Our School

Sir Robert Borden HS

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

Our School

Sir Robert Borden High School is a large semestered secondary school situated on a large tract of parkland, immediately adjacent to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board on Greenbank Road just south of Baseline Road. The school is named after Canada’s 9th Prime Minister. Our excellent facilities include an auditorium that seats over 650, a large gymnasium with a brand new floor, a large exercise room, music rooms, upgraded science labs, computer labs, large athletic fields, and classrooms equipped with Smartboards and/or digital projectors.

Students and staff at Borden comprise a community dedicated to creating an environment in which learning for everyone is valued. Borden has a tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts; students consistently perform above the provincial standard in EQAO math and OSSLT tests.

Our Students

Borden is enriched by its perse ethno-cultural and multilingual population. Students attending Borden are from over 45 countries. Nearly one third of our students speak a language other than English in their homes. We celebrate in our persity and use this strength to promote acceptance and global citizenship. Elementary feeder schools include Greenbank Middle School, Frank Ryan Elementary School and Hillel Academy. Some students from outside our community attend Borden for our special programs. Typically, more than 88% of our graduates continue their studies at university or college.

Our Staff

Our 65 highly educated and committed teachers and 20 dedicated administrative and support personnel are the school’s foundational resources. SRB Staff draw from their wide range of interests to support both the learning environments of the classroom and extracurricular activities. Borden supports teacher education by hosting and mentoring a number of student teachers from Ontario universities.

Our Community

Parents and Community

The school is located in the heart of a well-established residential community which includes Arlington Woods, Centrepointe, Craig Henry and Graham Park. Housing in the area is primarily a mixture of single-family homes and rental townhouses. Most of our students live within walking distance of the school.

Sir Robert Borden High School works closely with students and parents and with the wider community to achieve our mission. The Sir Robert Borden School Council meets in our library on six Tuesdays during the school year at 7p.m. Details are available on the school website. Parental involvement is an invaluable resource in providing support and direction for our community school. Parent and community members also offer volunteer support of extracurricular activities such as student clubs and sports.

Mission Statement

The students and staff of Sir Robert Borden are dedicated to creating an environment in which learning is highly valued. Our goal is to inspire learning in all students while promoting well-being, creativity, critical thinking and leadership.

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

Most of our students take courses at the academic level and are on a pathway toward a post-secondary University or College education. SRB offers a complete academic program with enrichment courses in Science, English, and Math. An advanced placement (AP) course in Calculus is offered. We also provide opportunities for our students to follow other pathways. Examples of alternate pathways include: cooperative education, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, and OCDSB Focus Programs (house building, landscape & design, cabinet making, manufacturing & graphic design).

Students enrolled in French Immersion may complete the requirements for the Immersion Certificate. SRB also offers French proficiency testing through France's Ministry of National Education (DELF testing).

SRB offers an extensive Cooperative Education program wherein students earn credits and valuable workplace experience. Past placements have included: Ottawa Heart Institute, T.V., Italian Cuisine, automotive service, automotive body repair, architectural firms, emergency services, and event planning services. Other specialty programs include: International Languages, Outdoor Education, Fitness, Broad-based Technology, Computer Science, and Fine Arts. Borden is the site for two OCDSB Specialist High Skills Major programs: (1) Justice, Community Safety and Emergency Services; and (2), Architectural Design. For college-bound students we typically offer 1 or 2 “Dual Credit” courses that students earn a college credit in addition to a high school credit for the same course. Complete 4-year programs offered from the Music Department include: traditional music, vocals, and keyboarding.

Sir Robert Borden has had a rich tradition of success and participation in curricular and extracurricular areas of Physical Education over the years. The school's curricular program offers students the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of courses in either English or Immersion French. Students can choose from regular Physical Education, Personal Fitness, Outdoor Education and Exercise Science programs. To complement these programs the school has invested heavily in upgrading the school's fitness center which is now second to none in the city.

Classroom Organization

Sir Robert Borden is a large semestered school with four 75 minute periods that provides flexibility in course offerings and credit attainment. Students in grades 9,10, and 11 take 8 credits per year. Senior students can slightly reduce their course workload as appropriate.

