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Rothesay Netherwood School:
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Grades Gr. 6 TO Gr. 12 — Rothesay, NB (Map)

Rothesay Netherwood School:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Rothesay Netherwood School (2021)

Rothesay Netherwood School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Vivic, Brianna had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Vivic — alum

Vivic graduated from RNS with an IB diploma in 2009, after which he went to Western University College for his undergraduate degree in history and did his Masters in Political Management at Carleton. Driven by his interest in politics, he ended up working in the office of the Prime Minister of Canada and now he works at an international PR firm, Ellenton Strategies, based in Toronto. He gives the credit of his achievements to the opportunities and values he received at Rothesay Netherwood School.

  • “I think one of the big differences and the one advantage that RNS has, I would say, ... is just the amount of opportunities that students have access to, both inside the classroom and outside the classroom, which is very much appreciated. I think the diversity of your classmates and the diversity of your professors, your teachers, as well as some of those external kinds of extracurricular places [are great]. Choosing to go into any kind of sport that you want to do, and not necessarily going into a varsity sport, [but also it could be] rec sport or you can go to the musical, is great. And I'm sure there's many more options now that it's been a while since I've been at the school. ”
  • “I think that you don't realize how fortunate you are to have those experiences. I think it's as simple as that in terms of now when I look at what my peers have done, or even just [in terms of the access] to those kinds of things. I think it's great. And I would know that the school did an excellent job of ensuring the equity of that as well. Like, it didn't matter where you came from in terms of socioeconomic [status], they did make considerable effort to make sure that everybody who is at the school had access to those types of opportunities, which is great.”
  • “I think that there's a culture of humility on campus, and I think that is a far bigger selling point and cultural aspect of the campus that people don't necessarily take note of. But I think it's distinctly Atlantic Canadian, too. I think it's just something that, especially in the independent school, [forms] kind of a wider network. I think that's great in terms of understanding. These are great opportunities. It doesn't necessarily mean that it makes you any better than anybody else, but it means that you have the opportunity to reach full potential.”
  • “I still have a lot of friendships [I made at RNS]. ... You kind of went through an experience together at RNS, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, but you can still kind of pick up the phone or send a text and you still have that kind of closeness.”
  • “I think the one piece [that differentiates RNS] is humility, and it is probably one of those schools that punches far above its weight. [It has a ] beautiful campus. I think other schools also have the IB Programme, but I think that the one thing that brings it together is that culture ... of uniform kindness. I remember I looked at a few schools. When I came for the tour on campus, the one thing that I noticed was how genuinely kind and polite every student was on campus and [they were] really helpful just on a tour for the day. And it wasn't just for show from Grade 10 to 12. And that was something that is a differentiator. And I think that's just the culture of the place. That's an expectation.”
  • “And the school is small enough where you get to really know everybody. And I think that that's the other [differentiating] thing. I have other friends and other peers who went to independent schools as well, but the small size of the classes at RNS and the scale of the school are still quite surprising to them. All of those things kind of play a role in defining that experience.”
  • “I think [RNS is] kind, humble, and hardworking. I apply that to most of the people in my graduating class of 48 people. Everyone obviously is unique, but I think that some people would embody some element or some combination of those. And I think that it's very true. And I look back at my class now and I think they very much met those values..”
  • “I think a lot of those [values] are kind of led throughout your time. I think that I would not say [the school] changes. I think that you learn to appreciate how important those things are, especially in today's society, even more so today when you look back at that. [You should] be treating people with kindness, actually making sure that you are humble and that you do work hard because accommodation of those things will get you pretty far. I look back at my classmates [and] they're doing some pretty cool things, like [becoming] lawyers, doctors. One of them is a lawyer for FIFA, Switzerland. Another one is just finishing her cardiac surgery residency in Edmonton. It's pretty cool what they're doing and I think they live with those values every day.”
  • “I think [what my classmates are] doing is awesome. It’s awesome that I see what they’re up to, whether on Instagram or Facebook or whatever it is. But some people take completely different turns. And some people, like Abby White, who was planning to do exactly cardiac surgery actually ended up doing that. And it's great. It's awesome to see.”
  • “There are so many smart people [with] whom I went to school, and I think they're all doing amazing things. … The world is really your oyster, in terms of what you can do, where you want to work, where you want to study, in terms of your undergraduate or graduate [degrees] or whatever. And I thought that we could definitely push new frontiers there. And that just started kind of happening more and more. These are all brilliant people who've had a solid foundation in their education. And I think it's just kind of opening their eyes to those opportunities and I think that's well underway now and has been for a while. And I think that it's great in terms of any of those American universities or some of those prestigious scholarships in Canada or internationally, as well as even through varsity or some of those opportunities [that are] right in the States or in Europe.”
  • “I was a border and I'll just say from that perspective [through Grades] 10, 11, and 12 that I think families would probably be quite surprised at how involved the school wants them or allows them to be. Like there’s a long weekend extension so that you can actually go and spend some time with your family. There's always the parent-teacher [conferences]. But then there's also making sure that parents get invited to all the musicals or in any of those sporting events or parent fundraisers. There's so many opportunities for parents [and] probably more [during] normal times. I think that there are so many opportunities for parents to be involved in their children's education. It doesn't matter if they're boarding or not boarding. And I think that's actually a nice surprise.”
  • “I would say that no matter what grade you're in, and I think as you go along it will probably become more and more relevant, but the sky is really the limit. If you are curious and you have a question about something or you want to meet someone or you're curious about [certain] career paths, the school will connect you with someone. You can kind of have those opportunities. If you want to do or explore a certain subject, just ask that teacher or research or get the school to hook you up with an alumni who's done something in that field. There is no limit to what you can do. And I think that it's about making sure that you take advantage of every single opportunity. There's a lot you can do already, so you don't necessarily need to even think about that. But now that I look back on it … I just think that it is probably one of the few places in the world, but especially in the Atlantic and in Canada, where you really have unlimited kind of opportunity, it's the kind of place where you actually have the chance to reach your full potential.”
  • “And I would just say I think that it's a tribute to the leadership of the school and the commonality there is that it doesn't just happen automatically. This has been a concerted effort to be involved in those global networks, to actually be associated with a broader set of independent schools that are beyond what some of the other independent schools in the region are doing, to be one of the first movers on different types of academic programs or sponsor those kinds of innovation boot camps and to really be a centerpiece for the community, whether that's the community locally or the community internationally, it's all of those different types of exposure that I think students get, and I don't blame them. They don't necessarily appreciate it at the time. To them, it almost becomes normal.”

