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Waldorf vs. Reggio Emilia schools

Comparing Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools in Canada

What’s the difference between Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools? And which school is a better fit for your child: Waldorf or Reggio?

Below, we compare Waldorf to Reggio Emilia education in Canada. This should help you to understand the difference between these two types of schools. It should also help give you a good sense of whether either option is right for your child, and if so, which one. Read more


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List of Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools

 
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  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $18,000 to $21,000

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Dufferin/St. Clair Ave. West
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $15,600

Hudson College is a non-denominational, co-ed school offering superior academic programs from JK‒Grade 12.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • Reggio Emilia
Hudson College 15600 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Spadina/St Clair Ave W
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $32,860 to $62,250

Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
The Bishop Strachan School 32860 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Victoria, British Columbia
    Richmond Rd/McRae Ave
  • K to 12 Coed
  • $19,260 to $68,810

Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Progressive
St. Michaels University School 19260 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Newmarket, Ontario
    Mulock Drive/Bayview Avenue
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $25,270 to $66,580

Pickering College's fully-integrated Global Leadership Program (JK to Grade 12) inspires students to become agents of courageous, ethical and positive change with the confidence, knowledge and skills to shape the future.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Progressive
Pickering College 25270 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $18,000 to $28,430

Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Lawrence Avenue West/Avenue Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,850 to $61,900

Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Havergal College 33850 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Avenue Road/Bloor Street
  • 4 to 12 Coed
  • $22,000 to $27,000

Dragon Academy is the right fit for gifted students, grades 6 to 12. Dragon's small, discussion-based classes go beyond the classroom into our world-class city . An inclusive, exciting, can't wait to get there school.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
The Dragon Academy 22000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $18,000 to $18,800

Richland Academy is a progressive, innovative Reggio inspired and International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for children from 2.5-years to Grade 8. Voted #1 Private School in Richmond Hill 4 years in a row.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Richland Academy 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $5,040 to $19,950

Waldorf Academy offers programs from childcare to grade eight in downtown Toronto. Its average class size is 18 students.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Waldorf Academy 5040 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $8,800 to $14,620

Halton Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario offers a licensed preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 to 12. It’s average class size is 15 to 21 students.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Halton Waldorf School 8800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave W
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $13,050 to $17,990

Robbins Hebrew Academy (RHA) teaches students to think critically and globally, in a community that builds self-esteem and life-long character. RHA is Toronto’s first Jewish school to be CAIS accredited.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Robbins Hebrew Academy 13050 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
    Lakeshore and/Kipling
  • NS to 3 Coed
  • $9,000 to $15,000

Vincent Massey supports students in reaching their individual potential through a balanced education; setting your child up for success in all avenues of life.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Vincent Massey Academy 9000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • PS to 9 Coed
  • $6,170 to $12,130

Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and challenging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Calgary Waldorf School 6170 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • JK to 6 Coed
  • $3,600 to $18,900

Oak Learners offers a creative learning atmosphere, working with your child’s unique learning style to inspire their strengths and interests.

  • Day
  • Reggio Emilia
Oak Learners 3600 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Donald St/Frances St
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,000 to $10,300

Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Academie Providence 9000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $10,500 to $16,200

Aurora Montessori School offers a comprehensive, nurturing and enriched program for Toddler to Grade 8. Our enrolment of 375 day students has an average class size of 15 to 24.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • Reggio Emilia
Aurora Montessori School 10500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Eglinton/Caledonia
  • PS to 6 Coed
  • $7,350 to $11,900

B.E.N. offers an engaging, caring learning community.Focus is on qualities and skills alongside Ontario Curriculum. Small class sizes, daily outdoor activities, art classes and workshop. Parenting workshops are offered.

  • Day
  • Progressive
B.E.N. School-House 7350 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
    Royal York Road/Dundas Street West
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $9,980 to $28,060

Kingsway College School offers programs for PK to grade 8 in Etobicoke. Its average class size is 17 to 21 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Kingsway College School 9980 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bloor St W/Jane St
  • JK to 8 Coed
  • $14,300 to $20,400

Summit Micro School offers an alternative program from JK to Grade 8. Reggio Emilia inspired Kindergarten and Project Based Learning programs inspire and engage while developing essential 21st Century skills.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Summit Micro School 14300 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • PS to 5 Coed
  • $12,000

For the past 36 years Kingsley Primary School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade five in Etobicoke. Its average class size is eight to 12 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Kingsley Primary School 12000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $18,000 to $36,950

We uphold and pursue a pragmatic, balanced education with an emphasis on art, sports and music to cultivate talents to lead the new century.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • Waldorf
Dewey Institute 18000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
    Feltham/Tyndall
  • PS to 9 Coed
  • $1,600 to $6,250

ArtsCalibre Academy empowers students through creativity, mindfulness and leadership. We offer Preschool to Grade Eight in 2017/2018, adding one grade per year through to Grade 12.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
ArtsCalibre Academy 1600 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed

Waldorf schools

The Waldorf philosophy is, in many ways, opposed to that of mainstream schools. Waldorf schools have several progressive classroom practices that you won’t find in many of today’s schools.

