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Reviews of Polaris School and Centre

Ottawa, ON  |  Grades JK - 12  |  Shortlist


Topic: School Leadership

Safaa Abdelmagid - Parent   (Sep 15, 2021)

My daughter adores her teachers at Kindergarten and feels a strong sense of ownership towards her classroom as a space and a community. Most significantly, she loves the rhythm of the day and the small routines associated with them. My daughter has made many friends this year, and has had enriching experiences of free play which are the result of intentional crafting and design of her day at school. This is especially unique because my child is aware of that sense of freedom to play, within a framework of boundaries that makes sense to her and is so solid and ever present. She often says to me, ‘I go to school to play. We have only some rules, but I can choose what I want to play and with who and like that.’ For my daughter, this was everything she needed for her strong spirit yet sometimes anxious self in times of irregularity and inconsistency. Within the nest which her classroom represents, she is secure in the certainty of what is and is not, yet free to explore and make sense of the world and her place in it.

Noha Naqeeb - Parent   (Sep 15, 2021)

Polaris has been a wonderful safe haven for my anxious, restless son. Everyday he came home with lessons learnt so unobtrusively, with his lessons learnt and drilled through an endless succession of stories, games, activities with movement, music, and rhyme. Sometimes the children didn't even seem fully aware that a lesson had, in fact, taken place. What my son loves best is the amount of outdoor time they get everyday in all weather. His reports are filled with affectionate accounts of all his teachers, those he interacts with at recess, or volunteers. The overwhelmingly reassuring feeling i have as a mother is that all his day to day encounters with adults are kind and positive ones. He also loves his handwork projects. He is filled with satisfaction for all the things he has either made or is learning about- the spinning he is sanding, his knitting needles which he has made himself, the dish cloth he was knitting before the shutdown, finger knitting, corking, needle felting, and on one snowy day-- spinning on a large, wooden spinning wheel.

Leah Cogan - Parent   (Sep 15, 2021)

My sons have found in Polaris a gentle refuge, particularly during this last year and a half of unpredictability. They arrive and are greeted by teachers and friends with warmth, knowing that the rhythms of their day will be honored in a way that brings ease and peace to their little hearts. My youngest is a highly creative spirit who loves to sing loudly, draw for hours, and listen to stories on repeat. The kindergarten room, hosted by his sage teacher, gives him all of the space, care and prompting he needs to dive into that part of himself without fear. It is beautiful to see. My eldest is hungry for knowledge and has found in his classroom a teacher who enjoys his curiosity and fuels him with special challenges and finds ways to bolster his social and emotional needs. There is a commitment at Polaris to truly know and meet each child where they are, even when they are having a difficult day.

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