Middle School

Welcome to the Middle School

Your child is about to experience many changes, challenges and celebrations as they enter Grade 7 in The Country Day School’s Middle School. However, if you have an elder child that’s already travelled ‘down the ramp’ from our wonderful Junior School  into the CDS Middle School, then nothing that follows will come as a surprise.

The number of transitions your child is beginning to experience at this age are extensive. Rest assured, CDS are with them every step of the way as we follow our mandate of ‘education with balance.’ There are many daily changes involved in advancing from Junior School to Middle School, but the most significant challenge will almost certainly be the genuine acceptance of responsibility that comes with the increased independence of your adolescent child.

Our Middle School students themselves demand increased independence … and these come with growing pains. Nothing is insurmountable, but with change comes stress, and the need for many helping hands. The Middle School provides an environment that recognizes the emotional and social needs of our learners while encouraging good citizenship, global awareness and character development.

Here are two great examples: Google ‘Transition To Middle School’ and there are countless articles to read. Secondly, in approaching September, I would also ask that you consider the advice for Middle School parents found in Middle School Transition Tips For Parents. This helpful guide explores student concerns from three main areas: logistic, social and academic.

Thankfully, the logistic issues are not a problem for our Junior School graduates, as they continue to attend school at the same beautiful 100-acre campus, surrounded by familiar faces. Social and academic challenges, however, are ever-present for both new and returning students.

This is an exciting time for both CDS students and parents. Mistakes will be made, and accomplishments both large and small will be achieved. Your children will experience both in what you, and they, feel is a safe and nurturing environment. Your guidance, support and patience will be central in their positive journey through the CDS Middle School.

Middle School Facts

List of 3 items.

  • Class Size Guideline

    Class Guideline   18
  • Team Sports

    Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Cross Country, Hockey, Track & Field, Softball, Baseball, Rugby, Tennis, Golf, Alpine Skiing and Snow Boarding
  • Extracurriculars

    VEX Robotics Club, Binder Boot-Camp, Debating & Public Speaking, Flag Football, Board Games, Indoor/Outdoor Games Club, Ultimate Frisbee, Study Hall


List of 1 items.

  • Dave Harvey, Director of Academics: Middle & Senior School

    As parents know, early adolescence is a rollercoaster ride of physical, intellectual and social change that can be challenging to navigate. The Middle School, with its own customized space and caring staff, provides an environment that recognizes the emotional and social needs of our learners while encouraging good citizenship, global awareness and character development. We also offer a coordinated curriculum that ignites intellectual curiosity in key skill competencies: numeracy, oral and written communication, critical and creative thinking, complex problem-solving and co-operative learning.

Life in the Middle School

List of 3 items.

  • How to Transition to Middle School

    One of the most challenging times for kids and parents is when children begin Middle School. School days are set up differently, plus peer relationships demand a lot of attention. Middle School requires a huge amount of patience from parents in order to maintain a good relationship with their children. Follow these steps to successfully transition your child to Middle School:
    *Teach organizational skills to your child. The increase in classes, homework and activities can be quite demanding. Kids become easily distracted and forgetful at this age. Using a workable system to keep track of everything makes the transition to Middle School less stressful.

    *Practice good study habits. Homework typically increases and gets harder in Middle School. Arrange regular study times at the dining room table with phones and the television turned off. Make certain your child knows that you expect his/her best effort.

    *Stay involved with school. This is a time when parent involvement typically falls off, but it helps your student and the teachers to know that you're interested. In addition, you can't always count on your child to remember to relay necessary information.

    *Remain an active part of your new Middle Schooler's life. Your child may act as if s/he doesn't need you, but s/he does.
  • Tips & Warnings

    For the life of a Middle Schooler:
    • Make certain your child has a good alarm clock. Middle Schoolers should be able to get themselves up for school.
    • If you haven't allowed your child to take responsibility for their decisions yet, this is a good time to start. It is far better for a Middle Schooler to learn that not studying can result in a failing grade than for a high school or college student.
    • One of the biggest problems during the teen years is that kids don't get enough sleep. They stay up too late and have to get up early for school. Try to curb late night computer, telephone and television use.
    • Peer pressure increases dramatically in Middle School. Talk to your child about coping skills.
  • Note for Grade 6 Parents

    From his book, Meet Me in the Middle, Rick Wormeli writes: “So what is it about young adolescents that we should take into consideration? Here is a small taste:
    "They can’t all be lumped into the same readiness levels – emotionally, intellectually or physically. Girls mature faster than boys. Bones grow faster than muscles, so coordination isn’t consistent. There is discomfort in the growth plates on the ends of their bones that requires frequent movement to relieve, even in mid-lesson. With growth comes the need to eat – about every ninety minutes. They worry intensely over body changes.

    "Intellectually, the tools they’ll need for figuring out academics and life are not all in the toolbox yet. This makes decision-making, impulsivity control, moral/abstract reasoning, “reading” the situation, planning, understanding consequences of words and actions, and other executive functions intermittent at best.

    "They are fiercely independent, yet paradoxically, they crave social connection. They move from concrete to abstract thinking, sounding like adults when talking about some topics, and young children when discussing others.

    "They crave competence, self-definition, creativity, vividness in learning, emotionally safe environments, control/power over their lives, physical activity, positive social interactions with adults and peers, structure and clear limits, and meaningful participation in school/community. Most of all, they want to belong.”

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  • Our Academic Vision

    CDS provides an intellectually challenging, diversified and balanced academic program that is learner-centred and delivered through a supportive and caring community dedicated to meeting the individual learning needs of all its students.
  • Academic Approach

    At the heart of The Country Day School’s academic vision is the belief that all students can achieve success and meet their learning goals. A one-size-fits-all approach to learning does not serve the best interests of most students who approach their studies from various learning styles and preferences and at differing stages of skill development. To this end, we diversify our instructional strategies, the content of our curricula and our assessment methods to create an overall approach that focuses on how students are learning.
  • A Place to Discover Your Passion

    Education is a process of living, not a preparation for future living.
    John Dewey
    University preparation is integral to who we are; our curriculum is engaging and challenging. But we also believe that academic rigour should be balanced with opportunities for individual growth, exploration and reflection. We want our students to discover their passions, to nurture and cultivate them throughout each stage of their educational journey with us.
  • A Caring and Supportive Environment

    Research tells us that one of the single greatest factors affecting student success is the relationship forged between students and teachers. Our classroom teachers, teaching associates, homeroom advisors, guidance councillors, learning strategists, and administrators recognize this connection and are committed to fostering professional yet kind and caring relationships where each student’s needs are supported and addressed.
  • Commitment to Learning and Teaching Excellence

    Our academic program is founded upon a shared vision of teaching and learning principles that is grounded in current research that define the expert teacher as one who:
    • meets the needs of all learners
    • is passionate about teaching and learning
    • has a deep understanding of teaching and learning
    • monitors student learning and uses assessment to improve teaching and learning
    • creates an optimal classroom environment
    • focuses on mastery learning and deep understanding
    • develops self-regulation, self-efficacy and self-esteem in their students
    • offers appropriately challenging tasks and goals

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
(905) 833-1220
Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.