Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Glenlyon Norfolk School (2021)
Glenlyon Norfolk School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Claudia, Matthew, Zara had to say about the school.
- 5:07 - What did you appreciate most of the school during your time there? And how has your perspective changed on that now that you had some time away as an alum and as a parent.
- 6:43 - Would you have anything to add to that or your perspective on what you appreciate most of your experience at the school, and if that perspective has changed at all?
- 8:14 - What was it that you to look at GNS originally for your two kids? And in which ways was it the school that you expected? And were there any ways that it wasn't what you expected?
- Show Full Video Contents
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Claudia — current parent
Claudia has two children that have attended Glenlyon Norfolk School for the last 10 years. They are in Grades 11 and 12. She moved to Canada with her family from Germany in 2003 and decided to stay long-term after discovering the Glenlyon Norfolk School community. Claudia believes that the school has personalized learning for each student and that the teachers there will go above and beyond to accommodate their unique needs.
- “It was the reputation [of Glenlyon Norfolk School that attracted my family]. I did my homework. … We went through the admissions process in different schools, but [Glenlyon Norfolk School] stood out. It was just a great experience, and we thought it would be a good fit. I have to say, it's the best decision we've ever made, and we never regretted it. It was just fantastic for both of our children, which is great because our children are actually very different.”
- “I think [Glenlyon Norfolk School is] fantastic. It really comes down to personalized learning. … They teach the child, and every child is different. It has been a really good experience.”
- “The majority of the teachers are outstanding. … My children have had teachers at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] that are unbelievable. They just go above and beyond, and they try everything. They notice little things. … We were just blown away by the community. We first thought private schools are probably not for everyone, and that people are very different, and all the kids are spoiled or whatever, and [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is definitely not like that.”
- “One of the things that really stands out at [Glenlyon Norfolk School]is that it's a very family-oriented school, and there is a big community. I feel that parents really care about everyone, not only their child but the community.”
- “A Grade 12 student at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] was asked, ‘what do you like the most about [Glenlyon Norfolk School]?’ The students said, ‘Well, [Glenlyon Norfolk School] really cares. The parents care and the teachers care. That person explained that he went through a difficult, challenging phase in his life. When he was not well, parents who didn't really know him, but just served him in the dining hall, talked to him, and asked ‘are you okay?’”
- “We as parents at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] want to have fun together. This is a great thing, we usually have a parent party in the year or other fun stuff that we do… In the parent community, I feel that they care about each other. For me, with two teenagers, I see my kids' friends, they come to my house, and my daughter and my son go to other houses.”
- “I think it's fantastic that I know the parents at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] because life is dangerous as a teenager. ... I'm really grateful that I know the parents at [Glenlyon Norfolk School], that I trust them. I know that my daughter is there, and someone is there that has similar values that I have, and she's in a safe space. The same is that when [my kids] have friends over, I'm responsible for all of them. I think that's really fantastic. The Parents Auxiliary is really trying to build that community with different events.”
- “My older [child] has some medical challenges that result in academic challenges. For him [the impact of Glenlyon Norfolk School] was definitely building his self-esteem, that feeling of confidence, and being rewarded for working hard. It's very interesting, every child at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] knows that they have to do their best. Not everyone's best is the same. It's really they are asked to do their best, and that's what they know. That's what they try [to do]. It's definitely confidence-building and otherwise, now that [my children are] older, [Glenlyon Norfolk School] encourages independence and encourages them to do their own thing.”
- “It is fantastic, at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] that [students] have so many co-curricular opportunities. They get to try new things and go on different travelling experiences. ... I think that's fantastic. … For me, the most important thing is that children are self-confident because if they're not, it's very challenging.”
- “[Glenlyon Norfolk School] is doing a very good job in recognizing every child in different areas. All the awards that they give out at the end of the school year. It's not only academic awards for the students that are at the top of the class, it's really through different things, and sports awards.”
- “I really like that at [Glenlyon Norfolk School], every success is celebrated. It doesn't matter what it is. They recognize when students do something outside of school. If a teacher knows that, they talk about it at assembly, and it's being recognized. I think that's fantastic.”
- “[Three words to describe Glenlyon Norfolk School] are caring, encouraging, and ambitious.”
- “I think it's definitely a huge advantage that the teachers really know the students very well. ... Every teacher at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] knows every student, and there is a huge advantage to that because they really care. It’s very personal.”
