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Understanding Students in Grade 9 and 10 - Welcome to B Company

During my time in education I have found that every student has to deal with challenges that are unique to their grade or age.  These challenges can be a skill such as learning to read, a course like Grade 12 Calculus or a year where the transition to expectations can be difficult like a student moving from Kindergarten to Grade 1 or a student graduating from elementary school and moving into Grade 9.  For young men, there is a time in their lives where the learning of skills, knowledge and adapting to behaviour expectations presents a high degree of difficulty – the time that begins at the end of Grade 9 and finishes approximately 10 months later at the beginning of second semester of Grade 10.

During this time, a young man has just made the transition to high school and is trying to be their own person while being accepted by others.  It is a time where a student must begin to take responsibility for their actions and yet they will have moments where they tend to be immature.  It is also a time where students can lose focus on their academics and begin to live in a world dominated by dating, social relationships, technology, gaming, social media, drugs and alcohol.

For parents who are facing this time with their son, it can be a difficult and challenging time. A time where it is difficult to have students gain balance in their life between academics, physical activity, and social friendships.  A time where the structures and discipline which were able to keep their son on track is not working anymore, that self-discipline has seemingly disappeared and what is left is a messy room from a young man who refuses to take responsibility for their actions or lack thereof.  

What can you do?

Perhaps we can help?  At Robert Land Academy (RLA) we specialize in supporting young men (from Grade 5 – 12) with a living and learning environment that will provide the structure and balance, within our military theme, that are absent from their lives.  At RLA we work with our students to show them the skills that will allow them to have the ability to be self-disciplined, organized, to self-regulate, which will allow them to take responsibility, work independently and take initiative.

RLA’s program also focuses on developing leadership skills and self-confidence so that our students can face an ever-changing world and supports these skills through various activities such as parachuting club, SCUBA club, NCO course, Fall Exercise, Bataan Death March and Raider Challenge.

RLA's Elementary Program aka: A Company (Grade 5 - 8)

At Robert Land Academy, we support our students by offering a program which is based on their learning and living needs.  Students who are in Grade 5 – 8 learn within our Junior Program which is also known as A Company.  The boys who are in Grade 9 – 10 are working within our Intermediate program which is known as B Company.  While students in Grade 11 – 12 are supported by the Senior program which is known as C Company.

Students who are working within A Company will find a balanced and structured program which:

- utilizes the Ontario Curriculum as its basis

- focuses on teaching the subject based curriculum expectations as well as learning skills such as organization, self-advocacy, and self-regulation

- creates a supervised and safe living and learning environment

- understands that students must have fun, building relationships, enjoying the outdoors and playing on sports teams (i.e. cross country, volleyball, basketball, track and field), fishing, enjoying outdoor activities (i.e. camping, biking, building forts)

- providing healthy meals 

- provide opportunities for students to learn leadership skills and responsibility

Most of all though we try to give the boys in ACOY the opportunity to have fun, take a look at this video to see what I mean.

"A Company" at RLA may be a place for your son or someone you know to live and learn.    It can often be challenging for your home and child’s present school to have consistency with academic expectations, discipline, and social interactions.  However, RLA as a living and learning environment is able to create a structure for our students to have success.  If this may be a school to help your son please check out our website at www.robertlandacademy.ca.  Your child’s education is one of the most important investments you can make, make that investment with Robert Land Academy. 

C Company (Students in Grade 11 and 12)

At Robert Land Academy our students are divided up into three age groupings, or Companies.  Our Senior Students, Grade 11 and 12, make up what we call C Company and their program is very different then the boys who are in the Junior Program (Grade 5 – 8) or Intermediate Program (Grade 9 -10).  

First and foremost, many of the students in C Company realize that their time at the Academy is short in span and big in expectations.  Most, if not all, of the boys have dreams and aspirations of going to post-secondary schools – usually universities.  Unfortunately for many of these students, they do not have the learning skills to achieve the marks that are required for the university programs that they want to access.  So many of these students come to RLA with the hope of finishing strong by turning a 75% average into an 85 – 90% average.  Can this happen?  Of course, it can if a student works hard, puts in the time and focuses on achieving this goal.  Does it happen at RLA?  Absolutely, over the past number of years we have seen 100% of students who apply to university be accepted. 

