Great results are now back from last year’s EQAO literacy test: Nearly 80% of our first time writers were successful on the test. These results, though very good, are not without hard work from many teachers and staff within TCI. We begin preparing students in grade 9 for this very important test through  literacy quizzes that take place every second Friday in both grade 9 and 10 home rooms. Through this, students not only get extra reading practice but are able to see that literacy is an important skill that runs through all of their subjects. On top of this, it is an annual event at TCI to have grade 9’s write a practice test which our staff and some staff from our feeder schools mark. These practice tests give us a better understanding, as early as possible, who will need extra help to prepare for the grade 10 literacy test. Through these and a number of other interventions, the staff at TCI prevents any student from falling through the cracks and missing the support which he or she needs. In this way, the literacy test is merely a very good reason to find the students who we can help to be not only successful on the EQAO test, but to be more successful in all of their classes.

Just a date to keep in mind…the grade 10’s will be writing a practice test on December 10. Though this test will count toward a classroom mark, the test is more important for teachers to have a better idea of how best to help your child improve his or her writing.




Language development is central to students’ intellectual, social, cultural, and emotional growth and must be seen as a key component of the curriculum. When students learn to use language, they learn to value the power of language and to use it responsibly. They learn to express feelings and opinions and to support their opinions with sound arguments and evidence from research. They become aware of the many purposes for which language is used and the diverse forms it can take to serve particular purposes and audiences.

Language is the basis for thinking, communicating, learning, and viewing the world. Students need language skills in order to comprehend ideas and information, to interact socially, to inquire into areas of interest and study, and to express themselves clearly and demonstrate their learning. Learning to communicate with clarity and precision will help students to thrive in the world beyond school.

Literacy is about more than reading or writing – it is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices and relationships, about knowledge, language and culture. Those who use literacy take it for granted – but those who cannot use it are excluded from much communication in today’s world. Indeed, it is the excluded who can best appreciate the notion of “literacy as freedom”. (UNESCO, Statement for the United Nations Literacy Decade, 2003–2012)


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) measures whether or not students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. All students across the province write this test on the same date, usually in late March each year.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT): Highlights of the Provincial Results, 2014–2015 from EQAO on Vimeo.

Sample Paper-based OSSLT

The sample test is a complete test in the same order and with the same instructions as an actual test. The use of the sample test provides parents, students and educators with a test similar in length and format to the one provided during the actual administration and illustrates the types of reading and writing items (questions and prompts) that students will encounter.

·         Question Booklet 1

·         Answer Booklet 1

·         Question Booklet 2

·         Answer Booklet 2





Sugar high from the last day of school 
Getting fuzzy rush down my spine as the 
--Sun - 
Beams on my brown skin. Toasting it 
--Golden - 
Excitement of being caught in the rain, trapped 
Then assimilating with 
--Dance - 
Little things, lasting impressions, joy nailing that speech, that's happiness 
--seen - 
Walls closing in, no one understands 
Depressed in sights, everyone's happy, you envy 
In a tunnel of 
--Light - 
Darkness at the end 
A discrete corner, head slouched 
buried in a pillow. 
Reasonless wailing 
It's gone. 
                                  - Amal Yusuf

My Getaway

Water sparkled like stars at night

Sun shined like a beam or ray

Providing warmth and a glow

A sun-kissed feel

Threw a stone

In the liquid material

Watched it take

A leap of faith

Bird swoops in

Feasts on its prey

Like a fisherman setting bait

Memories drowned

As sun went to sleep

Sky became dark void

City lights flashed like fireflies

Adorning the night sky

Moon casts a spell

Creating enchanting setting

This is my vision

Of what reality holds

Where the ocean cradles the shore

Where the waves sway

An escape from crushing realities of life

                           -Mital Patel

Department Staff

Mark Bernard

Assistant Curriculum Leader

Roy Robert
English Teacher
Robert Falvo
English Teacher
Kristen Chen
English Teacher