- “For me, the most exciting thing about [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is that [my kids are] part of a community, and they feel that they know that they are part of a community. It's interesting that the students know each other in different grades. I think the school has done a great job, in that the Middle School is doing things with the Junior School and the Senior Schools, and [my son is] in a buddy program with Grade 11 [students]. ... I think that is really important because it's so much more fun for younger kids to work with older students or to go to the lab and see an experiment, or whatever they do.”
- “Older students run with younger kids. I think that it is really neat that they see that one day they will be as big as the older students, and for older students, it's usually really neat to see young kids because they just can't remember that they were that young. One of the areas that is quite special about [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is that we're really trying to be a big community, and the students do a lot of things together. Now with the new building at the beach, I think this will only increase. … [Because] now we have way more space to do things like that.”
- “Public speaking is a huge advantage. ... [Students] get prepared from Kindergarten at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] to speak in front of the whole school, to stand up in an assembly in the beginning, or sing, or whatever. And more and more, there are projects that they have to do [that involve public speaking].”
- “[Glenlyon Norfolk School’s] slogan or tagline is, ‘do your best through truth and courage.’ I think that is really ingrained in the community. The students know that, the teachers know that, everybody knows that. There are a lot of values in that. I think the strategic plan shows perfect values, being community-oriented, and the truth is encouraged, as well as individuality. It's very true that [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is community-oriented. They try to be courageous. The kids are really encouraged to be risk-takers and try new things, and stand up in front of their class, or in front of the assembly and do something.”
- “I think it's very true that doing your best through truth and courage says it all. Very often when you read values from a company and you think, ‘oh, really?’ But with [Glenlyon Norfolk School], I feel it's very true. ... I think it's fantastic for a private school that the community is just very down to earth. It’s very friendly, very community-oriented, and tries to do their best, and be their best.”
Matthew — alum
Matthew is an alumnus of Glenlyon Norfolk School and had many amazing experiences there that contributed to his success after graduation. His oldest son just enrolled in the preschool program at Glenlyon Norfolk School, and so far he feels that he made the right decision. He enjoys the school's beautiful and diverse campus that is available to the students and believes that the outdoor component is integral to a well-rounded education. He appreciates the school’s small class sizes, which allow for one-on-one time with the teachers, and the wide variety of extracurricular activities that are offered.
- “I feel that [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is very personalized, that students get to feel that they're an individual and that there's a lot of care from their amazing faculty and staff, and even after graduating. Some of them stay in touch and stay close. Now coming back to the school, and a few of [my teachers from Glenlyon Norfolk School] are still there. It's really cool. It's a neat relationship to have.”
- “This year was a little different [due to COVID], obviously, but that being said, I felt like [Glenlyon Norfolk School] did such an amazing job. We still had a community of parents in a WhatsApp group that the class representative had put together, and there was a good dialogue that was going through that. They arranged a virtual cooking class, so we kind of got together.”
- “I really thought it was amazing that through [COVID], I don't think there was a day that [my son] didn’t actually get to go to [Glenlyon Norfolk School] with classmates, and have a semblance of normalcy. Drop off is still at the same time, and pick up at the same time. Both my wife and I both work, and we're able to rely on that, and that has made a big difference. I'm looking forward to this next year when we can really get to know some more of the parents and faculty.”
- “[Glenlyon Norfolk School] is on the water. It's just an unbelievable campus. ... I think the school and the staff and the faculty differentiate Glenlyon Norfolk School. If I really want to say one thing that differentiates [Glenlyon Norfolk School], it’s that [the students] get out for recess at the Junior School, and they’re playing on the beach, and turning over rocks, and seeing crabs. I think for young minds that's really a great place to be. [Glenlyon Norfolk School] has got amazing facilities.”
- “[My son is] overly enthusiastic about having friends, and his teacher at [Glenlyon Norfolk School]. ... He gets home, and if he does anything cool, he wants me to send a picture to his teacher. There's just such an amazing relationship there. The thing he talked about, and I asked him today, what he is most looking forward to in September. [He said], ‘nature school.’ One day a week, every week, they do it outside of class.”
