REVIEW OF Merrick Preparatory School BY Alum, Konstantin Swientek
- Date of Review
March 28, 2023
- Grades (year)
Gr. 11 - Gr. 12 (2020 - 2022)
- University (major)
Touro Berlin (Psychology )
(5) Overall Experience
Merrick really taught me that school is not the chore that a lot of people make it out to be. The school's unique approach to learning is unrivaled compared to any other educational institution I have ever been to. The support and interpersonal communication between students, teachers, staff, and parents are really incredible which makes a huge difference when it comes to effectively shaping, learning, and meeting each student's individual needs. Furthermore, the teachers are extremely outgoing and will not hesitate to do anything to ensure the well-being of the students which I'm very thankful and grateful for. Merrick prepared me incredibly well for my start in university as we were often briefed on what we should expect in further education, etc... Compared to other first years at my university I can tell a very distinct difference as right from the get-go I knew what I needed to prepare and expect in university, whereas others seem to get lost and off track easily. Overall, Merrick, not only in terms of opportunities and education but also in terms of well-being and support is the best school I have ever attended. Thank you, Merrick!
(5) School Leadership
The school's administration is also a nightlight from my time at Merrick, as they were very involved and open with the students in a friendly way, but also in an academic way. For example, many members of the admin team hosted after-school activities and took us out on various trips and experiences in their own personal time. This is awesome as they are incredibly dedicated to the students as well as the school. They were always there for us and understanding of any situation where we needed help which was a really good support structure to have.
The teaching at Merrick was incredible as the teachers were all extremely passionate about their subject which made learning incredibly fun. Teachers spent a lot of time (and their own free time) ensuring that students were performing to their maximum potential and helping them grow. The teachers were always very patient with students allowing us to take our time to properly understand something. Feedback was also always very detailed highlighting things we did well in our work as well as pointing out what we could improve on and how we can achieve that improvement. This is not to say the learning was easy, on the contrary, actually, it was challenging and difficult, but with the support of teachers, learning difficult topics was made fun and engaging.
Merrick's academics are very strong with students constantly achieving high marks in their work and being encouraged to challenge themselves in their academics. Merrick prepared me very well for my further education as I learned things in Merrick that I use daily in my major such as mathematical topics that my current peers are struggling with but I am breezing through due to what I learned at Merrick. Another highlight with academics is that students often help each other when someone is struggling which directly opposes the competitive environment often found in other schools. Students at Merrick are very much involved in ensuring everyone is doing their absolute best reinforcing the structure that helps everyone achieve what they are capable of achieving!
Extracurricular activities were extremely fun! Things such as football and hockey were always the most popular and competitive as everyone had a lot of fun playing sports against each other. Other extracurricular activities like fitness, games, and reading were also available for students. Merrick also played in tournaments in football against other schools which all the students had a lot of fun in.
Merrick's student body may not be very large but in my opinion, this was a positive. A smaller student body meant that everyone was very close and connected which made the environment feel more like a home rather than a school. Students often did things together and we were all very good friends and still talk and support each other even as alumni. There was a very diverse spectrum of students from all over the world which was awesome as learning about different cultures and meeting people from different places was really interesting. People had a lot of knowledge and stories to share from their homes. Students are always nice, funny, smart, and outgoing to help others as well as being well-rounded and polite.
(5) School Life
The school life at Merrick is great. The rooms are comfortable and customizable and also don't feel cramped in any way. The rooms are extremely clean. The food at Merrick is at an incredible level. The kitchen staff are super friendly and love to take requests for food students would like to see and are super passionate about making the students happy. We often had food from different cultures and in my entire time there I don't think I ever disliked a single meal prepared by the kitchen staff. As mentioned earlier school was made very interesting and engaging thanks to the teachers so I never dreaded attending class or writing essays and doing homework. The school life at Merrick is unlike any other.
Community is Merrick's absolute strongest point. They do an incredible job at involving not only students but parents and other relatives in school activities with parents being invited to every event. Parents are also communicated with frequently and updated regularly on students which helps reassure parents since their children are likely far away from them. I still regularly talk to a lot of staff and other students who were there during my time at Merrick since we all formed great connections and lasting friendships. The involvement with the community near Merrick was also great as we volunteered around the town and attended events in the local areas which really made students feel at home and connected with the environment they are in!
(5) School Location
The school location is amazing. A small and beautiful town with many spots for students to have fun. Students typically walked around and explored the surrounding area after school, as well as during trips to bigger cities nearby. There were also nice restaurants and shops around the school which students frequented in their free time. There were areas to play sports as well which was great!
The application process was very smooth with great communication between not only parents and admissions but also the student applying. During my application process, I had talked to pretty much all the staff before I had even attended the school which helped a lot with getting to know everyone and feeling comfortable when entering a new environment. The admissions team is very responsive and helpful with guiding families on how to apply, what they can expect, and ensuring the process is easy. The admissions team is very knowledgeable and diverse in terms of international experience and helps ensure students have a good experience. Furthermore, everything was clear and explained very well. The admissions process was very relaxed and manageable which was great for me!
(5) University placement and counselling
The university counseling program was very detailed providing students guidance on what to expect, how to apply, and how to maximize their potential in further education. A multitude of representatives came into the school to talk about their respective universities which allowed students to ask questions on anything they were unsure of as well as understand what a university offers and what they can expect if they choose to apply there. We regularly had meetings to discuss how our applications are going and time to ask for any help we needed which was super helpful and helped reduce the stress of starting a new chapter in life. Teachers were really passionate about seeing their students succeed and helped them through every step of the way.