The academic program at Howlett is intense. They are training kids to work hard and always do more. Sometimes we wonder if kids should be kids more, but at the same time, the students seem able to soak up all the information presented to them, and they typically reach the high goals set for them. Students are learning to think critically, ask questions, and articulate their ideas. There is a lot of emphasis on developing skills to write in different formats, and presenting clear, organized, grammatically correct work. Students are also encouraged and supported to advance in mathematics far ahead of the Ontario curriculum. There is instruction in art, music, health and phys ed that occurs outside the classroom, but the other subjects are covered by their primary teachers (2 per classroom). This year the curriculum includes quite a lot on Canada's First Nations, and the students have been supported to think critically about Canada's history in that context. There are also many field trips built into the school year so students can learn more about different subjects outside the classroom: they went to the CN tower to talk about physics and forces, for example, and to the art gallery to talk about representation of different subjects.