REVIEW OF Oakville Christian School (OCS) BY parent, Kathleen Wilson
- Date of Review
February 27, 2018
Preschool - Gr. 8
(5) Student Experience
We have had our children at Oakville Christian School for the last nine years. School has been a very positive experience for all four of our children. They have enjoyed going to school each day. They look forward to learning and are excited about the many extracurricular activities that take place of a daily basis at the school. Since each child is unique they appreciate different aspects of the school. Our oldest child is very involved with sports. His favourite part of school is participating in various teams and tournaments at the school. He has had the opportunity to play on many teams including ultimate frisbee, soccer, volleyball, basketball, floor hockey and softball. Our second child has enjoyed being part of the theatrical performances that take place at the school. She loves to sing and act. The Christmas and Spring concerts have given her an opportunity to not only work hard and learn new skills but to gain confidence through being on stage. Our third child loves to learn and is excited about the new things her teachers show her each day. She comes home excited to share with us the experiments she has done or a new art project that she has completed. Our youngest child is at the beginning of her journey at OCS. She is happy to go to school, loves her teachers and friends and is learning new things each day. Her favourite part about school is learning to read and count and of course, recess with her little friends. All of our children appreciate the sense of community at OCS. They have made wonderful friends with their classmates. All of the teachers and administration know our children and invest their time and energy into encouraging and supporting each of them. OCS is a wonderful school that all of our children look forward to going to each day.
(5) School Leadership
What stands out to me the most about the leadership at Oakville Christian School is the welcoming and friendly atmosphere that permeates the entire school. The administration works very hard to get to know each and every child and family. They know the children by name and learn who they are. The relationships that are fostered between the school administration and the students makes the school community feel like family. The communication between the school and families is very good. Each week every family in the school receives a newsletter outlining up coming events and day to day life with in the school. This newsletter includes pictures and highlights various aspects of school life. It also incudes volunteer opportunities for parents and caregivers to become more involved with school life. In addition to the school wide newsletter, each teacher sends out a week at a glance newsletter for their class which includes information about what the class will be doing in the coming week as well as upcoming tests and assignments. This communication allows parents an ongoing inside look at what is going on at the school and inside the classroom. The administration is very responsive and can be reached easily by phone or email. They respond to issues quickly and effectively. Teachers and administrators handle discipline issues fairly with respect, care and compassion. They always want what is best for the students working closely with families to develop strategies that will foster positive outcomes.
The teaching at Oakville Christian school is excellent. Each and every teacher at the school is passionate about teaching at a Christian school. They invest time and love into each and every child that enters their classroom. They are very knowledgeable in the subjects that they teach. There are speciality teachers from French, music and physical education. Having teachers dedicated to these subjects allows the children to be taught these subjects by educators that are specifically trained in these disciplines. Teachers at OCS go above and beyond to communicate with parents of the students. A weekly newsletter is sent out to parents to give a overview of what will happen in the class the following week. Teachers are easily accessible by email, responding very quickly to any questions or concerns that parents have. I feel that with all of our children we have been kept up to date on their academic and social progress. When a teacher has had a concern or a question about our child they have raised it in a kind and caring manner. There is always space for an open and meaningful dialogue between parents and teachers. The teachers always greet parents with a smile and welcoming attitude. The instruction that my children receive at OCS is outstanding. They have been challenged and inspired to take their learning above and beyond what is required. They are encouraged to do their best and when something has come easy to them there has been opportunities for enrichment learning. Also, when our children have struggled in areas there has been reassuring guidance and extra help from classroom and support teachers.
The academics at Oakville Christian School are wonderful. The students are challenged and encouraged to go above and beyond in every aspect of their learning. The curriculum is engaging, fun and interesting to the child while also being challenging. From a very young age the students are taught to do independent research. They learn how to take notes, summarize information into their own words and create reports. They create presentations and display boards on their topics. Each year the requirements for these types of projects are built upon. They learn how to independently dive deeper into the subject and to share this information with their peers in a meaningful way. One aspect of the academics that I really appreciate is the opportunity to go further in the study of a subject if the child has mastered an area. For example, in math class if a child shows they have mastered the subject material at the beginning of a unit they are given an opportunity to work on other math work instead. This allows the child to develop more fully and eliminates the chance of them becoming bored with a particular subject. There is also an opportunity for students excel in academics through activities such as math and speech competitions and the senior level science fair. Teachers work closely with students to encourage and support these academic challenges. I believe that the academics that my children have received at Oakville Christian School will adequately prepare them for high school and beyond.
