REVIEW OF Lakefield College School BY parent, Randall Fitton
- Date of Review
November 03, 2022
- Child 1
Gr. 10 - 12 (Female, Boarding Student)
(4.5) Student Experience
After investigating private boarding schools worldwide, LCS was our first choice, and the school did not disappoint. Our daughter started at the school in grade 10 after seven years of homeschooling, and the entire process was very supportive. She found all of the programs and staff, both academic and non-academic world-class, very supportive and caring. Having grown up in Singapore and an Asian food foodie, she and some of her friends did find they needed to go off campus to get their fill of authentic Asian cuisine and would have liked to see some of that in the dining halls. Overall our daughter would have to say that she has met some lifelong friends during her time at Lakefield and will always cherish that from her time at the school. They had a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyed the environment and the experience.
(5) School Leadership
Number one, we had the opportunity to watch the school administration and management jump to the challenge of COVID-19. It was managed well, and parents were kept informed via regular Zoom meetings. No one could have foreseen this coming, and our daughter had just started at the school in the previous September before the pandemic broke. Like everyone, there was a lot of uncertainty and unknowns, and my wife and I will never forget the demonstrated leadership and resilience of the team at LCS. Because we were there to witness that, we know that the same care, tenaciousness and pragmatism will be applied across the board to manage the regular day-to-day functioning of the school.
The teachers at LCS are most passionate and knowledgeable and take great pride in delivering a best-in-class educational experience. Our observations via our daughter and when we were directly involved was that the teachers worked hard to keep things exciting and the students engaged, fostering an intense curiosity and motivation to learn. I felt strongly that during the entire time at the school, the teachers were very involved in ensuring that our daughter could succeed at her utmost best. She was given many unique and powerful learning opportunities due to the school's strong use of the outdoor and rural settings. Parent-teacher interviews were excellent and extremely helpful to us as we helped to coach our daughter from off campus. I witnessed a holistic teaching environment and a concern for bringing the latest research on teaching and learning methodologies to fruition.
I felt the school excelled at providing a robust academic culture with care to help each student to be able to succeed at their very best level. We had a regular engagement with our daughter's academic advisor so that we could support the school team and provide our parenting guidance and advice whenever required. I was also highly impressed with the school's use of the online tool Edsby, which kept us apprised of the grades and activities as our daughter was engaged with them in real-time. The quality of the facilities, the staff and the results all exceeded my wife's and my expectations. It was excellent preparation for my daughter's further studies at university. In a few words, it is hard to express how the unique rural setting on a lake combined with a top-notch teaching and support staff fuse to create a truly unique and unequalled learning environment. One must experience it.
The school offers many extracurricular opportunities, and there were too many for my daughter to choose from. She was able to do dance, art, sailing, and skiing, sometimes on school teams, sometimes just as a club for personal enjoyment. I think there was just not enough time in the week for my daughter to be able to pursue everything that she would have wanted to from a large amount of choice. Again because of the school's rural setting on a lake, there are just some unique experiences that the students can get involved with that could not be found elsewhere.
My daughter is of Canadian Chinese ethnicity and grew up in Singapore. Right out of the gate, the first thing she and we realized was how diverse the student body is. She could make friends from Germany, the USA, Korea, Japan and other parts of Canada. There were students from over forty countries, and we certainly feel this adds to the entire experience of being a student there. About 400 students were attending during my daughter's time which was just about the right size. Not too big and not too small, you could get to know and recognize most of the other students. The community bonding and the different grade levels with house events and the boarding houses were successfully managed. The time at LCS was unique in that our daughter was discovering more about her native Canada which she had never lived, and being immersed in the multicultural framework of an international boarding school.
(5) School Life
Our daughter was a proud student of LCS and is a proud alumnus. She realized quickly that the school was in a unique environment and had a lot to offer academically and with co-curricular activities. She felt fortunate to be at the school and thought the boarding facilities she had were excellent, and the grounds were spectacular. She particularly enjoyed running in the splendid rural setting and grabbing some quiet time by the lake. Our daughter grew up in Singapore and chose to join the Nordic Ski team in her first year. As the campus was equipped with its Nordic ski track, she could do a lot of extra skiing and thoroughly enjoy the exercise, learning the sport and becoming proficient at it during her stay at the school.
My first-hand experience is that involving the parents and keeping them updated about things happening in the school environment is a priority for the LCS faculty and management team. We had regular Zoom calls, especially during COVID. Beyond that, there were opportunities for parents to volunteer for or become involved in the new family welcome program, parent socials, teacher/staff appreciation or events hosted at the campus, such as significant sports events like Nordic Skiing competitions on the school's course. For any parent that wants to connect, there is also parents week and various information sessions to help parents better understand the best ways they can get involved. Regular newsletters for the parents also provide a wealth of information and links with opportunities to engage with the school.
(5) School Location
I could write a chapter on the fantastic country setting on a lake and all of the things it brings to the education experience of a student fortunate enough to attend this school!!. Our daughter partook in sailing as an extracurricular, and of course, the outdoor focus of the physical education program is exceptional and would be hard to replicate anywhere else.
After investigating private boarding schools worldwide, LCS was our first choice, and the school did not disappoint. Our daughter started at the school in grade 10 after seven years of homeschooling, and the entire process was very supportive. I had been concerned that coming from a home school environment in Singapore would be a hindrance. Still, all of the staff in admissions and guidance worked hard to educate us on what was required on our part and to assist my daughter in completing the admissions process. I must also impress that I was at the school investigating for several years before we decided to apply officially. During that time, patient support, friendly information sharing and tours were key factors in eventually helping us make the right choice and having our daughter apply to LCS.
(5) University placement and counselling
Our daughter was accepted into all the university programs she applied to during her final year at LCS. Due to that, she was able to choose her first choice program. The guidance activity was solid and timely and gave her the information and backing required to conduct her post-high school investigations thoroughly until she streamlined her thinking. The process was much more involved and better managed than my wife, and I have experienced previously, and we were thoroughly impressed. The support came from the guidance counsellors, and the don's in the boarding houses could also share their university experiences. The don in my daughter's house and my daughter's academic advisor had both graduated from my daughter's university of choice and were able to offer much practical advice.