Preparing for the Transition from Elementary to Secondary School through Grove Prep for Grade 9

Student swimming, students carrying canoe, students in canoe

A smooth transition from elementary to secondary school is a peaceful transition for the student, their family, and the other people involved in the child’s life. After two atypical school years that included a combination of virtual, in-person, and hybrid learning, accompanied by stressful world events, many students face increased worry about transitioning from Grade 8 to Grade 9. In order to foster student success at the academic and social levels, Lakefield College School is offering Grove Prep for Grade 9

What is Grove Prep for Grade 9?

Grove Prep for Grade 9 is intended for students entering Grade 9 in an Ontario secondary school. This five-day intensive program will help prepare students for high school, both academically and socially by exposing them to key course material and immersing them in hands-on, outdoor activities on our beautiful 155-acre, waterfront campus.

Students will spend their mornings reviewing key math, science, and English concepts while building on the social-emotional skills needed to help them prepare for the shift to secondary school. By focussing on compulsory, high-demand subject matter, students can get the refresher they need to feel confident in their courses and prevent the stress of needing to “catch up”. In Grove Prep, we address the underlying skills gap between elementary school and high school courses that many students find challenging to overcome. 

Social skill development is also an area of focus and one that we find is beneficial for all students as teaching styles and classroom management changes after elementary school. From communicating face to face (a skill that many students were unable to practice in 2020) to sharing ideas to asking for help, these are all important skills that students need to strengthen as they reach the upper grade levels to ensure success in a secondary school setting. 

Throughout the afternoon, students will choose from a wide array of exciting and engaging traditional camp activities and sports. One of the exciting parts of high school is the opportunity to join new sports teams, try out new clubs, and develop new interests and passions. In Grove Prep, students have the chance to get a taste of these exciting activities to get a better idea of what activities they’ll want to devote their time to in the Fall. Students will enjoy water sports, such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding in addition to sports, such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball, and other camp activities. The overnight program is rounded out by evening programming at our waterfront and on our beautiful rural campus.

Student holding canoe paddle, students paddleboarding, students canoeing

What will students learn?

Students will learn some of the key concepts needed to help them be successful as they transition from elementary school to high school. They will review key math concepts, such as integers and fractions; science concepts, including hands-on lab work; and English concepts to ensure they are prepared for the academic rigour high school students are exposed to in their first year.

In Grove Prep, students will learn how to set goals (both personal and academic), how to be a leader in their grade, and helpful strategies for managing the stress that comes with transitioning to high school. Students will develop collaboration skills and strengthen their group work skills; they will also learn techniques for active participation in class discussions through the Harkness Method – one of the preferred methods of classroom discussion at Lakefield College School and other top schools across North America.

In addition to learning math, science, and English, students will learn about the land and Indigenous culture on which the program operates. They will gain a deeper understanding of the history of the local environment and communities and learn the importance of recognizing and expressing gratitude to the First Nations, Inuit, or Métis land that they live and work on. 

Students can improve their physical fitness and strengthen their social skills by participating in a variety of activities, such as learning wilderness skills at our Northcote campus; enjoying waterfront activities on Lake Katchewanooka, including canoeing, sailing, SUP, and swimming; and taking part in our main campus activities, such as personal fitness, yoga, and our high ropes course. Through Grove Prep, students can also prepare for high school sports by trying new activities and honing their skills in sports such as tennis, badminton, field hockey, basketball, soccer, and beach volleyball. 

One of the overarching goals of Grove Prep for Grade 9 is to help students develop the specific social-emotional skills needed to transition to a new school, including self-confidence, responsibility, and resilience. We aim to help students develop their most confident self and teach them how to be comfortable asking questions, making connections with people, and sharing their thoughts and ideas with others. These transition skills not only apply to academics, but also to other opportunities that arise in a high school setting, such as team sports, arts, personal health, and fitness.

Student running, student on high ropes, student in canoe

Why Students Should Attend Grove Prep

In Grove Prep, students can enjoy the best of both worlds by preparing for their academic journey and having an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful campus at one of the best times of year. After a year of hybrid virtual learning, students can enjoy authentic, interactive experiences while spending time outdoors in the glorious summer weather.

Transitions can be a challenging time for teenagers. Having the opportunity to interact with other students who will also experience this transition can help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with major life changes. We will help students build the type of organization and executive functioning skills needed to function in Grade 9 so they can have a confident start to the new year.

Grove Prep was an awesome experience, especially as an international student since I had to change schools and countries.” – Rayhan ’24

“As a boarding student, Grove Prep helped me meet the peers [I was] going to [be in] school with, which was scary since it was a big change for me. Grove Prep also [helped] me prepare and know what is to come for the new school year.” – Snigdha ’24

“The Grove Prep program helped me understand more about my community, more about myself, how the courses would work. It also gave me a sense of what my friend group would be like and who would be in it. I strongly recommend that other people try this program for themselves and their future at LCS.” – Ashwyn ’24

Lakefield College School is committed to providing students with a transformative learning experience that delivers on our commitment to Authentic Learning, Community First, and Outdoors Every Day. Through the combination of academic prep in the morning and social and physical activities in the afternoon, Grove Prep for Grade 9 provides students with a truly well rounded experience that prepares them for their secondary school career.