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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Enrichment Opportunities

The depth and breadth of the activities offered through the program are structured to meet the needs of students who are deemed “gifted” by challenging them beyond the classroom walls.


Students enjoy sharing their gifts with their school and wider community. The SAGE program provides a structured opportunity through:
Peer Tutoring:
  • Students share their academic knowledge by helping their peers before and after school in the Peer Tutoring Centre
Bishop Allen Ambassadorial Team (BAAT)
  • Students serve as mentors to younger students in the program, as guides to guests at Open House, Parent’s Nights and as speakers at local elementary schools
Student – Led Blood Donor Clinic
  • Hosted annually in conjunction with Canadian Blood Services
Elementary Gifted Students’ Debate Judges
  • Students serve as judges for the elementary gifted students competition held in November each year. 
  • Numerous student-led community initiatives (See under Experience)

One of the goals of the SAGE program is make students aware of the numerous opportunities available to them in the community. They are provided with information, guest speakers at monthly meetings and help with the intricate application process required by some of these elite programs. Senior students also act as mentors to younger students by making presentations to them on activities they have taken advantage of introduced through the SAGE program. 
Some examples of activities promoted through the program are:
Scholarship Preparation:
  • Workshops beginning in Grade 9 to develop secondary school portfolios
  • Preparation of scholarship applications
Exposure to Numerous Enrichment Programs:
  • Deep River Science Academy - A six week course in the Ottawa area for those with deep interests in science. Earn 2 Science credits. (For students with completed Gr. 10 science course)
  • Shad Valley- Shad Valley is a four week summer enrichment program with a focus that includes the sciences, technology and entrepreneurship. Students spend a month living in residence one of 8 host university campuses across Canada. The program is offered to students currently completing grade 10, 11 or 12.
  • U of T daVinci Engineering Program- Opportunity for advanced study in a variety of engineering disciplines for students who excel in math and science and are looking for an academic challenge.
  • U of T Mentorship Program - provides gifted students the opportunity to assist U of T professors in their research. Opportunities available in a variety of subject areas.
  • Science Centre School - The Centre offers Grade 12 courses - Physics, Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Science in Society. (One semester- no fee)
  • Encounters With Canada -  Educational youth programs in sports, science and technology, RCMP forum, law, arts and culture, journalism, Canada and the world are offered. The one week course is held in Ottawa, ON (Age 15-17)
  • Central Ontario Leadership Seminar (COLS)- Leadership training and self-development are offered to Canadian school-selected students during a 3-day weekend in late May. (For Gr. 10 students only)
  • Knights of Columbus Leadership Camp - This is a one-week intensive Catholic leadership training camp held in Orillia, ON. (Gr. 10+). All expenses are paid for students who are selected.
  • Camp Enterprise - A residential two-day course with business simulations, presentations, and workshops with business leaders sponsored by the Rotary Club. (For senior students)
Activities in the SAGE program help to nurture the fund of knowledge and the critical thinking skills of gifted learners.
Model United Nations Debating:
  • Students adopt the role of ambassadors for countries around the world and debate global issues in the various mock assemblies of the United Nations. Catholic Schools United Nations Assembly (CSUNA), Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly (SOMA), Chaminade Model United Nations Assembly (CHAMUN), Secondary Schools United Nations Assembly (SSUNS), McGill University.
  • Students have received numerous awards at the various assemblies
  • Bishop Allen students have been selected to chair the city wide Catholic Schools United Nations Assembly each year for the past four years.
Destination Imagination:
  • An international creative thinking challenge that encourages students to integrate dramatic arts with science and technology
  • Students work on group challenges from November - April
  • For the past 4 years, Bishop Allen teams have won first place at regional finals and competed at the Global Finals
University day trips:
  • University of Toronto Secondary Gifted Conference “Perspectives, Challenge and Change”
  • University of Waterloo “Women in Math Day”
  • University of Guelph “Interaction”
One day and overnight field trips:
  • The Royal Ontario Museum lab and/or workshop
  • Live theatre productions and workshops such as those offered by the Canadian Stage Company
  • World Affairs Conference
  • Queen's University mini-enrichment week
The experiential model of learning offered through the SAGE program brings together the other aspects of service, awareness and giftedness as students put into practice their knowledge and skills. The program is structured so that students receive guidance as they develop their leadership skills by developing initiatives in their school and wider community.  Every year, SAGE students build on the strong tradition of stewardship established by their peers by creating novel approaches to the world they live in.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Program:
  • An international program that promotes leadership as students set their own goals and accomplish them in the areas of community service, skill development, physical activity and by undergoing an outdoor expedition or exploration. Students work towards municipal, provincial and national achievements as they earn their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. The Gold pin is presented to the student by a member of the Royal Family.
  • Every year, Bishop Allen Academy presents candidates who attain Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.
Student-led city-wide public speaking contests
  • Students organize, lead and judge two public speaking contests annually: “Ecoutons Les Voix/Speaking Your Mind” Grade 7/8 French/English contest, “Reason and Rhetoric” City-wide grade 9 and 10 contest.
OISEUT ‘Journey of Discovery”
  • Students create and deliver a workshop in an area of their choice for elementary gifted students at the annual Journey of Discovery conference.
Locks of Hope
  • Annually, on the last Monday in May, students invite hairdressers from the community to volunteer their time to cut the hair of willing participants.
  • The hair is donated to “Angel Hair for Kids” to make wigs for children suffering hair loss from cancer
Annual Halloween initiatives:
  • Kostumes for Kids – A student drive to collect costumes for children to be distributed to the Catholic Children’s Aid Society and Woman’s Habitat in Etobicoke
  • Haunted Halloween Story Adventure – Students work with local grade two children to create Halloween story books. The teens and children will work together to create the plot and illustrations of a spooky adventure book.
  • Halloween for Hunger Haunted Bus- students decorate a haunted bus and go on an adventure to local elementary schools. They lead fun and games for the children until the story-tellers are ready to take them on the haunted walk through the bus. In exchange, the children pay for the adventure with a canned food to be donated to the Daily Food Bank
Annual Christmas Initiatives:
  • Students lead awareness campaigns, raffles and colouring contests in efforts to promote donation of toys  from children at neighbouring elementary schools.  More than 500 toys have been collected for a Christmas Wish campaign.
  • A New Year’s Wish for Beslan – After the horrific bombing of Public School #1 in Beslan, Russia, students raised funds to send books, pens, school tools, treats and New Year’s wishes to their friends across the world. Weren’t they thrilled when the Russian students made a visit to Toronto and stopped off at Bishop Allen Academy to thank them the following February!
In the Driver’s Seat Safe and Sober Driving Awareness:
  • Under the auspices of Toronto Public Health, the In the Driver Seat group runs leadership initiatives to raise awareness about safe and sober driving. They have won 8 Top Schools Awards for their annual effort. In the past 9 years, students have developed a number of innovative methods of spreading awareness to their peers and community, including:
  • Halloween candygrams with safe and sober driving messages,
  • Mocktails (non-alcoholic substitutes ) with Christmas party themes, Hawaian luau themes “Party Safe, Party Fun”,
  • MADD multi-media presentations
  • Kids and Road Education(KARE) campaigns at local elementary schools
  • “Sober Avenue” ;”Be a Lifesaver” campaigns
  • City-wide video contest “Wheel to Reel”
  •  City-wide poster contests,
New activities are added every year, based on student interest and ingenuity.