West Point Grey Academy

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West Point Grey Academy
WPGAlogo.jpg
Address
4125 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6R 4P9
Canada
Coordinates 49°15′59.6″N 123°12′1.2″W / 49.266556°N 123.200333°W / 49.266556; -123.200333Coordinates: 49°15′59.6″N 123°12′1.2″W / 49.266556°N 123.200333°W / 49.266556; -123.200333
Information
School type Independent
Motto "Progredimini Confidenter"
(Go Forth with Confidence)
Founded 1996
Headmaster Tam Matthews
Grades PreK-12
Enrollment 930
Language English
Colour(s) Dark Green, Grey, Navy Blue
Mascot Wally the Wolf
Team name Grey Wolves
Website

West Point Grey Academy is an independent, co-educational, university-preparatory school founded in 1996. Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It delivers the British Columbia Ministry of Education curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12.

History[edit]

Established in 1996 and located in Vancouver, WPGA offers a broad range of programmes and classes extending from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12. WPGA is about people, academics, community, and individual growth. The school offers a rigorous curriculum built on a foundation of self-confidence and achievement. Admission to WPGA is selective and applicants are subject to rigorous testing prior to admission.

Rivalries[edit]

Although no schools have been distinguished as rivals- Collingwood School in West Vancouver, and St. George's School have been matched against WPGA regularly.

Mission statement[edit]

In the 2004/2005 school year WPGA completed an academic advancement plan and launched a new mission statement: "At West Point Grey Academy we are a community of Renaissance learners. By igniting the spirit of inquiry, creativity, and exploration, we challenge our students to develop a passion for excellence." This educational philosophy is in addition to the school's motto - Progredimini Confidenter: Go Forth With Confidence - and stresses a four pillar approach to education: academics, athletics, fine and performing arts, and community service.

In the 2014/2015 year, the motto was changed to "Shaping lives of inquiry, action and joy"

Athletics[edit]

All students from Junior-Kindergarten to Grade 11 are enrolled in Physical Education classes. Grade 12 students may choose to opt out of PE. The WPGA campus features a large double gymnasium, pool, fitness centre, two outdoor tennis courts, multi-sport fields, and a 1-kilometre outdoor running/walking trail. Main sports include soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross-country, swimming, track and field, golf, and tennis.

WPGA fields a variety of athletic teams from grade 5 through grade 12 competing as members of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. School teams also compete in local city and independent school leagues and are also registered in the 'A' division of the BC School Sports Provincial Championships.

WPGA is currently home to the BC Elementary Schools Track and Field Champions.

Headed by Sean Dawson, Senior School Athletics Director, WPGA’s varsity athletics program is among the strongest in the province. WPGA won their first high school provincial championship banner in fall 2010 with their varsity girls cross-country team capturing the 'AAA' BC High-School Cross-Country Championships title.[1] The varsity girls cross-country team brought home their second consecutive banner after successfully defending their title on November 5th, 2011.[2]

WPGA also won the high school cross country provincial championships in 2013 and 2014.

Fine and Performing Arts[edit]

West Point Grey Academy's Fine and Performing Arts faculty is hosted in a dedicated Arts Wing (made up of several visual arts studios, a ceramics room, band room, drama room, choir room, recording studio, and wood-shop). There are numerous opportunities for students to share their talents with the community, including the Arts Festival, senior school drama production, open mic night, jazz cabaret evening and twice-yearly music concerts.

Since 1997 the school's drama program has annually produced a large scale production with ticket sales open to the Greater Vancouver community. In 2005 the school produced its first musical, The Sound of Music, and has since strived to produce a musical every other year. In 2007 it put on The Wizard of Oz at the Richmond Gateway Theatre. The department put on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as adapted for the stage in 2009 with a production of Anne of Green Gables in 2010. In 2014, WPGA produced the musical, Grease. Their most recent production was The Ash Girl.

The school's band and strings program is quickly growing, regularly performing in the community. In April 2007 the school's concert band and choirs undertook their first international band trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. They've been going to numerous festivals and competitions every year including Kiwanis and Con Brio.

Every May the school hosts a week-long celebration of the arts called Arts Week. During this week, classes are shortened to allow for artistic workshops and guest artists to give presentations. The evenings also feature large scale musical productions, including Coffee House Night and Cabaret Night.

Community service[edit]

The West Point Grey Academy campus

The school and its student body continually stress the importance of community stewardship. The school hosts groups which regularly volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission as well as other local community based initiatives. In March 2006, six students and two teachers joined a Canadian team to travel to Tanzania to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. They worked to generate HIV/AIDS Awareness in schools around the Lower Mainland, and succeeded in raising over $40,000 for charity. West Point Grey Academy was also responsible for reinstating the Vancouver Independent Schools' Charity Ball in February 2005, and in July 2007 successfully completed a school-building service trip to Ecuador. During the 2006-2007 school year, a number of WPGA students collaborated to plan, organize, and run Urban Aid, a benefit concert to raise money for Covenant House Vancouver. The concert showcased a number of Vancouver independent groups and artists, and was attended by over 300 high school students from around the Lower Mainland. The event raised over $5,000 for charity. WPGA has also sent students to We Day, a celebration of community service. They were given a special shoutout from popular UK band the Wanted, who commended them on their community service, especially their trips to Africa. This year, they will be going to the Dominican Republic to help educate children.

Debate and public speaking[edit]

WPGA’s senior school competitive debate team is one of the most decorated teams on the national circuit. As the current home of the 2015 Canadian national champions, WPGA has won the national title more times than any other school. WPGA debaters have also qualified as one of two Canadian teams at the Oxford Finals (U.K. championships) five times in the past seven years, and six national debate squad teams, which represent Canada at the World Schools Debate Championships, have included WPGA students. Most recently, WPGA '15 alumni Lloyd Lyall was a member of the national debate team that appeared in the Grand Finals of the 2015 World Championship in Singapore. WPGA head coach, Ms. Tracey Lee, was national team coach from 2009 to 2011 and led the team that captured the 2010 World Champions title.

WPGA's public speaking team has also experienced significant success at the provincial, national and international levels. WPGA '15 alumni Samantha Starkey won the 2015 Canadian public speaking championships, en route to capturing the 2015 WIDPSC World Championship title.

The school's Model UN team has competed at a number of international competitions including the National High School MUN (New York), Harvard Model UN (Boston), SSUNS McGill and Harvard Model Congress in Athens, Greece and Brussels, Belgium. In addition to receiving a number of delegate awards, the team has also received notable acclamation as the Top International Delegation at the Harvard Model United Nations in both 2005 and 2006 and McGill's SSUNS in 2008. The school's Model UN program host their own conference, - the Vancouver Youth Model United Nations (VYMUN) - every October.

Media Attention[edit]

In 2007 WPGA gained media attention when students accessed mid year exams. Forensic experts were hired to determine how the security breach occurred. Three students who were allegedly involved were expelled over the incident.[3]

WPGA also received attention for the shooting deaths of two WPGA parents on separate occasions, with Macleans running an editorial on the controversy surrounding the second death.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], the province, 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  2. ^ [2], BC Secondary School Cross Country and Track & Field Association, 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  3. ^ Steffenhagen, Janet. "Top B.C. school expels 3 in exam scandal", The Vancouver Sun, 2007-02-24. Retrieved on 2008-10-29.

External links[edit]