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St. Michaels University School

School rating 4.6 / 5 by

3400 Richmond Road Victoria BC V8P 4P5 Canada
Boarding
8th to 12th
Day
K to 12th
Gender
Coed

Academic

St. Michaels University School review by .

St. Michaels had a very strong academic program. The school offered a variety of courses in different subjects (i.e. sciences, math, languages) including AP and advanced versons. The science program was also impressive. The biology program offered trips to Bamfield, a well-known research station a few miles north of Victoria on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. One of the science teachers, Mr. Michael Jackson, is a noted scholar of the Galapagos Islands and he organized biannual school trips to the islands, which many of my friends went on and found fascinating. Additionally, St. Michaels had a relatively intense physical education program, with PE classes mandatory even in grade 12. The classes were small, the largest class that I was in during my time at SMUS was probably no larger than 22 students and the smallest around 8 students. We had meetings with our "homeforms," which were small groups of students assigned to each teacher, essentially like a homeroom. We met every other day, after chapel services or assemblies, and discussed various school matters such as council elections, upcoming events, etc. The faculty at SMUS was particularly attentive. All teachers provided hours outside of class to meet with students and discuss any problems we might be having with class material. Tutors were also available through the school to assist us. Most teachers also held tutorials before exams to help us with especially difficult material prior to testing. We had many interesting speakers come to visit the school, one that stands out in my mind was Kim Campbell's visit in 2005. She discussed her time in office and gave her opinions on currents events, such as American foreign policy and the war in Iraq. SMUS's facilities were quite extensive. We had two gyms and four large playing fields. Schaffter hall, built in 2005, was an impressive music building. On the lower floor was a large strings room and several practice rooms. On the upper floor was a gallery area with several large leather chairs, then a band room and a locker room for instruments as well as a choir room. As far as emphasis on exams, we had final exams at the end of every term however they were not necessarily the main determinant of our final grade in the class, with other projects, papers, and tests evening out the weight of our work. Overall, St. Michaels was an excellent institution that provided me with many opportunities to excel, both in and outside the classroom.

College Counseling

St. Michaels put a very strong emphasis on college counselling and the importance of post-secondary....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

Unforunately, I did not actually have to take the admissions tests due to special circumstances....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Quality of life at St. Michaels was definitely high. For boarding students, housing was excellent, with two students per room, each with a bathroom. There were six boarding houses, three for girls and three for boys. Each boy's house had a sister house, that was attached and shared a common room and office area. Houseparents were "on duty" after school, meaning that they kept an eye on the house, monitered when students left and came back to campus (we had to sign in and out), and also monitered "prep" which was a two hour period of silent study time from....

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