work and the work of which they felt the greatest sense of achievement. 

Homework will be optional but will be offered through the course of the week. Students will be given a selection of options for these assignments .  

Aurora Alternative intends to create open pathways for conversation between teacher, students and parents and to develop a caring and supportive team together. In addition, the school will provide two reporting documents, in Winter and Spring, and will also have two formal afternoons dedicated for parent -teacher-student interviews.