The Middle School provides an engaging and relevant experience for students that reflects and acknowledges the challenging and ever-changing world in which they live.
To discover interests and passions.
Set the stage for future success.
Exchange Partner Schools
Located throughout the United Kingdom.
Middle School represents an exciting and special period of transition. The program celebrates the emerging independent spirit of students in Grades 7 and 8. Our supportive and encouraging faculty and staff create opportunities for learners to try new things, navigate setbacks and celebrate success.
From the first day of Grade 7, each student sees the possibilities that lie before them. They experience a diverse academic program taught by specialist teachers in classrooms, laboratories, gymnasiums, music, art and drama studios and the outdoors. Dedicated instructional time is woven into the program for the development of learning and organizational skills that research shows is correlated to academic success. At this age, it is important that trusting relationships are developed with caring adults who are committed to knowing and supporting each student as they develop their confidence and sense of self. Each girl is assigned to a form group and experiences the year under the careful guidance of a form teacher.
With the largest girls’ independent school campus in the city, Havergal’s 22-acre campus features a natural protected tree-lined ravine, green playing fields and a combination of heritage and modern architecture. Our innovative new facilities were purpose-built to inspire learning. The spaces feature a multi-purpose area for HC-X programming, an Art Studio and adjacent outdoor gardens. The focal point of the building extension is the light-filled Learning Commons, which houses the lush three-storey Old Girls BioWall.
Meet the Faculty & Staff
Our exceptional Middle School faculty and staff set Havergal apart from other schools. Many teachers exclusively teach Grade 7 and 8 classes, creating spaces for students to push their academic boundaries. Faculty and staff also serve as coaches, advisors and mentors, encouraging students both inside and out of the classroom. Meet some of our team members:
Head of Middle School
Social Sciences Teacher
Health & Physical Education Teacher
Languages & Cultures Teacher
English & Drama Teacher
Middle School Guidance & Learning Support Specialist
Languages & English Teacher
Head of Middle School
Ms. Goodridge, Head of Middle School, joined Havergal College in 2011. She has taught instrumental (band) and vocal music for over 20 years in both single-sex and co-ed independent schools in Toronto, Oakville and Australia. Ms. Goodridge holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts, Mus. Ed from Western University and a Masters in Education from the University of Victoria. She has worked with students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and finds joy in helping students find their musical voices. She has a passion for the middle years, and strives to create lessons and programs that inspire and ignite a love of music.
Ms. Goodridge has presented her work on Singing Spirituals at Festival 500 in Newfoundland and at the British Columbia Music Educators’ Association (BCMEA) conference in Vancouver. In October 2016, she presented her work “Igniting the Sleuth–A Research Project that Ignites Student Inquiry, Voice and Creativity” at the international Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) conference in Austin, Texas.
Ms. Goodridge’s experience in the classroom and as a professional singer is extensive. As a professional singer, she sang with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, where she was nominated for a Gemini Award for her work in the TV special An Indigo Christmas. Additionally, she is also a JUNO and Much Music Video Award nominee for her work with her brother, Kenny Moran, in the group Oval Emotion. As a teacher, she has a passion for giving back to the community and working with her students to create outreach programs that inspire youth to engage in music. In her role as Director of Arts at Appleby College, she worked with performing arts students to create arts programming for the United Way and Big Brother/Big Sister in the Oakville community.
Social Sciences Teacher
Mr. Brown joined the Upper School Social Sciences Department in September 2020. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western University and a Bachelor of Education from OISE. His professional development has included a focus on Special Education and the Traditional Teachings, Histories, Current Issues and Cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
Having worked internationally for most of his career, most recently acting as the Social Sciences Department Chair at an Ontario-curriculum international school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he brings varied experiences to his current role in the Upper School. Mr. Brown has extensive experience in curriculum development in both Ontario and International Baccalaureate curricula, eagerly working with colleagues to plan engaging and meaningful lessons. He has successfully taught students of all ages from Middle School through to Grade 12 in a variety of disciplines, though teaching about global geography and exploring diverse cultures with students are his passions.
