Reviews of Académie Westboro Academy

Ottawa, ON  |  Grades JK - 8  |  Shortlist

 

Review by: Maxim Froeschl - Student (Jun 30, 2021)

"Westboro Academy has many clubs and teams to offer."


Student Experience

I love Westboro Academy. As the year passes by, you get to know most students as the community is very small. Although some may see the low number of students and classes as a bad thing, you really get to make some life lasting friendships with your classmates, and other students in the school. Another pro of the small community and low number of students per class, is that the education one gets is tapered to what is best for you. For example, if you are struggling in a certain subject or having a hard time understanding a lesson, you can always feel free to email the teachers or reach out to them in person to help you understand the work covered. Honestly, if there is one thing that I wish I had known when I started at Westboro, it would be that I should enjoy every minute I spend with the amazing group of people you are with as the time flies by, and you wish you could restart your time at the school.


School Leadership

I greatly appreciate the time and effort the staff puts into everything! From the principal, the director of academics and other academic personnel who are always open to a conversation or just a greeting, to the teachers. The teachers are always giving their best to make each student feel safe and protected at the school, as well as their efforts in the many lessons and activities they plan for their students. They decorate the classrooms so that the students have things to refer to when doing their work. An example of this are the posters that the teachers put up in the class that remind you of their expectations for each class as well as reminders of some content covered in previous lessons.


School Location

In grades 7 and 8, during lunch break, students are allowed to leave the recess yard and head off to the nearby park. On top of this, during the early and late stages of the year, when the weather is warmer, teachers like to spend some time outdoors on the soccer field beside our school to do work, as it expands the work areas. During science class, the science teachers likes to take students outside into nature to work on some units. The main location we attend is the creek right down the street.


Community

Westboro Academy is the closest thing to home that there is to me. The teachers and staff feel like family members, they are always there when you need them, and they do their best to prepare you for life. Even though we moved locations last year, the new location was easy to adapt to as it was like a heart that was moved into a bigger body; the furniture was all the same, except in a different building. I have been with those pieces of furniture and the people around it for my entire life. From what I have seen and heard, the students at Westboro Academy feel included and appreciated just as much as I do. Everyone is treated the same and deserves to be!


School Life

The first place I would take the visitors are the JK and SK classrooms. I remember as a young student, that those were the classrooms that made me love Westboro. The rooms are filled with different games, work places, decorations, and colours. The Junior Kindergarten classroom has a carpet, which is home to the morning discussions; desks, where students do crafts and start leaning things such as the alphabet; and stations, where at the end of the day, the children get to socialize and play with their friends. The Senior Kindergarten room is full of decorations. The day from SK that I remember most was when Halloween was nearing and Mme. Louise, the teacher at the time, took out the Halloween decorations. I felt like I was in a room that represented Halloween and the teacher was the heart of the special day.


Students

If I had to explain the school to someone who has never seen it, I would see it most as a village. It is a small community where everyone knows everyone. I believe the students that do best at school are the ones who try the hardest. Attending Westboro Academy is no walk in the park. The workload can get heavy, and when it does, students get tested based on how hard they push their limits. The students who are willing to stay up late at night to finish their work, and add as many details to their answers as they can tend to do better than students who do not complete work, or finish the work but put minimal effort. When there are only 18 kids in a class, sometimes some kids may feel left out. However, the students have known each other for so long, and build great friendships during their time. Although it may take some time, everyone will feel included.


Extracurriculars

Westboro Academy has many clubs and teams to offer. There is a chess club, where student can play chess during one recess per month; there are house captains, where students are divided into four groups, each one with the goal to earn house points, and the team with the most points at the end of the year wins a trophy, and each one of the teams votes for a team leader. There is a student council, where students get to elect on class representative from each class as well as a head boy and head girl. And there are also sports teams, where classes get to participate in tournaments where they face off against other independent schools, as well as extracurricular music programs such as choir and band. All the teams and clubs at school do not have tryouts, and therefore anyone who wants to participate in the club/team can.


Academics

As mentioned in previous answers, the teachers at Westboro Academy are always willing to adapt to the students they are teaching. If a student is struggling with certain content, teachers could work on them 1 on 1 or the student could go to resource where they work with another teacher that helps break down the content so that the student has an easier time understanding it. If a student is finding the work too easy, teachers could provide them extra work pages or work from the grade above them. I entirely believe the things we are learning at Westboro will help us in later life. The main example of this is the double curriculum our school has. Most schools in Ottawa teach one of two curriculums : the Ontario (English-based) curriculum or the Quebec (French-based) curriculum. Westboro Academy teaches both, in the goal to develop bilingualism. Living in a bilingual country, knowing the two languages really helps in the short run (being able to communicate with most Canadians) and in the long run (aiding in careers that need bilingual workers).


Teaching

I think the amount of work given is just right. If you ever feel you are having too much work, whether it is tests or just homework, teachers are always flexible. They are open to reduce the amount of work, give you more class time to work on it, or extend the due date. If you are experiencing too little work, teachers are open to give you extra work that covers earlier content. At the start of every school year, teachers always make their expectations clear, some of which are for the students individually, and others are for the class as a group. They also keep poster and signs up in their classrooms whether it is their mottos, quotes, or general expectations. When I think of success I think more of it as being from one about themselves rather than one about others. I believe the teachers see it like this too; trying to help students achieve what they consider success for themselves.




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