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Grades Gr. 9 TO Gr. 12 — Lakefield, ON (Map)


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Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Lakefield College School (2021)

Lakefield College School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Ximena, Michael, Lisa and Sean had to say about the school.

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Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Ximena — alum

Ximena graduated from Lakefield College School in 2020. She came from Mexico to be a boarder at Lakefield. She planned to spend only one year at Lakefield, but ended up staying for her entire time in high school. She really liked that Lakefield challenged her to try new things. She feels that Lakefield changed her into the best version of herself.

  • The thing that I appreciate the most is the connections that I've created at Lakefield. I've noticed because now at university, I'm like a student. And at Lakefield I felt that I was part of a family. I'm going to have a great experience at university. I'm going to meet people. I'm going to have friends. I'm going to have teachers and professors. But after going to Lakefield, it's not just the teachers, not just your roommates, not just your housemate. It's the people that you see every day. And because it's such a small school, you know everyone, everyone knows you.

  • I feel that something that really differentiates Lakefield is all the opportunities you get and how much the school cares about you as a person, but not just your academic activities. So when I went to Lakefield, I was like, ‘Okay, I'm going to improve math and English,’ all of those experiences that I was really afraid of. But when I got to Lakefield, they were like, ‘Okay, we really care about your academics, but we really care for your passions, your extracurricular activities.’ So they give the same importance to your extracurricular activities and your passions.

  • I really like that Lakefield challenged me to try new things. I was like, ‘What am I going to do?’ I never would have thought I would sing, ending up in a musical. I started horseback riding. It's really great. And they give you time for that. And they really care about your school, like the academic part. So it's a really great balance.

  • Definitely, Lakefield College School challenges you, but in a way that makes you gain an experience that you will never forget. So, for example, one of my biggest fears was speaking in front of a lot of people, and I can say now it's one of the things I love to do the most. I loved how the school was like, ‘Well, you have the chance of doing it or not, but that's the experience.’

  • Lakefield is like one of those friends that when you don't see them for too long and when you see them again, it's like you were never apart from them and you talk as if you saw them yesterday.

  • Lakefield changed me to be the best version of myself. I applied to Lakefield to just be my one-year experience. My mom was like, ‘There's no way for you to stay more than one year.’ I'm an only child, so you can't imagine. I'm a girl. And she saw me so happy that when I asked to stay all through high school, she was like, ‘Yes, I saw you so happy. I saw that you changed. You're so independent. How much you grew as a person!’ 

  • At Lakefield it’s super normal to be with people from all around the world. It's so normal to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I'm studying here in front of the lake with my best friend from Lebanon.’

  • Lakefield gives you the opportunity to forget a little bit of your old self and try to explore a new one. You never know what you would like. You are now in Lakefield and you have all the opportunities that you're going to regret if you don't take them.

Michael — current parent

Michael has two sons attending Lakefield College School. He is an expat living in Saudi Arabia and wanted his sons to have a very Canadian experience at a school that looked after the social and emotional side of his sons in addition to the academic side. He sees his sons as confident in trying new things and adept at overcoming obstacles due to their time at Lakefield.

  • As an expat living overseas, in addition to having our kids find a school that's a good fit for them we were also looking for a school that is boarding-school specific as opposed to a day school that includes some boarding. So Lakefield quickly popped up on our horizon.

  • We're also drawn to schools that tend to look at the whole child as a balance, both academic and social and emotional. And Lakefield had that when we were looking at schools because as parents, we're on the other side of the world. We also wanted to find a spot where the kids felt at home, where they felt comfortable, where they felt like they belonged. And in touring Lakefield, both boys felt that they could see themselves there.

  • Our kids spend their summers in Canada, and we wanted them to have a very Canadian experience. We love the cottage; we love the outdoors. Our kids love hockey, and being able to continue to explore that part of their interests was important to us. They also are active with music and other sports and having that opportunity where the kids can continue to develop that side of their interest, but also explore some new ones that they've not had before was a big priority for us as a family.

