Upper Middle School
(Grades 6-8)

During the middle school years, students learn with a focus on self-awareness, responsibility and their own unique interests. They draw meaningful connections between academics and the real world, understanding the context of their education and the purpose of their studies.

We believe that by allowing children to demonstrate their knowledge, they will build confidence.

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about upper middle school

Upper Middle School is where students hone in on their roles as global citizens by taking in information and applying critical thought to their findings. They are inspired, prepared and encouraged to take on the world and look at problems differently while applying their own unique perspectives and experiences. They focus on the idea of environmental, social and personal sustainability and the local, provincial and global impact they have as individuals within a wider society.


By working on long-term projects that culminate in presentations and other creative outcomes, students gain key insights into the curriculum and understand every facet of their education. Projects are varied and diverse, exploring art, technology, science, socials, drama and music, as well as digital citizenship and Internet safety. Students learn to be mindful, connected and develop their tech abilities to prepare them for a rapidly evolving future.


Students continue to learn that engaging in their studies and applying themselves results in a successful educational experience. They recognize challenges, embrace creativity and look for the best possible solutions to the challenges they face.

Creative Learning

Students are introduced to more complex creative disciplines including photography and graphic design, where they get hands-on experience with industry technologies such as Photoshop. They use art, drama and music to bring core academics to life. Students use the arts to display their learning in a tangible way. By using Pythagorean Triangles in a drawing project, or creating to-scale models of historical events in Social Studies, they are able to see how to practically apply the skills they are acquiring in the classroom.

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Innovative Learning

At Urban Academy, students learn how to learn. We believe the world is constantly evolving, so we teach students to continuously evolve with it. Learning is never finished, so today our students are learning to code and eventually they will be developing their own apps. They can expand their creative problem solving skills with all of the tools available in the Maker Space. Students are constantly engaging with Adobe Creative Suite, ePortfolios, iPads and MacBook Pros to do their work and demonstrate their learning. Our digital citizenship program continues through the middle school years with a strong focus on media literacy and Internet safety.

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Experiential Learning

Outdoor education is paramount in our upper middle school years. A structured Outdoor Education Program integrates new skills such as rock climbing, dragon boating, hiking and water survival with core academics. Students use the environment as inspiration for poetry and literacy, using elements found in nature. They expand upon their classroom learning by connecting outdoor experiences to environmental sciences, stewardship and First Nations culture. Physical Education class introduces our middle school students to new outdoor activities including ski trips, archery, golf, hiking, snowshoeing, skating and more. The program culminates with camp week at the end of the school year, allowing students to experience diverse outdoor challenges and build independence.

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Real World Integration

Urban Academy brings students closer to their careers by accessing experts in various fields to learn about real life opportunities. Students engage in projects such as creating a superhero around an element on the periodic table to teach them element properties in an engaging way. They also learn traditional First Nations art techniques, exploring legends and learning from a First Nations artist in residence.

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Grades 6-8 Curriculum

Language Arts

  • Exploring, becoming immersed in and genuinely enjoying a variety of text and media
  • Engaging in activities involving speaking and listening, reading, viewing, writing and representing in order to strengthen their skills in all facets of literacy
  • Thinking critically, creatively and reflectively in order to appreciate language and make connections
  • Examining a wide range of content including short stories, novels, non-fiction and research, poetry exploration, article writing and a detailed study and performance of a Shakespearean play

Outdoor Education

  • Gaining new experiences
  • Enhancing skills
  • Linking experiences to curriculum
  • Building courage
  • Exploring new environments and growing developmental curiosity


  • Solving problems related to time, sports, travel, money management, science and art
  • Using mathematical thinking to connect, create, communicate, visualize, reason and solve
  • Analyzing novel and complex problems from a variety of perspectives
  • Considering possible solutions and evaluating their effectiveness
  • Generating confidence in math skills and abilities


  • Participating in different types of physical activity to influence physical literacy, personal health and fitness goals
  • Learning to enjoy physical activity
  • Determining how to make healthy choices to influence physical, emotional and mental well-being
  • Discovering new sports and activities such as fencing, capoeira, ballroom dancing, curling, Ultimate Frisbee, bowling and more

Social Studies

  • Delving into the history of society and building a greater understanding of how our world became what it is today. The subject matter is wide and varied but will cover topics such as:
    • Economic instability and conflict
    • Formation and current state of governments
    • Complex global challenges that require international collaboration
    • The role of media today
    • How systems of government vary in their respect for human rights and freedoms


  • Developing the ability to think critically, solve problems and make ethical decisions to:
    • Communicate their questions, express opinions and challenge ideas in a scientifically literate way
    • Exercise an awareness of their role as an ecologically literate citizenry, engaged and competent in meeting the responsibilities of caring for living things and the planet
  • Gaining opportunities to ask questions, identify beliefs and opinions, consider a range of views, work collaboratively and ultimately make informed conclusions that lead to responsible choices
  • Using conceptual learning with both traditional ecological knowledge and First Peoples perspectives embedded in the curriculum


  • Listening and viewing with intent to understand an increasing variety of messages
  • Using strategies to help understand and acquire language
  • Discuss interests in French
  • Gaining reciprocal interactions, which are possible even with limited French
  • Understanding through stories
  • Deepening knowledge of Francophone communities to develop cultural awareness
  • Listening and speaking while also building skills in reading and writing
  • Using present, past and future tenses with ease in both oral and written work