Every Friday, the entire school participates in DEAR (Drop Everything and Read). This program encourages reading proficiency and enjoyment - key traits of a lifelong learner.

SRB has school-wide wireless internet access and well equipped computer labs. Borden promotes the curriculum-directed use of student-based devices. SRB has five Smart boards (in Math & Social Science) and most classrooms are equipped with a digital projector. Elmo document cameras and Mobi Clicker technology are used in many classes.

Our Social Science Department encourages self-directed learning through Constructivist learning practices. This method of learning is used in all grade 10 history classes and is employed by several teachers in the department at all grade levels.

Special Education and ESL Programs

The Special Education team at SRB supports and serves students with varied learning needs. These students benefit from a continuum of services including in-class support, resource assistance, technology support, and learning strategies courses. Our school is one of three OCDSB sites with a Learning Disabilities Program. As well, we are home to 12 Autistic students integrated at various levels. Although SRB does not offer an ESL program, this year we hosted 30 international students from 9 countries wherein English is not a primary language. 

Clubs and Activities

Student involvement is promoted by an active Students’ Council and the Athletic Association. We have a number of clubs in the school, including: Key Club now connected to Amnesty International, the Ski and Snowboard Clubs, Anime Club, AV Team, Fitness Club, B.A.S.E. (Borden Active Students for the Environment), Gay-Straight Alliance, the Dramatic Society, Jewish Culture Club, Christian Club, Jazz Band, Muslim Prayer Group, Multicultural Club, and Link Club. Our school also offers intramurals, a fitness club, archery club, yoga, and gym activities.

We promote active and healthy lifestyles through the LIVE-IT-UP program (sponsored by the City of Ottawa), an on-site Sexuality Clinic, and fitness-related programs.

Extracurricular athletics are offered in a wide variety of sports spanning 30 teams. With the help of dedicated coaches these teams have regularly been competitive and commonly make playoffs. Recently, Borden teams competed at OFSAA in baseball, tennis, cross- country, track, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, and badminton. Borden has developed a reputation as a basketball school; in the last eleven years, the school has represented the city 5 years at provincial championships.

Students have the opportunity to display their talents and achievements in drama productions, visual arts displays and music performances. An international travel and cultural experience is generally offered to students. In the past, students have traveled Ghana, Paris, Belize, New York and Ecuador.

Safe Schools Initiatives

At Sir Robert Borden, our aim is to create a positive school climate that is a safe and harmonious environment for learning. We base our school practices on the principles of character development, progressive discipline and restorative justice. We nurture the self- esteem and self-discipline of each student through shared responsibility of families, students, and staff. Other safe schools initiatives include: First Aid/CPR/AED Training, Self-Defense Training, Anti-Bullying Campaign, Character Development, Equity Committee, Diversity Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving. A positive school climate is also promoted through Student Council activities, our School Resource Officer, student assemblies and conferences, and an on-site Rideauwood counselor.

Facilities and Resources

The 650-seat John Henderson Auditorium at SRB is a focal point for special school related activities. A large library houses an extensive collection of books as well as additional computers for inpidual work and internet access. The library is open every day at 8:30 am and after school every day so students can complete research, homework, and assignments. The school’s well equipped music facility, fitness centre, new gym floor, and communications labs provide programs designed to meet the evolving needs of our students.

Achievement and School Improvement Planning

Measures of Student Achievement and Success

In June 2015, Sir Robert Borden graduated 176 students; 107 were Ontario Scholars (average mark over 80%); 28 were OCDSB Silver Medalists (average mark over 90%); 19 students earned a Red Seal Diplomat for completing all aspects of their SHSM program; and, 74 earned Immersion or Extended French Certificates. Many SRB graduates are recognized for their academic excellence through scholarships and awards. Our grade 9 through 11 students also demonstrate high levels of achievement. Last year 82 students in grades 9, 10, and 11 earned Silver Medals and 308 earned Honours Certificates. Borden students also commonly place in the top 25% of students competing in Canadian math, computer science, and business competitions. Additionally, Junior and Senior Concert Bands consistently qualify for National Music Festival. 

