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Sunnybrook School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 6 — Toronto, ON (Map)

Sunnybrook School:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Sunnybrook School (2021)

Sunnybrook School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Meghan Stevens, Keiko, Oksana Deltova had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Meghan Stevens — current parent

Meghan’s eldest daughter, who started at Sunnybrook from Kindergarten, recently graduated from the school. Meghan, who has two other kids at Sunnybrook, says the school is remarkable for how it challenges the students, academically and personally, while it remains a nurturing environment. She saw in her eldest daughter a transformation, supported by Sunnybrook, from a shy child to a national-level debater.

  • One of the things that first drew us to Sunnybrook was what a small, warm, nurturing environment it was. Our oldest daughter was going into SK. On our tour, we saw Sunnybrook as a place where the teachers knew every kid, and where there was a genuine warmth between them. These kids would come out and talk about what was going on in the classroom and the look on the teacher’s face. The pride that she had in those students made me feel like there’s something good happening here.

  • We’ve had three kids at Sunnybrook, and we’ve found that that nurturing environment is balanced with a really demanding, challenging, and academically rigorous curriculum. They really do teach your kids to be curious, to be risk-takers, to really push themselves to be balanced.

  • Sunnybrook helped my daughter come into her strengths, find her confidence, ask questions, and speak up. She started off being quiet and a bit shy in the classroom, and now she is the exact opposite of that. She’s now gone on to be a top-ten national public speaker and debater.

  • Something that makes Sunnybrook stand out is, if you’re interested in the IB Programme, is that they are the experts in it. They were the first in Ontario to have the IB Primary Years Programme, and they train the other teachers at the big schools on it. The IB curriculum really helped inspire my kids to develop a love of learning. It built up their confidence, and made them curious academically-driven kids, while still being nurturing.

  • Being able to reflect on their own experiences is a skill that stands out later down the line, and Sunnybrook instills that from the very first moment your kids get into the school. They’re experts in it, and that’s what sets the school apart.

  • I think one of the gems about the school is the musical they put on every year. It’s not just a musical, but a musical where every kid in the school is involved. The excitement that builds for those kids over time—maybe they’re first starting out in Grade 1 and they’re like ‘I’m a tree in the background and I’m singing and it’s exciting.’ Or maybe it’s scary for them at first. It’s an absolutely fantastic part of the school and really brings out that sense of community.

  • The kids in the upper years go out and do physical activities in other spaces, which is fun for them.

Keiko — current parent

Keiko has two kids at Sunnybrook School, both having been there since Junior Kindergarten. She is also an alumna herself. Keiko likes that Sunnybrook provides a coed environment, which she feels is important at this stage. She appreciates how the IB Programme teaches her kids to be reflective and gives them a whole way of thinking they can apply in their everyday life. Something else that stands out for her is the school’s annual musical, where every child is involved. To Keiko, the musical exemplifies how the school creates fun, innovative learning opportunities for kids.

  • There is a fullness and a richness to the programming that goes on at Sunnybrook School, and it’s across the board, even though we’re a small school. The teachers make it so engaging for the children. Everything is challenging, and it’s enriching, and it’s engaging. The teachers make it fun for them to learn. They find different ways to teach, and it’s not just rote teaching or rote learning. It’s very innovative, in a way that might be surprising if you’re looking from the outside in.

  • Sunnybrook has great specialist programs, like French and Music and Phys Ed. For French in particular, we’ve been amazed because our children have been at Sunnybrook School since they were in JK, and now they’re conversational. They completely surpass my husband and myself in how they can have conversations in French. And our French teacher has commented that they’re really on the cusp of being fluent, and I think that’s a great accomplishment. You’re not going to find that in a lot of schools in the city.

  • The musical is the highlight of the school year. Everybody gets involved, from Grades 1 through 6. Everybody has a part. It fosters that sense of community in the school. There is that buzz of excitement. Our music teacher is a professional pianist, and that itself speaks volumes. He has that passion for music, and he’s teaching it to the children and passing it along in very innovative ways.

