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The York School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


Interview with The York School Alum, Abigail Nash

Abigail graduated from the York School in 2020. She feels that York prepared her well for the heavy workload of university. She was empowered by the amount of freedom that students had to lead their own initiatives. Her work in the IB Programme left her with the valuable skill of self reflection, which she thinks is one of the most important skills to have.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • Students are able to go to teachers with any challenges that they might be facing. And I think that we all feel very comfortable around each other, which is just really nice. It creates a really strong community, which I think York definitely offers.

  • One of the biggest things that I appreciated about the York School was just the immense support that we always got from all of the staff and the teachers. Obviously, the students as well, but definitely having that staff support is super comforting because your teachers really do have your best interests at heart. And that is something that I always valued.

  • I also really did appreciate, obviously, the academic focus of the school because I do think that it prepared me well for university. Coming into university, I had a good understanding of what a really heavy workload looked like and felt like. And so I knew how to adapt to what might have been a bigger change for some other newer students who might not have experienced that in high school.

  • I had multiple teachers who I felt were mentors for me. In particular, I felt that I could always go to them, whether there were personal issues and things that I just needed somebody to be able to speak to, but also being able to talk to them about school, balancing academics, but also my extracurriculars.

  • We had a lot of really unique experiences and opportunities when it comes to travelling. We had Challenge Week, which is when students get to put a couple of trips in order of what they want to do, and they get to go and explore and learn about the place that they're going. So I went to New Orleans, which was really, really fascinating. I don't know if all schools are able to offer that.

  • I think the school is so accepting. The teachers and the staff are always pushing you to be the best version of yourself.

  • Obviously, the York School is an IB school. Going into Grade 11, you start the Diploma program, and that happens for Grades 11 and 12. That definitely is very challenging. It's a heavy workload, but even Grades 9 and 10 and even middle school have a pretty heavy workload for students at their ages.

  • Making sure that everybody has equal opportunity within the school is a huge thing there. And so I think that that is definitely a value that I've seen from my long, long time at the school.

  • Teachers push students to do the best that they can. And that comes with providing feedback and trying to provide opportunities for them to improve and just helping students be the best that they can be. I think that's huge.

  • The IB's motto is to help students become the most well-rounded versions of themselves. And part of that is obviously picking one course from each discipline, whether that be econ, geography, or history within the humanities or picking a maths, picking an art, whatever it is, trying to create that well-rounded balance between students. And whether that be just within academics, but also encouraging students to get involved in those extracurriculars, I think York does a great job of that.

  • I think that a big value within the school is being able to have students who have many different experiences and who have different friendships from across those different interests.

  • A lot of those initiatives you see at York School, regardless of how many years they've been going on for, a lot of them were started by students. And that's something that I think is very special. I spent a lot of time on the student council, and I think it was really empowering the amount of freedom that the students had to lead their own initiatives and start their own fundraisers and start their own Pay What You Can casual days and whatever it may be.

  • The York School has definitely left a number of marks on me and has continued to contribute to my development as a person. One of the biggest things I would say is that my time management is really, I like to think it's top tier because of the IB programme. I definitely gained that from York and I might not have gained that from another experience. So I'm very grateful for that because that has definitely helped me not only in my academic and school life going into university, but also just in my personal life as well and knowing how to balance relationships and such.

  • Something that was very valued at York and I believe at all IB schools is self reflection. That was something that was occasionally frustrating for students, but it definitely did make an impact on who I am because I strongly believe that self reflection is one of the most important skills to have. It allows you to see where you need to improve and make those improvements. And I think once you're able to do that, growth is just constantly happening. And so I think that that's something that I definitely gained from York as well.

  • The school does an incredible job at making people feel comfortable, providing students with the support that they need to do well.

  • I think just being able to adapt to the difficulty of work was very interesting for me and something that obviously you learn as you get older. You see older kids doing the hard stuff that you're about to do and you're like, ‘Oh my gosh, that's so scary.’ But then, something that I found interesting, was obviously as you get older, you start to realise your own potential. That's not necessarily the school. I guess that's more me.

  • The IB Programme is not something that you get everywhere. There are a couple of other schools in Toronto that offer it, but York obviously has its own individual elements in other ways. And then on top of that, the IB Programme is really helpful for the self reflective reason I mentioned, the time management, just being able to balance that workload. And also you gain a lot of specific skills that have helped me a lot personally as well, like professional writing, which is always really valuable and helpful going into university.

  • There's also university counselling, which was really helpful. My brothers didn't necessarily have the best university counselling at their school. And so I was really lucky to have a fantastic university counsellor who helped me through my decision and through the application process. Just knowing that I had that support there was also really comforting for me. Being able to get all my applications in early was also really nice.

  • The ICE program in Grade 9 is not something that you get everywhere at all. You combine a lot of different studies of Canada and you learn a lot about Canada, which I think is really important. You also get to get out of the classroom a lot. We had a lot of really interesting trips and these were more local trips, but they were still very fascinating and I think it is important to develop our mindsets as young high school students. So I think that that was really valuable as well. And I think that that's one of the examples of the unique opportunities that York offers.

  • I think that there is a lot of support at York. We have a social worker at the school who is there to support students whenever they need it. There are a lot of mental health resources for students who need it. The school is very open for accommodations. I think having that accessibility is super important and super valuable and something that York does a great job at. I think that that is something that prospective parents should be able to see and factor into their decision.


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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of The York 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 York School is the definition of an urban school, one that identifies with, reflects, and makes significant instructional use of the urban context.
  • Character programs and staff development illustrate a commitment to building positive relationships as the foundation for learning.
  • Innovative programs give life and breadth to a strong core academic program.
  • The York School was created to appeal to learners who are inclined toward academic achievement.
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More written reviews


Parent, Heather Faralla (2022)

I have three boys at The York School and started four years ago with my eldest in Grade 9. He is now graduating this year and what a wonderful experience this has been – for our entire family. Aft...


Parent, Glenn Asano (2021)

Without hesitation, both our children (Gr. 8 and 11) cite their teachers at the school as being the experience they appreciate most at York. Enthusiastic, passionate and encouraging are the words that...


Alum, Lani Stern (2018)

The York School is a community that shaped me into the person that I am today. The list of opportunities is almost comical, to name some: band, choir, basketball, softball, volleyball, ultimate, chess...


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