I attended Braemar from grade 6 to grade 8 and I really loved my time there. Braemar has a great school environment/community, academics, and extra-curricular activities (I especially enjoyed participating in our yearly musicals). I was able and encouraged to seek out leadership opportunities within our school community. Many special traditions and activities make Braemar unique, including the monthly assemblies, holiday celebrations (i.e. the Thanksgiving lunch and winter holiday concert), opportunities to interact with our local community, clubs and trips, Braemar Bonanza (a recess program where older students would help organize games for younger students), and student leadership (student's council, morning announcements, running Tuck Shop, student recycling, etc). Braemar definitely prepared me for high school both academically and socially. During my transition to high school, I felt confident to talk to my teachers and seek clarification and didn't struggle to learn new material, as I had already seen some of it in grade 8 (especially in language and math classes).
My experience at Braemar was always a positive one. Everyday at school the teachers greeted people with a smile, and it was always evident that they really enjoyed teaching. There's a real sense of community within the school, and it feels like family. I really enjoyed that I had the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment. My favourite part of the year was the annual school musical. The whole school participates in some way, and it brings everybody together. The one thing that I would change is adding crewneck sweaters to the uniform, as it often got cold in the winter. Braemar definitely prepared me for high school. Most of my Grade 9 year was strengthening my understanding of topics that I had already learned in Grade 7 or 8.
We have two boys that attend Braemar House School, currently in grades 4 and 2. They both began at Braemar in the Montessori program. This was a new pedagogy for our family and it suited my active, inquisitive kids very well. They had the freedom to move through the activities but with a structure that showed them responsibility at a young age. There were many hands-on activities that promoted fine and gross motor skills, a favourite was the Roman Arch. Both boys learned how to read by the middle of Prep One (SK) which was an absolutely incredible thing to see develop as a parent. The friends they have made in their classes are the most important people in their world, and the small class sizes have given them a chance to bond closely with them. The smiles on their faces every day when they get to school and see their friends are reassuring and heartwarming. My son in Grade 4 is very excited this year to be learning about different civilizations, and especially proud of the gold sarcophagus that was part of the Ancient Egypt unit. My son in Grade 2 is proudly getting his story ready for a public speaking assignment. Both boys love their phys ed classes, especially when they can be outside. They like the equipment at the school- snowshoes, scooter boards- and going to the on site park to play.
Braemar House School is like another home for our child. She feels not only supported there, but also cared for, as if the students and faculty were an extension of her family. She is proud to bring home and share new skills and knowledge that she learns. She has also gained confidence to try new activities and to tackle unfamiliar and increasingly complex problems. In the two years that she has attended, she has made many new friends. She loves the varied activities during the physical education classes, such as the yoga and swimming. One of her favourite events are the monthly assemblies that bring together the whole school community. Seeing the students together with the faculty as well as some of the parents (who are always welcome!) creates a positive atmosphere that really resonates with her. It’s a small school, and so she knows many in the school community by first name; she is excited to tell us who she greeted that day.
I have two children at BHS. My youngest joined the school and had selective mutism, he had not spoken directly to a teacher through his kindergarten experience and preschool was not much better. He joined BHS in Grade 1 and in that first year he chose to join the talent show. I have no idea what it was that, for the first time in his young life, he felt safe enough, secure enough, to not only start to speak with adults and participate in class but to put himself on stage in front of the entire school. Clearly the environment was amazing and supportive. And the talent show was amazing! My oldest joined in Grade 5, after a year of anxiety that seemingly came out of nowhere. He gained confidence, security, a sense of belonging, and teachers who took an interest in the individual, not just a student number. He has done exceptionally well throughout his time at BHS and is set to graduate this year. He was comfortable enough to try every sport offered, take part in the school productions, and become a different person from when he started. I credit BHS with encouraging a caring, safe, environment where students are allowed to be themselves, make mistakes (and correct them) and where they are taught to own their actions. I believe that both of my children feel supported, not a number but not under a magnifying glass either. They have the space and freedom to make choices and are encouraged on a regular basis.
