The regions SJK School offers busing from are:
How we see St. John's-Kilmarnock School
The 50-page review of St. John's-Kilmarnock School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.Read our in-depth review
How St. John's-Kilmarnock School sees itself
"SJK is the leading independent school in Waterloo region. The School is located on a beautiful 36-acre natural campus offering enriched educational programming for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 through its International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. SJK is proud to be the only accredited IB World Continuum School in Southwestern Ontario. At SJK, students discover their passions and unique gifts through meaningful, student-centered learning opportunities. SJK students build confidence through risk-taking, overcoming challenges, and stepping outside their comfort zones. Their specialist teachers provide personalized support, community building, and genuine care. Project-based learning, design-thinking, and collaboration equip SJK students with skills that will make them successful globally-minded citizens. SJK students graduate as confident, well-rounded individuals fully prepared for post-secondary education and life beyond SJK. Our graduates earn 100% university admission rates and many go on to elite post-secondary programs in a range of disciplines including STEM, business, and the arts. The journey begins here. Experience the difference, discover the possibilities and go beyond at SJK School."
"Passionate, forward-thinking teachers guide learning through the International Baccalaureate PYP, MYP and DP continuum curriculum. In addition, our picturesque 36-acre campus connects students to a natural environment. SJK offers a rich co-curricular program with opportunities in the arts, athletics and leadership. With an average class size of 17 students, small classes are where big ideas live."
"SJK is the only CAIS accredited school in the region, and it is one of the few IB Continuum Schools in Canada. SJK is a small community where strong relationships are fostered. Both curricular and co-curricular programming provides opportunities for students to collaborate, learn and play together. SJK provides an enriched academic experience with opportunities for experiential, project-based learning. 100% of graduates earn admission to best-fit post-secondary opportunities."
"Ours is a diverse, inclusive community of learners who enjoy school and make the most of the many opportunities available to them inside and outside of the classroom. SJK is a place where students will feel supported and safe, able to take risks and try new things. Students often tell us that they tried things at SJK that they never would have tried in a larger, less supportive environment. SJK is a place where you will discover your areas of passion and strength and feel supported."
"Visitors to SJK always remark on the beauty and tranquility of our 36-acre natural campus, with its pond, forest trails, varsity playing fields, and safe, rural setting. Families may not realize the opportunities for learning that exist in the natural landscape around us. Tending to a vegetable garden, studying the flora and fauna in our natural landscape, tapping the maple trees, canoeing or engaging in our invasive species removal project—learning in nature is an everyday experience at SJK."
"1. SJK has an average class size of 17 students.
2. SJK is a learning community of 460 students in Grades JK - 12.
3. SJK offers over 45 co-curricular clubs, athletics, arts, leadership and community service opportunities.
4. 100% of SJK graduates earn best-fit post-secondary opportunities.
5. SJK is a CAIS accredited, International Baccalaureate continuum school."
The Lower School Playground
One of several fields used for athletics, namely soccer and field hockey.
The SJK Gymnasium is home to a dance studio, fitness centre and court space that can be modified to meet the needs of our Varsity program.
Independent time in the Art studio
Learning the recorder with Mrs. de Boer-Jones
Music in the Chapel of St. Margaret & St. John
Chalmers Pond and the Boathouse
Campus views from the SJK driveway
Newly renovated Physics lab in Upper School
Lower School students collaborating on a robotics build
A peek into the Grade 3 classroom
Entry of SJK Boarding Residence
SJK Boarding Dining Hall
Boarding students participating in Paint Night
DP1 Chemistry flame test with Ms. Regli
Physics lab (renovated March 2019)
How people from the school’s community see St. John's-Kilmarnock School
Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone
Ms. Cheryl Boughton, Head of School
As a well-established and fully accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum School, we prepare your children for the future, providing the foundation to thrive in a rapidly changing world. From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, students engage with modern facilities and the School's beautiful 36-acre campus, which sets the stage for stimulating learning environments where knowledge, innovation, and internationalism are expressed and valued.
SJK is the only school in our region to be authorized by the International Baccalaureate to offer the continuum of three IB programs: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the university preparatory Diploma Programme. We are one of only five schools in Ontario to achieve this distinction.
Our qualified and talented faculty ensure that learning and teaching focuses on the development of well-rounded and confident individuals; IB represents an enriched framework for personal and social development as well as skills for life, but also a competitive academic and professional qualification alongside the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students engage in a balanced range of classroom and course offerings; co-curricular, leadership and service activities; as well as international perspectives and experiences.
The SJK community is grounded in a sense of respect for oneself, each other and our environment as local and global citizens. Students are challenged to GO BEYOND the given, to the possible.
The best way to get to know the School is to come for a visit, experience the energy, explore the facilities and campus, and see firsthand the warm and friendly environment our school has become known for.
Most big schools provide your extroverted child with plenty of social opportunities and the ability to interact with different peer groups with a wide range of personalities, interests, values, etc. A larger student population and more extracurriculars—including activities like team sports, arts programs, and debate—will give them a broader scope of opportunities to participate in events that scratch their interpersonal itch. “This may also give them the opportunity to hone certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students.”
Throughout the continuum—from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to the Diploma Programme (DP)—the IB offers plenty of group work, projects, and activities, which can be great for extroverts who often enjoy social and collaborative learning. Also, “Since IB schools have a strong emphasis on community service and activism, your child will have great opportunities to harness their outgoing and collaborative personality,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. These schools will also give your child the chance to interact and spend time with a bright, motivated, and ambitious group of kids who may have interests similar to them.
However, given the challenging curriculum and heavy workload of the IB, it can sometimes leave less time for socializing. This makes it especially important to ask about social opportunities at the school, including the ability to interact with different peer groups, both in class and out.
At a boarding school, your extroverted child will likely enjoy seeking out and interacting with peer groups from different backgrounds, away from home. In fact, studying and living with other kids for an extended period of time, as many alumni tell us, provides the unique opportunity to form close relationships that can last well beyond the school years. Many boarding schools also have large student populations and more extracurriculars—including activities like student council, team sports, and arts programs—which will give your outgoing child a broader scope of opportunities to feed off the energy of others, and possibly even become a leader, in a dynamic environment.
Keep in mind, though, “Being an extrovert can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly extroverted child may try to end up juggling too many people and activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much social interaction they can handle comfortably.”
Make sure any prospective school, no matter what size, provides the right social environment to help your child feel at home, make friends, and develop confidence. This is especially important at big schools, which are sometimes more socially overwhelming and challenging for an introvert to find their bearings in. Of course, “Because larger schools usually have a more diverse student population, introverted kids are more likely to find a small group of people like them, a peer group they can relate to and find acceptance from,” says Dona Matthews, Toronto-based education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence.
Bigger schools often have a broader scope of extracurricular activities, which is another way to help your child meet the right group of friends. “This may also give them the opportunity to develop certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students. Remember, though, each child is different—so what works for one may not work for another.”
IB schools give your child the opportunity to interact and spend time with a bright, motivated, and ambitious group of kids who may have interests similar to them. Due to the IB’s heavy focus on group work, the programme offers a social and collaborative learning environment, which can help your introverted child overcome their shyness and get to know their peers well. This can relieve some of the pressure associated with having to take the initiative outside of class to make friends.
Just make sure any school you're considering offers enough independent work time for your introverted child—something which can vary widely between IB schools.
At a boarding school, your introverted child will be more motivated (and virtually compelled) to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Away from home and in a new environment, they’re more likely to take the initiative to form close friendships, which can boost their independence and confidence, and help them develop critical social skills.
"Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. Finally, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: St. John's-Kilmarnock School
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