Mathias Family

A warm, caring community that provides a truly international experience — these are just some of the reasons why Patricia Mathias has enrolled all three of her children at XCL World Academy

Lots of exciting things are happening at XCL World Academy (formerly known as GEMS World Academy)! Not only does it have a brand new name, but XCL World Academy also has a great variety of new academic and extracurricular offerings to be rolled out over the next few months. Nobody’s more excited about these enhancements than the Mathias family, who have not one, but three children attending the school. Here’s what they’re looking forward to the most:

Hi Patricia, how do you feel about the recent change of management and rebranding of the school?

While we are sad that it is not GEMS school anymore, we are optimistic about the transition to XCL World Academy. Change always brings some degree of anxiety, but we appreciate being regularly updated on the new initiatives and transition timelines by the new management team. While there are some leadership changes, we feel reassured that the new principals for the Primary and Secondary Years have been promoted from within. It is nice to see familiar faces lead the school through the transition. We are looking forward to a further expansion of the school facilities and are staying positive about the change.

How long have your boys been at the school, and what do they love most about it?

We were specifically looking for a truly international school with a wide cultural representation and preferably with no dominant nationality. In addition, we wanted a mid-size school that offered a warm and caring school community in which our boys would receive a strong academic education but also thrive in their personal and social development.

During our visit, it was obvious that this school was the best fit for Rohan, Nolan, and Aidan. They’ve completed Grades 8, 6 and 2 respectively and have been at the school since August 2019. They enjoy having friends from various parts of the world, many who have been born or lived in different countries. They really like the facilities of the school – the library, Olympic-sized swimming pool, Design Centre and their playground.

What were the main factors that helped you make your decision?

In addition to being one of the few schools that could accommodate all three kids in the same academic year within tight timelines, it was mainly because they were a truly international school with over 60 countries represented in their cohort. It seemed like a good fit for the international living experience we were seeking when we decided to relocate to Singapore.

We are extremely happy with not only the diversity of the student body, but also with the diversity of the staff and teaching experience of the Education Leadership Team and teaching staff. We are also grateful to be part of a school that truly supports students to be the best that can be.

All the school’s facilities are very impressive. Our older boys have done some very cool projects in their Design class and enjoy hanging out in the Design Centre whenever they can. They like having access to a great variety of books and the reading space at the school library. They have learned new sports like rugby and cricket, which are not all that popular in Toronto. They have also had the opportunity to try out various activities they’ve never done before through the school’s extra-curricular activities.

Did the boys warm up to the school right away?

Prior to the official start of school, the school organised a really nice Orientation Day. It was very important and helpful to attend this event as a family , get acquainted with the new school, and meet our teachers. It was also the first time we got to see the school campus in person and we were very impressed with the design and the amount of various facilities. It was also helpful for our boys to meet their new teachers in person prior to the first day of school.

Are there any opportunities for parents to get involved and be a part of a wider community?

The school offers many Parent Engagement Workshops to keep parents informed about the curriculum, and assessments as well as or various information sessions pertaining to parenting and student health and well-being. With the global pandemic, these workshops continued virtually.

The Parent Cafe at school offers a space for parents to connect. There is also a school community Facebook group where parents can connect to share information or engage in a virtual marketplace.

The annual Cultural Week, organised by parents and the school, is an event many students and parents look forward to as an opportunity to celebrate our cultural similarities and differences, share delicious food from around the world and dress up in their national costumes.While the pandemic has put a hold on many of these real-life celebrations’ temporarily, we look forward to many of these resuming in the next academic year.

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