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Inclusive Design - Equity and Diversity Education Resources 412
Inclusive Design - Equity and Diversity Education Resources
(This page is curated by Mme I. Bern)
Click here to watch the Arts Upcoming Movie Trailer

Teaching Diversity, Inclusion, and Well-Being through the Arts... 

As a school, we join people around the world in expressing our rejection of all forms of racism and violence. We reaffirm our commitment to pluralism and to challenging systematic marginalization based on race or ethnicity. Our programs and activities seek to help people learn about and experience the heritage, history, and cultures of different civilizations. It is through better knowledge and appreciation of different civilizations that we hope to promote a society which celebrates pluralism and diversity and where discrimination has no place.
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The Joy of Painting in "Petrikivka Style"

Many students from Ukraine continue to choose Thornlea SS for high-quality education in a safe and welcoming environment. All our Ukrainian students have joined the SHSM program to gain
knowledge and experiences that can effectively inform their choices and help them plan for the future. They participate in many SHSM Arts and Culture workshops to learn new artistic techniques and skills. They especially enjoy this Petrikivka Painting project that relates to their cultural heritage and identity. These types of appreciations and community recognitions can go a long way toward building bonds with Canadian friends and adjusting to the new culture.Website-Inclusive Painting 3.jpgWebsite-Inclusive Painting 2.jpg
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Hurry Up! UPCOMing Art Sales!!!

OUR New Portraits Collection – “Mother and Child”, Inspired by Old Masters​:

Grade 11-12 are selling their artworks. Funds raised will be used to supporour community’s most vulnerable including children, those living with a mental illness, victims of violence, and the homeless.​

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Exploring Our Students' Identities Through Cultural Architecture Designs...

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 Canterbury Cathedral, 
Kent, England
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ai Gardens Temple, Haifa, Israel
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Architectural Design of Kyoto, Japan
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 Chinese Temple, China
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ise Saint-Pierre de Flavin, France
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 The Jiangnan Water Village, Jiangnan, China
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ana Jamatkhana, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
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The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, China

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encin Castle, Slovakia
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The Mystery of The Forbidden City, China
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 St. Panteleimon Greek Orthodox Church, Toronto
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Himeji Castle, the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan
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Here are our amazing Community Art projects!  

Our Art Council and Student Equity and Diversity Team are actively involved in the Inclusive Design Community Painting project. 
 We are in the process of designing and painting more murals to promote themes like social change, respect, diversity, education, and partnerships.
 If you are interested in participating in the Collaborative Community Mural Projects, helping design and painting murals, please contact Mme Bern (
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Community Mural Painting Project "Our Identities"
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​Community Collaborative Mural Painting Project with Woodland PS.


​Community Collaborative Mural Painting Project with Willowbrook PS.
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Exploring Hindu Symbols
We organize field trips to religious institutions and temples, educating our students about different cultures and spiritual and religious values and symbols. Their learning experiences have been translated into beautiful cultural heritage giant murals that are great examples of visual storytelling.
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Celebrating Jewish Heritage
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Celebrating Judaic Heritage Holiday Observances:

Rosh Hahana, Purim, Shavuot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Kabbalat Shabbat and more

Judaic Heritage Resources 
for Professional Learning:

The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network

Celebrating Canadian Jewish Experience – 150th Project

FAST – Fighting Anti-Semitism Together – Choose Your Voice

FAST – Fighting Anti-Semitism Together – Voices Into Action

Never Forget Me, Survivor, Testimony​

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Celebrating Islamic Heritage
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Islamic Heritage Resources
for Professional Learning:

Curriculum Units, Relevant to Cultural Contexts

These resources develop students’ understanding of the
Aga Khan Curricular Strands
 – Ethics, Pluralism, Cultures (with an emphasis on Muslim civilizations),
Governance and Civil Society, and Economics for Development.

Islamic Heritage Resource Guidebook for Educators

Aga Khan Foundation Resources

Aga Khan Museum
Our students' artworks, inspired by Ojibwa and Anishinaabe Legends

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Indigenous Literacy Resources for Professional Learning:

Take a look at our Grade 11 students' "Transforming Spirits" artworks (Medium: Oil pastels). 
These Native portraits were created to illustrate their stories, inspired by Ojibwe and Anishinaabe legends.
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Take this Quiz to test your knowledge to get ready for National Aboriginal Day (June 21-st)

Native Drums, an exciting and innovative website devoted to the rich heritage of First Nations culture and music in Canada.

Great Teachers' Kit offers suggestions for dealing with sensitive issues, for motivating Indigenous students, and for encouraging youth to reflect on culture, identity and expression.

The Senior Art and Senior Writing learning tools provide interactive classroom activities that aid in the research and creative process, as well as encourage critical thinking. The guides outline four projects that explore cultural significance, Indigenous identity and personal awareness.


Celebrating Black History and Heritage at Thornlea

Portrait Paintings "Blessed Be the Woman, Blessed Be the Child" - Visual Arts Grade 11/12

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Discover Thousands of Artworks, Artifacts, and Stories

Black History and Culture

Black History Literacy Lessons

Black History OSSLT Literacy Resources

Literacy Lessons with a focus on Canadian Black History. These lessons will allow teachers to incorporate Canadian Black History in their subject area while preparing students for the literacy test. It is a teacher-friendly resource for teachers in all disciplines to use in their classrooms.

28 Canadian Black History Facts You Never Knew

And while we may only make up about 2% of the population, what we lack in numbers, we make up in our diverse cultures and triumphant accomplishments.  

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Classroom Resources: Videos, Virtual Museum, Posters, and Educational Activities

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Celebrating Asian Heritage at Thornlea SS

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The Asian/South Asian Heritage Resources

May is Asian Heritage Month, a time to acknowledge the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. It also provides an opportunity for Canadians across the country to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage to the growth and prosperity of Canada.

