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The Sterling Hall School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 8 — Toronto, ON (Map)

The Sterling Hall School:

REVIEW OF The Sterling Hall School BY Alum, Elliott Ingram

  • Date of Review
    May 28, 2024
  • Grades (year)
    JK - Gr. 8 (2009 - 2019)
  • University (major)
    New York University (Drama)
  • Gender
  • Enrolment
    Day Student

(5) Overall Experience

During my ten years at Sterling Hall, I grew exponentially as a person and a student thanks to the dedication and warmth that was shown to me by my teachers. The Sterling Hall community was a consistent, welcoming environment that made me excited to come to school every day. I can remember staying late in the afternoon to attend various clubs, get extra help with schoolwork, or just chat with my teachers. The halls of SHS were my second home for ten years and to this day I still remain very connected to not only the school itself but the teachers that taught me. I am very appreciative of having attended Sterling, I am grateful to have had my formative education at a school that instilled strong character in me and most importantly, taught me the importance of belonging and integrity.

(4.5) School Leadership

The administration at the school sets a strong example of Sterling Hall's core values and what it expects from its students. At times some leadership can feel intimidating, but it also shows how much attention and care is dedicated to its students and the smooth operation of the school. Leadership was very much respected by students but never came across as unreachable or like students couldn't approach the administration with questions or concerns or a friendly ear to talk to.

(5) Teaching

The teachers at Sterling Hall made a lasting, positive impact on who I am both as a student and an individual. Something that I always find amazing about the educators at SHS is that they care about who you are as a human and care to know who that is, instead of looking at you as a student who needs to meet academic requirements in their class. I always found at Sterling Hall that the teachers taught me how to learn, instead of placing so much emphasis on specific lessons from certain classes, but rather teaching me how to be a holistic student. I have found this approach to be extremely beneficial to my growth as a student. The teachers at Sterling Hall were always warm and welcoming, and many of them I still keep in touch with today. Being able to go to them and talk about life outside of the classroom was always appreciated as it made me feel like I was more than just a number to them or a student that they had to teach.

(4.5) Academics

The academics at Sterling Hall never felt too challenging. What I appreciated was that it felt like a challenge, but one that was manageable and could be navigated with the assistance of teachers and extra support, if needed. Academics also never felt like they were defining factors to who you are as a student at the school, which definitely made it easier for students to ask for extra help whenever they needed it, or not feel pressured to get the perfect score. I can remember emailing my math teacher in grade 8 almost three times a week, if not more, and asking to meet in the mornings to go over some of the class work, and every time I was always welcomed and supported. Going into my future education, I felt very well prepared for taking high school classes and now being in university.

(5) Extracurriculars

Extracurriculars were a major aspect of the Sterling Hall experience. I can remember having to sadly decide which clubs to not be a part of because I kept double-booking myself after class, that's how many clubs there were! It's definitely exciting to work with students outside of the classroom and in a different capacity that energizes and educates. My favourite extracurriculars were also ones that I didn't expect to love as much as I did. For example, in grade 8 I got to be a softball team manager, and loved the experience of teasing my classmates and watching them each game!

(4.5) Students

The students at Sterling Hall all have very different interests and are able to each pursue their passions at the school. The students that I was classmates with and got to know all shared the same love and school spirit, staying longer than dismissal time and coming in before school started. The student body shared the same values of such care for their school and appreciation for their teachers. At times, when students would feel less willing to be engaged or participate in school spirit it would feel unfamiliar for the rest of the class and in response, many students would encourage their classmates. As with every environment, there can always be students that are distracting, but when I remember those instances I also remember how the other students would expect better from their classmates and know how to respond in a way that did not support their behaviour.

(5) School Life

School life at Sterling Hall is definitely an essential aspect of the school's essence and community. Students were very involved in their community and encouraged to be active participants at all school events and contribute to the joyful and infectious atmosphere inside the school. Students were very passionate, and caring about their classmates, their houses or teams. The welcoming school environment and the efforts by the school to guarantee each student felt seen and appreciated, made it so students were staying later after school getting more involved in the community or wanting to come early and join a new club or team. Even during very intensive academic times of the school year, I can remember students being able to take a break from their school work, go outside, laugh and smile, and as a result gain more confidence in their academics.

(5) Community

Being a part of the alumni community at SHS means that you are never disconnected from the school. I have found that even after going through the pandemic and now coming out the other side, many alumni are eager to meet up again, and return to the school to either volunteer or just be a part of the atmosphere and visit with their former teachers and mentors. Sterling Hall really does stay with you throughout your further education and beyond, as they always want to hear what alumni are up to and how they can create the best environment for them to return to the school and give back. A lot of students feel the need to give back to the school after graduation and want to be able to find a way to thank the school for their warmth.

(4) School Location

Where Sterling Hall is situated can make it difficult for students to venture off-campus or have access to nearby opportunities, however, I never found it to be a hindrance in my experience as at that age, venturing out of campus was never really an option. As well, the school is able to have so much outdoor space to run around and have classes outside, that wouldn't be possible in other locations.

(4.5) Admissions

Because I arrived at the school in JK, I don't remember the admissions process for myself. However, when I was Head Boy in grade 8 I was able to lead tours for prospective students and show them around the school. The experience of being able to have tours led by students, to me, felt like a personal touch to the admissions process and also allowed for students to hear from individuals like them as to what the school experience is. It also created an opportunity for new students to already know of students at the school before attending.


More about The Sterling Hall School

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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: The Sterling Hall School

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