Standardized test results are another measure of student achievement and success. Over the past 5 years, EQAO grade 9 math results show that our academic students meet the provincial standard at a rate that is 8-10% above the Board and provincial rates. Last year, an impressive 94% of our students met the provincial standard. Our applied students also perform better than the Board and provincial rates; last year, they met the standard at a rate of 13-15% above the Board and provincial rates. Our students also consistently pass the standardized grade 10 literacy test, the OSSLT, at a rate of 5-10% above the board and provincial success rates. Last year, 91% of our students attempting the OSSLT for the first-time were successful.

Borden’s upward trend in credit accumulation continues. This is a result of our Student Success program along with resources focused on student achievement. In particular, early intervention for students not meeting expectations results in credits being rescued or earned on time rather than being recovered at a later date. We also support struggling math students with an after school Continuing Education class. Rather than fail an academic course, these students meet the expectations of an applied course and earn that credit instead. Last year, eighteen students were successful in this endeavour. 

School Improvement Plans and Initiatives

Our school’s focus this year continues to be centred on instruction (engaging tasks) and assessment, evaluation, and reporting practices. Our staff is actively adopting the OCDSB’s direction on these practices leading to improved student learning. Sir Robert Borden’s School Learning Team monitors a number achievement and school climate indicators required for an excellent and safe school. Major initiatives address literacy, numeracy, character development, cultural persity, boy’s achievement, perseverance and resiliency, and bullying prevention and intervention.

SRB has had a sustained focus on OCDSB’s Community of Character attributes. Our students plan activities that promote respect, perseverance and appreciation within the school community. Students also have the opportunity to take part in different conferences and workshops that are offered around the city. Examples include conferences presented by Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa and a “Free the Children” assembly from the organization “From Me to We”. Our school also participates in campaigns such as Phones for Foods, Schools for Schools, Canned Food Drives, and Operation Christmas Child.

Leadership Recognition

“Leadership in the OCDSB is the demonstration of personal initiative to achieve a positive outcome.”


SRB’s Students’ Council provides leadership to the student body through its active promotion of school spirit, weekly foyer activities, and planning and implementation of school events. Numerous and varied leadership roles within Link Crew, wherein senior students mentor grade 9 students, encourages positive character development. Through Students’ Council and Link Crew, students organize and run: dances, Casino Night, Student Show Case, and a BBQ & Movie Night. SRB students are actively involved in the community, leading activities such as canned food drives, phones-for-food campaign, snowsuit funds, etc. Key Club organizes numerous successful student-lead fundraising events for charities. Our students are also recognized for their leadership in inpidual and team athletics. School bands and senior drama students participate in a number of public events in our community. Recognition is provided both formally and informally through the granting of awards, especially the Fall Awards Ceremony and the June Graduation Ceremony, and through celebrations such as the Athletic Banquet and the Arts Show.


Administration, teachers, educational and technological assistants, office and custodial staff, form the Sir Robert Borden team which provides leadership, direction and support in the achievement of our educational goals. Our staff members have a wealth of professional qualifications, including Bachelors and Masters degrees in Arts, Fine Arts, Physical Education and Sciences, as well as additional qualifications in Special Education, English as a Second Language, Music, Visual Arts, Guidance, and Computers in Education. Staff actively participated in numerous Board-wide professional development activities in literacy, numeracy, character education, differentiated instruction, restorative justice, safe schools, and assessment and evaluation. Many of our staff put in countless hours supervising extracurricular clubs and bands, coaching sports teams, convening and organizing OFSAA events, charity fundraising charity, and leading professional learning.


SRB benefits from an active School Council that serves in an advisory capacity to the governance of the school. Parents participate in the Music Department’s Parent Council, coaching of sports teams, and assisting in the supervision of school activities and field trips. Our Parent Council has organized and hosted presentations for our community.


Sir Robert Borden has strong links with the community; for example, through co-op, students engage with community in workplace learning. Our co-operative education employers are honoured at an annual reception for their close affiliation with our students. In addition to the required 40 hours of Community Involvement, our students contribute numerous hours to various community organizations and events. Local businesses support many of our fundraising activities and the school yearbook. Community representatives attend school events, ceremonies, assemblies and commencement.

Further information about the school can be found at the following websites:

1 – http://www.ocdsb.ca/

2 – http://www.eqao.com/

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