Mr. Brown also enjoys supporting students beyond the classroom whether through clubs, coaching, or attending school events. He has a wide variety of coaching experiences including coaching soccer, rugby, and hockey teams here at Havergal. Having lived and worked in four countries across three continents and travelling extensively during school holidays, Mr. Brown merges his passions for geography, culture and history both inside and outside of the classroom. When not busy lesson planning, in his free time he enjoys playing sports, exploring the outdoors and seeking out new cuisines to try.
Ms. Clark joined the Upper School Mathematics Department in September 2020. Previously the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics and Computer Science at Greenwood College, she brings proven leadership experience and a broad background, having taught Mathematics courses from Grades 7 through to 12.
Ms. Clark has extensive experience in curriculum planning and implementation of new approaches to teaching. Developing and innovating her own practice, along those of her colleagues, has led her to explore problem-based learning and asynchronous, blended and co-teaching strategies in her classes.
She has demonstrated her passion for research in the domain of math anxiety in girls (which she explored as part of her Masters of Teaching from OISE) and for sharing her learning with her peers through presentations at various conferences (including ISOMA).
Health & Physical Education Teacher
Ms. Foster joined the Havergal community in 2020 as a Health & Physical Education (HPE) teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Teaching degree from OISE. Her professional development has included seminars and workshops for coaching, impactful teaching and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), along with additional qualification courses in Special Education.
Throughout her studies, Ms. Foster completed research where she looked at why students stop taking HPE after their Grade 9 requirement, as well as action research on student motivation and creating positive environments in girls HPE. With her passion and commitment to learning, Ms. Foster strives to aid students in creating and maintaining a positive relationship with health and physical activity and hopes to inspire them to be active for life.
Ms. Foster also enjoys supporting students outside of the classroom whether it is coaching a team or cheering students on from the sideline. She has a wide variety of coaching experiences including soccer, volleyball and rugby. When not at school, Ms. Foster can be found on a soccer field either playing or coaching her U21 women’s soccer team.
Languages & Cultures Teacher
Mlle Hogan is joining the Havergal Community this year as a Middle and Senior School French Teacher. She loves sharing her passion and excitement for language learning with her students, helping to nurture each student’s personal journey to finding joy and purpose in learning French. She strives to make language learning fun and relevant to the lives of teens as well as interconnected to the world around us both near and far. Mlle Hogan strongly believes that alongside the study of language, we become more open and connected to other cultures, lived experiences and perspectives, making the world a more inclusive place for all.
Mlle Hogan completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in French as a Second Language studies with a second major in Geography from Brock University, as well as her Bachelor of Education. Additionally, she has been trained through France’s national Ministry of Education as a DELF certified examiner from levels A1-B2, which applies a world-wide recognized framework of language learning to classroom instruction, as set out by the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR).
Throughout her career, Mille Hogan has been on a number of collaborative curriculum design teams and projects aimed at creating lessons and activities for the French language classroom. Areas of focus have included: more culturally responsive and inclusive teaching and content, learner engagement and agency, promoting and enhancing spoken fluency and scenario-based, experiential learning. Mlle Hogan has also focused on professional development in Understanding Traditional Teachings, Histories, Current Issues and Cultures in regards to First Nations, Métis and Inuit People, having completed additional qualification courses from Wilfrid Laurier University on this subject. In addition to this, she has completed her French Language Specialist qualification from Western University.
Having taught previously with MEI International Academy, travelling extensively throughout South East Asia, Australia, and Europe with students enrolled in “Global High school,” and having lived for two years in Switzerland, Mlle Hogan merges her love and passion for languages, cuisine, culture and geography both inside and outside of the classroom. When she is not travelling in her spare time, she can be found cooking up a storm in the kitchen, tending to her urban garden, reading a thriller or else on the golf course trying to keep her score in the 90s.
