Welcome to North Hill Private School. My name is Doriana Velardo, and I am the Director, and co-founder of North Hill Private School.

My journey began during the faculty year at York University. That year proved to be the most fulfilling, and inspiring year of my life. While collaborating and exchanging ideas on educational models with professors and fellow colleagues, I realized that I was on the right path towards fulfilling my passion for education. I became particularly interested in conducting extensive research on educational models, and began making comparisons, and drawing conclusions about various pedagogies. As I continued my research, I knew that my commitment to quality education would take me one step further. It became my mission to establish a school that would provide a unique and innovative program that would value both the arts and academics equally, and would ultimately address the “whole” child.

Consequently, my search led to two significant pedagogies that are world-renowned; namely the Montessori method and the Reggio Emilia Project Approach. Dr. Maria Montessori understood that children are highly competent, and can easily absorb complex skills through active involvement with specially designed materials. “The mind is engaged through the hands.” My particular interest in adopting the Montessori method would primarily be implemented within the Language Arts and Mathematics component. In this way, it would offer a perfect balance with the Reggio Emilia Project Approach.

Like Montessori, the basic principle of the Reggio Emilia Approach is that children are naturally inquisitive and eager to learn. This approach fosters children’s intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation, including words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, dramatic play, and music. In this way, children reach a surprising level of communication, as they make their thinking and learning visible through their many natural “languages”.  As children are provided with endless opportunities to collaborate and debate with their peers, they are challenged to use higher-order thinking skills as they encounter and explore various topics. Project work provides an authentic learning environment that fosters enquiry and makes learning exciting and fun.

I can proudly say that North Hill Private School was the first school in York Region to implement the Reggio Emilia Project Approach. Since the inception of North Hill in 1996, my staff and I have continued to be inspired by this educational model, and have successfully combined it with the Montessori method.

Please come and visit us at North Hill Private School (Woodbridge) so that you may become more familiar with our unique and enriched curriculum that values both the arts and academics equally; a program I am proud to have delivered in York Region for over 20 years.

Along with my dedicated staff, we continue to explore, discover, and imagine the future with your children. We invite you to join us in our vision!

Ms. Doriana Velardo, B.A., B.Ed.,
Director and Co-founder of North Hill Private School