Our son has just started in Junior Kindergarten at St. Jude’s Academy, and his favorite subjects are French and Music and his main teacher is supported by a number of ‘specialists’ (in physical education, music and French). He clearly benefits from the structure of the program and shows a lot of pride in his learning – he often wants to explain and demonstrate what he’s learned at school. He is a sensitive child and has found the change in his routine (new school, new expectations) a little bit challenging but over the course of his first term, he has developed a good rapport with a few key teachers, made new friends and is now comfortable with his new school and its systems and expectations.
Our son’s teacher has been great at demonstrating a great balance in disciplining and guiding his behavior when he or his schoolmates act out (which they do at times.) Issues are dealt with immediately and appropriately and we, as parents, are kept informed. The teachers and administration are easily accessible to discuss any issues or questions that we have. We have also noticed that our son has been encouraged to adopt and practice certain valuable life traits, which pleases us a great deal.
We are extremely happy with the quality of instruction that our son is provided by the teachers at St. Jude’s Academy. The feedback we received throughout the term and more recently, in his first report card made it clear that our son is well-observed. The report card comments related specifically to our son rather than the generalized statements that we often find in “feedback” we’ve received from other institutions in the past.
Our son’s teachers clearly identified areas for improvement and provided great example techniques and tips for helping him improve. These suggested techniques are making it much easier for us to help our son in the areas in which his skills were not as well developed. We also received additional homework to specifically help him in areas of weakness. We were very happily surprised to be given this assistance. In the areas where he is excelling, we feel he is being supported to continue to grow rather than limited to stay within the “limits” of the class.
Our son has taken part in Karate and a dance program. The teachers of these courses are hired from outside of the school and seem well-qualified and good with the students. Our son did enjoy these classes but did not want to continue; this was almost definitely because he was too young to really partake and didn’t want to attend without us. We will try again when he is a bit older. There seems to be a number of sports teams and other extracurricular activities that we are interested in enrolling our son in, when he is a little older.
St. Jude’s is a little different from other schools that we had visited in that the upper and lower schools are in the same building. At first this worried us a little as we were unsure of the nature of the interaction between the older and younger students but we have been pleasantly surprised. My son once got lost on the way to the bathroom and an older student found him and made sure that he was returned to his teacher. This is an overall reflection on the nature of the students ; in our experience they all seem helpful, compassionate and empathetic.
Our son seems quite happy with student life at St. Jude’s. There are a variety of activities (international day, science fair, Terry Fox Run etc.) where he gets a chance to interact with the rest of the school including learning how to work with and learn from old children.
Although we are new to the school, it does seem that that there are many opportunities for parents to be involved in the life of the school. Each class has a ‘bake sale’ and parents are encouraged to bake with their children. There are school trips, BBQs, competitions and presentations that happen on a regular basis. We are very excited about the upcoming Christmas concert and we are looking forward to seeing what the different classes have prepared.
Like many private schools, St. Jude’s academy is in a converted office building in the middle of a commercial park. Although the school is not really near shops, restaurants and public transport, it is easily accessible by highway and has ample parking. The school has fairly recently moved to this location and the school has been custom built for the students. Because of its location, the school also has a large playground, sports court and turf field.
The lady in charge of admissions was very helpful and gave us a lot of information about registration, costs, and the life of the school. I would recommend that you request a tour of the school, or attend one of their open houses to really get a good idea of the life of the school. Once we decided to apply to the school, the registration process, although many pages, was straightforward and we were walked through it in a methodical way.