Burlington, ON | Grades JK - 8 | Shortlist
The academic program suits the needs of my 3 children. I feel they are always challenged and that the teachers set them up for success. I strongly feel that the teachers want the students to do well even if that means additional time on projects or extra studying time. I love the senior programming offered and feel this helps kids who require more activity in their learning environment or who learn best with a hands on approach. It also makes my kids excited for school.... that it is not just desk work. I would like to see more Chrome books and use of computer for more subjects. I appreciate the use of wiki and homeroom monitoring of my child's progress.
BCA has a rigorous but engaging curriculum. Given that my children have attended two other similar schools prior, it appears that BCA is ahead in some critical areas. For instance, book reports and essays start at earlier grades than at my children’s former schools. For this I am grateful. It means that they are being taught to be critical thinkers from early on, which puts them light years ahead of others elsewhere. One of the main reasons I chose BCA, was because of their “Enriched Programming.” Students get to explore their other interests, talents and abilities through other than strictly academic programs. This I appreciate because it means they’ll be more rounded and are more likely to have a better school experience than many others. My grade 8-er is excited about high school next school year, because she is being prepared for it from now.
We have found the academic program at BCA to be appropriately challenging for our children. Each of them are enjoying their learning and come home regularly with new learnings and questions for us to discuss at home. Our children only occasionally have lengthy homework which we are completely satisfied with. We are confidant the academic program at BCA will adequately prepare them for higher learning. The specialized senior program provide highly valuable hands-on learning that have our Grade 7 students more engaged than ever. He puts a large amount of work into has presentations and projects without being hounded by us because he honestly enjoys them and is inspired and encouraged by his teacher in those tasks.
BCA supports children through their unique areas of strength and develops academic materials that reflect their interests and motivations. Teaching methods are designed to engage all students and also adapted to help kids with learning challenges to be heard and validated. My child deeply connects with the visual art developed to assist with self-regulation and mindfulness skills. My child loves the reading and numeracy component of the kindergarten class and has developed very good reading and number sense skills through the creative approach of the teachers. Aside from the school curriculum that is taught, the children are encouraged to follow everyday routines, taught to be respectful, helpful, kind to one another, good listeners, caring towards their friends, and curious about the world and all of its wonders.
BCA has a strong academic program. The teachers work with each student to reach their own greatest potential. Expectations are high, the assignments are tough but the teachers are supportive and encouraging and the students rise to the challenge building in self-confidence. In all grades, there is an option for 1:1 music lessons (vocal, piano, flute, etc) for students to partake in. As a parent, this means one less extracurricular we have to schedule into our week because it is done during the school day. There is also an option for 1:1 language sessions (French or Spanish) for students to partake in. For students who love languages, this is a wonderful opportunity not available at other schools. There is also specialized sports and outdoor program available in upper grades.
As this is our first year at BCA, we cannot help but compare the JK curriculum to the play-based kindergarten curriculum that we know exists and many schools in the public sector. We have been impressed with the art projects, workbooks and items in the classroom. Everything that we have seen is top quality and serves the purpose of making learning fun for kids. The centres in the classroom are well thought out and changed constantly as the topics change. I am impressed that the expectations of academics and learning function at a high level, but there doesn’t seem to also be a high level of stress among students. Students in all grades seem happy to come to school and to be a part of a community that fosters confidence, kindness and love for others while also providing an exemplary academic education. Based on the content we have seen in the JK curriculum, we are excited to see what SK- grade 8 for our son.