Oakville Christian School has numerous extracurricular activities for students to participate in both for competition and for fun. The student body is divided into four houses based on the students last name. These houses compete against one another throughout the year for points and the house with the most points at the end of the school year is awarded the house trophy. House points can be won through various activities including intramural sports, charity initiatives, participation in dress up days, and holiday activities. The wonderful thing about house competition is that it allows students in various grades to get to know one another and develop friendships that may not occur otherwise. Senior age students are chosen to lead the houses and are given an opportunity to show and learn leadership skills. There are also many clubs that students are able to join that meet during recess or after school. These include; bible club, circus club, dance, and OCS singers. There are many opportunities for the students to find something that sparks their interest. For students that enjoy a competition the school offers a number of sports teams that compete in tournaments throughout the year. These include, cross country, ultimate frisbee, soccer, volley ball, basketball, floor hockey, track and field and softball. The school offers both junior and senior divisions which allows students an opportunity to try out for teams beginning in grade 4. Oakville Christian school also offers programs including Mad Science, an after school french program, coding and brick building. There are many ways for children to get involved and have fun at school.
There are approximately two hundred and fifty students at Oakville Christian School. The size of the school allows the students to get to know one another and become friends with more than the children within their own classroom. There is a lot of school spirit amongst the students at the school. They enjoy cheering their fellow students on at sporting and house competitions. One thing that really stands out to me about the students at Oakville Christian School is their respect for one another. It is not uncommon to see an older student helping a younger student in the school yard or in the hall way. The students treat the adults that come into the school with respect and care as well. If you walk through the halls at OCS students will greet you with a polite and cheerful hello and will hold the door and allow you to enter before they do. There is a sense of community and pride that goes along with being a student at Oakville Christian School. The students love their school and are proud to attend it. When they are out in the community on field trips or sporting competition they work very hard to represent the school in a positive way. Showing respect and thoughtfulness are values that are part of the daily life at Oakville Christian School. Weekly chapels with guest speakers and worship music allow the children to gather as a student body to express their faith. Together they sing, pray and listen to Christian teaching. Their enthusiasm and school spirit are able to shine at these chapels where they learn value and grow in their faith.
(4.5) School Life
All of my children have enjoyed going to school at Oakville Christian School. They look forward to each day. They love their friends, teachers and all the exciting things that happen during the day. One of their favourite things that they enjoy during the year is an activity called "clusters". Clusters happen twice throughout the school year. The children are presented with different areas of interest to choose from then they are assigned a cluster group. The clusters include children from multiple grades working together on projects and activities. Examples of clusters that my children have participated in are circus, clay creation, lego, story writing, movie make-up and service trip. It is a great way for children to learn a new and different skill outside the curriculum, to build school spirit and foster relationships between other children within the school community. Overall, Oakville Christian School has been a loving a caring community that has made a meaningful impact on my children's life. I feel that they are loved and cared for in a way that is unique to this school. It is a pleasure to take my children to school each day knowing that they are in a safe environment. I feel confident that the school is giving my children the a wonderful education but more importantly helping to build character and values that will serve them well throughout their lifetime.
Oakville Christian school has a very tight knit school community. It is not uncommon to see parents gathered together in the school discussing upcoming events or helping out in the classrooms and with various school activities. It is a very welcoming place where people start off as parents of students but soon become friends. Families are invested in one each others lives often supporting one another through challenges and difficulties that families may encounter. The PTA is a very active group within the school community. They are a group of volunteers that work together to provide fun events for the students and support for the staff at Oakville Christian school. Some of the events that are planned each year include grandparents day, in which students are encouraged to invite their grandparents to the school for a presentation by younger grades, a fun Christmas event celebrating the birth of Jesus, a pastors lunch, staff appreciation lunch and a fun fair inviting students, staff and families to gather to celebrate the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to volunteer and take part in the daily life of the school. They are regularly asked to help in the classroom, on field trips, in the library, pizza lunch or with supervision at recess. Volunteering within the school allows you the opportunity to see your child in their school environment and to give back to the school that cares so wonderfully for our children. The parents are also welcome to gather together in the evening for the students to display various projects that they have completed throughout the year. Including science and heritage fair. This is a wonderful opportunity to not only view your child's work but to meet and get to know other parents in your child's grade. Parents are invited weekly to attend the schools chapel service. Together they gather in community and prayer to support the school.
(4.5) School Location
Oakville Christian School is located at Third line and Lakeshore Rd in Oakville. The school is situated on a beautiful property with a large playing field for the students to use at recess and for the athletic teams to practices. The school yard has basketball and soccer nets and two climbing structures for the children to play on. OCS backs onto a city park which provides the students with extra green space to play. The school is surrounded by a lovely neighbourhood with beautiful homes and large trees. Many children are able to walk to the school from their homes however the it is also easily accessible by car to anyone who lives in Oakville or Burlington. Morning drop off is always very smooth. Parents are able to pull into the parking lot in lanes and allow their children out of their cars without having to find a parking spot. The students are guided from their cars to the school by a friendly staff member. This is a big help to parents who have younger children or who need to get on their way to work. The school is very involved with the neighbourhood that surrounds them. Each September the students participate in the Terry Fox charity walk. They venture with their class through the surrounding neighbourhood raising money to support cancer research. At Christmas time, the choir performs Christmas carols at the seniors centre close by and at Hopedale Mall. In the spring students participate in service projects that have involved gardening and yard work for neighbours who are in need. Coronation park is a short walk from the school and teachers will often take their class for a walking field trip to the park for further study of a unit or a fun end of year celebration.