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Vincent Massey Academy:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO Gr. 6 — Etobicoke, ON (Map)

Vincent Massey Academy:

REVIEW OF Vincent Massey Academy BY parent, Clarisse Lievre

  • Date of Review
    June 17, 2024
  • Child 1
    JK - Gr. 2 (Female, Current Day Student)

(5) Student Experience

Every child is naturally curious, and mine loves asking challenging questions. At Vincent Massey Academy, curiosity is encouraged, and students can admit when they don’t know something. This has made my child eager to learn without fearing shame or discipline for being too curious, fostering a positive learning environment. My daughter also loves her community. It is small enough for her to know everyone on the staff, yet she makes new friends every year. She spends time with her friends during before- and after-school programs, participating in various activities that enhance her social and academic skills. The supportive environment at Vincent Massey Academy ensures she feels valued and connected, contributing to her overall development and happiness. I'm grateful for a school that nurtures her curiosity and sense of belonging.

(4.5) School Leadership

Leadership and administration are approachable and welcome parents' feedback. I have noticed tremendous progress over the past four years in integrating families’ requests, including more homework and new clubs like cooking, glee club, chess club, and other extracurricular activities. They organize many activities such as outdoor explorations and short-term sports (baseball, soccer, swimming...) and hobby programs. As a working parent, it is helpful to know my child is encouraged to try new things without me having to do all the research.

(5) Teaching

The staff is happy and enthusiastic, and their positive attitude is contagious. They are passionate about the Reggio Emilia progressive education principles, and we have been lucky with all the teachers we’ve had so far. Although they have different personalities and styles, they understand how to make kids feel safe while learning. They know how to challenge them appropriately and give them lots of confidence. The teachers never dismiss questions they don’t know the answer to. Instead, they admit they don’t know and later provide the children with the correct answers. This approach not only fosters a love for learning but also teaches children that it’s okay not to have all the answers immediately. It encourages them to be inquisitive and persistent in their quest for knowledge.

(5) Academics

The Reggio Emilia approach is a method of teaching young children through play and exploration. To me, it creates an atmosphere where children can grow and learn at their own pace, equipping them to navigate a tougher world. I often hear concerns from parents about VMA being a "too nice" bubble. They wonder how our kids will cope with bullies and fit in once they're out in the real world. I think these fears stem from parents’ own experiences in very conservative and traditional schools, where individuality was often suppressed. This was how I navigated my school years, and I had to learn as a young adult that it’s okay to be yourself and different. This reflects the eternal debate between traditional and progressive education, doesn’t it? I’d use this analogy: there are different ways to teach someone to swim. You can throw them directly into the water and see how they cope on their own, or you can gradually build their confidence, so they become strong swimmers later.

(4) Extracurriculars

Vincent Massey is a small community with a smaller structure. It depends on what families are looking for, as the school doesn't have the amenities of larger schools, such as an indoor swimming pool or a gymnasium. I think it fits perfectly well for children up to age 8 or 9. They organize many activities such as outdoor explorations and short-term sports (baseball, soccer, swimming...) and hobby programs. As a working parent, it is helpful to know my child is encouraged to try new things without me having to do all the research.

(4.5) Students

Vincent Massey Academy has a diverse and vibrant student body. The size of the student body is relatively small, which fosters a close-knit and supportive community. This intimate setting allows students to form meaningful relationships with one another, creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere. One standout feature is the active student council, which plays a crucial role in fostering a sense of leadership and responsibility among the students. The council organizes various events and activities that bring students together, enhancing school spirit and camaraderie. Despite their diverse backgrounds, students are taught to interact harmoniously. This diversity enriches the school experience, encouraging students to learn from one another and appreciate various perspectives. Overall, the atmosphere at Vincent Massey Academy is one of enthusiasm and collaboration. Students are eager to participate in school activities, support their peers, and contribute to the positive school environment.

(4.5) School Life

In my opinion, the overall quality of school life at Vincent Massey Academy is commendable. With a focus on fostering curiosity, supporting individuality, and providing a nurturing environment, the school ensures that students feel valued and encouraged to thrive. My child loves going to school there due to the welcoming atmosphere, passionate teachers, and diverse student body. However, there is always room for improvement. Vincent Massey Academy could further enhance the quality of school life by expanding extracurricular offerings and investing in additional facilities or resources. Prospective families considering Vincent Massey Academy can find reassurance in the school's commitment to providing a well-rounded education. The close-knit environment, active student involvement, and dedication to progressive education principles make it an enriching and fulfilling educational experience for students.

(4) Community

The environment is incredibly diverse, fostering a rich mosaic of cultures, nationalities, experiences, and backgrounds. There is no "typical" family per se, as each brings its unique blend of traditions and values. This diversity not only enriches the learning experience but also promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation for different perspectives. Students benefit from exposure to varied viewpoints, enhancing their critical thinking skills and empathy. This diverse mosaic not only enhances the educational journey but also prepares individuals to thrive in an increasingly interconnected global society, where cross-cultural understanding is essential. However, it is worth noting that parental involvement is optional, though it could be encouraged a bit more. Establishing a parent council, for instance, could facilitate improvement, decision-making, and communication, addressing the challenges that may arise.

(4.5) School Location

The school is more of an island. No outside wandering is allowed unless it is to go to a nearby park or library with teachers or assistants. The surroundings of the school are residential. Situated in close proximity to the Long Branch GO-Train and Lakeshore, the school benefits from convenient transportation options, facilitating accessibility for both students and families. The community around the school is safe.

(4) Admissions

We were fortunate to secure an immediate opening without having to contend with a waitlist. However, I've heard from others that reaching the administration for admissions inquiries can be challenging. I would suggest scheduling a tour and establishing a personal connection with one of the staff members. This approach not only allows you to familiarize yourself with the school's environment but also a direct contact for inquiries about the status of your child's admission. Additionally, the school hosts an open-house event at the end of the year, providing an excellent opportunity to visit and explore the campus.


THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Vincent Massey Academy

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