Go to Wednesday Enrichment Program Page
Ursula Franklin Academy is a Toronto District School Board specialized high school. Our school has a focus on integrated technology, social justice, math and science and a learning platform known as the Wednesday Enrichment Program.
The Wednesday Enrichment Program is undoubtedly the most unique aspect of Ursula Franklin Academy. Students are able to take up to 24 mini-courses each year over and above the regular eight credit courses they take annually to graduate high school. Regular teaching faculty are not the only ones to teach these courses: students, parents, and community members step up to offer a w ide variety of exciting educational experiences for our students (always under the supervision of a regular, though).
On Wednesdays at UFA, we offer students a program with hundreds of courses to choose from throughout the year. Some examples include: Robotics, Debating, Literary Reviews, Yoga, Walking Tours, along with many other wonderful opportunities for skill-based learning and “out of the box” experiences.
Our Wednesday Enrichment Program is unique because it:
Brings together different grade groupings - this allows all grades to learn together facilitating cooperation and friendship between junior and senior students and creating a community of learners
Integrates learning into daily living, creating an authentic educational experience
Allows students to take ownership of the content of their education through their selections and proposals
Engages students as teachers and fosters their leadership skills by facilitating opportunity for student-run sessions
How is the Wednesday Enrichment Program Structured?
Our Wednesday Enrichment Program is divided into 5 or 6 units per year. Each unit typically consists of 3-5 classes, and there are approximately 60 courses for students to choose from in each unit. At the end of the year the student receives a transcript of the courses taken and the mark achieved in each. At any point the student can print their transcript through our Wednesday website.
Our Wednesday Enrichment Program utilizes the following categories to guide student choice:
Science & Mathematics
Past sessions have included "The Physics of Toys", "Kitchen Chemistry", "Kinetic Mathematics", and "The Science of Science Fiction: Is It Realistic?".
Literature & Creative Writing
Past sessions have included "Write for the Theatre", "Pablo Neruda: Poetry Reading, Discussion and Writing", "Bibliophilia", and "Sherlock vs. Sherlock.
History & Politics
Enrichment experiences. Past sessions have included "9/11 Conspiracy Theories", "Toilets Through Time", "Vietnam War Through Film", "What the Heck Is Going On (Current Events)?", "Model U.N.", and "Medieval Warfare".
Geography & the World Around Us
Past sessions have included "Water, Water Everywhere", "Africa Is Not a Country", "Asia at Its Best!".
Various Neighbourhoods", "Fair Trade: What Is It and How Can We Support It?", and "Planning Your Dream Trip".
Past sessions have included “Spin-Cycle!”, “Zumba”, “Beach Volleyball”, “Ski & Snowboard Blue Mountain”, “Weight Training & Fitness”, and “Basketball Fundamentals”.
Health & Well-Being
Past sessions have included “Silent Yoga”, “Healthy Body Images”, “Cooking”, “Habit Making & Habit Breaking”, “Fun, Old-Fashioned Games”, “Wen Do: Women’s Self-Defense”, “Bicycle Maintenance”, “The Politics of Perfection”, “Current Issues in Health and Well-Being”, “Fit Food”, and “Sexual Knowledge”.
Past sessions have included “Turkish Language & Culture”, “Italian for Travellers”, “Café Francais”, and “Hola- Spanish 4 All”.
Nature & the Environment
Past sessions have included “Extremes of Nature”, “Environmental Alliance”, “Wild Mammals of Southern Ontario”, “The Ethics of Zoos”, “World without Us: Life after People”, “Extreme Gardening”, and “Birds of Toronto”.
Visual Arts, Crafts & Design
Past sessions have included “Graffiti: Public Art or Vandalism?”, “Craft Studio: Felting”, “Sewing FUN-damentals”, “Beading/Jewelry Making Workshop”, “Knitting & Crocheting for Charity”, “Interior Design”, and “The Portrait”.
Music, Drama & Dance
Past sessions have included “Guitar Jam”, “Salsa Dancing”, “African Drum Jam”, “Choir”, “Lava Lamp Listening Lounge”, and “School Musical with Noah Freedman”.
Film, Television & Pop Culture
Enrichment experiences. Past sessions have included “Utopic Visions in Film: The Politics of Perfection”, “How to Prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse”, “Films That Changed the World”, “Global Film Studies: Canadian Film”, and “Bollywood!”
Philanthropy, Activism & Community-Building
Past sessions have included “Queen Victoria Partnership”, “Caroling for the Daily Bread Food Bank”, “Peer Mediation Training”, “SASS: Students Against Stereotyping Sexuality”, “Free the Children Social Action Group”, “Animal Rights: Inform and Act”, and “African Heritage Committee”.
Strategy & Logic
Enrichment experiences. Past sessions have included “Chess”, “Logic Games”, “Dungeons & Dragons”, “Vintage Board Games”, and “Settlers of Catan”.
Past sessions have included “Tech Support”, “Robotics”, “Create Your Own Website”, and “Learn to Make Computer Games”.
Past sessions have included “Homework Session”, “Get Organized and Reduce Your Stress”, “Silent Reading”, “Meditation”, “Positive Visualization", "More Mindfulness", and "Yoga".
Extra-help and learning strategy sessions, such as "Math Tutorial", "English Homework Session", "Cross Train Your Brain", "Debating", "Chemistry Extra Help", "Grammar Games", "Grade 10 Literacy Test Prep", and "French Help".
In-school, ongoing projects/initiatives, such as "The Franklin --School Newspaper", "Student Council", "Yearbook", "Solarium Greening and Beautification", "FAA Candy Canes", "Senior Leadership for Grade 9 Learning Skills Conference", and "Landscaping Work".
Planning Your Future
Sessions that include post-secondary planning, financial matters, entrepreneurship, etc. Past sessions have included "Compulsory Gr. 11 Guidance: Post-Secondary Planning", "The Stock Market", "Goal Setting", "Career Talks", and "Economics Club".
This category used by administration for "Student Support" or for special uses like the Grade 10 Integrated Project.
How Are Wednesdays Evaluated?
Teachers evaluate students according to pre-determined criteria (written piece, completion of project, cooperation, etc.). Students are informed of the evaluation criteria in the short description of the course and at the beginning of each Wednesday unit. The marks for all Wednesday sessions are averaged and shared with all teachers. This mark will be combined with a student’s course mark as follows:
First Report Card
no Wednesday mark included
Mid-Term Report Cards
of their course mark
Final Report Card
the Wednesday session mark counts for 7% of the final mark
in all courses
How Does One Create and Submit Wednesday Sessions?
The Wednesday program allows teachers and students to share many interests and expertise that are not necessarily part of their courses’ curriculum. Are you a guitar player? Do you speak another language? Have a passion for Italian films? Create a Wednesday session to share with the school. Students can sign up on line at school or at home by visiting Wednesday Enrichment Program
. At this site, students can read the description of each session and the criteria for evaluation.Also on the site, students can create a proposal to lead a Wednesday Session. Teacher lend their support by “picking up” the session as supervisor.
Where Does One Get Ideas for a Wednesday Session?
A full list and description with more than 300 courses previously taught can be found in the library. Staff and students can refer to these past sessions as inspiration for proposals.
Go to Wednesday Enrichment Program Page