Since University School opened its doors in 1968 the school has been recognized as a centre of educational innovation. The school opened as University Elementary School. In 2007 the name was officially changed to University School. The school was established as a demonstration school in partnership with the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. The intention of this partnership was to provide a setting in which pre-service teachers would be able to see how theory and practice were able to be combined to create effective approaches to teaching and learning.
University School enjoys a proud history of leadership and innovation in the field of education. From its inception University School has been a school on the "leading edge". Even in 1968, staff worked in a collaborative mode, team teaching in multi-aged classrooms, as learners and leaders in many ways, always focused on serving the needs of all students. Programs at University School were (and are) designed to differentiate according to the needs of the learner.
The physical structure of the school was built to be flexible and responsive to innovation, with moveable walls and viewing galleries above each classroom.
The formal partnership with the University of Calgary changed in the mid-1990s due to budgetary constraints and the restructuring of the B. Ed. Program. Although the school does not host dozens of classes of pre-service teachers from the University on a regular basis as was the case in the past, the school continues to collaborate and maintains a close relationship with the university.
For over four decades University School has provided a strong academic program through innovation, leadership and a commitment to constantly re-aligning teaching practice with current educational research. The school has also been privileged to have had on its staff many educators who have continued to become prominent leaders in the field of education.
The school continues to build on this proud tradition of providing a model for effective education. The school provides a safe and caring environment where student inquiry is encouraged and supported and where teachers and students can challenge and extend their own capacities by trying out new ideas and pursuing new possibilities.
One of the ways that the school supports student learning is by having students formulate questions and gather information. This process is iterative as students go back to refine their questions and then conduct further investigation and research. This kind of inquiry guides their learning and fosters the development of higher-order critical thinking skills. This approach, like all teaching practice at University School, is based on research and includes ongoing classroom assessment.
Except for Kindergarten, students are organized into multi-age communities consisting of two grade levels. This arrangement accommodates for a wider range of development in children than typical single year grade grouping. It also promotes cooperation instead of competition amongst peers and, perhaps most importantly, allows children and teachers to develop longer term relationships with each other. University School is also home to two CSSI classes. These system communication, socialization, sensory integration classes support learning for multi-aged autistic students.
We invite all parents who are considering having their children attend University School to learn more about the school and the educational opportunities it provides to students. We encourage you to visit the school, ask questions and discover all that our University School offers.
Mission & Goals
Our mission is to inspire a passionate commitment to learning. We strive to create engaging learning opportunities for students that are relevant in the world beyond the school. We leverage technology to extend the reach and grasp of our students and infuse the arts into learning to foster creativity and empower students to represent their understanding in a wide variety of ways.
Read about our goals and plans in our new School Development Plan.