REVIEW OF Académie de la Capitale BY parent, Chandra Iyer
- Date of Review
June 22, 2020
JK - Gr. 2
(5) Student Experience
Our son joined the school in Junior Kindergarten. It was our son's home away from home. The Kindergarten classroom is a beautiful and tastefully done bright natural sunlit room. Any kid entering the room will be totally attracted to it. That is what happened to our child. Firstly, he formed a strong bond with his teachers and classmates and that helped him in responding to the curriculum in a positive way. The teachers were kind, compassionate, and nurturing. The teacher was able to acknowledge his individual needs while exposing him to new experiences with a variety of new activities. The school and staff instill confidence at a very young age. The first stage performance by our child was always going to be nerve-racking for all involved. However, it was done so beautifully that even after 5 long years it is vividly on our minds. With the IB approach, he liked the encouragement of independent thinking and to come up with his own ideas. The school projects and workshop methods made learning fun for our son. He especially liked the “family-type” environment where older kids worked together with younger grades.
(5) School Leadership
Some of the key elements of Academie De la Capitale leadership that we found were, firstly, exceptional, extensive organizational knowledge of the instructional environment. At every village meeting, the leader articulates a purpose and goals for the academic year. Has a vision to look beyond today/tomorrow. The leadership recognizes accomplishments of all students, staff, and parents. They have a great communication process. This is a leader that truly inspires and motivates others and most importantly has integrity. The school has strict rules, regulations, and policies for administration, students, and parents. We were informed of any incident that happened at school where our child was involved and the actions that were taken. The principal was always on top of every such action and overall we found that the school takes effective action for any behavioural issues so as not to affect other children. There are staff present at all times monitoring and assisting. School leadership and administration use the approach "Positive Discipline” which involves family meetings and an authoritative approach to addressing behavioral problems.
Academie de la Capitale uses various approaches in their teaching for example experiential learning and project-based learning that requires students to investigate and respond to a challenge or problem that they created themselves or were assigned. School uses the IB curriculum, which allows a child to explore knowledge across a range of disciplines. For example, their units of inquiry’ approach is used in all subjects with both a local and global perspective. In addition, the school encourages students to actively participate in extracurricular activities like RUBE-GOLDBERG Challenge Day, Caribou contests, etc. Our son found learning Math truly fun with the open-minded approach by teachers who are constantly staying on top of new pedagogies. They are all knowledgeable and also engage in one-on-one communication as needed. Teachers at this school bring academic concepts to life with visual and practical learning experiences helping students understand. They are very effective in explaining complex ideas in a simple way. The most likable attribute we found about the teachers at Academie de la Capitale is they believe every student is capable and they do all they can to find ways of making each student successful.
Academie De la Capitale has a conducive learning environment with skilled teachers and supportive administrative staff. The school is vetted by the Ontario Ministry of Education as well as the IB authorities. They provide individual attention as they consider every child is unique and their objective is to have a balanced positive learning environment where kids would flourish. The school's academic strengths are their attention to detail and creativity in classrooms. The school provides a critical-thinking classroom setting where students have the ability to explore their surroundings, learn new things, and are encouraged to challenge other thinkers. Academie De la Capitale provides an opportunity for students to learn by putting greater emphasis on the process of learning rather than the end product. Academic programs at this school provide academic skills that encourage students to become more efficient learners.
Academie De la Capitale offers impressive extracurricular activities. From indoor clubs like Master Chess, TED talk, RC club, after school coding programming clubs, 3D printing, Jiu-jitsu etc. Outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, water polo, soccer, badminton, basketball. As such parents don't have to search for other after school activities and/or worry about taking kids for winter activities as all of the above could be accomplished during school hours, thereby being less scheduled after school makes parenting a lot simpler. Education at Academie de la Capitale is very versatile involving arts, sciences, social science, math and by exposing students to these activities expands their education outside their comfort zone and that adds more depth to their existing knowledge.
Academie de la Capitale school spirit is fun and older grade students are great mentors. All members of the school come together at events and activities and celebrate successes that create a sense of togetherness. Various activities like spirit week where students dress up in line with days’ themes like reading buddies, where older elementary students are paired with younger ones for community reading time has benefits for both groups. There are also park buddies, which are science workshops where students from younger grades are also paired up with older kids. Our son who was in Grade 1 was paired up with a Grade 7 student for a Rube-Goldberg science project. It was a great fun learning experience for our child building a marble run machine using recycling material. They also write the school newsletter getting the kids from the younger grades involved.
(5) School Life
Students at Academie De la Capitale have keen interest in learning new things. They take responsibility and manage a good relationship with teachers and fellow students. They never believe in rote memorization and most important is having discipline and respect for society and culture. This is possible as the school instills these qualities in a subtle way. Their methodologies and policies, classroom physical environment give opportunities to students to thrive. Our son had never been to preschool. He started his school life from Academie de la Capitale. He was around four and anxious and so were we. The result was our child went to school full of enthusiasm and clearly enjoyed his classes. They have continued to provide exceptional education online in these interesting times for all of us. Teachers have put in a lot of effort creating activities that involve balanced screen time, parental involvement, and at the same time making it fun for the kids. We are amazed at their ability to come up with some challenging, creative out of the box projects. The school has managed to host events online like award ceremonies, EXPO exhibition, keeping it normal. Our child looks forward to his online learning each day.
We have found Academie de la Capitale recognizes the social and emotional attachments that community members, for example, parents and relatives of students or professionals who work have for the school. The school and the leadership generally seek to broaden the involvement of parents and try to get diverse viewpoints on their governance, and school programming. Sometimes parents visit classrooms to contribute their knowledge and skills to the learning. The school organizes “Parents workshops” showcasing the school’s line of work and giving parents a better understanding. For example, one workshop involved parents as students and given the experience to observe, reflect, and conceptualize. This workshop was very effective and gave us a broader view on the IB curriculum. The school welcomes parents' involvement in school activities and sharing the broad cultural backgrounds by celebrating different events and inculcating them as part of the school program thereby exposing the students and staff to different cultures and practices.
(5) School Location
Academie de la Capitale is situated in the heart of the city with convenient access to city parks and recreation complexes. School is designed with an ‘open concept’ with no walled classroom. This allows for visibility and confidence that everything is above board. For parents, it gives us a sense of security and safety for our child. The school has a small playground but has access to a nearby park where the children can play soccer and other outdoor activities including skating in the winter courtesy of the skating rink built at the park by a well established neighborly business outfit. The school has a gym but also uses nearby public recreational facilities for waterpolo. The school always tries to get the children out into the playground every day as part of its belief that outdoor activities are as important as those in the class. Their physical education program as well as the Jiu-Jitsu programs supplements these outdoor activities.