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Loyalist (B)Log

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.

A Collection of Pictures

At the end of school year in my office among the budgets, evaluations, board reports, student records you will find a large wall with pictures of students from Robert Land Academy (RLA) involved and engaged in different activities.

This digital mural had its origins back on Tuesday after Labour Day weekend when I put a picture up of our NCOs, (RLA’s version of student leaders), who were getting ready to support the new students for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Over the coming weeks this picture was joined by pictures of:  students participating in the RLA Fall Exercise, marching in local Santa Claus parades, students training for their open water SCUBA dives, our boys working with Massanutten Military Academy on a Spring Exercise, our Elementary students having fun a Tree Tops on their high ropes course, the “parking crew” hanging out during our Annual Inspection, a picture of all the dads who came for Father/Son Day in February; too many pictures to describe them all in this blog.  

The creation of this tapestry of memories for the 2016-2017 school year demonstrates the growth of  a school community, accomplishments of our boys, and evidence of what can occur when students, staff and parents all work together to accomplish the goal of realizing one’s potential.

The last picture I placed on the wall in June was a picture of RLA’s graduating class.  Placing this picture was a little bit difficult though, but finally, after much thought, I moved the first picture that was placed back in August, which became the center and replaced it with the Graduates and then moved our NCO to another part of the Wall of Memories.

Each of these pictures were put up in my office to remind me of a few things:

How many of the student’s at RLA have met and at times surpassed the expectations set out by the Academy.
How focused our students can be when given a challenge like a Fall Exercise, SCUBA or Para training and how happy they look when they have met the challenge.

How various experiences, mentioned above, bring out the best in the young men who attend RLA.  (The best of course also means that many of our students had to overcome their own struggles with the support of staff and our structured environment.)

As the year has ended I will soon take down these artifacts of the 2016-2017 school year.  As I do this I know they will be fond memories of what our students have accomplished individually and as a school.  When I am finished though the wall we bare, but that is OK, I cannot wait to start collecting the visual reminders of the 2017-2018 school year.

RLA Loyalist (B)Log

Well, this is my first blog as headmaster of Robert Land Academy (RLA). After much discussion, proof reading, and advice I am reaching out to the digital world. The question is why am I doing this? To inform parents of students and potential of our school and its program? To humbly brag about all the great things we do at RLA? To share our successes with our school community and the surrounding community of the Niagara Peninsula and Haldimand County? The answer to all of these questions is…YES!!

So hopefully you will follow this blog and learn a little bit about our school, its history, its traditions and the students who live and learn here!!  Stay tuned for more information.

Major Kevin Wendling, Headmaster

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