Our children have always been happy to go to school to see their friends and teachers. They learned different subjects in varying ways (hands-on learning, textbook etc), which allows the teachers to teach the material in a fun, but educational way. They are provided with homework packages due one week later that allows them to work through the material at their own pace and accommodate their extracurricular schedules. If there are areas where additional help is required, the student or the parents are able to highlight the challenges to the teacher. The children are encouraged to bring their own concerns to the teacher’s attention as it provides them with the confidence to ask for help and encourages them to do so when any slight concerns are identified.
Teachers are like the soul of a school. How teachers act and what they say to and share with our children strongly influences them. The teachers in the Giles School, in our impression, are sincere and professional. They are firm but kind to students when giving instructions. They are patient but they help students to set and reach their goals. Teachers use different means and methods to show them new concepts and knowledge, that promote students’ curiosity and motivation to learn. Our child, though, is new to the school, to her class, she felt quickly accepted. She is welcome to honestly share what she knows and doesn’t know. She is allowed the opportunity to learn quickly or to learn slowly. She learns with her peers together but not in a negatively competitive way. Our child is truly contented to go to school every day.
All three of my children love their school. The teachers and administrators provide a loving and nurturing environment for the students. The children feel comfortable approaching them with any of their concerns and parents can be sure that these concerns will be appropriately addressed. The children are engaged throughout the day in a challenging curriculum. Since this is a small school with small class sizes, the children know the names of every other student in the school. They play well together in the schoolyard. At the end of the day, when I come to pick up my kids, they will always want a bit more time to finish playing with their friends.
The Elementary years are busy ones for students and families. Although it was sometimes a challenge dropping off and picking up kids from school - it has always been worth it. My children have been happy, engaged, and learning. They have developed into thoughtful, articulate, and academically adept students. Every year, I have enquired with them if they would like to investigate other schools to which I have always heard a resounding "NO". They have always said they want to stay until the LAST available year. The challenge with the school is that it is small and also French immersion, and as with all schools, students leave for different reasons (e.g. moving, not the right fit, family demands), and as the grades go higher, it is more difficult to have new students join as there are fewer upper-grade students with a French background maybe. Fortunately the school is now offering a new beginner French immersion stream for the upper grades - which I think is an amazing opportunity for new children who don't have a French background, to join the Giles experience.
My son loves The Giles School. He is extremely happy there and always has been. He's never expressed not wanting to go school. In addition to my son, my daughter, who is extremely shy and reserved, came out of her shell when she started attending Giles. If there is ever a day that she has to miss school, she gets very upset. This, I believe, is a result of two things: 1) the small class sizes allows for great relationships to be formed among the students. The kids become like a small family and really grow to care for each other. 2) the teachers do such an amazing job of making the kids feel valued and cared for that the kids can't help but reciprocate those feelings. I feel very secure and comfortable sending my kids to the Giles School everyday, knowing they will receive the highest quality of care.
My kids feel at home at Giles. It's a safe, supportive environment where they are treated as individuals, not as a number and no one falls off the radar. The classes are small, so kids really get to know their classmates and teachers well. If there was one thing the school could improve, it's a bit more physical health education or just incorporating more physical activities in general, especially for those energetic kids who need more time and space to burn off a little steam. Overall through the years at Giles, I've seen my kids mature and develop really good habits. They are well adjusted and really happy at the school and look forward to returning each fall.