Our kids were too young to participate in any type of formal extra curricular programming, however, the B.E.N summer camp was an excellent way to help our kids transition into the school in advance of the Fall and to build fun and positive associations with the school in advance of beginning the formal academic year. Ilaria and the team were very flexible around start times and allowed our kids to attend half days (Ilaria even recommended in advance that for our son we start with only a 90 minute block and work up to a full morning). This type of care and attention to transition plans ensured that he had an excellent start of the school year and helped to lower our own anxiety about the start of the school year. The multitude of family events ie/ Pancake breakfast, family movie night, holiday concert etc were excellent opportunities for families to meet and interact but also for the kids to play together and come together as a community.
There are many community building events at the B.E.N., but not necessarily competition opportunities. The school, for example, does not have a soccer team at this point that would travel to other schools for a game. There is definitely, however, a focus on being well-rounded. The children did academic work, learned how to cook and garden, spent time with children of all ages, contributed to school chores and clean-up, had time to play and relax, and had a vigorous physical education program (modeled after the Canadian Cadet regimen).
At The B.E.N. incorporates a variety of enhanced programming that helps develop well-rounded students. In their time spent at the school, my children had the opportunity to take lessons in ukelele and recorder, they performed Shakespeare, wrote their own plays and designed sets. They performed songs in both English and French, and even had the chance to do workshops to learn about hydrolics and engines in real-life, hands-on ways!
The BEN is small physically (the space) and from a student body perspective. This does pose a challenge when it comes to certain extracurricular's activities such as competitive sports. However they do their best to fill the plate of the students with extra learning opportunities. Science filed trips to High Park in Toronto, dinner theatre, music lessons, entering school music challenges. Growing plants from germination and sprouting. We are able to provide our daughter with exposure to sports and other physical activities outside of her school life.
The students at the BEN are exposed to sports, arts, nature, and many other subjects. There are many extra-curricular events such as field trips and musical/theatrical concerts. The students perform musically at the school concerts, with each class having the opportunity to showcase their talents. Students sing, dance, act, and play the ukelele. My son's class had gone on field trips to a play and to the park and local fire station.