You get a really warm welcoming feeling whenever you step into Braemar - from the staff and the students! All the kids seems to know each other, acting like a big family with the older kids helping and interacting with the younger kids. The students are so respectful when you pop into the school, they treat adults with respect and are proud of their school. The uniforms are a great asset and keep the students looking neat and "uniform" in their appearance. Our son, being the "new kid" has been warmly welcomed by his peers and feels "like he has always been there" - you never hear him say he doesn't want to go to school - it is such a positive environment and he is thriving!
The BHS community is small (<150 students) and it has a wonderful tone. BHS hallways are filled with laughter and it is common to see an older student helping a younger one with laces or mittens or snow suits (without being prompted!). Doors are held open for others and polite, kind behaviours are encouraged and rewarded. BHS has a strong school spirit and children are proud of their community. They focus on the 'virtue of the month' and teachers and students strive to embrace virtues of 'patience', 'perseverance', 'honesty', 'kindness'. The atmosphere of BHS is warm and loving and tolerant. Children learn to be the change they wish to see in their community. It is remarkable to see BHS work it's magic and create wonderful citizens. As a parent with two children who have gone through BHS, I must insist that the school has played a huge role in helping us raise them as honest, kind, thoughtful, curious learners.
One of the things I love most about Braemar is how the students interact with one another and with other members of the school community. When we first enrolled our daughter, we couldn't believe how kind and loving the other students were - particularly the older students who take special care to look out for littler students. The students are encouraged both to do their best in competition, but also to support and celebrate other students' successes. For example, at a recent cross country meet the students ran as hard as they could, and then cheered as hard as they could for fellow students who were still running, developing a deep sense of teamwork and shared pleasure in one another's victories. The student body is warm and relaxed - there is a deep sense of camaraderie, shared joy and ease amongst the students - a real rarity in this particular cultural moment.
The first impactful impression that Braemar House School made on us came from the student body. Polite, friendly, outgoing and positive from the moment we met them. Our daughter was taken care of and appreciated by senior students when she was in preschool, and now performs her own care of duty when it comes to supporting younger students at school events and group activities. The school is small enough that older students know and support younger ones and create a sense of safety and security. A true community is cultivated through the value of caring for others. Students play and interact across grade levels both in school and outside on the playground. They celebrate each other's accomplishments and support one another in good times and bad.
Braemar is a small school, class sizes were anywhere from 5-16 students when we attended. The feel of the student body is very welcoming and proud. Braemar's use of the Virtues Program is evident when watching student interactions. Teaching virtues such as compassion and respect are apparent in everyday student interactions. When we first started at Braemar we were taken back by how the older students were so receptive and patient with the younger students. The school does not separate the kids at recess so all of the students get a chance to socialize and the older students take on a leadership role watching out for the younger students. We saw this come full circle for our children who started as the youngest students in Montessori and eventually became the graduating students leading the younger students.