REVIEW OF Oakville Christian School (OCS) BY parent, Natasha Fernandes
- Date of Review
October 24, 2018
Gr. Preschool - 7
(4.5) Student Experience
Our children are in grades 3 and 7 and have been at OCS since preschool. Both kids love going to school at OCS for the community and the way the teachers/staff show them love and attention. Out of these, for sure both kids appreciate the teachers the most. The way they feel cared for and the interest the teachers take in their lives and thoughts builds their confidence and desire to strive to do their best. They look forward to learning and are excited about all of the events and extra-curricular activities that take place at school. They even enjoy going to the before/after school supervision program!
(4.5) School Leadership
The reason we joined the OCS community is a direct reflection of the school leadership and administration team. We met the leadership and administration staff at an open house, and this experience was so engaging and welcoming that it was a simple decision for us to choose OCS for our children. The school administration team makes an effort to know all of the children and engage in conversation with them, when possible. The environment is a safe and positive one which nurtures children to strive to do their best. In our experience, discipline issues are handled discretely and addressed promptly. The result may not always be as we would like, but we clearly understand all choices and decisions and in the end, believe issues are addressed in a fair manner.
The teachers make this school what it is! The teachers are skilled in their areas, and have continuous professional development. All of the teaching staff from Preschool to grade 8 strive to show the children love through teaching, discipline, direction and guidance. The teachers work with the children, at their level, and are willing to help a child realize their potential. The school wide enrichment model that OCS follows gives children an opportunity to grow and be challenged. At the higher grades, the teachers are clearly making the effort to help the children become responsible young adults so that they are ready for high school and beyond. In the younger grades there is weekly (and even more frequent) detailed updates. There is a bond that the teachers build with the children that is invaluable. Out of everything at OCS, my kids love the teachers the most!
Oakville Christian School strives to maintain a higher academic standard. The programs are well-rounded in that in addition to academics, the school focuses heavily on sports and the arts. There are academic fairs, sports competitions and arts performances each year where the children get to develop their full skill set. My experience is that it is a balanced program. There is also additional focus on math and language with additional contests and competitions available for those children who want to push for higher levels. From the earlier grades my children were taught how to do independent research and time management. In all subjects, the school cultivates an atmosphere and culture for the students to be lovingly nurtured to build a strong christian character. I believe my children will have a strong foundation to excel in future academics and in life.
Extracurricular opportunities are extensive at Oakville Christian School. From the first week in September until the last week of school in June there are extracurricular events happening. There are many sports teams for the children to be involved in at a junior and senior level as well as choir, bible club, circus club, mad science programs, hatch programs, french programs and so much more.
The school has approximately 250 students which creates an interactive environment as the children know mostly everyone in the school. In the past couple years, the creation of 'houses' has created an environment for the kids to be part of large group within the school where they have friendly competitions which foster leadership, interaction skills, communication skills and overall encourage the children to work together in a Christ-like manner. The school has weekly chapels where the school community has a chance to connect under some time of worship and teaching. Their enthusiasm shines through in these times, when they get to enjoy their time together as a school body. There are also opportunities where the older children help the younger children with reading and other academics. Overall, as with any school, of course there are challenges where all of the kids do not interact well together, but in the end, the children and the way they treat each other is something the staff/teachers at the school aim to teach - that we should all 'show love to our neighbors'.
(4.5) School Life
My kids love going to OCS, mostly because of the teachers. After the teachers, they love recess (playing with friends) and all of the extra curricular activities that are available. The staff/teachers' commitment to living in harmony and modeling Christ-like behaviour creates an environment that the children thrive in. I feel that my children are not only taught to higher standards, but are loved and cared for in a way that does not exist in most schools. Even after moving to a higher grade, prior teachers continue to connect with their past students and invest into their lives through advice, teaching moments and encouraging words. The school strives to build strong Christian character in addition to equipping the children with a higher level of academic skills.
Oakville Christian School definitely has a community feel versus a school that you just drop your kids off to, with no parent connection. The parents are invited to become a part of the school, to contribute their time and resources in order to better the experience for both the children and the families. I have personally been able to volunteer in different positions and help where possible. All parents are welcome to volunteer at the school in different capacities. The WAG (week at a glance) that the administration team sends on a weekly basis to all parents helps the community stay connected on what the school as a whole will be involved in within the upcoming week. There is no shortage of opportunities for parents to be involved in the life of the school.
(4.5) School Location
The school is located at third line and lakeshore, in Oakville. The location works out well for us. We are not walking distance to the school, but the drive is definitely easy as there is not a lot of traffic. Also, the school is in a safe neighborhood and walking distance from many locations such as coronation park, the seniors center (where the choir performs) and the lake which gives the children the opportunity to explore the environment as well. There is a large field behind the school which creates more space for play, for sports and other events.