Our children's experience at Braemar House School was a positive one for many reasons. Our children really enjoyed the school environment, interactions with other students and staff, extracurricular programs, sports programs, and the various social opportunities throughout the school year. Braemar House School is a very welcoming school environment and gives families the sense of a community feeling. The staff and students are eager to welcome new students to the classrooms. There are many extracurricular and sports programs to engage every different type of personality. From craft groups, Lego league, reading clubs, environmental clubs, to the extensive list of sports team opportunities, there really was something for each student. Our children also enjoyed the various social opportunities that really built that community feel. The Welcome Back BBQ, Thanksgiving Lunch, Music Concert, Art Show, Science Fair, and the School Play were all noted as favorites.
I believe my child appreciates that the environment at Braemar House School allows her to be herself. She enjoys all the opportunities and activities offered, both within and outside of the school. From the expansive arts experiences (wide range of visual art creation, musical instrument education, dramatic arts musical performance) to the clubs and academic extras (robotics, chess, Me to We) and the greatly supported athletic teams and events. She appreciates the dedication of the staff to support and enhance her educational experience. The school's commitment to virtues and positive citizenship is also high on her list of enjoying her educational environment. She likes that her peers are focused, dedicated learners who value their education and work hard on assignments and tasks. It's a fun, productive place to grow and learn.
Both my kids attend Braemar, and both started when they were three. In our first year, as the mother of a very shy, very young child, I was nervous about how our transition would go. I had no reason to be nervous. In Braemar my children have found their second home. They are loved and supported to be exactly who they are by not only their classroom teachers, but the entire staff. The net effect is that they, along with their classmates, feel safe and happy. As an educator, I know that these are the best conditions for learning. My children do not complain about going to school, but rather look forward to it, and celebrate all the milestones throughout the school year (trips, concerts, plays, special events). The staff go well above their job description to provide ample enrichment and special activities. We could not have asked for a better experience for our children.
Our son enrolled in Braemar House School in Sep 2018. We had considered Braemar for many years, but thought it was important for our son to go to our neighbourhood school. After some sub-par experiences at our neighbourhood school we considered Braemar House School again and after meeting with the Executive Director, the principal and an educator we enthusiastically enrolled our son! He enrolled in grade 6 in September 2018 and we have found the education level to be far superior to his previous school, the athletics plentiful and the family atmosphere so enjoyable! Our son is really enjoying the other children, the respect they show and how they are all there to learn. Our son in absolutely loving it and thriving and we haven't looked back - only regret we did not come to Braemar House School years ago!
We have been lucky enough to have two children at BHS. Each value different aspects of the school. Our daughter appreciated the small class size and the one-on-one attention. Teachers are able, on a daily basis, to spend personal time with each student- helping, encouraging, correcting and directing them to help make their academic experience unique and personalized. The small class size also made it possible to conduct interesting chemistry experiments, cooking lessons, complete amazing geography projects and explore many forms of fine art. Field trips are plentiful and interesting and end-of-year class trips are well organized and executed- all due to the ability of the teachers and school to focus on the wants and needs of the small class that they have! Enrichment opportunities abound due to this aspect of the school as well. Our daughter had many opportunities to deepen her understanding and appreciation of academic, social, political and cultural issues that arose during her time at BHS because of the extra effort and time that teachers spend with their classes. Our son appreciated the varied teams/clubs/sports as well as the opportunities for social interaction that BHS offers. All varsity sports are offered and coached enthusiastically. Coaches from outside the school are brought in to assist and encourage, and teachers/coaches travel to away games/meets to supervise and cheer! The 'clan' system at the school combines students of all ages in groups to participate in varied activities and our son enjoyed mentoring younger students as he progressed through the programs. There are NO aspects of BHS that our children find disappointing- our daughter was sad to leave in grade 8!