  • There’s tennis, swimming, curling—there’s really nothing lacking in our program at Sunnybrook School that is offered at other schools. We have it all. I think that’s something that people would find surprising. We have it all, and then some. We do have limited space on our school grounds, but we make use of outside properties.

  • We love the fact that Sunnybrook is an IB school. In the IB Programme, with the interdisciplinary themes—that go from JK right through to Grade 6—it’s not ‘geography, history, math,’ but everything is interdisciplinary. And I think that reflects life. We don’t just compartmentalize things in life. So this approach is reflective of what happens in the world.

  • The other thing that we really liked about Sunnybrook School was that not only was it IB—it was coed. We thought, at that point of a child’s development, it was important to be with boys and girls together, and learn to be with one another.

  • Sunnybrook has really met our expectations and exceeded them.

  • Sunnybrook students have a high percentage of placement in their first-choice schools when they leave to go into Grade 7. The preparation that Sunnybrook School does to get children prepared for the SSATs and for writing entrance exams was really exceptional. They really do care about where these children end up and they really have their best interests in mind. So our expectations were met: our son was able to get into his first choice school.

  • We found that our children, as they have grown up through the IB Programme, look at the world through an ‘IB lens.’ In terms of the biggest impact that Sunnybrook has had on our kids, it goes back to the IB Programme and how it has the learner profiles, for example, being a risk-taker, being an inquirer, being balanced, being reflective. They’ll apply these things, too. They’ll say ‘I’m being a risk-taker for trying this, Mom’, or ‘I’m going to be open-minded about that’ or ‘Let me just reflect on this’ or ‘Am I being balanced?’ So they really do look at the world this way, not just in school. They really live the IB life. 

  • The school motto is ‘The will to learn, the courage to act, and the confidence to succeed,’ and the school really lives by that motto. They nurture the children so that they have that will and desire to learn. The curriculum is so engaging that the kids want to learn. They’re fostered to become inquirers. They’re taught that it’s okay to be curious, to ask questions. And then the school gives them the courage to act. ‘You can do it. I know you’re scared to be on stage for the musical, but you can do it’. And then they nurture the kids to have the confidence to succeed.

  • Through the IB Programme, our children have become global citizens. They have started to develop that social conscience, to know that they’re not just one person in society, that they can contribute and actually make a difference in the world one day.

  • If my kids have a question or need help with something, the teachers at Sunnybrook are always there for them. I think that speaks volumes about the nurturing, caring nature of the school, which they love. And they love the leadership team, the principal and the vice-principals. They find that they’re not intimidating at all. Usually you hear the words ‘vice-principal’ or ‘principal,’ and there’s an intimidation factor that comes with that. But at Sunnybrook School, my kids know that they’re approachable, they’re friendly, and that they care about them.

  • My kids love the fact that it is a small school, they love that sense of community, and they love that everybody is friendly, and they have pride in their school. Everybody knows each other, from JK right to Grade 6. The JK kids aren’t afraid to say hello to the Grade 6 kids, and the Grade 6 kids will say hello to the JK kids.

  • Everybody cares for each other at Sunnybrook. The teachers care for the students. The leadership team cares for all the children. The kids care for each other. Nobody is being left behind. It’s a small community, and there’s a lot of caring going on.

  • There are so many words to describe Sunnybrook School, but if I had to choose three, I would say ‘energetic’, ‘caring,’ and ‘innovative.’

  • The school is really full of life. I’ve had so many opportunities to be in the school during volunteer times, and you can hear the joy and the happiness in the children in their classrooms.

  • There’s a lot of collaboration going on in the classrooms. It’s not one of these schools where the teacher is up at the front and all the kids are quiet. There are a lot of ideas being thrown around. There’s a real buzz of energy in the school.

