Meet our Grade 8 Students
Top of the school. House captains. Mentors. Leaders.
After spending eleven years at Fern Hill — Preschool to Grade 8 — our graduating class has experienced, embraced and enjoyed everything we have to offer. Their interesting insights on their Fern Hill journey, the experiences they shared with classmates and their personal accomplishments, reflect the confident and genuine individuals Fern Hill develops. We could not be more proud of our graduates!
We watch as our Grade 8 students move on to excellent private and public high schools, proud of how well they transition into either setting. They move on to be leaders in their new schools and again at university. They take the leads in musicals, head up clubs and organizations. They’re often found standing side-by-side with older counterparts, voicing their opinions and confidently holding their ground on social and moral issues.
Preschool to Grade 8 – a framework for success
A planned approach to development
At Fern Hill, as a child grows through the grades, there is a strategically planned and coordinated developmental programme in place. Fern Hills’ philosophy and approach guides our students on their journey for eleven years of educational and social development, from Preschool through Grade 8.
Fern Hill offers numerous opportunities for students to prepare for future leadership roles. Not overshadowed by older high school students, our students develop a natural self-confidence coupled with a healthy self-esteem that allows them to become self-assured, competent risk-takers in the future.
As students move through the grades, they take on escalating responsibilities and become role models for those following behind. Our Grade 7 and 8 students are the leaders of our school houses, athletic teams and musical and performing arts groups.
A Rotary Curriculum
The Fern Hill Rotary Curriculum has subject-specific teachers rotating through classrooms on a structured timetable. This format is unique in an elementary setting, but is used universally in high school. Beginning in Grade 1, our students grow comfortable with a rotating timetable and the transition of teachers for each subject.
As more subjects are added to their curriculum in Grades 3 through 8, they learn to be daily prepared with the materials needed for each class in their schedule. By Grade 9, a high school timetable is no challenge to a Fern Hill graduate.
A developmentally appropriate setting
The absence of older high school students helps maintain a developmentally appropriate school environment in which all Fern Hill students can grow and learn safely and with encouragement. They are encouraged to explore and challenge themselves which eventually leads to playing confident, active roles in the larger society.
“Grade 8 at Fern Hill opened my eyes to what it was truly like to be a role model. It showed me that I could really be a leader. Going from being the youngest to having all the years below look up to you is a pretty incredible yet intimidating feeling. For me it felt like a sense of accomplishment but was also motivation – to do and be better. To be handed the role of being a leader for the ‘true’ first time before you go off to high school is an amazing opportunity. It builds your character and prepares you tremendously for what lies ahead. It’s a chance to express yourself and voice your opinion, figure out what type of leader and/or person you want to be in the next chapter of your life. I know it benefited and provided me with the foundation to succeed in high school in every aspect and for that I’m thankful.”Alisa Jiwani
“Staying at Fern Hill for Grade 8 was such a wonderful experience. I was given many opportunities to succeed in academics, extracurricular activities, community involvement and leadership roles. Education is a building and the construction begins when you are a child. The blueprints of an education are designed in schools, but roofed by the real world, and dry walled by one’s life experiences. While school is the foundation of education, it is the many experiences you have in life that allow you to build the cathedral. Fern Hill School provided me with many excellent, real world experiences and I am very thankful that I stayed for Grade 8 to develop and hone skills that would prepare me for my future.”Victoria Restivo – Queens University
“Throughout Grade 8, I had so many different opportunities that have definitely changed my life and that I would not have had if I entered a high-school early. I had the opportunity to go on international service trips, which I am truly thankful for. The ability to receive so many leadership opportunities and privileges, to feel independent yet still be able to communicate with teachers and peers so easily, was truly amazing. Not only was I taught lasting school and study skills but I became a leader and an independent human being, ready for whatever life can throw at me in the future. All of this makes Grade 8 not just an important year, but an, unforgettable year that I will always cherish.”JJ Quandamatteo - 2013 Graduate
“It’s all about maturity. The difference between being 12 and being 15 is unimaginably huge. So much development occurs in those years! You learn skills way more important than just ‘smarts’, skills that are hard to learn in a high-pressure environment like high school. You start learning how to time manage on your own, how to problem solve on your own, how to prioritize your work, and so on, but without the kinds of pressure that high school holds. Make the most of elementary school while you can; that kind of environment will never come around again in your life.”Kenzie Bender – Queen’s University