  • Developing imaginative ability and fluency primarily in drawing
  • Receiving an introduction to the elements and principles of design
  • Gaining experiences and the opportunities to explore a variety of media
  • Learning art history to illustrate the elements of good design


  • Compare themes and traditions in drama from a variety of cultural, social and historical contexts
  • Create roles to explore a range of issues, responses and themes to build confidence, communication and knowledge
  • Discovering speech, movement, role play, improvisation and acting


  • Building creative growth through patience, readiness to take risks and willingness to try new approaches
  • Expressing individual and collective perspectives
  • Leaning from artists who challenge the status quo and explore new perspectives and experiences
  • Starting concert band and vocals (Grade 6 students only)
  • Leadership
    • Engaging in in-house organization and activities
    • Attending leadership programs as part of ISABC
    • Participating as “buddies” with younger students in the performing arts

Digital Media Arts

  • Learning about digital photography, video and sound design
  • Developing knowledge and skills in digital media arts to be prepared for the future in the growing tech industry
  • Building valuable skills and learning to use technology safely and responsibly
  • Working on projects that are integrated with work in other subjects, overarching themes and whole school events

Health and Technology

  • Attaining skills, attitudes and behaviours to enhance personal well-being and become prepared for a world of complex, ongoing change
  • Exploring and covering elements from the Health, Career Explorations and Applied Skills (Technology) curriculum
  • Gaining insights from community visitors who present different points of view and provide opportunities for discussions
  • Examining ethical and social issues related to the use of information and communications technology
  • Finding, gathering, assessing and communicating information using electronic means and learning about the safe and responsible use of the technology.

Other Opportunities

  • Camp
  • Field study


Experiential Education

Students participate in outdoor education linked to curriculum every 6 weeks. These connect them to real life as they learn knowledge application through activities such as Leadership Challenge (health and career planning), rock climbing (geology, geography, physics), snowshoeing (early explorers, First Nations), ski days (PE, HCP), water sports (PE, math, science, HCP, social studies), kayaking (PE, math, science, HCP, social studies), orienteering (PE, art, math, science, HCP), hiking (PE, science, social studies) and more.

Presentation Skills

Providing opportunities for presentations and speeches continues to help students build their confidence, setting them up for their post secondary and professional lives. Our students tackle public speaking early, helping them to be powerful motivators and fueling them to share their passions and ideas. Debate Club and public speaking competitions challenge students to present effectively, as well as how to articulate their ideas and engage in knowledge transfer.

Cross-Curricular Projects

Students engage in experiences that mirror real-world experiences. They explore social sciences, language arts, French and the arts, allowing them to create multi-disciplinary work and preparing them for post secondary and beyond.

Extracurricular Programs

Activities such as Debate Club challenge UA Upper Middle School Students to communicate the ideas that they are exploring. Student council and Public Speaking Club allow for advocacy and presentation experience, giving students the opportunity to discover how to put their concerns and passions into action through research and presentation. When learning extends beyond the classroom, students engage in their education in new and meaningful ways.


Students get out on field trips, such as exploring the Lynn Valley Ecology Centre, VSO, water and kayak safety workshops, hiking, skiing, public speaking competitions and other events/seminars through ISABC. They engage in a Yearbook club, the Art Exhibit, Winter Concert and Spring Play. Students also get to participate in a constantly growing array of clubs, intramural sports and competitive sports programs including volleyball, basketball, badminton, track, ultimate frisbee and soccer. There is a camp week at the end of the year, house challenges, Remembrance Day assembly and a Terry Fox Run.

supporting successful students

Student Services

The “extras” beyond the classroom create meaningful experiences and ensure every student is connected, learning, and invigorated.

  • Out of School Care
  • Technology for learning and research
  • Library
  • Drama and music specialist instruction.
  • Vocals instruction
  • Ongoing academic assessment
  • Bus transportation
  • Assembly twice a week
  • Grades 4+ are entered into a house system with 4 houses
  • Health and media class
  • Outdoor education opportunities including rock climbing, hiking, personal development, and physical challenges
  • Student leadership opportunities

Latest News

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Head of School’s Weekly Message

Hello UA families, If we’re lucky, on occasion, we get to experience an event or significant moment that you know will stay with you for some time. I have been fortunate enough to experience two this past week! The first was the UA Gala held on Saturday evening. Thank you to everyone who participated and […]

Head of School’s Weekly Message

Hello UA families, Last week staff and students at Urban Academy engaged in a number of activities in recognition of Canadian Mental Health Week. These included various mindfulness activities, daily body breaks, buddy walks where students from different levels of the school went together to the park, and a wonderful talent show on Friday. The biggest hit was […]

Head of School’s Weekly Message

Next week is Mental Health Week! A cross-Canada initiative, Canadian Mental Health Week encourages Canadians to explore mental health literacy and build their personal toolbox of strategies and systems for staying healthy and well. We are excited to launch our inaugural Mental Health Week at UA and are thankful to the teachers and students who have put together a variety of activities to […]

The right education takes your child from remembering and reciting to knowing and understanding.


Stop imagining. Start achieving.

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At Urban Academy, learning transcends the classroom and outdoor education is an integral learning tool at each grade level.

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Integrated Approach

Being involved in the lessons allows students develop their skills while absorbing new knowledge.

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Urban Academy focuses on creative perspectives in learning, enabling students to develop their own processes.

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Lower Middle

We believe that by empowering children, they will create their own pathways to success.

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Academic Excellence

We don't just ask our students to reach their potential. We make it happen.

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We believe that by encouraging children to lead, they will change the world.

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