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Pickering College

  • Type: Progressive
  • Grade (Gender): JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Tuition: $25,785 to 65,170/year
  • Class size: 18 to 20
  • Homestay: No
  • Founded: 1842
  • Uniform: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Enrolment: Day: 300 (Gr. JK - 12), Boarding: 120 (Gr. 7 - 12)

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At Pickering College, our fully-integrated Global Leadership Program (JK to Grade 12) inspires students to become agents of courageous, ethical and positive change with the confidence, knowledge and skills to shape the future. Our co-educational day and boarding school of 440 students, just 40 minutes north of Toronto, is a safe and respectful community where everyone feels a strong sense of belonging. From JK to Grade 12, small classes ensure individualized attention. Enhanced by the use of technology, we provide unique, enriched and meaningful learning opportunities. Our diverse co-curricular programs include athletics such as soccer, basketball, hockey, softball, skating, snowboarding, skiing, equestrian, tennis, volleyball and mountain biking. Students can participate on one of Canada’s only CRTC-licensed high-school operated radio stations, instrumental and vocal music, and a range of clubs such as our Debate Team and Youth Action Organization. Our students experience a school that is intimate in size and global in perspective. Students choose Pickering College because of our strong school community and exceptional academic and co-curricular programs. Our graduates leave us to attend the university of their choice, prepared to make a difference in the world.

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  • Founded in 1842, Canada's only Quaker-founded school
  • Global Leadership Program from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12
  • Enriched Kindergarten
  • Middle School Program (Grades 6, 7 & 8)
  • 100% university placement
  • Extensive co-curricular program
  • Open houses: Oct 27 from 10:00 - 11:30 am, Jan 15 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Apr. 16 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm


16945 Bayview Avenue, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 4X2


Upcoming Events

upcoming events
  • October 27, 2018Pickering College October Open House
    Pickering College, 16945 Bayview Avenue, Newmarket, Ontario
    Join us Saturday, October 27 from 10:00 am - 11:30 am

    The best way to truly get to know about Pickering College is to visit our campus and meet our outstanding students and faculty. We look forward to welcoming you to our Open House.

Principal's Message


Peter C. Sturrup, Headmaster

Pickering College is a very special place. Founded in 1842, we are a place that has a tradition of academic excellence based on almost 175 years of pioneering and original teaching and learning. Yet we are also a place that has a compelling and exciting future guided by a focus on innovation and creativity in a global context. It is this strong foundation and clear vision that allow us to prepare our students to be citizens and leaders in the 21st century.

Throughout this profile, you will learn about the school and the programs we offer in a co-educational setting, that welcomes day students from our local communities  (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12) and international students from around the world (Grades 7 to 12).

I think what will really strike you is the degree to which students and teachers work together to create the learning experience. Our school is successful, and has always been successful, because our teachers create a caring, compassionate, safe yet challenging environment in which our students feel empowered to take risks and are encouraged to lead. Truly, we are a school unlike any other.

If you are looking for a deeper educational experience for your child – an experience that sees and inspires the unique inner potential of every student – then I encourage you to start here. If you are looking for a broader educational experience for your child that uncovers all aspects of their unique talents and gifts – academic, artistic, athletic and altruistic – then I encourage you to proceed through these pages. And, if you are looking

for a richer educational experience – focusing on values, character, leadership and creating the future – then I encourage you to come to Pickering College, visit and understand for yourself why our school is so extraordinary.

Peter C. Sturrup


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.

