Robert Land Academy (RLA) is Canada’s only private military academy not affiliated with a university. It is a center of excellence in programming aimed at developing boys into young men with the necessary leadership, citizenship, and self-regulation qualities to participate in and contribute to society fully.
The Academy opened its doors in 1978 in the township of West Lincoln, on the north shores of the Welland River, five kilometers west of the hamlet of Wellandport. It is an all-boys school. During any school year, the Academy enrolls 160 students from Grade 5 (last year of elementary school) to Grade 12 (last year of high school).
Keep reading to learn more about Robert Land Academy, Canada.
The History of Robert Land Academy, Canada
Image source: Robert Land Academy
The school is named after Robert Land, an adventurous and loyal frontiersman who served with the British Army’s 79th Gordon Highlanders. He participated in the Siege of Louisbourg and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham with General Wolfe.
When the American Revolution broke out, Robert Land remained loyal to the Crown. The Land family fled to New York after the Rebel Militia destroyed their home. Robert Land continued to lead troops through unmapped, otherwise hostile native Indian territory to attack rebel strongholds for the British.
Captain Robert Land crossed the Niagara River at the end of the war. After many hardships, the Land family settled under the British Flag of Upper Canada and became Hamilton’s first settlers. Robert Land died at the age of 82 in 1818.
The Academy’s founder, G. Scott Bowman, is a direct descendant of Robert Land and his wife, Phoebe Land.
More About Robert Land Academy
According to the Academy’s website, the military theme reinforces the importance of organization, teamwork, discipline, and personal responsibility. Students are admitted to the Academy based on their ability to succeed.
Students admitted to the Academy typically do not fit in with the public school system due to academic, behavioral, attitude, and other issues. Other students have been diagnosed with Autism, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and other forms of learning disability.
The Academy claims that 100% of its graduating class applying to university or college are accepted yearly. It also claims that 95% of all students see a significant improvement in academic performance and success during their first semester of enrollment.
Robert Land Academy Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, which is also affiliated with The Lincoln and Welland Regiment (the Niagara Region’s local Canadian Forces army reserve infantry unit) and The Royal Canadian Regiment (one of the Canadian Forces’ three Regular Force infantry regiments), is sponsored by the Academy. Membership in the #2968 RCACC was required for all grade 9 students in the 2008/09 school year.
Student Life At Robert Land Academy
The Fall Ex, also known as the Fall Exercise, is a 90-kilometer hike along the Bruce Trail. The Fall exercise is held every year on the Tuesday before Canadian Thanksgiving and lasts until Thursday. Students will see places like Ball’s Falls, Short Hills, and the Screaming Tunnel during the excursion. Students sleep at Fort George on the second day of the Fall Ex.
On the final day, students take turns carrying a cannon to Queenston Heights, where a parade is held. Students who complete the Fall Ex receive the Bakers Badge.
All Academy students live in military-style dormitories throughout the school year. Major-General Isaac Brock (leader of British forces at the Battle of Queenston Heights during the War of 1812), Major John Butler (leader of the irregular militia regiment named after him, Butler’s Rangers, formed for service in the American Revolutionary War), and Joseph Brant (1743-1807), a Mohawk military and political leader were closely associated with the Confederation of Canada.
Ranking at Robert Land Academy
When they first arrive at the Academy, all students are ranked Recruit. The first phase of non-academic training at the Academy for new students, usually lasting a month, is always referred to as the “Recruit Period,” they will dress in a tan beret to signify their recruit status. Upon passing the Recruit Period, the student is promoted to Cadet and given the right to wear the blue beret with the academy’s cap badge.
A student who makes serious mistakes may be placed on charge, which means he will remain in the recruit rank for an extended period, and his previous rank will be suspended. The student must wear an orange or tan beret until they are reinstated to the rank of Cadet or higher.
Students at the Academy may be promoted to the rank of Barman after being promoted to the rank of Cadet and demonstrating their ability to demonstrate rudimentary leadership and organizational skills. This rank is normally denoted by a silver bar similar to the insignia of a United States Army lieutenant.
After achieving Barman rank and obtaining a position within the academy, the student can advance in one of two ways:
If the student demonstrates equivalent leadership abilities, he will be promoted to the rank of Double Barman (denoted by two silver bars similar to a U.S. Army captain’s insignia). Students in grades 5 to 10 must first achieve the rank of Leading Barman, then Master Barman, before being promoted higher.
If the student demonstrates exceptional leadership abilities, he may be promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal (the equivalent rank in the British Army).
Promotions can then be made through the ranks of Corporal, Master Corporal, Sergeant, and finally, Warrant Officer (similar to the modern Canadian Forces’ rank structure).
During the school year, the senior ranking student on campus is known as the “Head Boy” and typically wears the rank of Sergeant or Warrant Officer. The other two senior student positions are ‘”Parade Sergeant Major”‘ and ‘”Aide-de-Camp,”‘ both of which can wear the rank of Sergeant or Warrant Officer and are collectively referred to as the “Top 3” at the academy.
The Academy’s staff is divided into three broad categories:
- Officers in the Academy
- Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) on the academy staff
- Academy civilian personnel
Academy officers wear officer rank insignia from the Canadian Army before 1968 (“pips” and crowns). Teachers wear one “pip” star from a second lieutenant or two “pip” stars from a lieutenant, company commanders wear three “pip” stars from a captain, and the Headmaster wears a lieutenant colonel’s crown and one “pip.”
Non-commissioned officers on the academy staff are typically made up of the Academy Sergeant-Major (ASM) and his immediate subordinates, the Company Sergeants-Major (CSM). The ASM and CSMs are in charge of all daily drills and military-themed classes at the Academy.
Academy civilian staff (including the Academy kitchen staff, groundskeepers, and administrative personnel) do not wear military-style uniforms and do not hold Academy ranks.
FAQs on Robert Land Academy
Where is Robert Land Academy Located?
In Ontario’s Niagara Region, Robert Land Academy is Canada’s only private military-style boarding school for boys in grades 5 through 12.
Where does Robert Land Academy Rank?
Due to a high percentage of boarding students and good student attention, Robert Land Academy ranks among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 292 schools) for Boarding Focus.
What are the Admission Requirements for Robert Land Military Academy?
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies and application materials are required. These include application letters, fees, essays, and tests (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require prospective students to interview.
Schools also evaluate student applications using different criteria, have different acceptance rates, and target different types of students. Learn everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they evaluate applicants to increase your child’s chances of acceptance.
Admission Requirements for Robert Land include;
- SSAT interviews for grades 5 – 12 (out of province)
- Exam(s) of admission
- Admission Essay
Plus, a written application and a personal interview with the candidate and his parents are required for admission to Robert Land Academy. Copies of academic transcripts or reports from the previous two years and other relevant information are needed. Admission is determined by the boy’s suitability for the program and the potential demonstrated during the interview process.
How Much is Tuition at Robert Land Academy?
The yearly tuition fee ranges from $66 000 to $72 000. Read more about it here.