REVIEW OF Lakefield College School BY parent, Steven Sun
- Date of Review
June 09, 2022
Gr. 9 - Gr. 11
(5) Student Experience
Our son attended Lakefield College School (LCS) for Grade 9 and now he is a Grade 11 international boarding student. LCS is truly the home away from home, a caring community that allows our son to develop himself into a young man knowing and respecting people around him, making a lot of good friends, and growing himself into a more responsible community contributor and a future leader; LCS is also a continuous learning environment that is keeping push our son to challenge himself to reach next higher level and discover his potentials both on academic studies and competitive sports activities, and nurture him to find out his real interests he would like to pursue in future. LCS is really a fun place full of joys, happiness and kindness. Our son’s great experiences in LCS have our family decide to bring another boy to the school for Grade 9 study in 2021.
(5) School Leadership
Ms. Anne-Marie Kee, Head of the school is living on campus and she is regularly talking to students and listening to their feedback on various subjects. She is a great part of the community. In terms of communication, we feel well engaged by the school leadership and administration team (the LCS team). They provide regular school email newsletters, Zoom meetings with the head of school, and student house updates to keep the whole community updated on all levels of subjects and topics covering the school’s long-term strategic development plan to daily activities. During COVID the LCS team demonstrated their strong crisis management capabilities: they quickly put a plan in place, communicate well and execute the plan smoothly and effectively. The whole community and students are safe, and international students return home safely. We appreciate the LCS team’s approach to discipline, direct but responsible.
As we have observed, both from the school’s teaching and programming system and individual teachers, LCS’s approach to education is excellent. LCS is doing a great job of quickly transforming the latest and most advanced education methodology into real teaching practices. And teachers are full of energy and passion to support students to achieve their potential. As international boarding student parents, we find out the school’s Edsby online system is a very powerful tool. It allows us to connect with each teacher almost in real-time with his or her teaching practices. Quite often, we are amazed and appreciate those comments and feedbacks teacher made on our son’s learning progress. That feedback is normally very direct and specific, and always encouraging. Developing a student to be a well-rounded person is central to the school’s value, and we see the value reflected in every aspect of the LCS teaching practices.
The academics are rigorous. The school offers AP classes and also has a wide variety of courses for students to select. We appreciate the school’s academic resources are always ready to support students’ individual needs. LCS's academic learning environment in student groups is healthy and somehow competitive. Our son is very motivated to reach his next academic level: he has aimed for the university he wants to enrol in and interested areas he would like to explore further in the university, so he likes the academic resources the school is providing to him, and helpful inputs from his academic advisor when they start Grade 11 course selection and university selection processes. As international boarding student parents, we are also very much involved in those processes, and our son’s academic advisor is always available to talk with.
LCS is famous for its outstanding OE classes. Rich nature resources the school enjoys make every choice possible for students to develop their own interests. Our son starts on the junior-level basketball team, and gradually developed himself into today as a key senior competitive basketball player. He takes an advanced athletic class in Grade 11. Our son has also tried windsurfing, snowboarding and now he is taking on his track and field activities. Other than sports, there are a variety of clubs that help students develop their individual interests and skill sets in areas like art, music, drama, theatre, etc. The school often brings in professionals and subject expertise to help students to learn and develop in their interested area. The school really does a great job to provide students with the opportunities to be well-rounded students.
LCS has a talented student group. We are very impressed by the level of high quality of students’ artworks, theatre performance music and dancing, and beautiful poems. LCS has a diversified student group with students representing more than 40 countries. LCS brings all these culture and history diversities together and creates a caring, supportive and respectful student community, where everyone, no matter where she or he comes from, feels in one family. We were greeted by students with genuine smiles and joy when we did a campus tour back in 2018, and at that moment, we thought this is the school we would like our son to enter, and these are the students we would like them to be our son’s school mates and lifelong friends, and this is the community we definitely want to be part of it.
(5) School Life
LCS student life is just great. Our son enjoys it. The boarding students are living in the house, which is mixed of different countries’ students from Grade 9 to Grade 12. Grade 12 students could have the opportunity to take student leadership roles within the house, or school student group to help younger students. The head of our son’s house is living in the house with his family. The setup of the house, now there is only a boys' house and a girls' house but there will be an all-gender house in the coming new school year, nurtures very close relationships among housemates, and some have developed into lifelong friendships. During the monthly break time, the school will arrange activities for those boarding students who could not return home. Last year’s Christmas time, our son stayed in his local day school friends’ home and enjoyed a wonderful holiday.
Building a strong and broader community is one of the high priorities of the LCS leadership team. In late 2021, LCS deployed a dedicated resource who can speak Chinese to strengthen the connectivity with the LCS Asia/Chinese community since most of the parents of this group of international boarding students live far away from the LCS. This is a great example that the school leadership highly values the community and broader community involvement. LCS does a lot of workshops and quite often they invite parents to join in. And there is live streaming of school events like sports games and theatre performances to allow parents to join remotely and see how their kids are performing. LCS is very good at utilizing the technology to connect with boarder community. Parents are given a lot of opportunities to support and sponsor community activities.
(5) School Location
It takes about 1.5-hour by driving from Toronto or Pearson International airport to LCS. You can find direct international flights to connect major big cities in other countries from Pearson airport. Students normally will call Uber a 20-minute drive to go to downtown Peterborough to have fun. The school is next door to the beautiful town of Lakefield, where students can walk in to enjoy a meal or ice cream, get a haircut and shop in the Foodland. The 315-acre campus is full of natural beauties with a lake, fields, and forests.
The school’s online admission process is very easy to use. You will be assigned an admissions officer once an initial application is submitted. We have regular email exchanges with the admission officer, and responses are quick. Our son’s application started in early June. We found an early start is really helpful and made us have enough time to prepare the information requested, and made the whole process is not so stressful. We decided to conduct a campus tour with our son on that Oct. The school hosted our visit and meanwhile took the opportunity to conduct onsite interviews. To do a campus tour is a very right decision and we highly recommended it for international boarding student families. Our experience of the overall admission process is great.