Flexible curriculum

Waldorf schools and preschools don’t have a standardized curriculum. Instead, they give their students quite a bit of freedom to work in a broad range of areas and pursue their own interests. And teachers carefully tailor curricula to meet each student’s unique learning needs.

Whole child education

While Waldorf schools do cover core academics, at least at the elementary level, this isn’t their whole focus. They aim to educate your child more holistically—intellectually, emotionally, and practically. Teachers develop children’s aptitudes for thinking, feeling, and acting.

Delayed academics

Waldorf schools delay formal academics. Formal instruction in math, science, and reading isn’t given until grade 1. Unlike in many other other schools, it isn’t offered in preschool or kindergarten. Kids don’t start formal academics until they’re developmentally ready, and ideally, interested.

Focus on the arts

Creativity and the arts are a big focus. These are infused throughout curriculum. Many lessons begin with a story, song, or dance. Moreover, schools devote a lot of independent time to arts and crafts, dance, music, and other arts subjects.

Imagination and creativity

Pretend play is encouraged in preschool and kindergarten. There are lots of toys, art materials, and games in the classroom. Kids spend lots of time playing indoors and outdoors. The aim is to promote imaginative learning, creativity, and social and emotional skills.

Practical learning

Students do plenty of hands-on learning, at least up until grade 3. They learn and practice important practical skills, including cooking, cleaning, and gardening. They also learn crafts such as woodworking and sewing.

Limited technology

The use technology such as TVs, computers, and tablets is minimized. Too much screen time, it’s thought, can interfere with interaction and social development. Students first need to master “fundamental, time-honoured ways of discovering information and learning, such as practical experiments and books” (The Herald Scotland, December 2, 2007).

Click here to view a list of Waldorf schools

Reggio Emilia schools

The Reggio Emilia approach to education, like the Waldorf approach, is unique. It also involves several progressive classroom practices.

Self-guided learning

Reggio Emilia schools and preschools encourage self-directed learning and use what’s called a “co-constructed curriculum.” Teachers carefully observe and monitor students in class to gauge their interests. They use this knowledge to prepare the learning environment and find meaningful work and activities for each student.

Emergent curriculum

Teachers don’t use a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Nor do they try to impart knowledge to the class through lots of lectures or direct instruction. Instead, they observe children, ask them questions, and listen to their ideas. They thereby learn what kids are drawn to and plan their curriculum accordingly.

Importance of projects

Reggio schools make projects a big focus. These are mainly proposed by students, though teachers do make suggestions and act as a sounding board. Projects can be short- or long-term. They allow children to pursue deep and interesting ideas, and explore them in great detail.

Relationship-driven classroom

Each class is viewed as a system of relationships. Teachers consider each child’s relation to their family, other children, the teachers, the school environment, the community, and wider society.

The Reggio classroom is set up to promote lots of interaction. Children interact with teachers throughout the day, and they often work with their peers in small groups of two to five.

Many modes of learning

Teachers create environments where children can use many modes or languages to learn (sometimes called the “hundred languages.”) These modes include drawing, painting, modelling, sculpting, music, dance, poems, stories, metaphors, and more. Children are also given a wide range of materials to express themselves, such as paint, clay, wire, and natural and recycled materials.

Parent involvement

Parents are considered a vital part of education. In fact, parents are encouraged to be very involved in school. This can take many forms, including day-to-day interaction, advising and working with staff, helping out in the classroom, and attending field trips.

Click here to view a list of Reggio Emilia schools

Waldorf vs. Reggio Emilia

Main similarities between Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools

Main differences between Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools

To learn about the differences between Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia schools, read our guide. You can also read our guides comparing Montessori to Waldorf and Montessori to Reggio Emilia schools.

To learn about the differences between various preschool approaches, read our comparison guides. In separate articles, we compare Montessori to Waldorf, Montessori to Reggio Emilia, Waldorf to Reggio Emilia, academic to play-based, Montessori to play-based, and Montessori to academic preschools. If you want to compare specific schools or preschools one-to-one, visit our compare hub.

Series: Waldorf schools

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