The Country Day School logo
The Country Day School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — King, ON (Map)


Interview with The Country Day School Alum, Ali Iwai

Ali Iwai graduated from Country Day School in 2017. She values the relationships and the community that she experienced while being there. She said everyone at Country Day was welcoming, and because they encouraged everyone to try new things, Ali discovered in herself a passion for drama and rugby. She feels fortunate to have attended CDS, and feels that she was well-prepared for both university and her work life as a direct result of CDS’s emphasis on balance.

Highlights from the interview

  • I really felt like I was a part of this community from the second I put on my CDS uniform. I joined CDS back in Grade 7, and I didn't really have any friends at the time or know anybody that went there. But right away, I just felt so welcomed by my classmates and my teachers. And from Grade 7 until I graduated in Grade 12, I was always a part of a sports team or a club like the student council. Just having that sense of belonging and being a part of something is so special. You build amazing relationships with your classmates and your teachers and you walk down the hallways and you always see a smiling face.

  • What's so special about CDS is you can try new things and join a different team, join a different club, and everybody is so welcoming. I learned through different classes that I loved drama and I joined the drama class. In Grade 7, I knew I liked hockey, but I didn't know what else I would be into. In Grade 9, I was approached by one of my teachers and she told me I should join the rugby team. I thought I should stick to my softball. I enjoyed that in middle school. But I just took that leap and ended up loving it. I played my entire high school, my four years there, and it was one of my favourite experiences.

  • The teachers at Country Day School are so supportive. Everybody at the school wants you to succeed and they want you to excel in what you do. They really care about if you're having a good time, if you're making friends, if you're doing well in your classes, and if you're enjoying your sports team. CDS definitely cares about you as a person. You're not just a student there, you are an individual. Whether you're nervous for a test or an upcoming presentation, they want to help you. If you have a test that you're nervous about, they'll show up early in the morning and help you go over that last question.

  • The teachers and staff are really open to trying new things, trying new events. They just really encourage the students to be their best they can be. And that's CDS, summed up.

  • When I think about CDS, and I talk to friends about CDS, I always say the biggest thing I learned there was balance. I know that the school logo is education with balance, but it is so true. And it's something that I took with me after CDS, into my undergrad, and into my work life: how important balance is to have in your life. Yes, academics are very important, but so are the relationships you build. So is having an outlet to play a sport. And that's where CDS definitely values balance. They don't want their students to go home after the class day ends. They want you to join that club, join that sport.

  • Something that surprised me was just how the school awards our students and really makes them feel appreciated. Every term, there's academic awards, sports awards, and they really want to appreciate their students' hard work. That's something that I wasn't used to when I first joined CDS.

  • I gained a lot of confidence at Country Day, where I could step out of my comfort zone but in an environment where I felt safe to do so. CDS gave me confidence to grow and do things I wouldn't usually do before. And it gave me confidence outside of CDS to try new things. With CDS, I learned how to make relationships with people and how to be confident in what you're doing. That really helped me after graduation.

  • I still remember my graduation day and being at the school thinking, ‘Wow, I'm so lucky to have had that opportunity.’ Over time, my perspective of Country Day has only grown fonder. When I was at CDS, I knew how lucky I was to be a part of something so special. And even after I graduated from Queens and I had that experience, I still think back about how lucky I was and fortunate to have been able to have gone to CDS and to have been given these opportunities. And I thank my parents for dragging me there—I didn't want to go at first because I didn't want to leave my old friends from my old school.

  • I definitely want my future kids to have that same opportunity to go there and experience the magic of CDS, where when you walk down the hallways, you know everybody, everybody knows you, and you have that sense of community.

  • I think CDS really does a great job at preparing students for life after graduation. They're very encouraging of students going to universities, and students go on those university tours to see where you're best fit. And if you decide that university or college isn't what's right for you, they really help you prepare for that gap year, and really encourage you to do what's best for you as an individual, and not what's best for the whole class. They really just want to focus on you.

  • Everybody there wants to be there. I never would have thought I wanted to be picked up at six o'clock at night after school. Before, I thought that when classes are done, you're out the door, you go home. But at CDS, everybody wants to be there. You sign up for a club, you sign up for a sport, and you're staying after school.


More about The Country Day School

Back to The Country Day School overview

Key insights on The Country Day School

Each school is different. The Country Day 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.

See key insights about The Country Day School

Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of The Country Day 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.

  • The Country Day School sits on 100 acres of protected wetlands, fields, and forests.
  • Relational teaching—a method that prioritizes trust and mutuality between teachers and students—is a core pedagogical approach at The Country Day School.
  • The Country Day School fosters public speaking skills from the early grades, and has brought home the world championship in debating four times.
Read our in-depth review

Our Kids Feature Review video

Learn about The Country Day School's unique and defining characteristics through this informative video.

Watch the review

More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our The Country Day School Q&A discussion with Corson Panneton (Alum), Paige (Alum), Julie Joffe (Parent), Peter Kerogen (Alum) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Roundtable Q&A (2022)

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

Parent, Priya Suppal (2023)

Watch our parent interview with Priya Suppal to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend The Country Day School.
See all video reviews (8 total)

More written reviews


Alum, Vivien Zhang (2022)

Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 — Thanks to The Country Day School I was well-equipped heading into university. The courses I took in high school were stimulating and built a strong learning foundation for me, so I made an easy transi...


Parent, Sarah Hepburn (2022)

I have been a parent at The Country Day School since 2014 when my boys started in grade 5. Throughout their years at the school they have grown as individuals be it through the smaller, more personali...


Parent, susie bousada (2021)

My three children started the same year at the Country Day School when they were in Grades 7, 5, and 3. The school made sure that they knew at least one other student at the school before they starte...
See all written reviews (6 total)

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: The Country Day School

Next steps to continue your research:

 Add to shortlist

By logging in or creating an account, you agree to Our Kids' Terms and Conditions. Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by or its associated websites. By using this website, creating or logging into an Our Kids account, you agree to Our Kids' Terms and Conditions. Please also see our Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2023 All right reserved.