Founded in 1861, Collège Sainte-Anne brings together three levels of education: elementary, high school and CEGEP. Through its three schools, Sainte-Anne has developed an innovative educational model that places its students at the heart of the learning process, preparing them for the world of tomorrow. Constantly striving to build upon its educational mission, a second high school will open its doors in Dorval in August 2022.

Collège Sainte-Anne has three private French-language educational establishments. The first two, a high school and a CEGEP, are located in Lachine, on boulevard Saint-Joseph. The third, an elementary school, is located in Dorval, on boulevard Bouchard. In August 2022, a fourth establishment will be added to this campus: a new high school in Dorval. To learn more about the innovative educational project that will be implemented in this new school, we interviewed Isabelle Senécal, Director of Educational Innovation and Director of High School Education in Dorval.

Pedagogy with a Contemporary Focus
Collège Sainte-Anne has always strived to provide a creative, collaborative and unique learning environment to keep students are motivated, engaged and happy at school. With this in mind, the new school’s programming had to be modernized to reflect more of today’s reality and current issues, while meeting ministerial requirements.

In this vein, co-teaching will be at the forefront. The core subjects, namely French, Math, Science and Social Studies, will be taught in an interdisciplinarity fashion. The timetable will be decompartmentalized and the teachers will work closely together so that students can make connections between each of the subjects and the skills acquired. Each course becomes more concrete as cross-curricular competencies will allow students to put their learning into practice, combining more than one core subject at a time.

In Cycle I, students will have the opportunity to participate in discovery workshops, so they deepen their learning in areas such as programming and robotics, science and engineering, media and communication as well as the environment. In Cycle II, students will specialize in a subject area from among various choices offered.

Redesigning the School Day
The new high school has redesigned the school day schedule to better meet the needs of teens. The goal is to strike a balance between the guidance students need and flexibility to work independently on their own personal assignments. The day will begin at 9:00 am and end at 4:20 pm. Independent work time for lessons and homework is built into the schedule. In addition, a break is scheduled every Wednesday, where classes will end at 12:15 pm instead.

Several studies have shown that during the long summer break, students can experience one to two months of summer learning loss. To counteract this, the start of the school year will begin two weeks earlier, in mid-August; however, three two-week break periods have been added to the yearly school calendar.

Teachers & Mentors
To ensure that each student develops a sense of belonging and trust with a group and a teacher, the new school has implemented a mentoring program. As Senécal explains, this is a special course where teachers support 18 students through the development of fundamental skills and interpersonal skills. Students will acquire knowledge and tools while practicing collaboration, critical thinking and citizenship—important skills required to succeed in today’s society.

A Modern & Eco-Friendly Building
Just like modern pedagogy and passionate teachers are an important factor in student motivation, so are the teaching and learning environment. The new high school building has been designed with this in mind. Modern and bright, it will provide airy and flexible teaching and learning spaces that can adapt to students’ diverse needs. The spaces work for three types of learning: sessions in large groups with the teacher, in small groups or individual learning.

The school will also have specialized classrooms and rooms that will be shared with the elementary school, such as a creative laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, a greenhouse and a small farm.

What’s more, the building is one of the first schools in Canada to be completely carbon neutral and eco-friendly. This will also be working into the pedagogy, as students will be encouraged to help maintain this standard of low energy consumption, such as with the use of bicycles that generate electricity.

Admissions will begin in Dorval as of August 2021. Collège Sainte-Anne is the school of the future for the citizens of tomorrow.

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