REVIEW OF Hawthorn School BY student, Ximena Saishio
- Date of Review
November 29, 2022
Gr. Nursery/Toddler - 10 (current)
(5) Student Experience
Hawthorn School is wonderful. My two favorite things about Hawthorn are the teachers and the environment. You can tell the teachers are so passionate about their subject, so much so that their classes are exciting to attend. They guide you through your struggles and are so helpful and kind that we students are never uncomfortable or hesitant to ask for help. Secondly, I love the environment. As it is a smaller school, there are more leadership opportunities that give a great experience. As well as this, everybody can get involved in whatever club, sport, class, or team they are interested in. The environment in a smaller school like Hawthorn is so welcoming and you get to know everyone. Also, your teachers are able to help and understand you individually, and they help you excel in specific areas but also in school in general.
(5) School Leadership
The school leaders are approachable and respected. The headmaster takes her time to check in on students and ask about their personal and school life. You can tell she cares about every one of the students. The guidance counselor is very understanding and kind. You can talk to her about your volunteer hours, university prerequisites (etc.). Not only that, but she also acts as the student 'therapist', helping students when they're stressed. Also, in Hawthorn, there is a mentoring program. Every student is assigned a mentor (that can be changed if requested). The mentor can help guide you through all aspects of your life. They can give advice or just listen to you when you need it.
In Hawthorn, as I said before, the teachers are one of my favorite aspects of the school. They are very passionate and they are great teachers. You never feel hesitant or uncomfortable to ask for help. When given assignments or projects, and you feel you don't understand or you don't know the rubric or what the teachers are asking of you, you can always ask and the teachers are super helpful and never ever get frustrated with you or make you feel put down for not understanding something. In fact, the teachers encourage you to come up to them when you don't understand or you prefer a different method of teaching. When my teachers talk about success, it is clear they imagine it for me as choosing my own area of study and once they are aware of your choice they make sure that you have taken all the required subjects and give you personal and professional advice on anything you need. Teachers are also very flexible and understanding and are able to give you more educational attention as the classes are small.
In Hawthorn, I find the academics and curriculum to be very advanced. For example, upper school starts in grade 8 to allow you to take 3 credits in advance, therefore giving you more time in gr. 12 to take whatever extra courses you need for University. Another example of this is science is a year advanced and there are a few other courses that are taken a year ahead to allow students to not be overwhelmed with work in the following years. The classes are not too easy but they are not too hard either. There are a few students that struggle with certain courses. And in terms of homework, there is a good amount but not unmanageable unless you procrastinate. You do get study halls, however, and those allow you to catch up on some work.
In Hawthorn, there are co-curriculars and sports. They include debate club, play, film club, and sports that include volleyball, basketball, track and field (etc.). I am currently attending debate club and school play. Most of the co-curriculars are led by students and are taken very seriously. For example, in the debate club, Hawthorn is joining and competing in the ethics bowl competition which is a competitive and collaborative event where high school students study, imagine, and criticize given cases. In terms of sports, they are also taken very seriously and students have to take part in tryouts. We compete against other schools and challenge other teams for the title of champion. Because Hawthorn is a small school, there aren't as many sports or co-curriculars as there would be in a big school.
The students in Hawthorn are all very kind and fun. It does not take long at all to make friends. Classmates at Hawthorn are very supportive and I find that good friends help to build your character and develop your virtues. Here at Hawthorn, the community in terms of friends feels more like a town or neighborhood where all your favorite people live in and you get to see them every day. Instead of having a lot of friends, you have several really, really good friends that will last a lifetime. Also, once again because it is a small school you would have to be very introverted to not be included amongst your peers. When joining co-curricular activities or sports, it's always easy to build teamwork and give and receive suggestions as everybody in high school knows each other and are mostly all friends. Another point that I feel is notable is that at Hawthorn bullying and teasing within students is very rare and is taken very seriously.
(4.5) School Life
If I were asked to give a tour of the school to a group of visitors I would probably take them to our learning center first. It was recently renovated and turned into a modern and comfortable study/hang-out area. There are recently updated computers that are accessible to anyone and everyone. There are desks and comfortable chairs and sofas to read. I know, I personally really enjoy our learning center and I know all of my classmates do as well. It gives us students a place to relieve ourselves from stress and take a step back to reset for the next class. Oftentimes we have classes in the learning center when we have to use the computers for projects or assignments. We can complete a project/assignment in the learning center with the teacher present to ask for help with whatever we need.
In Hawthorn, one of my favorite things is the environment. Everybody is very, very nice and kind. As I said before, because it is a small school everybody knows each other and gets along very well. It does feel like home. It is like everybody lives in a little village with their best friends and their supportive mentors and they get to see them every day. Everybody gets included and you get more attention and individual support from teachers and friends as it is a smaller school. You have so much fun every day with your classmates but at the same time learn new things every day. Even the teachers are fun to be around because you feel like they understand you; you can joke around with them and be yourself.
(4.5) School Location
Hawthorn is located on 101 Scarsdale Rd, North York, ON M3B 2R2. Hawthorn is right beside York Mills Gardens. The plaza has many little restaurants and stores like Shoppers, Longo's, McDonald's, Coco's, Starbucks (etc.). Many students like to go there for lunch. We students are allowed to go out for lunch every Friday as long as we are back in time for class.