Lakefield College Schoolreview by University of Western (Ontario) student. The school's academic program was excellent and highly customizable to each student's individual interests and goals. I felt that the AP program prepared me extremely well for my chemical engineering program at university. Once I arrived at university, it quickly became clear that I had a much deeper knowledge base of the particularly difficult subjects such as calculus than many of those around me. This made such a difference in my ability to succeed at a post-secondary level. The school has such a fantastic way of teaching - with a great mix of hands-on, experiential, and lecture-style learning. There was an emphasis on collaboration and people are always willing to help each other. On top of that, teachers give up a good portion of their lunch breaks each and every day for 'extra help' sessions for anyone who needed/wanted them. This was an amazing resource and was something that the teachers did because they care, not because they had to. The classes are small enough that students get lots of individual attention, but not so small that you lose some of the benefits that peers can offer in the classroom. Teachers are always available to help whenever you need, and there were even instances where teachers would offer special tutoring for SATs for those students wanting to pursue university outside of Canada. Average workloads were at a good level to prepare for university, but also allowed for extracurriculars and sports, which are another big emphasis at the school.
Student life at Lakefield truly is amazing. The culture is so friendly and inviting, and students are welcomed with open arms. It's an environment that celebrates people's unique skills and personalities. The discipline system is very strict for drugs and alcohol, with a zero tolerance policy in effect. I believe that this is a necessary approach however, as it communicates very clear guidelines to students. The school's extensive financial aid system means that the socio-economic background of students is varied, as some students rely heavily or even exclusively on financial aid in order to attend. The school is actively trying to grow its financial aid base in order to provide even more assistance to students going forward.
I feel that the school does an excellent job at balancing academics, extra-curriculars, and social life. Students are required to participate in a sport each term (but in Fall and Spring when there are school plays, students may choose to be in the play instead). This promotes a balanced approach and a healthy lifestyle. There is a very wide variety of sports to choose from, ranging from highly competitive, provincial-level sports to recreational, amateur-level activities. The school also offers many social opportunities which are headed by the graduate leadership class, along with many outings on weekends (designed primarily for boarders). Community service is another huge emphasis at the school. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Program is very popular among students which calls for a significant dedication to community service, athletics, hobbies, and expeditions. Students generally spend upward of 10 hours per week on extracurriculars, with some students averaging much more than this. The school is very encouraging of students taking part in activities that interest them. On top of this, the school will go out of its way to make such activities available if they aren't already and there is interest shown. I believe that the balance between extracurriculars and academics made for very well-rounded citizens and encourages students to do what they love, be successful, and give back. I participated in a multitude of activities, including nordic skiing, ultimate frisbee, cross country running, track and field, volunteering at a soup kitchen, recreational tennis, and more.