Canada’s cultural diversity strengthens the country socially, politically and economically in innumerable ways. Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures.

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 In celebration of Asian/ South Asian Heritage Month, we invited Yoko Nakamura, Carol Nguyen and Jennifer Su, Toronto-based Asian filmmakers,
to come to our school to speak about a variety of social issues and filmmaking approaches such as documentary, drama, and animation.
Jennifer Su, Film Director, told about her second-generation immigrant experience, her Asian-Canadian identity, and her passion for creative storytelling for social change. She presented her short film "36 Questions" that won DGC and WIFT-T awards at the Reel Asian International Film Festival. Carol Nguyen's films often explore the subjects of cultural identity and family, Asian Canadian voice, the second-generation immigrant experience, failure and success, and what it means to be a Canadian, topics that heavily define her understanding of the world. This is a great learning experience that adds value to our students and promotes further learning.

nlea Student Equity and Diversity Committee
Our Grade 11/12 Visual Arts students have drawn and painted this beautiful Diversity Mural “Reclining Buddha”.
Through written descriptions that accompany each display, you can learn about traditional Chinese architecture and ancient buildings in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Please visit our Diversity Display Wall and learn about Fushimi Castle, Wat Pho Temple, the Gardens of Suzhou, and more…

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Gawdawpalin Temple, Burma
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Great Wall of China
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Pingyao Ancient City,
The Mukden Palace, Shenyang, China.jpg
The Mukden Palace,
Shenyang, China
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Shinto Shrine, Japan
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Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok,
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China.jpg
The Forbidden City, China
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Himeji Castle,
Hyogo, Japan
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Great Wall,
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Fushimi Castle, Japan
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The Classical Gardens of Suzhou,

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Hyangwonjeong, a pavilion of
Hyangwonji Pond
, Seoul, Korea

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Social Justice: Dealing with the Theme of Classism

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Here is how we are helping to address Socio-Economic Challenges in our Community...

Our Art and Fashion Design class students create a Clothing Line and promote their Fashion Brands online. 

Please see below their "Flowers" Design projects, inspired by Boho and Coachella designs.

Our dresses are giving you stylish, on-trend looks at very affordable pricing.

Monies raised will be used to supporour community’s most vulnerable including children, those living with a mental illness, victims of violence, and the homeless.​​

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The book lists make available resources that assist educators to support LGBTQ students and educate others about sexual orientation and gender identity.  


Take a look at our Crime Stoppers Poster Contest Winners!

Our Grade 11 Media Arts students worked in groups, did a photoshoot to give out their powerful messages on Anti-Bullying, Women and Gender Issues and Mental Health. (Programs used: Photoshop, Illustrator, and In-Design_)

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Bahareh Farhadi's Crime Stoppers Poster1.jpg
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Join our Vocal Club "Les Voix" in helping to make a difference!

Our Project Goal is to inspire our students (and the Thornlea community) come together to create a positive space in Thornlea Secondary School. It represents the spark of a new beginning - the beginning of a chance to change and grow. As team leaders, we guide students through an exciting journey of music and vocals. Les Voix Vocal Club is a fun and professional club in a safe environment where students will learn the value of hard work, commitment, and expression of self. We are committed to working as a team to ensure the success of our community. We inspire students and their families to open their hearts and minds to the art of voice. We also facilitate a place where they can be creative and learn singing in a supportive and fun atmosphere. Our vocal club is fun, exciting and a learning experience to all.

Our students have planned, organized, and participated in many schools and community events and celebrations such as Cultural Fairs, Christmas Concert, Asian/South Asian Heritage Celebration, Spring Music and Art Show, and School Spirit Fun Fridays. They have had many wonderful opportunities to improve their leadership skills, build new relationships, and contribute to developing a highly motivating and inspiring school environment. Our Vocal Club students have developed excellent leadership and team-building skills by being active and presentable. We have been rehearsing and performing in front of large audiences which helped improve self-confidence by practicing their presentation skills as well as develop their organization and problem-solving skills. 

The whole school community and, particularly, students with special needs, students from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds were impacted by this project. Our Vocal Club has become a part of our School Equity Committee and will continue to empower students and supporting student engagement, achievements, and well-being by planning, organizing, and performing at Talent Shows, Coffee Houses, Community Cultural Fairs, and Mental Health assemblies. 

We are a family at Thornlea Secondary School and we are very thrilled to have the opportunity to share our talents, skills, and positivity within the school’s atmosphere. Although our mission is to change the environment in our small school and connect everyone together, our Vision and our long – term plan are to raise awareness about Equity and Mental Health and Wellness. We will continue to ignite student learning through promoting Mental Health, Mindfulness, and Well-Being. We believe that it will have a long-lasting impact not just on our School Community but on the greater community and across the Board as well. 

Great News! We received SPEAK UP Project Grant $2500.00! The money will be used to purchase Music/ Tech Equipment that will benefit Our Vocal Club, Equity Team, and the whole school community.


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Asian/ South Asian Heritage Celebration

On Tuesday, May 31-st we held our annual Asian/ South Asian Heritage Celebration to honor the diversity and uniqueness of the Thornlea Community. It was a great opportunity for students to learn from different cultures and appreciate the diversity present in our school.

Our students put on wonderful cultural displays to tell about the music, arts, language, cuisine, local customs, holidays, celebrations, food, drinks, and interesting facts.

A big thank you to all the students that made this year’s Asian/ South Asian Heritage Celebration a big success! Special thanks to Ms. Bern, Mr. Mahalingam, Ms. Seguin, and Ms. Shariff for planning and organizing this event! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it on!











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