The Students of PCC

Philopateer Christian College

PCC nurtures students’ physical and mental health to become well-rounded individuals, helping them succeed academically, and in the world.

The values that PCC portrays, and the mission it fulfills, are what inspire many families to have their kids join the school. In addition, the individual attention, caring teachers, and opportunities for well-rounded growth are some of the things students love about PCC.

Students find the admission process simple and easy, unlike most private schools that include many processes, requirements and, in special cases, even exams. In this way, PCC makes better education easily accessible to more students.

How PCC helped students cope during the pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, many facilities shut their doors and schools were urged to remain online through Zoom, Google Classrooms, or Edsby. Along with the rise of e-learning, stress and anxiety also rose. Many students became unmotivated, began to struggle, and had to switch to quad masters.

At PCC, students were pushed and motivated by their teachers and fellow classmates to attend Zoom meetings and participate in lessons. They gave students the opportunity to take their time to fully understand and acknowledge the learning curriculum and class material given.

They were able to do so by providing their students with semesters throughout the pandemic. This created a great feeling of tranquility, as students were not required to compress and complete courses in 9 weeks, unlike other schools.

Although many students remained unmotivated and missed the classroom environment, PCC’s teachers encouraged their students to do their best, and pushed them to succeed in their academic goals. When students were experiencing negative feelings, the teachers provide reassurance and encouraged them to push harder to overcome their challenges.

Students felt that PCC teachers were there for them whatever the case. If they were struggling to understand a specific concept or to complete an assignment on time, they were there to encourage them to push themselves and remain motivated.

Exams were held in time, and although many students were disappointed by the news, they understood the positive benefits. The students of PCC were fortunate enough to be given a proper educational experience, even when a global pandemic was declared.

On their part, PCC students feel driven to pursue their goals and inspired to work harder to attain their dreams and ambitions. At PCC, their goals and objectives are highly influenced by the exceptional teachers who motivate them to push for success, no matter what.

The experience of Grade 12 students at PCC

Aaron Mcgregor, Adam Abbas, Farah Matta, Isabella Melo, Sophia Wasfy, and Toluwalase Mohammed are Grade 12 students at PCC.

From the time they applied for admission, they found the staff members open to questions and willing to explain in great detail, their values and expectations for students entering the school. Some of them had their interview and school tour on Zoom.

They found the school very welcoming to new students, and they got to explain their values to the principal, who took a genuine interest in them as a person. What stood out for them was that the teachers were always available to guide and support the students and help them take their values and experiences into their daily lives.

PCC is a strong family and very diverse community and the small class sizes allow for one-on-one experience with the teachers. The students have found friends that will last a lifetime and will always be there for them.

The students also feel that their teachers greatly value academic knowledge and they have the freedom to discuss anything with them always. The teachers at PCC try their best to understand where their students are coming from, and help them improve in their academics.

Their teachers’ caring and desire to build better relationships with the students is very much apparent to them. The teachers at PCC accept them with open and welcoming arms, encourage them to be successful, and are role models for them in portraying good values.

At PCC, there is always an opportunity for personal growth through sports, academics, outside activities, etc. Even through COVID, the school offered a lot of opportunities and extra-curricular activities, and helped the students take part in several initiatives to help the community.

Some of the activities and opportunities offered by the school during high school include co-op, sports teams, musical productions, and students’ parliament.

The students also feel that the teaching techniques have improved through online resources and the students now have easier access to their teachers. With online resources as well as in-class support, they feel more comfortable asking questions to broaden their knowledge.

PCC has started many great world initiatives where they give students the opportunity to give back to their community. Every year, PCC goes on mission trips to help people on the other side of the world. Through activities, events and fun games, students have been able to help their peers and show responsibility.

The students feel that, at PCC, nothing changed during the pandemic, as the staff continued to keep their education as close as possible to what it was before the pandemic, with a few changes around when school started and finished.

In order to cope with COVID, the students followed a consistent schedule every day and their time management skills improved, which is helping them now that they are moving back to normal school conditions.

As compared to other schools, PCC’s teachers continued to give the students many opportunities to help them work harder, especially when planning their path to university. The students continue to do exams every year, so that when they get to university, they don’t struggle with the change.

