Our three children are new to the school and all of them have really enjoyed the school. Our children love the outdoor spaces, the library, and the two gyms. The teachers were very welcoming and supportive, and we felt that the transition was very smooth. Given that our experiences were during COVID-19, we felt that the school did a great job keeping the kids safe while allowing them to enjoy their essential social interactions, physical exercise, and academic activities. Our kids are very much looking forward to non pandemic times so they can enjoy all the additional opportunities such as field trips and interaction out of their designated cohort during recess. This is not a complaint though, the kids still enjoyed school despite the health restrictions that kept them safe.
We found that the administration was very responsive, both by phone and email. As an English speaking parent, I appreciate that communications are in both English and French. I also appreciate that the teachers and administrators make me feel welcome to communicate with my poor French! We have not had to experience disciplinary issues to date, however, when choosing the school we were very pleased to see the clear rules that are set out. We also appreciate the rules surrounding technology and that parents can monitor and restrict the devices after hours if they wish.
As parents, we have been very impressed with the quality of teaching. Our three children all have different learning styles and, from what we can see, the teachers are very adaptable and supportive. The teachers that we have met seem to be very passionate about teaching and enjoy their jobs. We get the feeling that the teaching team is cohesive and very energetic. In 6ieme, the different specialized teachers seem very knowledgable and interested in the material that they are teaching. We also notice that the curriculum is very interesting for the kids. For example, my son studied the Greek gods for his english class and really really enjoyed the material. We have had an opportunity to obtain feedback from the teachers on a regular basis and always feel welcome it reach out. We like that the children also receive direct feedback from their teachers on a regular basis. We felt the teachers are very responsive when our kids have challenges. For the younger grades we were in regular contact with their primary teachers and greatly appreciated this.
We have found that there is a wide variety of academic disciplines that are available starting at 6ieme. The culture of the school seems to be quite serious on academics. Most of the kids in the same classes seem to take their academics quite seriously. There is a strong emphasis on the students being independent and autonomous. For example, the kids are encouraged to use a day planner and keep track of their own homework starting at about 7 years old. My daughter had to adjust to this coming from her previous learning environment, however we found the teachers supportive during her time of transition. From what we can see, learning "how" to learn is an important component of the learning culture and it will help our kids as they progress through their academics.
The extracurricular offerings are well organized on an online platform. We hear that parents find them very well organized and high quality. The afterschool program so appears to be very convenient and popular. The March break camps look excellent. The sports offering differ by age. From the list, we were very impressed with the wide range of offerings- arts, sports, languages to develop well rounded individuals.
Size: We like that it is a larger school and that there are a few classes of each grade. We find the size is a nice balance- everyone seems to know each other but the numerous classes for each grade means that the cohorts can change and there is a larger group of kids with a wide range of interests to be friends with. Feel: our kids are very happy with the size, we find that the other parents are friendly and often reach out to connect. Spirit: the spirit of the school is positive. The elementary aged children wear their gym shirts from the school proudly. Dynamic: we have only noted positive interactions between students and families and were pleased with how welcome the other families made us feel when we started at this school.
Our experience with student life has been a little different due to the pandemic, however, we have been pleased with how well the school balanced safety and student life thus past year. The designated student life team seems very friendly and organized and there are ample opportunities to get involved, from what we can see. Despite all the pandemic-related restrictions, our kids all loved the school. I think that a combination of really nice peers, caring and skilled teachers, attentive administrators, and excellent facilities made this past year so enjoyable and successful academically. Our kids are looking forward to experiencing the other perks offered by the school once the restrictions are lifted. We really have no complaints and look forward to next year as well.
There seems be be ample opportunity to get involved as parents. The parent Council seems very well organized, welcoming and energetic. We appreciate the regular communications, surveys to take into consideration feedback from other families, and it seems to reflect diverse opinions and ideas. When picking up the kids, the families are friendly. The parking lot is quite busy during pickup and drop off but everyone is amicable. We noted many opportunities to be involved such as meetings, surveys, newsletters throughout the year. We also appreciate that these are shared in both French and english. The school so shares a form for people to sell used text books privately, which we appreciate. During the pandemic the school was not open to visitors, however, we still ft connected to the school.
Location: beautiful cross country ski trails that are 9km in length and fun hills as part of the Rideau Winter Trail right across the road!!! Lots of bike paths connecting to the school to permit active transport. Central location in the city, close to the 417 highway and major roads. Also very accessible by public transport, major bus route stops at the school.