Ms. Pang joined Havergal as a music teacher in 2021. As an Old Girl/Alum, she strives to foster the nurturing learning environment she remembers from her own time at Havergal, while encouraging her students to develop an appreciation of all that music has to offer.
After her time as a student at Havergal, Ms. Pang studied Music Education at the University of Western Ontario, earning a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education. Outside of school, she can be found playing euphonium with various ensembles around the GTA or walking her dog.
English & Drama Teacher
Ms. Pollack has taught English to students from Grades 7 through 10 at Havergal for the past 16 years. After earning her undergraduate degree at McGill University, she worked at a post-production company in Toronto and then enjoyed a number of years travelling and teaching English as a second language. It was during her travels that she fell in love with teaching, and upon her return to Canada, she earned her Masters of Education and pursued her full time career in teaching.
In her years at Havergal, Ms. Pollack has been involved in a number of capacities at the school such as coaching field hockey, supervising the Grenoble Community Partnership, extending her understanding of how girls learn through the Girls & Learning team, developing school-wide initiatives as a member of the Effective Communication Strategic Planning Committee, singing in the Staff Choir and leading as the Margaret Taylor House Advisor. Her professional growth planning focuses on creating ravenous readers of her students using strategies inspired from Penny Kittle and the New Group Reading test to evaluate reading progress over the middle school years. Currently, she is very much enjoying her new position as a Grade 8 Form Teacher.
Outside of school, she appreciates her time to read (of course), swim, kayak, paddle board, downhill ski, practise yoga and walk her dog. She is a passionate member of her book club, formed with university friends more than 20 years ago. Most of all, she cherishes time with her partner and two daughters.
Middle School Guidance & Learning Support Specialist
Since arriving at Havergal College in 2012, Ms. Steele has held a number of positions and has worked in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. She began her Havergal career as the first Learning Support Specialist, where she was fortunate to work with teachers and students across the grades and to support students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. In her current position as Middle School Guidance Counselor and Learning Support Specialist, Ms. Steele works to build connections and to inspire and engage students through the development of self-awareness and advocacy skills and by helping them to recognize and acknowledge their strengths and needs. She also works to develop programming focused on assisting students to manage their own learning and to acquire the habits and skills necessary for success both inside and outside of school.
Throughout her extensive career at various private and independent schools, Ms. Steele has taken on the challenge of providing leadership and support in instituting and facilitating strategies and approaches to meet the diverse needs of all students. Ms. Steele partners with teachers and students on a regular basis to determine the best way to implement teaching and learning objectives and to provide balanced opportunities. Differentiation has always been at the core of her instructional practice. It is her belief that targeting individual student’s needs and providing the tools and resources required to achieve success will ultimately yield greater academic achievement within an inclusive classroom environment.
Ms. Steele’s commitment to education has led to her involvement in all aspects of school life. As a lifelong learner, with a passion for cycling and the arts, Ms. Steele works diligently to make a meaningful contribution to the school through her participation in extracurricular activities including the Study Buddies Mentor program, the Middle School play, and as an advisor for various clubs and special events. Her outside activities involve her participation in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Barrie 2 Baycrest rides, as well as her active involvement in a community-based theatre group.
Ms. Steele’s educational background includes an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Bachelor of Education from York University as well as additional specialist qualifications in both Guidance and Special Education. Her post-graduate studies include a Master of Education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, with an interdisciplinary focus on Adaptive Instruction and Special Education.
Languages & English Teacher
Ms. Valani has been a part of the Havergal Community since 2020 as a French and English teacher. She enjoys sharing her love of learning languages with her students and bringing cultural elements into her classroom via modern teaching techniques. Before teaching at Havergal, Ms. Valani had the opportunity to teach in Quebec, British Columbia, France and Sweden. She strives to create a sense of wonder about the various communities that exist around the world, their different perspectives and their cultures in her classroom.
