REVIEW OF Bodwell High School BY Alum, Elijah Jonas
- Date of Review
January 24, 2024
- Grades (year)
Gr. 12 (2012 - 2013)
- University (major)
University of Manitoba (Marketing)
Direct marketer Self-employed
(4) Overall Experience
My overall experience at Bodwell was a learning curve in my life. I learned that we are all the same in the world and no person can live on an island. We all need each other in order to grow healthy physically, mentally, socially and even spiritually. Coming from a developing country into an already established working system was eye-opening. For me, it presented itself as a window of vast opportunities for me to absorb as most of the experiences were solutions to the so called developing world problems and questions I had encountered previously. I only attended Bodwell for 2 semesters but I can testify that most of my personal traits and characteristics I carry to this day were molded in Bodwell. The level of equality and etiquette training they practice resonates highly among students.
(4) School Leadership
Looking back at my time at Bodwell High School, the school leadership and administration were keen on detail, open-minded and precise. They had to deal with a very diverse group of students in terms of race, religion, culture or background. This would mean they had to be extra careful in dealing with each and every different student without prejudice or favor. They served the students well and carefully. Respect is earned and the staff did a pretty good job earning their uttermost respect from the students in return. The Administration would also empower a group of students to mediate between the student board and staff which would be elected by the students and staff. The student Parliament would help air any concerns and ensure there is proper communication between the students and the staff.
I liked the teaching style at Bodwell High School. The students were close to the teachers because of the small class-teacher ratio. The teachers would maintain a formal engagement during class time but would also be available for informal support and would even play basketball with the students at the beach during free time. It gave the relationship a sense of belonging more than just accomplishing the job. Learning becomes easy when the teacher notices some traits of the students outside the classroom and uses those traits to better assist the student when struggling with a problem in class. It was an ecosystem perfect enough to ensure growth was attained either way. Methods were not limited to the conventional book and classroom setup. I know everyone loved pre-calculus because of Mr. Hallis. That's one real gifted teacher both in academics and personal development. He always made everything relatable.
The academic strength of Bodwell High School is that even their intakes are competitive in the sense that they enrol already excelling students on board with experienced teachers. The majority of teachers at Bodwell are experienced with vast years of service. There is also a lineup of substitute teachers available to fill in case of any unfortunate unseen event. Students are always advised to have a full-load course meaning you aren't allowed to have a free period, either you take a class for extra credit or sign into the library. School time is for school work. There was also a group of other students who were available to tutor peer to peer, some students found it more helpful discussing with a fellow colleague and would find it easier to grasp the concept. The workload of my two semesters had me ready to take on my first year of university without any issues with class attendance, I was accustomed to the attribute.
Bodwell High School had a very rich extracurricular program and was also open and eager to develop a non-academic program. Being a small school it would be a lower probability of finding talent as compared to a bigger school. The Coaches did not see that as a setback but rather an advantage for team bonding and team spirit. If there wasn't an activity a student wanted there was room to start a club with the school's full support. People would even have a party club for hosting holiday parties just for fun and even inter-house Olympics.
The student body was about less than 550 students. It was a very diverse group. Different nationalities but one body. The students were keen to exchange culture and ideas. All was done through love and compassion without any discrimination. The typical student was an international student who came to gain English experience and literacy hence the tendency and policy of English Only Policy. Of course, students were assertive of their roots but were very willing to learn new content, which obviously most had traveled thousands of miles to be at Bodwell High School. Tuition at Bodwell is quite expensive but very worth it. You would find most students coming from middle-class families and of course a few from well-off families but when in school we are all equal in school uniform and cafeteria food and same bus. There was no social class segregation, it was one big team when on premises.
(4) School Life
Student life at Bodwell was made to balance out evenly so as not to puncture the student during the semester. I was not sure if I would fit into the developed world well. If their fun was going to be my fun. When I got to Bodwell I figured most of it to be adaptive and seamlessly fit into the community. I found myself joining some of the non-academic activities and trying out new ones such as snowboarding. I remember that was my first time playing in the snow. It was a trip up to Whistler mountain, up to date still one of the best memories of my entire life. Students looked forward to planned events that took place over the weekend to de-stress. Most of the events were actually organized by motivated students. My advice when going to Bodwell is to at least have 3 new hobbies, you'll discover some hidden talents you did not know of, and funny enough, might potentially change your career path.
Bodwell is on the North Shore where most elderly retired people reside. It's away from the city craziness in downtown. Most of the houses for homestay are situated a bus ride away from the school. Parents are welcome to visit students when in semester is rolling. Since most students are international, even visiting parents from abroad are welcome to attend an open house designed for them specifically. For those who are local, they would also attend sports games, even the homestay parents would come to support the Bruins as well. Alumni affiliation is growing, a few of the students remain in the city after graduating, they either return to their home country or move to another province but will remain engaged through newsletters and social media platforms.
(4) School Location
The school is located on the shore. It also neighbors an elementary school. It's within a business district so no residential areas within 1 km of the school radius. Students are allowed to move about freely, though with a curfew in place as well as a set check-in and check-out system. This ensures the accountability and safety of each student. Overall it is a quiet and peaceful environment conducive to studying and learning with little room for distraction.
If applying from outside I would require applying at least 6 months prior to the intended semester of enrollment to ensure time is adequate for each step. Checking the requirements and checklist and ensuring all documents are in one place before beginning the process also helps ease and fasten the process rather than wait for the request per each document. This is because the wait times for a Canadian Visa (if one is required) are quite lengthy and unpredictable and the admission team cannot do anything as this matter involves immigration. For me, my admission officer would always respond within 24 hours and provide all supporting documents for my visa faster than intended and even mailed the original ones halfway around the globe. I did not have any issues with eligibility verification at the visa office as I've heard some other international students complain about. My process was smooth. All my credits were transferred perfectly. I did not have to retake any tests including the SAT as English was my first language though not native.
(4) University placement and counselling
The counselling program at Bodwell High School is befitting. They have counsellors from all regions of the world who can relate to different situations each student would be facing as well as background aspirations. They guide you according to your strengths, weaknesses and potential. There is always an assigned counsellor whom you are obligated to meet with for a certain number of hours per week. Furthermore, it is not only limited to your assigned counsellor but also you could book a session with any of the counsellors any time. We had career days where various universities would come in and pitch to the students and would enlist prospective students who would then be getting information via newsletters, pamphlets, etc. to keep up to date with deadlines and special announcements. Most of the students often get early admission into post-secondary institutions because of the trimester system. 12th-grade students would graduate in early April. Hence most final examination marks will be available earlier too.