Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Bond Academy (2021)
Bond Academy alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Michael and Michelle Hack, Dawn Kumar, Charmaine Lane, Olga Bakonyi, Catherine, Eileen had to say about the school.
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Michael and Michelle Hack — alum
Michael and Michelle, alumni of Bond Academy, describe the school's unique opportunities, impactful curriculum, and the lasting memories and relationships during their years at the school.
What I appreciate most was the opportunities that Bond Academy presents to you. Because of the size of the school, you can do quite a bit. And I didn't really understand that people couldn't do that before until I went to University and talked to people. I can't believe you did all that at school, because you could join any clubs you want. You could be on any teams you wanted. As long as you really wanted to be there, you could try to join the team.
The one thing that stood out for me was the way we could shape the curriculum. I didn't really notice that until I went to University. Especially in the first year, and later years too. I was surprised to learn that in high school or elementary school. Especially in science, the way we were taught biology also stood out. When I went to University, much of it was a recap and repetition of what I had already learned.
When you join teams and clubs, you create lasting memories.
The community experience at Bond Academy is unique. How you say hi to everyone, and everyone knows you. They know what you're doing. It's probably like the community experience with it. My whole university experience is online, so it's not really much, compared to the whole community vibe at Bond.
A lot of teachers at Bond Academy have been there for a long time, like elementary teachers. In high school, we just go upstairs and visit them because we've known them for so long.
I learnt that sometimes even on a sports team, you lose, there's a lot to learn from that, sometimes more than winning. You have to capitalise on every opportunity as learning experiences and life lessons.
Dawn Kumar — alum
Dawn, an alumna of Bond Academy, talked about the school's supportive environment, unique teaching approach, the benefits of extracurriculars, and the value of student-led initiatives in personal growth.
What I appreciate the most was the open-mindedness of the Bond community. No one will give you that condescending look, or put you down when there's an idea you want to pitch in. They encourage you to do your best and to put in your ideas. They will try to help you see where you went wrong, or even focus on the good things you've done or the good ideas you've provided because the main interest is your education at the end of the day. So everyone is there to help you, no matter your background; it's about nurturing your mind and ensuring your education is top-notch.
What differentiates Bond from other schools is the style of teaching and grading. Especially when I was struggling with test anxieties, like during my first written essay test. I blanked out during a test but knew the material from class. I went to my teacher afterward, and he trusted that I had been paying attention. He gave me a chance to answer verbally, showing I knew the material but had test anxiety. This experience boosted my confidence. The teachers at Bond are truly encouraging. They identify your weaknesses, help you address them, and there's no judgement from them at all. Their ultimate goal is to assist you.
My advice for newcomers to Bond is to participate in clubs. Even joining one can be beneficial. That's where you learn leadership, organisation, and interpersonal skills. Besides talking to a guidance counsellor, discuss your goals with your teachers. For example, I keep in touch with my chemistry and biology teacher, and I update them about my university life.
Bond Academy encourages freedom, it helps students mature. In my later years there, teachers allowed us to lead events, watching from the sidelines to see how we managed. This level of trust is rare in many schools. Being entrusted with such important events to plan helped me in my development as a person.
Charmaine Lane — current parent
Charmaine, a current parent at Bond Academy, praised its diversity, academic-social balance, and community atmosphere. Her children gained confidence and self-awareness, valued relationships, and felt safe and secure at Bond. She strongly recommends Bond for its care and safety.
I've been scouting Bond Academy since my daughter was in a stroller, and thanks to my best friend, whose children were already there. Diversity is very important for me, because clearly I have racialised-bodied children. And so I wanted them in an environment where I know that they would actually not feel isolated but really being enriched.
Once my daughter started, what I observed was that she loved it. I would even use it as leverage, saying, I'm taking you out of Bond if you don't listen, just to emphasise how much she cherished being there. Over the years, since 2016, it has been a wonderful experience. It met and exceeded my expectations.
I immediately sensed that the Bond community was genuinely a community. I felt welcomed, and when my children started there, they echoed my sentiments. They were treated well by the principal, administrators, and teachers. It's about the relationship. Many parents, including myself, find that this relationship-driven atmosphere is a unique trait of Bond.
The biggest impact on my children, especially my shy daughter, is confidence and self-awareness. I've noticed this remarkable growth in their personalities, and I owe it to Bond for bringing out their potential. They have become more understanding of their own abilities and strengths.
My eldest child constantly says, ‘I love Bond.’ It's all about relationships for her. It's not just about the academics; it's about the connections she's formed with the teachers and students. Kids value these bonds, and it's often these relationships that drive them to school every day.
One of the paramount factors in choosing Bond was the palpable sense of safety. As a clinician, who has worked extensively with children, this aspect is vital to me. At Bond, I am confident that someone always knows where my children are. This sense of security, combined with the warmth of the community, makes Bond a unique place.
