At Whitby, we take great pride in providing every student with the tools to become lifelong learners and strong global citizens. In 1958, Whitby was founded by parents who wanted a better education for their children. This is a mission we’ve taken to heart.
Whitby has been a Montessori school since the beginning. In fact, we actually led the revival of the Montessori program in the United States when the American Montessori Society was founded by a Whitby educator. We believe the Montessori program creates bright, lifelong learners. At the same time, we stay true to our roots by always looking for new ways to create an exceptional learning environment.
In 2008, we decided to incorporate the International Baccalaureate program into our N-8 education. Why? Quite simply, because we love how the International Baccalaureate program helps our students become inquisitive, globally-minded, problem-solvers who are prepared to take on any challenge.
Here are 6 more reasons why we love IB learning (and think you should too):
1. The principles of IB learning align perfectly with Whitby’s mission.
As a school, our goal is to “inspire a passion for learning and empower each child to take responsibility as an open-minded, principled citizen in a global community.” The International Baccalaureate program not only requires students to develop their critical thinking skills, but also to learn how to communicate, take risks, care for others and create a balanced life.
2. IB learning emphasises global citizenship.
Originally created for the children of diplomats, the International Baccalaureate is based on teaching students how to become global citizens. Today the world is much more interconnected than ever before and it’s important for students to learn how to work with people who have different backgrounds and outlooks on life. The International Baccalaureate excels at preparing students for this future because developing a global perspective is an essential part of becoming an IB learner, not an afterthought. Each of the IB curricula are focused around issues with personal, local and global significance so that students are immersed in different cultures and traditions from an early age.
3. It celebrates diversity, and so do we.
In addition to challenging students to think globally, the IB program encourages them to ask questions and develop empathy for others. At a school like Whitby — where students, staff and parents hail from 40 different countries — students have an amazing opportunity to learn about different cultures. All students have to do is turn to the person next to them to find an expert willing to share their personal insight and life journeys that can come from anywhere in the world.
4. The IB program pushes our faculty to keep learning.
We’ve found that students are inspired most by teachers who love to learn as well. Not only has the IB program challenged our educators to figure out the best way to combine IB learning with the Montessori philosophy, it keeps them on their toes during the school day. Every day, Whitby students are learning how to ask questions and find the answers to the challenges they face. Our educators are constantly learning new ways to push students to do their best.
5. IB learning focuses on more than just academics.
Classroom performance is just the beginning of developing “the whole child.” We love how the International Baccalaureate program challenges students to apply the skills they’ve learned in school by requiring students to perform community service projects as a requirement for graduation. Every year, we see Whitby 7th and 8th graders develop empathy and use their problem solving, planning and leadership skills to help solve real problems while fulfilling their volunteer requirements.
6. It builds a strong foundation for future success.
Following eighth grade at Whitby, our students head to high schools prepared to excel academically and socially when they head to their best fit high schools. The International Baccalaureate program is a big part of that. On their way to becoming IB learners, Whitby students learn to become skilled thinkers, inquirers, communicators and risk takers. They enter high school confident in their ability to take on new challenges and have a clear understanding of their own unique strengths and areas for improvement.
Today, Whitby is the only N-8 school in the U.S. that is accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). We believe that unique combination provides a framework for students to build the skills they need to succeed.