- “I found the school to be very forthright, and as a child, that can be scary sometimes, but also refreshing, and a good experience to have prior to going out into the world. ... In my experience, I always found [Glenlyon Norfolk School] understated its achievements and it's staff and faculty, and really let it speak for itself, and through the students that were coming through, and the community being able to speak about it.”
- “I love [Glenlyon Norfolk School]. I love the program. … There's a huge advantage to having a very small class. But also, being able to have more students in a grade provides a bigger community, and provides more funding for the school to be able to work on projects, or support students' co- curriculars.”
- “[Glenlyon Norfolk School] really has a great extracurricular program in that it's not just sports after school. … We had debate and public speaking, all of these programs that [students] could do, and find their own place in. … When I was in the debating and public speaking program, I loved it. The other kids did, too, and nobody looked down on it, or differentiated it from any other extracurricular you were doing.”
- “Some kids are going to go play soccer, and some kids are going to go into a classroom again, and spend a few hours arguing [in debate club]. What I find surprising about the [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is that it's very well rounded and very supportive.”
- “My brother has dyslexia. It was a challenge writing out his thoughts or trying to communicate effectively through essay writing. He completed the IB Programme at [Glenlyon Norfolk School]. There's an adaptive aspect in all cases, but a lot of time he'd be assigned for an essay, and be able to give it as a speech, which was easier [for him]. I think [Glenlyon Norfolk School] has the ability to be able to navigate each [student’s] learning experiences, still challenge them, and get them to learn the information, not regurgitate it. … Whether it's written or spoken.”
Zara — alum and current parent
- School alumni
Zara graduated from Glenlyon Norfolk School after 12 years of learning there and is now a pharmacist, and mother of three children. She enrolled them at Glenlyon Norfolk School last year, and as expected, they’re having a great experience. She appreciates the school’s international aspect and the diversity that it promotes. She feels that the school is welcoming, and helps students build confidence and fosters their growth.
- “I saw [Glenlyon Norfolk School] go through a lot of changes, but throughout that, the focus on the personal piece [hasn’t changed]. [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is personalized. I felt my parents sent me there because I was a really shy kid. … It really fostered in me the ability to build confidence. The academic program was phenomenal at that time, and it being IB now is phenomenal. I have fond memories of my teachers.”
- “[Glenlyon Norfolk School] understands you. They see you through your growth and your challenges and help foster you through them. [I appreciated my] friends, the co-curricular activities, and the [academic] enrichment. That was an eye-opening experience for me, to see my kids go through the public school system since I didn't have the experience to see the differences there that exist.”
- “I am always nervous for my kids to go somewhere where they don't have any friends, but they all came home from [Glenlyon Norfolk School] talking about really lovely experiences with their classmates. They were welcomed. I'm really looking forward to this coming year to build that. Obviously, I had the experience of that community as an alum, so I'm just filled with a sense of excitement for [my daughters] as well.”
- “I'm so grateful that [Glenlyon Norfolk School students] have access to [different activities], they got to go canoeing this year, and they're going to do more. … The space and the building that they have now is phenomenal on the junior campus.”
- “[Students are] getting a world-class academic education at [Glenlyon Norfolk School]. It's balanced with some really lovely well rounded co-curriculars and enrichment. With the combination of those quality teachers you have, it's just a very unique environment that brings the best out of your child.”
- “One distinct difference of [Glenlyon Norfolk School] that my husband and I remarked on right from the beginning. … Since starting at [Glenlyon Norfolk School], we have had conversations [with our kids] about really interesting things, whatever they're learning in class. I really appreciated the communication that comes through with the teachers. … To let us know what's going on, to help us prompt some of those discussions.”
- “For my older daughter, [Glenlyon Norfolk School] was going really well, and then there was a time when she started feeling the weight of the work and had a realization that the [Glenlyon Norfolk School academic] program requires a lot more. It is a more rigorous program, and it requires a lot more work. … But there was a real sense of achievement as she got through that. It was lovely to see her grow through that. [My kids are] interested in getting up every morning, getting dressed, and going without any battles. It's amazing. Another testament to the school.”
- “The student body at [Glenlyon Norfolk School] is incredibly diverse.”
- “It was just phenomenal to have our kids try so many different sports and so many different instruments, and so many different types of art at [Glenlyon Norfolk School], all in the required manner. [My daughters] got exposed and their horizons were lifted a little bit. I think it was part of the experience that we were really happy about.”