  • I think probably the biggest piece that shaped our decision to send our kids to Lakefield is we were looking for a school where our kids could become the best version of their future selves. And I think that the people we met, the facilities that are available to them, and the culture that Lakefield really is helping our kids accomplish that goal.

  • Everything that we have expected from Lakefield, the school has hit that target and surpassed it, especially how they've approached the challenges of the pandemic. As a parent who lives across the world, who is depending on an institution to take care of their kids’ health and well-being on top of their education, we couldn't have asked for our boys to be in a better spot than Lakefield. So in that context, Lakefield has hit the target every single time.

  • Our boys are becoming more and more adept at overcoming obstacles and challenges and turning those into successes, whether it's a personal one or an academic one or a social one. The school is helping guide them through that process like a parent would. And being so far away as an expat dad, that's really important to me. I think because of that, I've also seen both boys’ confidence continue to grow.

  • Our sons are more confident in trying new things and exploring new opportunities, but also confident in terms of standing up for their values and what they believe in and speaking their truth when they see something that doesn't sit right for them. I'm pretty proud of them for doing that, especially when it's for people that maybe don't have the same voice that the boys have.

  • Now that they’re at Lakefield, the biggest impact that I'm seeing is our sons’ understanding of themselves, who they are, what their values are, understanding what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and then how to take that and use that to turn it into an opportunity to grow and move forward in their learning. That's the impact that I'm seeing. And that's across all aspects of their education. They're academics, they're social, they're emotional, and they're physical. Whether it's playing hockey or being a part of the band or taking an AP class, I see that time and time again in both boys.

  • Lakefield does a really good job of communicating its values and then living it through its actions and through its words. In every interaction, I can say I've always felt it's been very authentic with the school, from the kids interacting with each other and how they work together and how they study or work as a team, to living in the dorm. It's always been very authentic and living the values that the school promotes. And I think that's pretty hard to do.

  • Lakefield is an inspiration. It's inspirational to see what they're doing, to see the innovation that they're trying to do, the approach that they're trying to use in developing our kids, and preparing them not just for today, but for an unknown future so that they can succeed in their own individual ways.

  • I think school should be kind. And the kids that go to school at Lakefield are kind. They're kind to each other. They're kind to the people who support them in their building. The people that take care of them in the dorms are kind. Their teachers are kind. Time and time again, through every interaction with every teacher or every student that I've met, you do get a sense of that kindness when you walk into Lakefield.

  • What the boys shared with me about Lakefield is that connection. One son, really early in the fall, went on a paddle with a group of Matthews House boys from somewhere in Peterborough to the school. He was just beaming and felt at home. Later, there was a Gladiator Day and he talked about how that was really the moment where he felt included, that he felt he belonged, that he was home.

  • One of the things when we were looking at boarding school was understanding how schools handle missteps that kids make growing up. And is it punitive or do they focus on a learning experience? Because part of growing up, I think, is making mistakes and then learning from those mistakes, whether it's a poor choice with friends or a difficult choice around academics or choosing not to do something. Those are the values that we were looking for in how a school goes about approaching that. And I think Lakefield has done exactly what we had wanted; someone's been there to help them along the way.

  • Lakefield's value of outdoors every day is something that our sons have embraced and they've loved. They've stayed with the outdoor ed program all the way along through all their years at LCS.

  • It’s really heartening to know that our son was comfortable and at home, being that busy, just finding new things to love. When he started there, we didn't hear from him for a long time, like two, three weeks. He wasn't texting. He was too busy to call. And we finally had to talk with him and ask, ‘Are you okay? Is everything going well?’ And he's like, ‘I'm just living the Lakefield life.’ And that's probably one of the messages he asked me to pass on: at Lakefield, you'll always find your people. You'll find someone to do what you love to do and find your people.

Lisa and Sean — current parent

Lisa and Sean have a son and a daughter attending Lakefield College School. Their children are day students at LCS. They feel that Lakefield is a natural extension of their family. They find that the environment is inclusive and that encourages kids to get curious about themselves. The teachers are all supportive and collaborative.

