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Hillfield Strathallan College:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO Gr. 12 — Hamilton, ON (Map)

Hillfield Strathallan College:

REVIEW OF Hillfield Strathallan College BY parent, Wendy Lam

  • Date of Review
    March 27, 2024
  • Child 1
    Gr. 6 - Gr. 10 (Female, Current Day Student)
  • Child 2
    Gr. 1 - Gr. 5 (Female, Current Day Student)

(4) Student Experience

My children like the number of students at the school. It is a good size yet the classroom sizes are not too large. They enjoy Environmental Week (e-week) in the fall where all the kids get to travel somewhere, whether it be an overnight camp or five days in London, England. They also enjoy the hot lunches available in the dining hall. There are a lot of options to choose from. My Senior school child enjoys the semester structure. There are a lot of subjects to choose from starting in Grade 10. They don’t enjoy having to wear uniforms because they like to express themselves through their choice of clothing. However, the school often has ‘dress down’ days where the kids can wear anything other than the uniform, as long as it is within reason of course.

(4) School Leadership

The school has a lot of support staff. There are several school counsellors in the Senior school. There are also staff in roles that support and help students succeed, aside from the teachers. The teachers will communicate with parents via email when the child is not performing or has missed an assignment. However, I have had only one teacher email me with positive news about my child. It would be nice to hear more positive feedback from time to time. I believe the school fosters a positive environment. They stress the importance of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness.

(3.5) Teaching

I have had communication with teachers when my children don’t complete and assignment or are not doing so well. It would be nice to have some positive feedback. We have parent-teacher interviews but other than that I don’t find that teachers make an effort to get to know parents. Perhaps there’s no time or they want to keep parent involvement to a minimum. My younger daughter has a learning disability and the school helped us get her assessed. She now has an individual learning plan. This is the first year with this ILP so we are still figuring out how she learns best. Overall, no matter how much the school provides or pushes kids to succeed, it’s really up to the individual to perform and take advantage of all the school has to offer.

(3.5) Academics

I feel that the academic program at HSC is quite rigorous. But there is a lot of support for students who may be struggling. There is a strong expectation that students continue to go on to secondary education. The school holds several University fairs each year and invites both students and parents to attend. Parents ask each other which university their child/children have applied to. We support each other with information about application requirements and submissions, deadlines, etc. There are four school counsellors in the Senior school that get to know each student and help them find their strengths and weaknesses. They assist with the university application process. I believe the school must follow the Ontario school curriculum so there are some key subjects that are not being taught or focused on. For example, in grade 9, my older daughter had a math unit on finances and money but it was the last unit of the year and they ran out of time. The unit was not taught.

(5) Extracurriculars

Yes, there are plenty of extracurricular activities for students to choose from. This is what attracted us most to the school. The middle school, grades 5 to 8, has activities ranging from bracelet making, and newspaper club to robotics and baking club. There are sports teams for volleyball, swimming, hockey, and rugby that compete against other schools. There are also individual sports like golf and skiing. There are also musical bands and a choir. I do believe the school provides ample opportunities for kids to try different activities and sports to see what they would like to pursue.

(4) Students

The student body at the school is coed and is diverse. It is about 1200 students, from preschool to grade 12. The school has enough staff that the classroom size is reasonable. Every Friday the entire school (except preschoolers) gathers in the gym for an assembly to share upcoming events. Each student is assigned to a ‘House’ and they compete against each other for points. The house with the most points at the end of the year wins a trophy and bragging rights. Points can be gained by activities such as house league sports and food drives. This creates friendly, spirited competition. There’s a lot of chatter during lunch in the dining hall. I see a lot of smiling faces and hear a lot of laughter when I am at the school. However, the school is not immune to bullying. I don’t have first-hand experience with bullying to really comment on how the school handles such cases.

(4.5) School Life

My children enjoy going to school mostly for the social aspect. My younger daughter has many friends and that makes school fun. Because she has a learning disability she finds learning difficult. There are some teachers that make learning fun while others not so much. My older daughter also enjoys going to school for the social aspect. Neither are high achieving academically so they don’t enjoy the school work so much. For students who don’t have as much interest in joining extracurricular activities, I wish the school would make it mandatory to participate in at least one activity or sport. For students who are interested in learning a musical instrument, the school allows lessons to be taught by private tutors during school hours. I believe the school is also very accommodating for students who pursue other activities outside of the school.

(5) Community

I am this year’s Vice Chair of the Parents’ Guild. All parents are automatically members of the PG. However, there are active members that volunteer for various school activities. We organize either a Halloween party or a winter holiday party every year. We also hold a Staff Appreciation Breakfast. Whenever the school has an event that needs volunteers, the PG will step up to help out. We also put together a display to celebrate various holidays throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to be active members of the PG or to volunteer when they can. The PG also organizes social events such as Cocktail night, and mix and mingles. We hold used uniform sales. We also organize events to raise funds for the school.

(3) School Location

HSC is a commuter school. We have students that come from Stoney Creek and Binbrook to Mississauga and Brampton into Hamilton. We have a large fleet of school buses. Parents also drop off and pick up. I think very few students are within walking distance. This makes it difficult for students, especially the younger ones, to have spontaneous play dates. Parents may end up driving long distances for play dates. Only senior school students leave school grounds during the lunch hour.

(4) Admissions

Come tour the school. Meet the principals of your child/children’s grade. For parents who want feedback from other parents, they should ask to reach out to the active PG members. During our application process, my older daughter was entering Grade 6. She had to do an entrance exam. My younger one started in Grade 1 and an exam was not required. I believe there is more interest in HSC now, as there are wait lists for various grades. I would recommend contacting the school as soon as possible if there is interest in joining the school. I volunteer at our open houses and assist the admissions team welcome families touring our school. We hold about four sessions each year and we see a lot of participants every session.


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More written reviews


Student, Lucie Osborne (2024)

Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 — Life at Hillfield Strathallan College (HSC) is busy and exciting. I love it. I joined HSC in Grade 9 after hearing about it from my older sister and I was excited to see a lot of people around me gett...


Parent, Rebecca Punthakee (2024)

JK (current),JK to K (current) — From our first visit, we could feel the warm professionalism from all the staff at HSC. My 3 and 4 year old boys were greeted by 'grown-ups' squatting to give either a handshake or a high five, follow...


Parent, Andrew Liu (2024)

Gr. 4 to Gr. 10 (current),Gr. 6 to Gr. 12 (current) — We have nothing negative to say about HSC. Our family loves the school. We will never be regretful of sending my kids to HSC. The school provides lots of opportunities for kids, such as extracurricula...
See all written reviews (4 total)

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Gr. 1 to Gr. 9 (current), Gr. 2 to Gr. 4 (current) — Watch our parent interview with Sarah Coulson to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Hillfield Strathallan College.

Alum, Rob Alexander (2023)

Watch our alum interview with Rob Alexander to learn about the unique experience of attending Hillfield Strathallan College.

Alum, Luke and Daniela D'Ambrosi (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Luke and Daniela D'Ambrosi to learn about the unique experience of attending Hillfield Strathallan College.

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