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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 student, Lucie Osborne

  • Date of Review
    April 29, 2024
  • Grades
    Gr. 9 - Gr. 12 (current)
  • Gender
  • Enrollment
    Day Student

(4.5) Student Experience

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 getting involved and doing activities like I was. I enjoy how there are a variety of courses and activities for a variety of interests. This helps everyone find a place to fit in. If I could change one thing about my school, it would be the focus on going to university. This has always been the plan for me, so I have not found it to be a major issue but I know it does impact students. This has been getting better over the past couple of years, but there is still a culture of pushing people towards university. I think it is important to understand each student's skills and to push them towards something they'll excel in.

(5) School Leadership

Through my experience as a student and especially as a student leader, I have built great relationships with my teachers and school administrators. I respect them but also feel like I get mutual respect in return. I appreciate how they help me to see different perspectives. I have never felt like an idea was being pushed on me. I was given the freedom to think for myself and come to my own conclusions. I think across the board they try to engage with students on what they are interested in and put the student experience first.

(4.5) Teaching

I think teachers sometimes ask too much of students but never to an extreme. Often the case is there is not too much from one particular class but the combined heavy workload from multiple classes can add up. They are often accommodating if extra time is needed to catch up. In terms of expectations, teachers are usually specific with the learning goals and rubrics for assignments. If it is unclear, they are always willing to explain it again. The rubrics provide criteria for what has not met expectations, what meets expectations, and what exceeds expectations. I find this helpful when I am working on assignments. I think the teachers' main goal is to prepare us for post-secondary, especially in later grades. Our assignments are based on this goal.

(4.5) Academics

I have found my academics challenging in a variety of different ways. I excel in more writing-based humanities classes. I have loved the variety of classes offered in this area from Sociology to Classical Civilizations. While these courses have not been easy, I have not found them incredibly challenging. I know the reading, research and writing skills I have gained will be useful in my future endeavours. I have also taken some STEM courses that I found harder. Even though I struggled in these courses, my teachers were often available for extra help to work through my struggles. I think the biggest challenge I have faced is finding balance in my Grade 12 year. Between duties as a Prefect (student leader), heavy course loads, and applying for universities it has been hard to excel at everything. This has taught me how to prioritize what is important as well as how to make the most out of my day. I am sure the life skills I have gained from this time management will serve me well later in life.

(5) Extracurriculars

I take part in many clubs and activities. These range from Reach for the Top to rugby. I love how much choice we have and how people are encouraged to participate in activities and not just focus on academics. These clubs and teams have allowed me to gain valuable skills like teamwork and time management. I think people definitely have enough things to do to fill up their week. I often struggle with trying to fit everything in! There are occasionally conflicts between activities but I do not find this to be a major issue.

(4) Students

I would describe the HSC student body as friendly, engaged and, for the most part, school-oriented. We are a small school (about 120 per grade) so you will often see someone you know walking down the halls. I have found this allows you to become closer as a grade. People who tend to thrive in our school community are involved and outgoing. Academically speaking, I think anyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of who you are as a student. I have found the best way to find friends is through common interests. This could be a class you both enjoy or an activity. That first connection point is a great launch pad. I think if you are struggling to feel like you fit in, talk to a teacher. They are often aware of this and can help you to get out of that situation. Be brave and put yourself out there!

(5) School Life

On a tour, I would first take them to the Triple Gyms in the Senior School. The gyms house a lot of school activities, like sports teams and a weight room. They are also where we get together for college-wide events like our weekly non-denominational Chapel/Assembly, the Remembrance Day Ceremony in the fall, and Carol Service in the winter. These events are what make our four schools a community and they help us make connections across the college. I would then take them to see our classrooms and facilities in the Senior School for all interests. I would then show them our large field space. I would finish the tour in Lawson Hall, our lunch hall, where we eat lunch as a school. This time in Lawson Hall is where I have best connected with my friends and made excellent memories. This would give them a great overview of the Senior School!

(4.5) Community

Even though I have only been at HSC for four years, it does feel like home to me. I think this is because I have engaged with the people around me and built relationships across the school. In my role as a student leader, I have had the opportunity to connect with the younger schools as well. This has allowed me to feel like a part of the whole college. At HSC, being a part of the community means being engaged and interested in events and activities across the college. I think if you are only focused on yourself and your academics, you will struggle to feel like the college is a home. I think anyone who participates wholeheartedly will feel like they have people to support them and that they have a place in the school.

(4.5) School Location

I tended to stay on campus, even when I was in upper grades. People tended to leave campus for lunch or their spare block when they could drive. Mohawk College was also not a far walk if you had some time. You are not allowed to leave campus for lunch before Grade 11. I found the location of the school was great, especially with our large field space! I came from Brampton, so Hamilton was a bit of a drive but it was worth it.

(4) Admissions

I applied to HSC when I was in Grade 8, hoping to start in Grade 9. It started when my parents filled out an application and then we did a tour of the school and met a current senior school student to hear about their experience. Then I did a visit day with another Grade 8 student to meet some people and get a feel for the student community. This day included a meeting with the Senior School principal. After that day, I received an email telling me I got into the school! I found the visit day fun and it was a nice way for me to picture what my life was going to look like. A piece of advice I would give someone applying to high schools is to try and visit so you to see how you feel on campus!


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More written reviews


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, Wendy Lam (2024)

Gr. 1 to Gr. 5 (current),Gr. 6 to Gr. 10 (current) — 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 ...


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)

More video reviews

Parent, Sarah Coulson (2023)

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.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Hillfield Strathallan College

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