REVIEW OF Avalon Children's Montessori School BY Alum, Onnie Barbour
- Date of Review
August 29, 2022
- Grades (year)
Preschool - Gr. 8 (2009 - 2018)
- University (major)
University of King's College (Political Science )
(4) Overall Experience
My overall experience at Avalon was being able to explore learning in a more flexible manner. The Montessori system allowed for a more organic way of learning and promotes a greater sense of responsibility within me. Every day, I remember that I had my list of schoolwork that I needed to do, and the teachers were always very helpful in making sure that I understood the lessons and the concepts. There was always some activity or event that the class participated in that really established a community between everyone. I've formed some friendships at Avalon which I have kept even now. When I went through my first year at high school, I found that I felt very well prepared by Avalon, both in an academic sense, and a personal sense.
(3.5) School Leadership
Avalon's administration is definitely devoted to the cause of the Montessori School System. They were always approachable and willing to listen to issues and problems. They always promoted a friendly and open environment to all students and organized and mobilized the population for many school events, such as the Terry Fox run. The administration was always reliable in ensuring that students followed the rules and that any incidents were fairly dealt with. Overall Avalon's administration was able to run the school reliably and securely.
At Avalon, all the teachers are kind, understanding and patient. They're always available for students to ask for help and guidance. The dynamic between teachers and the students is a good mix of formal and informal, teachers are figures of authority in the classrooms, but are friendly and approachable. All the teachers were knowledgeable about the general subjects and the supplementary teachers are passionate about the subjects that they teach. Every teacher always challenged students to do their best, pushing them to improve their work and giving feedback on all the work. The teachers were a key aspect of the school's community and atmosphere. I believe that the teachers and the ways that they taught was a huge influence on my own academic and personal development
Avalon uses the Montessori System which is designed around the student, rather than a strict schedule. The class time is completely open and it allows students to choose what they want to learn and work on and when. For the general subjects, such as math, English, social studies, etc. it was up to the student to choose what to do and get it done. For subjects such as French, music and gym, there are allotted times when those classes are. When it came to the students, there was always an atmosphere of cooperation between everyone, if you were struggling, your classmates were more than willing to help you understand. Overall, I think that the academic program that Avalon offers does help to prepare you for the next steps through high school.
Avalon is a school that had when I was a student tons of clubs and extracurriculars. We had the chess club, computer club, track and field club, and more. Avalon also had a program for a late pickup program. There were also other different extracurriculars that the school participated in such as a soccer and baseball tournament with other schools.
The student body of Avalon is about 100 students. The classes are mixed with different age groups, so as you go through the grades you learn to act as a role model to the younger students. The atmosphere of the students is of being prepared to learn and ready to work. Avalon accepts a wide variety of students, you have people of many different backgrounds, both class-wise and ethnically. As well there is a wide range of personalities, there are more sociable kids and more quiet kids. Overall, no matter your background or personality, Avalon welcomes you. Students learn that they are a part of a community and to help others who need help. All in all the students at Avalon are as warm and encouraging as the staff.
(4) School Life
The school was always a warm and welcoming place, the classrooms were clean and well-lit, which boosted your spirits and encouraged you to start the day off. The school always provided a good hot meal and every day there was an hour-long recess at the park. There was always an event or occasion that the teachers and administration were always organizing for the students. Some of the events were the yearly play that the school puts on or the concerts at Christmas and summer. The students were usually happy during the schooldays, and if there was trouble that students were feeling, then the teachers would always try to help in any way that they could. Overall, the quality of the classrooms, food, and building of the school was very good during my time as a student.
Avalon has a great community, the cohesion between the different grades in the classroom creates a strong bond between all students. The teachers and administration help to facilitate this community by creating an atmosphere of openness. Another thing that adds to the community of Avalon is the many events and competitions that the school participates in, such as the play, cross country run, concerts, and track and field. Parents are also involved in the school and in the events that the students participate in. Through my experience, I've made friends which have stuck with me even to this day. Overall, Avalon has a great community, within the student body, as well as through the many different events that the school organizes for everyone to participate in.
(4.5) School Location
When I was at Avalon, the school was at two locations, one was at Wineva at the church and the other on Queen and Lee. At both locations the neighbourhood was beautiful and inviting, the school makes use of the neighbourhood, especially parks for recess and gym. Overall. the location is very nice and the school uses the neighbourhoods and students become familiarized with the surroundings.