The B.E.N. School-House showed our family the power of a nurturing school community - and it's ability to foster each student's innate capacity for learning, growth, compassion and resilience. My children cherished the time they spent at the school, and now that they've moved on, even they can see how their B.E.N. experiences have helped to shape them! After an incident at her school recently, my ten-year old daughter commented that "If only every student here [at my new school] had the love and attention that we had at the B.E.N., everything would be different for them." The B.E.N. is a really special place where each child truly benefits from the caring, conscious and intentional interactions and curriculum that the community provides.
When my children were at The B.E.N School-House, I truly felt that I had partners in raising my children. The school administration and teachers worked together seamlessly to create a warm, welcoming, and positive school environment for children and families at all times. We could always count on regular communication, all issues being handled fairly, and children being supported in their learning - whether it was learning from a mistake, celebrating a success, or working through a challenge.
The small class size and wholistic approach to curriculum and programming at The B.E.N. was one of the things that drew us to the school. The teachers really support children's learning and growth in all areas of development throughout the early years and up into grade 6. They have a keen understanding of children's development and the ability to support the many different learning styles. Over the years, our family has watched students flourish under the instruction and daily guidance of the teaching staff - and have been thrilled with our children's transition into the public school system! Not only did The B.E.N. have them academically prepared, but they were also well-equipped with the social skills and incredible emotional literacy to handle any challenges that come their way.
As stated above, the small group size and wholistic approach to curriculum and programming at The B.E.N. was one of the things that drew us to the school. The teachers have a respectful approach that supports the needs of each individual student, helping them to develop strengths and goals academically and socially/emotionally. The B.E.N. provides a supportive learning environment that truly considers their strengths, challenges, and goals of each child within the context of the whole school community. We have seen the power of providing students with this kind of environment, and engaging learning opportunities, and had the pleasure of watching students make incredible leaps and bounds in their level of focus and academic ability. We could always trust that our kids were engaged in programming that was both respectful and challenging.
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 small community and class sizes at the B.E.N. School-house create a beautiful space for children of all ages to really get to know, support and learn from one another. For most students, it seems like the school feels like a second home, and that they are part of a big family, working and learning together. My children enjoyed lots of opportunities to work with other students, while also having space to work independently. They also enjoyed engaging with and supporting the younger learners in ways that led them to greater empathy, and an incredible degree of emotional literacy. All of the students also have age-appropriate responsibilities that help the day run smoothly - by having everyone work together to make the school a space that's inviting and good for learning, students develop a healthy sense of responsibility, pride and belonging.
Over the last twenty years, I've had the opportunity to work professionally with schools of all kinds, and as a mom of four, I have been part of a lot of different school communities... but it wasn't until we found the B.E.N. School-house that we discovered how engaged and supportive a school community can really be. And it was exciting to see the power of that strong sense of community for all of the students! Each year, The B.E.N. has a number of different celebrations and community events. And it's always such a treat to see so many families and students from years past out at the events. The sense of community and support is an absolute treasure and we are still so thankful to be part of the community - even after our children have moved on.
As a mother of four, with experience in public, alternative and private schools, with children ranging from grade school to university, I can say that without a doubt, I have never experienced a school where my children so consistently couldn't wait to get up and out the door each morning to get to school... and they never wanted to leave! Often at the end of the day, I would enjoy watching them play as they wound down the day, giving me an opportunity to really get to know the other families, students and teachers. The B.E.N. School-house is truly a place where children love to learn. The students are happy there because they feel supported and cared about. They are listened to and respected through the fun and easy times, as well as the challenges and struggles that sometimes come with all the learning and growth of childhood.
The B.E.N. School-house is in a quiet residential community, with a lovely school yard, gardens for planting, and lots of opportunities for walks to the local parks and green space, bakery shops, grocer, garden centre, splash pad or tobogganing hill. The school and students are a lively part of the community and enjoy lots of walks and community engagement!