Brianna — current parent

Brianna has two children attending RNS—Addison and William. Her daughter Addison is going into Grade 8 and her son William is in Grade 6. Addison attended RNS as a boarding student, and she absolutely excelled and loved her friendly experiences at the school.

  • “I guess that when we originally decided to send the kids [to school], I wouldn't have expected that we would have sent our 12 year old to be a boarding student and that we'd be in the middle of a pandemic. So that was a little unexpected. And we didn't expect it to happen as early as it did. And so we really couldn't have been more pleased with how she adapted and how she settled into being a boarding student at the age of 12. It was such a positive and welcoming experience for her. That was phenomenal.”
  • “And she made friendships at RNS almost right away. [It was] just kind of like a school put their arms around her and she felt comfortable right away. And I think for us, what we wouldn't have expected, is that [due to COVID] it would have been under terms where we wouldn't actually get to experience the campus ourselves or get to interact with the school and the activities on campus like [during] most normal years. So I guess those would be kind of two things that I would highlight.”
  • “I would say that Addison has always been a good and independent student. She does well at whatever she tackles, but she's excelled since she's been at RNS, and she's taken on every challenge. Her thinking has significantly broadened, and her confidence has grown tremendously. It's like suddenly we now have a 13 year old that, you know, who's just able to pack up her things and make plans and put together timelines and really manage things. And it's really going to prepare her well for life. Just the one year that she's had so far at the school, and it's helped her tremendously.”
  • “We knew [the school] would be a positive [experience], but I would say it would have exceeded our expectations for sure.”
  • “[Addison] has absolutely loved the experience. I would say she would love to continue to be a boarding student as well, but we now live just down the street. But yeah, she has nothing but very positive things to say. She has such strong connections with her teachers as well [with whom she has a] really great interaction and dialogue. And they really challenged her. But it's certainly been a big part of building that relationship as well.”
  • “And her advisor was a big part in encouraging her to take on things she never would have done in her public school settings. So, for instance, she got involved in drama. I know she never would have done that on her own accord without somebody kind of encouraging her and pushing her to take on a new challenge or try something new. And so that relationship is very, very positive for her as well.”
  • “I would say based on our family's experience, [RNS’s personality is] outgoing, well-rounded, and resilient. So I certainly think that they have gone just from the welcoming experience, despite challenging circumstances that we and the school were faced with. And well-rounded because of the huge range of opportunities that kids are given with regard to academics, arts, and athletics. There's so many different opportunities to experience different aspects of life and activities. And then resilient because our daughter got to participate with the other kids and go to actual school throughout pandemic. So the school was so resilient and adaptive, pivoting when needed to pivot, keeping people safe, allowing as much normalcy as possible despite very challenging circumstances, and still being able to compete at regional and international competitions, even if it wasn't quite the same way that it would have been done in previous years, they still have that opportunity in that experience. And I think that shows great resulting strength.”
  • “We do have a family connection that goes back five generations, including our children. [We were] certainly connected with the school from the very beginning and we have a long history of having generations of our family also attend the school as well. So [I’m] really pleased that we're able to continue that tradition for our children and to be able to provide them with those experiences that I know certainly has helped the previous generations of my family here in New Brunswick as well. It's a real pleasure.”

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More written reviews


Parent, Janet Thompson (2021)

Our son had an excellent experience at RNS. The small class size and sense of community are the things he appreciated most about the school. We could see his self-confidence in his studies improve d...


Parent, Glennamae Lauwerijssen (2021)

We have had 3 children attend RNS for grades 10-12. Our children have really enjoyed all the oppportunities provided by the school. They find the IB program to be academically challenging. They enj...


Parent, Javier Azagra (2020)

We had two kids at school, a girl from grade 6 until grade 8 and a boy from grade 9 till grade 12. He boarded the school the last year since we had to return to our home country Spain. What both like...
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