  • Sunnybrook is an innovative and progressive school because of the way some of the subjects are taught. For example, every child gets an iPad with all the apps necessary to do their learning. One of the teaching tools this year for Grade 6, that we found to be progressive, was that the French teacher introduced them to the video game Roblox. The kids are very much into video games, so as a way to teach French vocabulary in a fun way, the teacher introduced it to them, saying that the children would have to use French vocabulary throughout the game. That made it engaging for the children. It shows that the teachers do think outside the box about how they teach.

  • I think the school really values each individual child. If it is an introvert child versus an extrovert child, every child is recognized and valued for their strengths, and for things that they need to develop. But each child is valued for what they’re able to contribute. There’s that inclusivity. There is no one mold. And I think that’s very important. They’re not a number at a school. Every child matters, and every child is cared for, and that’s a great value to have for the school.

Oksana Deltova — current parent

Oksana’s son is currently at Sunnybrook School. Oksana is impressed by how the school has taught him life skills, like reflection and goal-setting. She loves how safe he feels there. He’s never anxious about going to school. Oksana loves that Sunnybrook provides a caring, inclusive community where everybody—both students and families—feel they belong.

  • The biggest impact Sunnybrook has had on my son is that he actually is in the process of goal-setting. That’s a life-saving skill that Sunnybrook has taught him. It’s something that even adults sometimes struggle with. But this 11-year-old kid has started reflecting, finding gaps, setting goals and achieving them ever since he was small.

  • My son never says he doesn’t want to go to school. He never has anxiety about going back to school. He is never scared, or has never had a ‘tummy ache’ when it’s time to go school. So that means the kids feel very safe at school.

  • I have never met a single teacher or staff member at Sunnybrook that didn’t care about the children and their success. Never. Nobody is indifferent. It’s definitely a safe and caring environment. Everybody is dedicated and committed to raising a child to their best potential, to developing a child to be a curious, independent learner. Everybody is dedicated to the child’s success.

  • Everybody is welcome. Everybody will find a place in the Sunnybrook community. The school is inclusive, because whether it’s a cautious, introverted child or extroverted flamboyant kid, it doesn’t matter. It’s not a community that prefers one personality type over another. Everybody is included.

  • The values of the school and the school community are aligned, in that both the parents and the school want to develop a child into a curious, independent, well-encouraged learner. That’s why you see kids staying in Sunnybrook from JK all the way to Grade 6. There are so many families that go through this journey all the way with Sunnybrook.


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Key insights on Sunnybrook School

Each school is different. Sunnybrook School's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Sunnybrook 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.

  • Academically, Sunnybrook students share a capacity for accelerated learning.
  • The school has a personal, involved feel.
  • School leadership has been remarkably consistent since the founding.
Read our in-depth review

Our Kids Feature Review video

Learn about Sunnybrook School's unique and defining characteristics through this informative video.

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More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Sunnybrook School Q&A discussion to gain fresh insight into the school's culture, values, and strengths.

Parent, Nina and Mark Angelo (2023)

Gr. 1 to Gr. 3 (current), Gr. 1 (current) — Watch our parent interview with Nina and Mark Angelo to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Sunnybrook School.

Parent, Laurie Levitt (2020)

Watch our parent interview with Laurie Levitt to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Sunnybrook School.
See all video reviews (7 total)

More written reviews


Parent, Laura Waters (2020)

Our daughter started at Sunnybrook for SK. She immediately felt welcomed into the entire school community. At Sunnybrook, every staff member greets each child and knows them by name. She loves how her...


Parent, Olivia Kao (2019)

My child recently switched from a Montessori environment to Sunnybrook School this year. Although it has only been a month, he is excited to go to school everyday. He loves his teachers, the team ev...


Parent, Reza Asadikia (2018)

The size of this school is in a way that is not intimidating for younger students, but at the same time encourages interaction with older student to help them grow. With one JK and one SK classroom cl...

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