As grade 12 students, going to school where they are able to see their friends every day, keeps them all motivated and is something they’re not taking for granted.

Having the opportunity to get a feel of what they want to do in the future, has given them the reassurance of who they want to be and what they want to do. Another that motivates them is that they have accomplished so much that it will feel amazing when they graduate.

The experience of Grade 11 students at PCC

Christina El-Raheb, Simone Kobayati, and Maria Nasr are Grade 11 students at PCC. They feel the school provides an engaging and collaborative atmosphere that produces well-rounded individuals.

In addition to the school’s academic reputation, the students believe that PCC provides meaningful connections facilitated by the small class numbers, which help them form better bonds with their teachers and classmates. They have been able to create inseparable bonds with teachers, classmates, and other staff members, whom they now call family.

PCC has introduced different strategies to meet the various learning needs of its students and help them achieve academic success. The teaching techniques have changed to meet the needs of society, and students have seen changes both, in the actual curriculum, and also in the style of teaching and delivery.

Technology in education has played a significant role in recent years, especially with the introduction of virtual learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, PCC found ways to increase its use of technology within the classroom.

The staff and students were encouraged to alter their thinking, teaching style, and ways of learning to accommodate the use of technology in the classroom, make adjustments to the “standard” practices of education, and transform the in-person learning environment to a virtual learning environment.

PCC’s staff and students adapted to the changes and modified their learning needs. Lessons, tests, and exams were delivered virtually. Students also adapted by finding unique ways to submit assignments and projects to their teachers in an accurate and timely manner, and to continue their daily routines.

Virtual learning had its challenges, but it also compelled staff and students to find effective ways to communicate their knowledge and understanding in various subject areas.

Learning has shifted to include the concept of critical thinking in various subject areas, not just in English classes. The teachers use a variety of methods including teacher-directed learning, question-based learning, independent learning, and critical thinking.

Students are encouraged to formulate questions and research various sources to find an answer or solution. Learning has also changed to include a more “hands-on” approach to understanding several subject areas.

This style of teaching allows students to gain knowledge and confidence, and emphasizes the importance of hard work, perseverance, self-discipline, and collaboration.

PCC has also seen the arrival of international students, provided opportunities for students to enhance their learning of a second language through the French Immersion Program, and introduced new changes in education, as in the Advanced Placement Program.

Students are taught discipline and responsibility daily. Routines are enforced and students are encouraged to practice daily to help improve their understanding and skills in all subject areas.

The students appreciate having the opportunity to join different clubs, musicals, and committee teams, where they are able to strengthen their skills, time management abilities, and focus on leadership and communication, and also attend the many field trips organized.

PCC also focuses on the importance of acquiring and building social skills, offering students a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities to build solid relationships with others and learn the skills necessary for success, both in post-secondary school and in the workforce.

Team sports encourage good sportsmanship, while activities such as the annual food drive, mission trip to Egypt, and participation in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, stress the importance of kindness and empathy towards others. PCC teaches students to think on a global level and show compassion by demonstrating the Christian values they are taught daily.

PCC also encourages students to participate in various competitions throughout the school year including: the Spelling Bee, the Polar Expressions Writing Contest, and the ACSI Public Speaking Contest.

PCC promotes creativity, teamwork, responsibility, and community engagement with its annual Christmas Concert and School-Wide Play Production at the Living Arts Centre, in Mississauga, to help its students become well-rounded students and ultimately, great leaders of tomorrow.

Melania Schturyn (Grade 10)

Melania Schturyn a Grade 10 student, was homeschooled before she joined PCC, which prevented her from being accepted into a public or Catholic school because of a problem of transferring credits and qualifications for entering a physical school.

Despite this, PCC welcomed her gladly, which she will always appreciate. “I have made up for that lost time in just the few short months I’ve been at this school,” she says.

Melania feels that she has already created lifelong relationships with the students, teachers, and staff of PCC, which has become her second home purely by the surrounding energy of love and efficiency in the school.

She felt inspired to join PCC after her sister attended the school and had a great education and experience that opened many doors for her once she was in university. PCC is a school with strong morals and genuine care for every individual.

