The J.A. Journal

Progressive Programming and How it Can Benefit Your Child’s Education

Apr 26, 2019 7:00:00 AM / by Junior Academy

What is progressive programming?

Progressive or “inquiry-based” programs attempt to place children’s interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive programming often develops with learning activities shaped by students’ questions. 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 types of Progressive Programs is Junior Academy offering?

Junior Academy offers different progressive programs which are incorporated into all students scheduled and allow then to grow and thrive on both a social and academic level. These programs include the follow:

FLEX (Friendship, Learning Skills, Executive Functioning)

Our FLEX program combines explicit instruction and situational discovery to help students develop some of the most important skills needed in our rapidly changing 21st century. FLEX promotes social and emotional growth, while incorporating the six key learning skills outlined by the Ontario Curriculum – Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration, Initiative and Self-Regulation. Through discussion, role-play, team building exercises, cooperative games and organizational tasks, students learn how to be respectful, and resilient. This program has been developed by our in-house occupational therapist, Kristen Locklin, and has shown results, with regards to a student’s abilities to make friends, be organized for class and regulate feeling in an appropriate manner.

Reading Buddies 1

LEAP (Learners Actively Engaged in Projects)

Project-based, inquiry learning is the foundation of our LEAP program. The learning during regularly scheduled LEAP periods is student driven, keeping the level of engagement high, as they delve in to topics of their own choice. Through this program, teachers observe students to make sure they are hitting all the points in the curriculum, while still giving them the freedom to learn what they want. This has a huge impact on the student’s performance throughout the project and gives them a better sense of independence and pride for their work.

  science fair 2-1

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education takes place all year long, across the street from Junior Academy at the Canadian Film Center. Every 2 weeks, students venture into the park lands to study science related topics and explore the outdoors. The river, fields and forest provide the opportunity to spend time in a green space whilst learning curriculum related topics. Students emerge from classes with a better understanding, appreciation and respect for nature. Along with our bi-weekly OE classes, students from grades 5-8 visit Camp Onondaga for 3 days, participating in many leadership and nature activities. Our outdoor education program has shown many impact-full results, ranging from increased engagement in the classroom to decreased stress levels and even an increase in self-reliance. This program allows students to challenge themselves and over overcome situations while still being in a safe environment.

volcano 1


In the primary years, Junior Academy introduces age appropriate technology skills to the students. Using a class set of IPADS, students are taught to use reading and math programs to supplement their learning. Word processing and responsible internet awareness are added to the technology classes as the student approach grade 3 and 4.

In grades 5-8, students work on their own laptops and have technology classes in partnership with STEM Village. STEM Village develops an advanced curriculum with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Topics include coding, robotics and web design.

At Junior Academy, we feel that the incorporation of technology into the classroom is a vital part in adapting to the changing world. Technology increases student engagement in the classroom and allows for easy collaboration as well as independent learning.

Please visit our pillar page for more information about this topic and much more:


Junior Academy

Written by Junior Academy