Ms. Valani completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature and French from the University of Waterloo and her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia with International Baccalaureate (IB) Certification. Throughout her career she has focused on professional development in Understanding Traditional Teachings, Histories, Current Issues and Cultures in regards to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. Ms. Valani has completed additional qualification courses with Queen’s University on this subject in addition to her Honours Specialist in English.
Outside the classroom Ms. Valani likes to listen to music from around the world, especially in French. She also likes trying new recipes in the kitchen, attending hot yoga classes and swimming at the Havergal pool.
Built with intention, HC-X–Havergal’s innovation hub–is designed to support students and faculty through new contemporary programs and innovative future-ready learning experiences.
It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The Students will develop their independence, sense of self and personal identity as well as their personal and academic toolkits in order to be well-prepared for the Senior School. Part of this personal development is through a variety of purposefully-created leadership opportunities. Recognizing that leadership comes in many forms, we aim to support students in the five interconnected domains of leadership: formal leadership, informal leadership, community leadership, intellectual leadership and leadership of self.
There are many formal leadership opportunities in the Middle School, such as becoming an Executive Member or Form Representative on the Middle School Council, Sports and Sustainability Council Representatives or Study Buddy Ambassadors.
A formal leadership title is not required to make a difference and lead, and not all Middle School students are interested in holding a formal leadership role. These students are encouraged to get involved with informal and community-based leadership opportunities, such as becoming Spirit Week Grade Representatives, engaging in the Exchange Program, participating in public speaking opportunities and volunteering and supporting other school programming and initiatives.
Student agency is the ability and inclination to take action. Students who believe they have the power to positively influence their lives and the world around them have agency. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) education initiative called Learning Compass 2030, student agency is about: acting rather than being acted upon; shaping rather than being shaped; and making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others.
We encourage students to share their perspectives and develop self-direction. We want students to say what’s on their mind. As a result, they learn that what they think and say has the potential to shape their world. In the Middle School, students have more freedom before school, during lunch and after school, which means more opportunities to practise good judgment and understand responsible decision making.
Research shows that children who are supported to develop agency are more likely to flourish in their education, build and maintain positive relationships, be effective team members and leaders and respond constructively to challenges. They also tend to have better mental health in their teen and adult lives.
In the Middle School, students have 40 minutes of dedicated wellbeing programming each day. That time may be spent in Prayers, athletics or arts activities, guidance sessions, Form groups, clubs and many other opportunities. The aim is to provide balance, attending equally to cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual and physical health needs of students. In addition, they explore individual wellness topics in depth, such as stress management, conflict resolution and mindfulness.
Practising the skills of wellbeing helps our students to engage in a healthy way with present and future possibilities and be prepared for the unexpected. They gain the ability to be strategic–to assess patterns, shift perspectives, weigh options and calculate outcomes. With a reliable framework for making decisions, they are equipped to be proactive throughout life, rather than reactive, and can respond to life’s challenges with the confidence that comes from preparation.
Middle School students are encouraged to share their perspectives, say what’s on their mind and develop self-direction. They make increasingly independent choices about their co-curricular activities, by deciding what to pursue and how to balance their commitments. As a result, students feel empowered and learn that their thoughts and opinions have the potential to shape the world.
Our ultimate goal is to help students build the connections they need to thrive individually and through their attachment to others–such as friends, teachers, coaches and counsellors. We ensure there are many ways for students to engage with the school community.
Ensuring a sense of belonging starts well before the first day of school. Our Admission team works closely with students and their families to ensure a smooth transition, in addition to hosting touchpoints and events for new and returning students to connect before the school year begins. A special Orientation Day is held for new students to give them exclusive access to campus, allowing them to learn about the year ahead and start forging friendships. Havergal’s emphasis on belonging is maintained throughout the first few months to make sure new students feel welcomed and settled.
All students are part of our House System, which encourages cooperation and school spirit among students, faculty and staff. These smaller units allow students to get to know their peers who are both older and younger, as well as develop qualities of initiative and leadership. Co-curriculars also allow for both cross-grade and faculty and staff interactions, helping students to connect beyond the classroom.