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RDS: A Future Design School

Future Design Schools are forward thinking educational institutions that create high quality learning experiences that are design-driven and future-proof

Portrait Of A Graduate

RDS is the first Future Design School in Toronto

The Rosedale Day School was selected to be one of the first in this global network because of our proven track record and commitment to exceptional student experiences. Our partnership with Future Design School seeks to amplify the incredible work that is already being done in your child’s classrooms, and to support their educators to  consider new approaches to engaging students in meaningful problem solving that address the world’s most pressing needs.


Joining the Future Design School network puts The Rosedale Day School among an esteemed, forward thinking group of  schools, districts and industry leaders around the world. This partnership means  transformational strategy, professional development for educators, and innovative programs for students.

Our Partnership

Since 2015, Future Design School has supported RDS in strategic planning, teacher goal setting and action planning, and implementing project based learning; leveraging Journey Based Assessment; and using design thinking in the classroom, among many other areas.

Our Journey

Our journey to becoming an official Future Design School started in 2023, as we launched the program in Middle School. Over the course of the year, teachers worked closely with an expert coach from Future Design School. Starting with identifying commitments to enhancing student well being and aligning with the RDS Strategic Plan, Meaningful Learning for Life, the Middle School teaching and administrative team intentionally and creatively redesigned learning experiences for students in Grades 6-8. These experiences are grounded in Future Design School’s Tenets of Exceptional Learning: nine research-backed elements that have been proven to make learning more engaging, relevant and fun for students. 

With support from our dedicated Future Design School coach, each teacher has thoughtfully integrated specific skills and attributes from the Future Design School Portrait of a Graduate into their curriculum — artfully weaving together Ontario Curriculum Expectations with the Learning Indicators from the Portrait of A Graduate continuum.

Embedding the portrait of a graduate

Skills such as Constructive Doubt, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Collaboration are critical for success in a world that is changing quickly. That’s where the Portrait of a Graduate comes in to uniquely prepare students for life. 

Teachers at RDS are supporting student development of these skills by embedding  them into lessons, projects, assignments and unique experiential learning opportunities. Leveraging a Journey Based Assessment approach, which prioritizes the process over just the end product (i.e. the test or the “thing” they make) teachers focus on providing students with ongoing, timely descriptive feedback on their skill development over time and supporting their Conscious Pursuit of these crucial skills. They use conversations, observations and products to identify where students might need more support, and also where their learning can be extended.

This new approach builds on the incredible classroom experiences RDS has been cultivating for years coupling the Ontario curriculum requirements with meaningful skill development to ensure that our students are ready to take on the world.

Resources for Learning More About the Portrait of a Graduate

Portrait of a Graduate: Parent Guide

Portrait of a Graduate: FAQ