I think if I was giving a tour of UCC to a group of visitors I would take them to Laidlaw Hall. Laidlaw is our main auditorium that houses all the students and faculty every Monday and Friday for assemblies. At these assemblies we honour very special speakers and we acknowledge what they have to say by showing respect and patience. In the auditorium, the walls are covered with names from history and academic achievements along with medals and awards. The documented walls serve as motivation and inspiration to all. To end these assemblies all grades 8-12 put an arm over one another and sing a song that reinforces how we “never walk alone”. The song unites all the students within the room. I think that Laidlaw Hall is a very special place at UCC and the things that occur within the hall summarizes student life well.
Student life at Upper Canada College is engaging and rich. There is always something exciting going on, be it their next trip to Norval, a school play, a musical performance in assembly, or the next big sports game. Successes are celebrated school wide through assemblies, with a popular assembly to end the term at winter break, and year end with slide shows and memories. My boys both love going to school each day. Classroom learning is fun and varied and supplemented with great field trips which provide an opportunity for experiential learning. The two recesses along with one hour of physical education daily is key for boys and helps them not only stay active during the day, but helps them stay focused during the day. I think a few more colour house based activities and events would help build friendships across the grades, in addition to the academic buddy system that begins in SK. Upper Canada College is a warm welcoming environment supportive to all boys and as a result the boys are happy and love being a part of the school.
School starts from 8:30am, with first bell on 8:25am. Some students may need to get in earlier, like 8:00am, for additional learning. SK and grade 1 have snacks and drinks during recess. Lunch is provided with a charge, you can also bring your own lunch, or just register for a drink plan. There is a parents participated Nutrition committee, to plan and monitor meals. One hour sports or game time everyday is guaranteed. No school bus, most parents drive students to schools. Very few students walk to school or take public transit. Pickup time is from 3:20pm, begin with SK. If students register in ASP after school program, they will go directly to ASP. From grade 6, students can go to school library to study until pickup, they can also take home their school iPad. There are plenty of arts, music and sports. There are three parent-teacher interviews each year, including one settle in interview, and one student led interview. Reports card provide lots of individual details. Parents and teachers need to sign off on an agenda everyday for students in SK to Grade 5. The parent website provides student schedule for every hour in school.