If you prioritise safety, accessibility to teachers, and a nurturing environment for your children, choose Bond. The level of care and safety at Bond is unparalleled. I wholeheartedly endorse Bond, and I'm confident others will share this sentiment once you experience it.
Olga Bakonyi — current parent
Olga, a current parent at Bond Academy, shared her experience highlighting the school's holistic approach, its supportive culture, and its positive impact on her son during challenging times.
After doing extensive research on private schools, going to expos and doing interviews with the schools I had shortlisted, I selected Bond Academy because it gave me a certain vibe. This vibe resonates with the notion of a culture that builds beyond academics. At the end of the day, we are moulding members of a society that should be diverse, respectful, caring, considerate, and knowledgeable.
My son is quite introverted, and he has faced challenging times. Having a diverse culture around him at Bond has enhanced his self-awareness. It helps him understand his place in the world and boosts his confidence, making him more adept at handling challenges. In the last 15 months, Bond provided a sense of normality during unprecedented times. The school was prepared, engaging, and gave us comfort. This stability has been a great benefit to our mental health.
My son’s behaviour gives away his love for the school. For example, he eagerly got vaccinated in hopes of returning to in-person classes. He missed the school's culture, community, and familiar faces. Despite the availability of other online learning options, he was adamant about staying with Bond's online program. This showed his strong attachment to the school and the support he receives from his teachers.
Separately from what our children express about their school, we love Bond. It's not as widely advertised or promoted, but it’s a strong institution not just academically, but in moulding a child holistically. Schools should foster personalities that are positive, enabling, considerate, and unbiased. We aim to create a better world, and investing in our children in this manner is crucial. Bond Academy embodies that vision.
Catherine — current parent
Catherine, a parent, shared her appreciation of Bond Academy's nurturing environment, diverse community, dedicated teachers, and its role in her children's successful academic and personal development.
We were coming from another private school where two of my children were being severely bullied. I recall feeling so comforted by that when I visited Bond Academy. I recall walking into their office and explaining my situation, where I felt that my children were being threatened. And I remember they sat down with me and were being so warm and comforting, explaining to me that that's not the way things work at our school.
Like others on the panel said, Bond checks all the boxes for me. It has the academics, the environment, and the social community. It provides all of the things that I needed to ensure my children would flourish. It provides that welcoming and nurturing environment which I needed, especially coming from an environment where they were being bullied. I went through the process of looking at other schools, because my son does have some special needs. And I wanted to make sure that those needs were going to be met.
The thing that really pushed me over the edge towards Bond Academy was when I felt that the school would heal my children. The school is so diversified and we're such a close-knit community that is welcoming to everyone. Nothing is perfect, but I feel very blessed to be at Bond with four children that have graduated and gone on to be very successful. I have three at university currently doing extremely well and I have Bond to thank for healing a lot of their wounds and helping them excel.
One of the biggest impacts on my children was that Bond allowed them to develop strategies to be successful. The small classrooms, in particular, played a crucial role. Having the small classrooms allowed my children to gain self-confidence and be self-assured. It shelters them in a way, but in a good way, because it allows them to develop who they are and feel free with that development. There's self-awareness and it lets them discover who they want to be. Bond gave them the ability to explore how to become successful and find their way.
For me, the biggest impact has been our community. This is my final year, and after eleven years, it's tough to say goodbye. I genuinely feel close to the teachers because they are approachable and willing to help. If your child is having difficulty, they offer guidance on how to best assist them. Essentially, Bond has been my family, and it's been a wonderful experience.
I have four children, and they're all unique. What's beautiful about Bond is that it accepts each child for who they are, recognizing their individual differences as well as the differences of every student. That's probably the most wonderful thing about Bond.
Bond is in a league of its own. I've been to many schools and interacted with various private institutions. You won't find a school more welcoming and diverse than Bond. If you choose Bond, you won't regret it.
Eileen — current parent
Eileen, a parent, shared her appreciation of Bond Academy's holistic approach, strong sense of community, and supportive environment that allowed her child to thrive emotionally and academically.
We’re very happy here. Bond Academy is a great place. It's very warm. Yes, it was a smaller class size. It did have individual instruction, all the extras. But beyond it, it exceeded my expectations. It really did with a sense of community, dedication from the teachers, the open communication that's always their ongoing. Where can you really get all that?
Bond Academy is a good, safe, secure place for your child. It’s supportive, and I knew that from the get-go. The people at Bond are very warm-hearted and they take a genuine interest in your child.
Other schools might focus on the cognitive piece and that's evident in their tests, how they memorise information. But Bond has a holistic approach, which I think has helped my child. And the biggest impact from that is he's able to develop his identity and do it in a non-threatening environment. The environment helps with learning about relationships and emotional development.
I’d describe Bond as loyal, optimistic, committed, and caring.