REVIEW OF Pickering College BY parent, Amy Wang
- Date of Review
December 13, 2018
Gr. 7 - Gr. 11
(5) Student Experience
My sons are always happy in the school. They have got the teachers’ help on their academics and made a lot progress. Both of them love the their co-curriculum program the most. Pickering College provides high quality education and a safe environment. I am satisfied with the Quakers value as well. The teachers are very friendly and helpful. The school helped students develop their ability in many ways. My children like their Global leadership Program and some courses outside the campus as well. They are encouraged by their teachers to develop their learning skills. The teachers can give them advice and help them overcome their problem. The lunch is a little bit disappointing since they have already eaten for 3 years. They could update the menu.
(4.5) School Leadership
I agree that school takes great responsibility on the management side. They always respond to my emails or requests in a timely manner. I always received the headmaster’s email about any emergency or important announcements. I appreciate that the headmaster’s efficient management and make school work well. As far as I know, the school handles discipline issues fairly. A teacher can communicate with students and parents effectively. There is no discrimination I can find in the school. Briefly I am satisfied with the communication with school.
My children have gotten a good education at Pickering College. Their teachers have a professional background. Some teachers are reputable in their subject area. In the students-parents-teachers interview, I have got very detailed information from the teachers. Each teacher described my kids in an objective and real way. The repot card is also detailed and helpful. The extra help in the morning for senior students is very useful. The resources for the students are rich. The students are not only learning in class, but also outside. There are many contests for courses every year in the school, so students don’t need to enrol by themselves. I feel my children receive challenges and supports. There are many different ways to solve problems for my kids if they ever encounter them.
So far I am satisfied with the academic program at Pickering College. Most of the teachers are responsible. My children like most of the teachers. The teamwork help students learn from others. I hope the school could encourage students to develop their academic degree. For example, the scholarship or awards can be applied to those students with high academic scores. The only concern for me is AP courses. We only have one AP math for Grade 12. I hope the school can provide more AP courses, such as AP physics, AP Computer Science and AP Chemistry. For students who want to apply for the universities in U.S, they need more courses to support their applications. If they can get support from school, it will be more effective.
There are many extracurriculars, which my children have participated in. But some competitive teams need high level athletes to make them more competitive. I think school can hire some professional coaches and parents can pay reasonable fee. I hope the school can also provide some STEAM programs in the future, such as Robotics for FLL, FRC, or VEX. For Senior students, they can build a team.
My sons are in good shape and healthy. They have lunch in the school which is mostly healthy. Each senior student is in an advisor group. Each group has about 10 students from G9 to G12 and a teacher. It makes it easier for everyone to know different Grade students. The advisor can get in touch with the students more closely as well. There are four houses: Red, blue, silver and Gold in the school from J.K. to G12. Each house competes with others in group activities, such as sports, fundraising etc. It’s interesting and unique. It helps senior students learning leadership abilities in the group events. The junior students can learn from senior students as well. Spots teams are also good for corporate learning and sharing spirit.
(4.5) School Life
Yes, my sons love to go to school every day. They have good relationships with their classmates and teachers. They have a busy but interesting time in school. Pickering College designed different kinds of activities for students including music, arts, sports and debating etc. Every year they have dance banquet, bookers run, track & field, ski trip and international trips. Global leadership Program is definitely an important program. My older son has participated in several trips and music Festival competitions in the past two years. He will go to UK as an exchange student. Boarders have their special events as well.
PCA is the parents community in Pickering College. Coff Social is a chance for parents to meet school management officers. PC parents have done many amazing things every year including parents-teachers interviews receptions, holiday home tour and Gala as volunteers. I met the first PC parent when we had a school tour during the summer. Although the school was closed, this mom volunteer led us to visit the school and answered my questions. Parents help improve the friendly environment in the school. Our parents are great and very important part of the school.
(4) School Location
Pickering College is very close to my home. My son can drive to school by himself. It is located in the centre of Newmarket. The Main Street of Newmarket is just in the neighbourhood. It is convenient for the students from Northern. It is safe in the campus. But the traffic is more and more frustrating during the drop off and pick up time.
The online application system is good and easy to use. It is better to apply early. The first round of admissions is at the end of November. The interview is very important for the students and parents. Please prepare for the topics you will talk about. My sons had a two hour test including English and math in school instead of SSAT. From my experience for both sons’ applications, the interviews were great. The admission officer was friendly. She talked with my sons for half an hour and with parents for another half hour.