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"One thing I noticed was that the teachers came every day with a smile, ready to help the students through another day..."


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Review of: Fieldstone School

Adham Ragab - Alumnus    (Mar 25, 2020)

Overall Experience

Fieldstone represented my first exposure to Canadian Society. It was during orientation that I got to experience part of the school life and got introduced to the beautiful city of Toronto. Fieldstone also introduced me to some great people I am still in contact with, and from the get-go, you could feel the positive atmosphere that the faculty want to foster. The teachers are extremely helpful and their desire to help you shows. You were made to feel welcome, and at home. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award program that the school runs is something that is intriguing and definitely worth exploring, as it can introduce you to new skills and get you to meet new people. The Cambridge program provided an extra degree of challenge that you wouldn't always get and is definitely something that can be beneficial to current and prospective students. Overall, while I only spent a year there, it was definitely a year that was crucial to shaping who I am as a human being.


School Leadership

On the part of the administration, the students were very well respected and the staff tried their hardest to ensure a welcoming environment for students. Their continued communication with students about ongoing events made the students feel in the loop about what was going on with the school, and their desire to try out new initiatives definitely stood out to me.


Teaching

The teachers were most definitely passionate about their subjects. One thing I noticed was that the teachers came every day with a smile, ready to help the students through another day of school. The teaching staff, some of whom I became close with, most definitely positioned themselves to help out the students in the best way possible in order to help us be in the most optimal position to succeed. The teachers definitely fostered an atmosphere where relaxed but respectful rapport could be undertaken. For me at least, I knew I could walk in every day and be in a positive mindset to learn, simply due to the exuberance of the teaching staff rubbing off on me. It is definitely something that defines the teaching start at Fieldstone, and something that resonates with me to this day.


Academics

Academically, the Cambridge program definitely provided me with an astute academic challenge, being an alternative that can be taken alongside the OSSD. Personally, given that I had already gone through half of my A-levels, I found the OSSD quite easy to handle, and so I would say that maybe for me the OSSD was not entirely challenging. However, the school did try their best to create a cohesive and conducive learning environment, encouraging students to challenge themselves through participating in contests and taking Cambridge exams. This provided an element of competitiveness, and students wanted to try their best to succeed. One thing I'll always be thankful for was that platform, because it prepared me well for university, due to the extra work that I had to put in.


Extracurriculars

The school was definitely open to trying new extracurriculars, as evidenced by their running of a Model UN club. They also poured in a significant amount of resources into cultural clubs, such as the Japanese and Chinese clubs, which shows their recognition of an important base in extracurriculars. I would say that they could definitely invest more in sports in an otherwise strong area for the school.


Students

Students, generally, are something that the school cannot always control. While there is definitely the odd student who is not always academically inclined or cooperative, the general sense was the students always wanted to succeed. Students who were strong academically while maintaining a strong social standing were generally looked up to for representation and influence, which I think is more reflective of the atmosphere the school is trying to achieve. The school has a predominantly international population, and thus there is quite a bit of diversity at the school in terms of nationalities. Overall, you can certainly see people of different nationalities populating the classrooms at the school, which is something that can help foster an international mindset in students.


School Life

I loved going to school at Fieldstone, and I still visit to this day. As highlighted before, the staff definitely created an environment that promoted healthy learning and a positive atmosphere. I loved conversing with the teachers and other students and was definitely always looking forward to attending class. It was a more relaxed environment that I most definitely enjoyed, and something that encouraged me to work harder. I certainly miss the atmosphere of being able to joke around and converse with the teachers and students while also maintaining a respect-first relationship with everyone around me. I was definitely also able to maintain a great academic standing throughout due to my feeling of stability within the school.


Community

From my experience, parents, especially in the day school, formed an integral part of the community. I even remember the parents' association being very involved in school life, which goes to show their great care to involve parents. In terms of being an alumnus, I definitely still feel like I am a part of the school community, being invited for alumni events and asked to contribute to the school environment. I am still in contact with people at the school, as that feeling of being welcomed back at the school at any time and being asked to contribute is something that is definitely refreshing and makes me as an alumni always feel like a part of the school community.


School Location

The school was very involved with the community, especially with the nearby Columbus Centre. They were always at hand to contribute to the local community and tried to get students involved in order to teach them the importance of doing so. The school is well-positioned in the sense that it was close to major centres such as Yorkdale mall, and thus the students always felt comfortable exploring the nearby area.


Admissions

Personally, I applied because of the appeal of the Cambridge program, and that is most definitely a selling point of the school. From my conversation with the admissions officer, I felt like the school was helpful in making sure I was going into an environment that was the right fit for me. I knew I could definitely count on support while applying, and I realized coming in how welcoming they were when they introduced me to the city during orientation, given that I was new to the country. They actively and thoroughly look into your previous academic records to ensure your viability for the level of rigor you are to encounter within the school. Their commitment to success was evident from the start, which made me realize that I was coming to the right place.


University placement and counselling

Their commitment to ensuring students made the right decision when applying for universities was evident, as proven through their dedicated sessions to set up application portals to start with. They supported students throughout, by providing reference letters as need be. They reassured you if applications were taking time to be processed, which counteracted the stress that students (like me) felt during that time. They definitely made you feel a lot better, and were always at hand to support you whether or not you were accepted into the post-secondary institute of your choice. Moreover, the applications were commenced early on, instilling a feeling of comfort when trying to apply for desired post-secondary institutes. There is definitely a feeling of gratitude towards the school for their aid, as I ended up in my dream university, where I am currently studying and preparing to go into a career I have longed for.


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