The program at RLA goes beyond in achieving acceptance to university though, the program focuses on preparing students to succeed at university and in life by teaching them:

Is it too late to join C Company?  What if I had a bad first semester in Grade 11 or 12?  It is never too late to get support and to help you achieve your goals.  However, you need to be committed to the goals and be open to the support of the faculty and staff of RLA.  In fact, over the past few years we have students who have graduated from their high school or even failed out of the first university experience, they come to RLA to learn how to be student, that is they came to learn how to work hard, how to study, use their time wisely, take responsibility for their education and most of learning what it takes to have success. 

If this sounds like the program that you or your son or some you know should be considering check out the C Company or Senior Program at www.robertlandacademy.com and if you think we can help, then set up an information session with our admission department.  

What is a Military Themed School?

Robert Land Academy is a private school located in Wellandport, Ontario.  It is a unique school for young men in which its purpose, mission, and structure can be described as:

Robert Land Academy is a highly structured, military-themed, living and learning environment.

What exactly does military themed mean?

If you were to come for a tour at RLA you would see our students (boys):

-marching and being involved with military parades
-wearing a military-style uniform
-having their personal space organized based on RLA’s expectations; these spaces  are also inspected daily
-a Colour Party which raises and lowers the Canadian flag daily
-students and staff saluting their superiors

Why do we behave in this way?  At RLA we use a military theme to help provide a structure and mindset that will help our students reach their potential.  In other words, we use various components – such as the organization, ranks, expectations, rewards/consequences, discipline, performing drill – of the military to provide a highly organized, controlled and designed environment.  Yet, our students are not expected to enter a branch of the Canadian Armed Forces or a military university such as Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston as may be the case in a Military School in the United States.

Over the school’s 39-year history we have found that the military theme provides an opportunity which allows our students to succeed.  A structure which is predictable and consistent but also allows students to feel safe and supported by the staff of the Academy.   An opportunity which allows students to learn not only the English, math, sciences, and humanities but also to learn the skills associated with self-regulation, organization, initiative, and responsibility

The Military theme is an example of how RLA and its staff helps to support young men who need a challenging, yet structured and supportive environment.  If you and your son believe this may be the best learning environment check out our website at https://www.robertlandacademy.com/ we still have some spaces available in certain grades. 

Understanding the Fall Exercise

What is the Fall Exercise?

One of the most unique and important activities that we have at Robert Land Academy (RLA) is the Fall Exercise.  The event which takes places the week before Thanksgiving sees all of the students at RLA complete a 3 day, 70 km hike in and around the Bruce Trail (on the first two days) and from Fort George to Queenston Heights on the last day.  The Exercise takes place no matter the weather – the 30C humid day or the 18C day with wind and rain.  The weather makes one feel uncomfortable and really does not affect the student and their task of completing the march.

The last day of the exercise is special, as we take time to remember those who defended Fort George and who fought in the Battle of Queenston Heights. We do this by having a military parade at Queenston Heights and pulling a canon along the Niagara Parkway, which is then used in the parade. 

The Fall Exercise is truly a teachable moment where a student learns a lot about himself (physically and mentally), how to rely on others and the value and importance of training for a goal which is then accomplished.  The Fall Exercise is uncomfortable, difficult, draining and yet invigorating – in particular when you reach a goal, the end of a day and the end of the exercise.  It is an accomplishment and no matter what else you do or don’t do in your life you can always look back and say “yes I accomplished that”.

To most of our students completing a 70 km exercise over 3 days is unimaginable, so when they are able to complete this activity and are acknowledged for doing so, it is amazing to see them take pride in this accomplishment. This experience provides them with a great deal of confidence that can be transferred into the classroom and onto the playing fields or gymnasiums.

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