The school also pleasantly surprised Melania with all the opportunities it provides all students compared to other schools. It is actively involved with the Mississauga community and offers fun activities to partake in for the students, such as the annual school play and other activities organized by the student council.

“Knowing my teachers now, I know that they have always loved the students and done everything they can to make the curriculum entertaining along with educational,” says Melania.

As a goal-oriented person, Melania has always enjoyed learning, and her advice for students truly struggling with time management and lack of motivation is that if they start their day positively, and put aside the negative, their care for school and grades will increase, and they will find it easier to become successful in life.

She enjoys having access to opportunities that she can be proud of, like attending an International Women’s Day event with the mayor of the city of Mississauga, and taking part in the fundraisers that the student council organizes along with clubs and sports events.

The student council and office directory also does an amazing job at shedding light on current global issues, in educating students about these issues, and doing good work at fundraisers. Melania feels that PCC provides a sense of community that you would not get elsewhere, and that the staff members are all friendly and very obviously love teaching.

“I intend to spend my whole high school life in PCC, because now I cannot think of a time that I didn’t have this second family in my life,” she says. “In addition, even though I am merely a grade 10 student, I feel treated respectfully by all the teachers and staff, which is truly special. All said and done, I believe I still have lots to learn and achieve at this school!”

Angela Maria Abdou (Grade 9)

What inspired Angela Maria Abdou, a Grade 9 student of PCC since Pre-k, and her my family to choose PCC, was its incredibly high ranking among other private schools, and its great spiritual, academic, and athletic involvement.

PCC also has a lot of diversity when it comes to learning a new language along the lines of Coptic, and even Arabic. It has a very organized and modern environment with lots of modern technologies, school supplies, clubs, and teams. It’s also a safe and Christian environment with appropriate and modest uniforms.

When Angela was assigned to a group of girls who were doing the same songs as her during play practice, not only did she get a great opportunity to be in the play, but an even better opportunity to make new friends and get closer to the ones she knew from before.

Using technology has become the norm, and the teaching techniques adopted by PCC’s teachers make the classes interactive and include discussion-based and group learning.

During the pandemic, PCC staff found a way to make all their Zoom meetings interactive and fun. They also had lots of breaks so that when class started, the students would be ready to learn. Some teachers would even stay after class to help those who needed extra help or had questions.

PCC gives students many opportunities to learn leadership by introducing them to great role models and leaders, like Mayor Crombie, or Hazel McCallion. Not only do students get to talk on screen with them, but occasionally these leaders come to visit in person.

At PCC, students are challenged every day, but what motivates Angela personally is setting a goal and, in the long run, seeing that all the troubles you have to go through to get there are worth it. Words of encouragement, especially from teachers, motivate her to keep trying, even if she doesn’t get it the first time.

Karim Tawfik (Grade 9)

Karim Tawfik, a Grade 9 student, was very young when he enrolled at PCC, but as he grew up, he understood why his parents put him into the school.

“The way I was always welcomed was heartwarming, and the teachers who helped me achieve my goals and optimize my performance, were of great significance. My experience with Philopateer Christian College was always pleasant, and I never felt neglected or ignored. The PCC staff is always there to aid you through tough times and ups and downs,” he says.

The techniques of teaching at PCC are always efficient and effective, with a mix of hands-on work, group work, individual work, and projects to help students understand any concept. Over the years, the school has adopted new curriculums and teaching habits to optimize the student’s grades and performance.

“PCC is always trying to make their students into leaders, whether through group work, sports, or team building activities. They have strengthened my leadership skills and confidence,” says Karim.

When the pandemic first hit, Karim was in late grade 7, but the students were given the usual amount of work, and there were videos from teachers explaining concepts. In his grade 8 year, they had to again switch back to online learning, and this time it was very different from grade 7.

“It was almost like a normal school day, with an online schedule, and Zoom meetings for every class with attendance taken and students paying full attention. It almost felt like nothing changed at all,” he says.

When Karim is at school, he is always motivated by the teachers at PCC, who inspire him with the drive to achieve and chase goals. “I believe that setting goals is the way to life; once you achieve one, you keep going. The staff members at PCC integrate that and encourage it, and it motivates me to get through my hardest days,” he says.