What Pickering College says: Pickering College is an independent boarding (Grades 7 to 12) and day (Kindergarten to Grade 12) school for boys and girls in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Our programs offer unique opportunities in academics, arts, athletics, global leadership development and community service. • 100% university placement at top universities in Canada and around the world • Fully integrated Global Leadership Program (JK to Grade 12) • Dedicated and caring teachers who are specialists in their field • Challenging and engaging academic curriculum • Full recreational and competitive co-curricular program • Safe and supportive nurturing environment • Dynamic boarding program • Small class sizes and personalized attention at every grade

  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    Literature Social Justice

      In social justice- inspired programs, literature is not viewed as something to be merely decoded and “appreciated”: rather, it is viewed as a catalyst to social action. Choice of texts tends to favour contemporary works. If a classical text is used, it’s often in the context of social deconstruction: students are asked to critically examine possible prejudices and historical narratives inherent in the work. Like in traditional literature programs, students are often asked to engage in class discussion and critical essay writing, but more time might also be devoted to cooperative group projects and personal reflections. The goal is to teach students to think critically about what they read, while becoming intellectually and physically engaged in the social issues pertaining to their wider community.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   10
    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish • ESL

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology Heavy integration

      A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Pickering College says: Physical literacy is desired in all students through our co-curricular program in addition to the Physical Education courses. Outdoor education is an important component of our curriculum.

    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Calculus BC

    Sex and health education Follows provincial curriculum

      The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.

    • Pickering College 's approach to sex-ed: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Play-based

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.

    What Pickering College says: Our Reggio Inquiry at Pickering College, offers a dynamic, nurturing and positive learning environment where your child’s curiosity is stimulated, leadership skills are cultivated, and fun-filled interactive learning is meaningful and focused. Small class sizes provide an ideal setting for building a foundation for lifelong learning, as students develop confidence, social conscience and acquire the skills and knowledge for success.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Pickering College says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced

    "Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual

    The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."

    What Pickering College says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Pickering College offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    No Support

    Pickering College does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Pickering College students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Pickering College 15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins120 mins120 mins
    Site Average5 mins7 mins16 mins17 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins52 mins57 mins68 mins79 mins95 mins108 mins

    This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesJK to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to 12
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 12
    Habits and behaviour reportingJK to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 12


    What Pickering College says:
    • Pickering College students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 participate on CHOP FM. Junior School students produced their own Global Leadership Program radio shows on CHOP FM with topics ranging from environmentalism to science and technology.
    • The Queen’s National High School Debating Championships is widely recognized as the most prestigious university tournament in Canada. This year, there were over 200 competitors representing schools from Vancouver to Nova Scotia. Competing in six rounds of debate, our students used their critical thinking abilities and stamina to showcase the skills they have learned from our debate program.
    • Pickering College’s swim team achieved Gold and Silver in two events and placed in the top 10 in several others at the Ontario high school swimming championship, OFSAA.
    • The Senior Jazz Band traveled to the renowned Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival in Banff. The group had successfully auditioned last year for this coveted spot, and did not disappoint. The reviewers and audiences alike were greatly impressed by our musicians' professional and tuneful approach to their craft.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Downhill skiing
      Figure Skating
      Ice Hockey
      Mountain biking
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Online Magazine
      Outdoor Education
      Poetry/Literature club
      Radio club
      Robotics club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day (Domestic) Boarding (Domestic) Boarding (International)
    Day (Domestic)$25,785$28,120$28,220$30,945$31,245
    Boarding (Domestic)$62,035$62,335
    Boarding (International)$64,870$65,170
    What Pickering College says: Pickering College has three annual fees and they include a range of items and services, depending on the student's grade. The annual costs include Tuition, an Educational Technology Fee and a Facility Renewal Fee. One time fees for new students include an Enrolment Fee and an Asset Upgrade Fee. There are also a variety of discounts available to all families.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students$500
    2nd child (sibling)all students$1,500
    3rd child (sibling)all students$1,500
    4th child (sibling)all students$1,500

    Need-based financial aid

    Pickering College has not provided this information.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Pickering College has not provided this information.


