REVIEW OF Keystone School BY student, Manolya Yatman
- Date of Review
January 31, 2022
Gr. 9 - Gr. 12
(4.5) Student Experience
I have been a student at Keystone International Schools for the past four years. Being at an international school is truly a remarkable experience, where I got to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. I have come to form familial bonds with peers who come from all over the world, regardless of our differences. The experiences I’ve had at Keystone have all shaped who I am today, and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I am really grateful for all of my experiences at Keystone, as well as the life-long friends that I made. Being a senior, I have bittersweet feelings about leaving this community behind, yet, I know that the ideals and values of Keystone will stay with me wherever I go.
(5) School Leadership
The school leaders at Keystone all give their students their full support. As a senior, I had a lot of support and encouragement throughout my application process into universities for further education. I have received great guidance from our university counselor who helped me with researching the best schools for me as well as the career choices. Besides simply submitting my transcripts, our school leaders and headmaster have made the application process easier for me by showing full support for my future endeavours.
Keystone International Schools has top-quality teaching, with instructors who put in a lot of effort for each and every individual student’s success. The teachers always go over the necessary material required to help us pass our courses and also to learn in the most efficient way possible. The style of teaching isn’t just in the form of lectures, but also activities, discussions, and projects, which most definitely improve the quality of learning for the students. Our wonderful teachers are always there for us when we need to consult them. This could be either about the homework, if something we covered was unclear, or even about academic work we may have outside of school. Being in small classrooms means that we can form close bonds with the teachers, and so they pay special attention to each of us.
Our school follows the Ontario curriculum. In all honesty, we, as the students, do find the coursework to be difficult at times. However, I believe that the rigor of the coursework is also proof of the quality of education at Keystone. Although the courses are definitely not easy, with the support we get from our teachers we are able to complete our courses with a full understanding of each subject. Therefore, I think that the work is somewhere in the middle, where it is not too easy but also not too hard as to make us fail. The classes we take are most definitely going to be useful for us later in life. Especially for grade 12, we are taking college prep courses, which prepare us for university.
Keystone International Schools is a boutique school with a very small number of students. Therefore, we don’t have a wide variety of extracurricular activities. However, it is always possible to create opportunities for yourself at school, like joining high school conferences or the student council. Since the student population is so low, we, unfortunately, don’t have many opportunities when it comes to sports groups.
The school’s small population gives it a more familial feel. This also means that we all have a better chance at creating close bonds with one another. As a result, nobody at the school is left out because whether you’re outgoing or introverted, someone will approach you and you will eventually make new friends. Since it’s an international school, we are mostly all from different countries, which is something that I love about the school. We are able to share our cultures with one another, and bond regardless of our differences. If you are willing to make friends and socialize with others, it is very easy to make friends at Keystone, with everyone being so accepting. Making friends is as easy as coming to school with no judgment and an open mind.
(4.5) School Life
The school building is very small and quaint. I would first show them our beautiful classrooms where we take our classes. I would then show them the halls of our school as well as the common area, which are decorated with the creative projects and art pieces created by the students. The murals on the walls represent the creativity and diverse community at Keystone. Besides the classrooms and common areas, there is not much to see on campus, so I would show them around the city. I would take them to the regular spots that we, the students, regularly visit either outside of school or during the breaks. I would also take them to the city center to explore Toronto in all its glory.
Keystone definitely feels like a second home to me, especially considering the long amount of time that I have been going to this school. The students and faculty are all extremely kind and accepting, which is why I feel included and appreciated at my school, and I know that others are the school feel the same. The students are all very close with one another, and our relationships with each other are really good. We regularly meet outside of school as well. The diverse community at Keystone brings us together. The friendships I made at Keystone throughout the years have always stayed with me. Since it’s an international school, some people end up moving away or back to their own countries, but I am still in touch with most of the people I met thanks to the close-knit community.
(5) School Location
One of my favourite things about the school is the location, which is at the heart of Toronto. There are many things to do in the city, and the school is close to a lot of stores and restaurants. During the breaks, students tend to go outside of the campus. A regular spot to relax and get something to drink is the Tim Hortons.
The admission staff were very supportive, and they answered every single question that I had about the school. The entrance exam was not too difficult, and the admission staff were there to clarify any uncertainties. The advice I would give to someone applying for admission is to read the reviews about the school to see if this is the right place for you. I would also suggest reaching out to current students if you are able to, in order to ask your questions. The most important advice I would like to give is to not be stressed and do your best when applying. At the time of my application, I was uncertain about going to such a small school. However, that is one of the things that I came to love about the school.