REVIEW OF Brookes Westshore BY parent, Silvia Cardenas
- Date of Review
March 13, 2023
- Child 1
Gr. 4 - Gr. 6 (Female, Current Day Student)
- Child 2
Gr. 5 - Gr. 7 (Male, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
Both my kids have been thriving since they started in Brookes Westshore in the 2020-2021 school year. Since the very first day, the school has felt like family, they have been welcomed with open arms and this feeling continues every day. They love going to school and spending time there with friends and with teachers. They love the academic challenges that come their way and how they are encouraged to explore, satisfy their curiosity, and learn more about the world around them. They are challenged to go beyond the minimum and really explore. They are also constantly engaged in activities within the community and our surrounding natural beauty, making every day a different day. They have so much fun in every aspect of life. They are continuously involved in nature activities, arts, and academic challenges. The school also has a great host of after-school activities for the kids to try new things.
(5) School Leadership
The school is great at sending weekly newsletters with the corresponding information on happening events and activities. It also promotes their students and their achievements, and in general lets us know what is going on at the school. The teachers and leadership team are also very involved in the children’s lives and always available for any conversation or inquiries you may have. Your child isn’t just a number, the teachers and leadership team know the kids and their struggles and try to help your child be their best. You feel like the administration has your back and is readily available.
The teachers at this school are AMAZING. They are fully knowledgeable in their subjects, and their passion comes through their work. The type of projects that my children get to work on is constantly inspiring them to understand more of their world and to search for better solutions to our everyday problems. The children are promoted to build on their curiosity and bring their creativity and ingenuity to play. The school has a communications system that lets me see what my child is working on, the comments the teacher has about their work, and their grades. It also lets me see what the schedule looks like and any upcoming deadlines and activities that they have. It encourages the children to take responsibility and commit to their work, but it also keeps me as a parent informed of their progress.
Brookes is an IB (International Baccalaureate) school, aiming to not only teach academics to the kids but also to teach them how to be great, responsible human beings and good members of society. The school promotes a culture of learning and inquiry, going above and beyond just the minimum, and really engaging in making the best out of any situation. My kids have started learning things about sustainability that I just learned in my Master's program. It was quite impressive to see my children read, learn, understand, and work on projects with the same finality as the ones I was working on during my degree program. The school not only teaches subjects but good working habits and issues that are more important than just academics.
Brookes offers so many after-school activities. Kids have an array of classes they can take, outside of their normal school activities, that can teach them so many different things. The activities are both academic, cultural, and sport-related, among many others. It lets kids explore and figure out which other activities they might like. Many of these activities are offered because the kids have shown interest and the school has listened to what they want to try. Brookes is a very young school so team sports are very new and their teams are just starting to compete. Even though they are new and might not be in the national competition leagues, the school and students sure have the spirit to participate!
Brookes I would consider is on the smaller scale of student body size, this is absolutely amazing and one of their biggest strengths. The kids all know each other regardless of the grade they are in. Most classes only have 1 class per grade, which creates a great sense of unity and belonging for the kids. There are constant activities that all grades participate in and mingle together, both during class time and recess. Different grades are also encouraged to, and as part of their education, create group activities or events for the rest of the school, creating this link between all the students. It is not uncommon to see kids from all grades helping each other and saluting each other when school events are held.
(5) School Life
Brookes is an amazing school. A school that cares about its students and strives to be the best it can be for that child. Activities, programs, and education content are constantly reviewed to ensure that the kids are thriving and that the kids are receiving the best possible, all-rounded education. It is not just about academics, sports, or arts, it is all-encompassing. Brookes wants to create citizens engaged with the world, that want to transform and change our world, and that come up with solutions and not problems. It is not just about a grade, but about a person. My kids absolutely love going to this school, and as a family, it was the best decision we could have made. We found our community, we feel like we belong here and my kids are thriving.
The school is really welcoming to everyone. As a parent, we are encouraged to come into the school, chat with the teachers and get to know the school community. With Covid, activities for parents were limited due to the nature of the world, but even then, the school tried to engage parents in outdoor activities and to get to know each other. Now that get-togethers are allowed again, the school is trying hard to create a parent community. They have put together welcome-back barbeques, coffee morning chats, presentations on IB learning, and dances and activities where you can meet the other parents and the teachers. The school is working hard at opening its doors and getting the parents in to create the school community and feeling of belonging that was displaced by Covid.
(5) School Location
The school building is brand new, beautiful, and accommodating. It was designed for kids. There are "hang out" areas all around the school that promote learning, inclusivity, and belonging. My kids love to show up to school very early (like 40 minutes before the bell rings) just to be able to hang out with their friends in the hall and play chess, read some books, or play another game. They are also next to a local University with beautiful forests and grounds where the kids are constantly taken to, and enjoy nature by going down to the beach or trails.