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Elmwood School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Preschool TO Gr. 12 — Ottawa, ON (Map)

Elmwood School:

Interview with Elmwood School PARENT, Swathi Kappagantula

Swathi is both an alumna of Elmwood School and a current parent. She appreciates the balanced, holistic approach to education at Elmwood, attention to academic excellence, physical education, emotional well-being and creative endeavours. She strongly believes the school provides the right environment for her daughter. She also likes the sense of community among the students, among families, and the parent-teacher relationships.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • Being myself a graduate of Elmwood, it was always in the back of my mind that, if the opportunity arose, there would be no debate about where I’d want my daughter to go. We didn't know whether our lives would bring us back to Ottawa, and whether we'd be in a position to have our child attend Elmwood. All children are different, but knowing my child, I knew that she would really thrive in that environment. And, fortunately, we found ourselves back in Ottawa. So it was a very natural fit for us to continue that relationship with Elwood.

  • My daughter’s adjustment to Elmwood was very positive. She’d already had an experience on the campus, because we did a summer camp at the school a few years ago.

  • My daughter has completely blossomed in the environment, and she talks about how much she loves her school environment all the time. It's a very gratifying feeling to know that your child is in the right place.

  • She's just so stimulated with the diversity of learning and activities. And she actually complains or is unhappy if she ever has to miss a day of school. So I think there's really a sense for her that there's just so much packed into every day, in terms of learning, fun, and opportunity.

  • I appreciate the fact that not only her academics are being managed well, with guidance and appropriate challenges, but there's a very holistic approach to her well-being, her learning, and her education. So during the day, when you entrust a school environment with your child, for the entire day, it's really comforting to know that they're looking at everything, in terms of her social values, her behavior, and her care and nurturing, too. If she's having challenges, or emotional issues, I know that she's in good hands. I feel that I don't worry at all when she's at school.

  • My daughter has really enjoyed public speaking, giving presentations, and participating in that aspect of school life. It's given her a great deal of confidence, knowing that she's able to represent either a group of friends, a club, or something she's trying to share about her work. Those activities also lead to other things, such as performance, singing, and drama.

  • The school is very well resourced. It's a bigger environment now, compared with when I graduated. There are just more physical facilities.

  • Elwood handled the pandemic beautifully, in terms of transitioning to the online platform and showing sensitivity around what those young children were going through.

  • The biggest change for her was being in the all girls school, and she took to it beautifully. My daughter had been in other independent schools in other countries where we lived, though it's her first experience with an all girls school. I think she feels very secure and confident in that environment. So it's been a positive for her.

  • There is a strong emphasis, obviously, on academics and learning and challenging children, but there's also a creative spirit of really encouraging and cultivating creative activity, whether it's art or music or performance. And self-expression, I think, is really encouraged. It's wonderful to see my daughter really enjoying the performing arts, and music, and she is developing more and more confidence year by year in those activities.

  • There is also definitely an emphasis on physical activity, growth and movement, and there's a recognition of the connection between physical education and brain development. So they have very full days that are well-rounded. At the same time, I know that when there's a day where my daughter might feel tired, or not as excited or enthusiastic, there would be sensitivity to her emotions, and a lot of encouragement just to take time, and maybe sit and read and have some quiet time.

  • They're able to focus on the individual, while cultivating a sense of a group spirit, and school spirit. The school is a really great environment in terms of nurturing a sense of community and friendship, not just amongst the students, but also amongst the parents and the community on the whole.

  • What actually brings the families together is the fact that we're all invested in our daughters’ education and well-being. I don't know if there's a typical family that attends Elmwood, because my experience, both as a student and as a parent, is that there's a great diversity of families, of cultures, of backgrounds. While we may all come from various backgrounds, there's definitely a common sense of values about being engaged and aware of what's happening in our daughters’ lives.

  • I feel that families are very, very supported by the teachers, in terms of how best we can help our kids navigate personal and social changes. There's very much a sense of family at Elwood. I am always so pleased with the support from the teachers, when we have questions or concerns, and if our daughter is going through something. I mean, these are young girls, there are often different things that come up with them, in terms of questions or challenges.

  • I don't think you can go wrong at Elmwood, with the resources and the opportunities, academically and otherwise. If you can visit the school, I’d suggest taking the time to look around and feel the place, and see whether you would be comfortable there as a family. I think it's just about seeing whether as a family you would feel happy in that environment, because it's very much a community feeling.


More about Elmwood School

Back to Elmwood School overview

Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Elmwood School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

Read our in-depth review

More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Elmwood School Q&A discussion with Sigil (Alum), Ryan Schwartz (Parent), Julie (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Alum, Fumi Shibutani (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Fumi Shibutani to learn about the unique experience of attending Elmwood School.

Parent, Ryan Schwartz (2022)

Watch our parent interview with Ryan Schwartz to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Elmwood School.
See all video reviews (5 total)


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