  • We went to tour Lakefield and when you step onto the campus you are just blown away by the expansiveness of the beauty. And then to be honest, it's the students. They sold it. Their enthusiasm, their love. It's like getting a big, huge hug when you come on. And the sense of all the opportunities that your children can have is pretty amazing.

  • Lakefield College School just felt like a natural extension of our family. The values were shared. We had thought about sending our kids to the mainstream system, and then it just became so evident that that was for us as a family, the wrong decision. And after completing our due diligence on LCS and connecting with the faculty, the staff, the students, it just became so clear that LCS was the best choice for our two kids based on our family values. Frankly, it exceeded our expectations.

  • Lakefield College School provides this amazing inclusive environment for them to thrive. High school is a complex experience for students. It's, I think, just emotionally complex. Trying to find that inner confidence and belief in yourself. And so, what I've noticed specifically with our daughter and our son, is this growth. I see it year over year.

  • I've seen in our daughter this essence of confidence and independence in herself and her abilities to take risks. And those risks are demonstrated by trying new things, being bold, not being worried about what other people think, getting on an airplane to go and live in South Africa for three months for an abroad and exchange program, and going to India. She's become very vocal and active with this sense of confidence and independence. And we attribute that to the school and the environment the school creates.

  • The teachers exude this all-in support; that's something that our son needed. He's a young man trying to figure out who he is. At Lakefield he has that framework or that foundation of support where he can feel confident that people got his back. There's trust, there's a sense of love and support so that he's okay.

  • Lakefield allows the kids to get curious about themselves on all components, academically, co-curriculars, and every other part. The teachers are curious about the students, wanting to know them better, getting connected with them on that level. And the school is curious with the parents. You're curious about what we think, how it affects us.

  • The collaboration between the school and the parents is very open and transparent and very collaborative, but there is also collaboration between the students and the teachers. There's this bond of trust. It's like the essence of family. There is an embracing of and fostering of collaboration among your peers. And it's not just intergrade, it's multi dimensional in grades up and grades down. There's a real fostering of open communication and collaboration.

  • I think LCS is a very innovative school. And I think the pandemic was a testament to how the school was able to pivot in short order and deliver an exceptional experience considering the massive headwind that the pandemic created as a student experience, as a faculty experience, and then just the overall complexity that the pandemic created as an environment to be able to go to school overall.

  • At Lakefield our daughter had to step out of the box, which she, in her own words, would say super empowering, because she got to sail. Never sailed in her life. And bam, she was going to the States on a sailing regatta.

  • A value that's shared between the school and the families that we've met is adventure, a sense, a deep sense, or a strong sense of adventure. The school provides this great environment with all these adventurous trips, all these adventurous opportunities on the campus and off the campus. It's a Canadian adventure. And the parents that we've met want to provide that adventure for their child to send them away.

 

More about Lakefield College School

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Key insights on Lakefield College School

Each school is different. Lakefield College School's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Lakefield College School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • An emphasis on the full spectrum of learning, including social, physical, and academic development.
  • A close, connected school community and a faculty that knows the students from the time they enter the school until the time they graduate from it.

 

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More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Lakefield College School Q&A discussion to gain fresh insight into the school's culture, values, and strengths.

Roundtable Q&A (2022)

Watch our Lakefield College School Q&A discussion to gain fresh insight into the school's culture, values, and strengths.

More written reviews

(4.7)

Parent, Stacey Ambler (2023)

Gr. 10 (current) — Our daughter has wanted to attend LCS since she was a little girl. She saw her two nieces graduate from LCS and knew that I (mom) attended and loved it. She boards at LCS which has been an adjustment...

(5)

Parent, catherine Gell (2022)

Gr. 9 to Gr. 11 (current) — Our son's experience in LCS is beyond expectations. He started boarding during the pandemic time, when restrictions ruled life. And still, he loved it. LCS had a way of welcoming the kids that is un...

(5)

Parent, Randall Fitton (2022)

Gr. 10 to Gr. 12 — 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, ...
See all written reviews (11 total)
 

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Lakefield College School

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