Grade 7 & 8 Program

RDS Grade 7/8 Program

The Grade 7 & 8 Program at RDS is designed to develop the leadership skills and confidence students need to be successful as they transition into high school and beyond.  Through unique experiential learning opportunities, Grade 7 & 8 students challenge themselves in a variety of new settings, while building character, individuality, and self-reliance.

4 Key Areas:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Leadership
  • Engaged Citizenship
  • Experiential Learning

A focus on development of:

  • Academic, social, and life skills
  • Confidence
  • Independence
  • Self-reliance
  • Organization skills
  • Academic ownership

Academics Enrichment

Our small class sizes allow for a high level of individual attention, ensuring that students are challenged with enrichment opportunities. At the same time, teachers are able to remediate and assist students at a variety of ability levels. Our program uses first-class facilities to build on the Ontario Curriculum as its foundation, with a wide variety of enrichment opportunities, such as:

  • Future Design School’s Young Innovators Program
  • University of Toronto Engineering Outreach
  • University of Waterloo Gauss Math Competition
  • Weekly Leadership & Community Engagement Classes
  • Academic Goal Setting and Reflection

Engaged Citizenship

Community engagement is an important part of the program. All students in grades 7 and 8 participate in a variety of initiatives throughout the year in support of causes both local and international. Through these faculty-supported initiatives, students gain a sense of responsibility, integrity, and accomplishment. Engagement of this kind has been shown to result in increased academic achievement and personal satisfaction as student make meaningful contributions to their community and the world. Initiatives in past years have included:

  • Youth to Youth Program (Right to Play Partner School)
  • Camp Oochigeas
  • Daily Bread Food Bank
  • The Terry Fox Foundation


Throughout this two year program for all students in the Grade 7/8 Program, teachers facilitate experiential and workshop-based activities with the goal of both personal and interpersonal skill development.
Topics and areas of focus include:

  • Leadership Styles
  • Goal Setting
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Action Planning
  • Time Management

Experiential Education

Students are provided with a variety of hands-on, real-world learning opportunities throughout the two-year program at RDS. These opportunities help develop important, transferable life skills, and the unique, global experiences expand student horizons and perspectives.
Previous experiences have included:

  • WE Day at the Air Canada Centre
  • Sporting Life 10K Race Prep (in support of Camp Oochigeas)
  • Outdoor Education Trips (Camp Hurontario, Kandalore, Canoe trips to Georgian Bay)
  • International Field Trips (Washington, D.C. and New York City)

Involvement in these four key components plays an integral role in the development of the individual student.

As leaders of the school, Grade 7/8 Program students are given the opportunity to volunteer and help facilitate many RDS Community Events throughout the year, and to assist teachers with the running co-curricular programs for our younger students.    All athletic programs at RDS feature development squads, ensuring that all athletes have the opportunity to compete. Students in grades 7 and 8 have the unique opportunity of taking on leadership roles on these teams, which helps build self-esteem and responsibility, and leads to further athletic opportunities in high school.