Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School (Vancouver)
|Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School|
Pro Virili Parte (Latin)
To the Best of One's Ability
|7055 Heather Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6P 3P7, Canada
|School board||School District 39 Vancouver|
|Area trustee||Don Lee|
|Vice Principals||Brent Schieman
|School type||Public Secondary school|
|Language||English, French Immersion|
|Colours||Red, Blue and White|
|Enrollment||2114 (September 2009)|
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School is a public secondary school located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Churchill Secondary is one of two International Baccalaureate schools (along with Britannia Secondary School) and one of three French Immersion secondary schools in Vancouver. It is named after the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill.
Churchill is fed by the surrounding elementary schools in its catchment area. They include Sir Wilfrid Laurier Elementary School, Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Elementary School, Sir William Osler Elementary School, J.W. Sexsmith Elementary School, and David Lloyd George Elementary School. Although not within Churchill's catchment area, L'École Bilingue, L'École Quilchena and Sir James Douglas Elementary School feed into its French Immersion Program.
Churchill Secondary is known for its long standing International Baccalaureate Programme, attracting students from all over the school district to apply. However, admission into the IB Programme at Churchill Secondary is very competitive. In addition, Churchill's IB Diploma Programme is known for its challenging curriculum and rigorous gradings. Churchill Secondary also offers the IB Certificate Programme, which allows students in the regular BC provincial curriculum to take part in IB courses. This option is only open when there is a vacancy in that particular class. IB courses offered at Churchill include English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Art, Psychology, Film Studies, Theatre, Mathematics, and Theory of Knowledge. French Immersion students entering the IB Programme may opt to take a more advanced French course, allowing them to earn a BC French Dogwood Diploma and a bilingual IB diploma simultaneously. There is also a Pre-IB programme in grade 10, and an informal programme similar to the Middle Years Programme known as Synergy for grades 8-9. The IB program provides a challenging and globally accepted curriculum for all its students.
Information sessions are held each year, usually in the beginning of January, by the school for prospective IB students. Entry into the program requires a written application, previous academic performance record, standardized testing (PSAT), and an interview. Testing and interviews will take place during mid January. Pre-IB students are automatically considered for the IB program, although they are not guaranteed acceptance into the full diploma program. Teacher interviews are held concerning each Pre-IB student to determine entry.
As part of Global Families, a project where IB students choose a developing country to educate others on, students host World Awareness Day in which they set-up displays in downtown Vancouver to teach the public about their country of choice. Students can also get involved on IB Council or as an IB Director.
The program prepares students for post-secondary studies and a high percentage of Churchill's IB graduates go on to the University of British Columbia. Because the IB programme is recognized internationally, it is advantageous for students looking to study abroad.
Ideal Mini School
Ideal Mini School is a grade 8–12 mini school program. It is generally accepted as the "steward school" of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, although it is run independently under the leadership of head teacher Jim King.
Secondary French Immersion is for students continuing on from elementary French Immersion. Students can receive a Bilingual Graduation Certificate. Students in French Immersion can also participate in the IB program, and receive a bilingual IB diploma. Students participate yearly in a French speech arts competition and are categorized between anglophone and francophone.
An annual school science fair is held at Churchill Secondary, and twenty projects are chosen to represent the school at the Vancouver District Science Fair. Winners there move onto the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair, and then onto the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School has been well represented in past years, and at the CWSF2005, Churchill students set a record for all schools in Canada, taking home 18 medals under the guidance of Dr. Geoffrey Gabbott and Mr.Victor Shieh.
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School boasts a strong athletic department. Their mascot is a bulldog. They currently offer volleyball, boys soccer, field hockey, and cross country teams in the fall; basketball, girls ice hockey, and table tennis teams in the winter; and girls soccer, rugby, track & field, badminton, tennis, golf, girls softball, and ultimate teams in the springtime. Teams are divided by age group: Bantam (Grade 8), Juvenile (Grade 9), Junior (Grade 10), and Senior (Grades 11 & 12). However, there is possibility for advancement if skills permit.
Churchill Secondary is well-known for its basketball program. In addition to having 8 competitive teams for boys and girls, they offer a basketball course to further students's skills. Every year the school hosts the Bulldog Classic, a basketball tournament with schools participating from around the Greater Vancouver region. On March 16, 2014, the Senior Boys Basketball Team won the AAAA B.C. High School Boys Championship against Surrey's Holy Cross.
Churchill has a Senior A and Senior B field hockey team, which practices on the school campus's upper field. In 2012, Churchill Senior A was almost undefeated in the regular season except for a 1-0 loss against Richmond's McMath. They also won the Vancouver city championship that year. Churchill Senior A had consistently won a seed in the BC AAA Girls Field Hockey Provincials, however, in the 2013 season lost the seat to rivals Eric Hamber Griffins.
Notable former faculty
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|
- Justin Trudeau (eldest son of the late Pierre Trudeau and now leader of the Liberal Party of Canada) - French & social studies teacher
- Nancy Campbell (wife of former BC Premier Gordon Campbell) - vice-principal
Sir Winston Churchill is currently a strong competitor in Reach for the Top, having won the provincial championship three years in a row, from 2008-2010. Churchill students have participated in local science fairs. Sir Winston Churchill is also known for its Debate team. Involvement with other extracurricular activities is highly encouraged by teachers and staff. Churchill has a variety of clubs supporting various advocacy groups and interests, such as the Free the Children, World Vision, UNICEF and Amnesty International clubs. The school also hosts several student run publications including the Big Bang Science Journal and Newsfeed. In 2010 Churchill had the most runners as a school in the Vancouver Sun Run with 721 participants. Churchill's student-run website SWCsocial hosts the Churchill's Got Talent music competition powered by online voting and filmed the school's lipdup video.
Churchill has several sustainability student groups, with enviroMENTAL club and the youth4tap club being the most notable. The youth4tap club succeeding in banning the sale of plastic water bottles on campus. There is also a recycling and composting club. The school also offers an environmental stewardship course for tenth graders, which develops sustainability projects and tends to the school vegetable garden.
Notable alumni and students
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|
- Angela Chang (张韶涵), singer and actress in Taiwan
- Shawn Dou, Chinese actor notable for his performance in Under the Hawthorn Tree
- Tyla Flexman, field hockey player
- Mike Harcourt, former premier of British Columbia
- Kid Koala, turntablist
- John Shorthouse, sportscaster (Vancouver Canucks play-by-play announcer)
- Brad Swaile, voice actor in the Gundam anime series
- Kris Wu, Canadian-Chinese member of the Chinese-South Korean boy band EXO 
In popular culture
The appearance of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary had been loosely adapted for Chamberlain Secondary School in the webcomic We Can Sleep Tomorrow, the exterior of the school being prominently featured in a comic dated October 9, 2009.
- "VSB Ready Reference" (PDF). January 2010. p. 12.
- Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School on Twitter
- We Can Sleep Tomorrow (October 9, 2009). "Nap Time". We Can Sleep Tomorrow by Serge Sokolin.