Traditions play an important role at Linden, serving not only as symbols of the school's past, but also as opportunities for the girls to create their own traditions in the present. The connections generated by these traditions are a central part of the Linden experience and unite alumnae of all ages.
Parents new to Linden are frequently struck by the strong relationships they see between students of different ages. One of the ways in which Linden fosters these relationships is through our twelve school “families.” Each family is made up of approximately twelve girls from varying grades and one or two teacher advisors. Every family is named after a female figure from world history or mythology. New students join a family on their first day at Linden, and remain in that family during their whole time at the school.
Each year on the first day of school, we celebrate Linden's birthday. At our birthday party, the girls gather in their families for a game. Each family member receives a small piece of paper with a word on it. These individual words can be assembled to produce a quote related to our school theme for the year. Students must work together in their families to figure out the quote. Each family then reads their quote to the whole school, with each girl sharing the word on her paper. By the end of the birthday party, each girl has used her voice to speak in front of the whole school, a first step in learning to speak publicly with confidence. The birthday party is also our first All-School activity of the year.
Once each week, students and teachers gather in the gym for an hour-long activity organized by one of the families. All-School activities encourage families to collaborate, share ideas and learn new things about themselves, their community, and the world. Most All-Schools have a social justice focus, either educating the community about a social justice issue or working on a social justice cause. Above all, All-School builds and strengthens relationships between students of all ages. Younger students find role models, mentors, and friends in older girls, while senior students gain confidence in taking on leadership roles.
Week Without Walls
Each fall, as part of our experiential learning program, The Linden School devotes an entire "Week Without Walls" of carefully selected field trips for each grade. We have recently visited:
Bark Lake Leadership Centre
Call of the Wild Eco-Lodge
Direct Bearing Wilderness Camp
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Glen Bernard Camp
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Leslie M. Frost Centre
Sainte Marie Among the Hurons
The Science Centre
The Museum of Textiles
Textile Museum of Canada
Theatre productions in Toronto
The Stratford Festival
Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum
Woodland Cultural Centre
Student/Teacher Athletic Competitions
Throughout the year, we hold several action packed, fun filled events where students and teachers challenge each other in various sports competitions.
Festival of Lights
The Festival marks the end of the first term and includes presentations by The Linden Band, Drama Club and much more!
One of the best examples of Linden’s approach to science is our annual Science and Technology Fair, held every January. All students – from grade 1 to grade 12 – complete a project for the Sci-Tech Fair. Linden community members are invited to participate at the Fair as “Willing Listeners”. The job of the Willing Listeners is to listen to students present their scientific findings and to provide constructive feedback to our young scientists. Above, you can see a word cloud of the topics students investigated for the 2015 Science and Technology Fair.
During Spirit Week, students celebrate Linden by participating in various activities and special contests. The week serves as a great opportunity for senior students to organize events, and bring forward creative ideas and activities which include all students.
Linden's Annual Art Show is a spectacular evening showcasing the work of our talented young women.
Senior Drama Night
This event showcases our students' dramatic skills in performances of various forms, including monologues, movement pieces and short plays.
Each year senior students fundraise and organize a trip with their senior teachers. These trips provide graduates with an opportunity to celebrate their final year at Linden while learning outside of the classroom. Recent trips include Cuba, Belize, and Trinidad.
Celebration to Greet the Summer
This event marks the end of the school year and includes presentations by The Linden Band, Drama Club and much more! Students receive achievement awards, and special ceremonies mark the graduation of our Grade 8 and Grade 12 classes.
Our Grade 12 graduation ceremony is unique in many ways. Graduates are crowned with laurels of linden leaves by Linden alumnae, who travel back to Toronto from all over the world to take part in this special ceremony. Instead of a single valedictorian representing the voice of the class, each graduate gets the opportunity to make a valedictory address. Every speech is different, but they are all meaningful, both to the graduating class and to the larger Linden community.
Summer Day Camp
Each year, senior Linden students have the opportunity to organize and run Linden’s Summer Day Camp Program. Students may use this opportunity to build community volunteer service hours, or they may wish to use this experience to earn some extra money. The program runs during the last two weeks of June for students in Grades 1-6. Camp activities include field trips, theme dress-up days, cooking, crafts, computer games, swimming and much more!