    Total enrollment 420
    Average enrollment per grade28
    Gender (grades)JK to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offered Gr. 7 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)29%

    Student distribution: We do not have this data for Pickering College



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewJK - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)JK - 6
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    Boarding students:

    What Pickering College says:
    • Application form (available online)
    • Report cards for current school year and final report cards from previous three years (Ontario residents in Grades 9 and up must also submit Ontario Student Transcript)
    • Student Essay
    • Birth certificate for Canadian applicants
    • Passport copy for International applicants
    • Wallet size photo
    • Teacher Confidential Report, sent in confidence, direct to Pickering College
    • Admission interview (child selects a sample of a graded assessment/project they have completed or an activity they participated in that they are particularly proud of and would like to share and explain during the interview)
    • Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6: academic assessment at Pickering College
    • Grades 7 to 12: After admission interview, candidates will be advised if additional assessment is necessary
    • Non-native English speakers: TOEFL Junior score is required


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Pickering College is looking for: Pickering College is truly a special place for students from Canada and around the world (Boarding from Grade 7 to Grade 12). It is a place where our students and families tell us that they feel warmly welcomed and accepted from the first day that they arrive; where students come to make friendships that last a lifetime and where they feel supported to pursue their dreams. Our programs offer unique opportunities in academics, arts, athletics, leadership development and community service. Our Global Leadership Program, fully integrated from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, builds on our longstanding mission and community service-oriented approach to education. The Global Leadership Program prepares students with the skills needed to be innovative, entrepreneurial, globally-focused and ready to tackle complex global issues. Pickering College is building future global leaders by providing a values-based education that helps students to develop the confidence, knowledge, skills and social conscience to prepare them for university and for life. At Pickering College we focus on the whole child. Students learn to excel, to develop character, to make friends and prepare for future endeavours and opportunities. It’s their community, and the experiences they have at school shape them as they become citizens of the world.

    Day Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size60
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University of Alberta or Dalhousie.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Henry (Hal)  Jackman 1945 His Honour Henry Jackman is a well-known figure in Canadian business and entrepreneurial circles. Additionally, "Hal" Jackman, as he is more widely known, was the 25th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
    Gabrielle  Daleman 2016 Gabrielle "Gabby" Daleman, a Canadian figure skater, was the 2017 World bronze medalist and represented Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    Stories & Testimonials


    Grade 11 World History class create museum exhibit to share with the Grade 5 class

    The Grade 11 World History class has been studying Egypt, and their accompanying project was to turn the classroom into a Museum exhibit. Knowing that the Grade 5 class also are investigating Egypt, the Grade 11s thought it would be fun and informative to have them come as our audience. The Grade 5s were treated to an overview of the history of Egypt, a fabulous model of the pyramids, a chance to learn and use hieroglyphics and complete an archaeological dig with the Sphynx! There was also a live mummy at the mummification station and to end their visit, students were told a story about Osirus and Horus. The Grade 11 class enjoyed planning the activities and doing the accompanying research, and the Grade 5s had fun learning. ...

    PC students join Global Ideas Institute mentorship program at the University of Toronto

    As part of our commitment to developing leadership capability, 21st century learning skills and global awareness in our students, our school has joined the Global Ideas Institute Mentorship Program at the University of Toronto for this academic year. The University of Toronto’s Asian Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs, in cooperation with the University of Toronto School, have provided a first time opportunity for selected senior students throughout Toronto to work together with University of Toronto professors and graduate student mentors on a real-world problem, culminating in a day-long symposium to be held at the Munk School, University of Toronto in April 2011. Seven PC students have made a commitment to this partnership and have already started attending meetings at the Munk School and participated in some seminars and discussion groups. The program educates high school students about global issues. Through group discussion and seminars given by some of the Munk School’s professors and notable guest speakers, students are able to collaborate with each other and brainstorm possible solutions to the issues. The culminating activity in the spring will involve the groups of students presenting to a panel of experts at a ‘summit conference’. The presentation will be their plan to expand the Aravind eye hospital project in India by establishing it in other regions throughout the world. ...

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