What Makes Westside Special?
Joyful Learning, Innovative Education
First, more than anything, it’s the people that make Westside special - the teachers, students, staff, leadership, and parents.
The Westside Schools is a place where everyone’s contributions are valued and recognized. With a small school like Westside everyone knows each other. This community is the heart of what makes Westside a wonderful place to gain an education.
Westside is an independent school in downtown Vancouver with classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12. We pride ourselves on being a teacher-driven school. Westside’s teachers are passionate, engaged, and motivated to help every student excel.
The best way to get to know Westside is by visiting the school. We encourage you to read through the website and then get in touch with Westside’s Admissions Team to visit the school in person.
The Westside Schools was founded in 2004. It’s a not-for-profit independent school governed by the Westside Preparatory Society.
With three centres in downtown Vancouver, providing excellent education at an affordable price to students from across the GVRD, Westside aims to make high-quality education more accessible.
Since its founding, the school has grown from the original campus, now housing the Foundation Years Program, to include the Middle Years Program centre on Smithe Street, and the Miniversity campus on Nelson Street.
The Westside Schools’ vision is of a school that re-imagines learning for a changing world, is a place of happy excellence, and a leader in learning.
All our students are provided every support necessary to flourish and succeed, so that when they graduate, they will be ready for the next stage in life.
The Westside Schools’ Mission is to develop an enquiry-based approach to education that fosters creativity, promotes academic excellence, nurtures human relationships, and inspires a growing passion for learning in every student.
We aim to be a physically and psychologically safe learning community of creative, joyful, passionate learners who engage in courageous and innovative thinking.
Westside’s Core Values are an integral part of everything we do at school.
They are emphasized regularly in our interactions and considered whenever we have important decisions to make.
Westside’s Core Values are Honesty, Effort, Inclusivity, Kindness, Teamwork, and Trust.
We believe all children can learn well.
We teach children how to learn.
Not all students learn the same way, so we ensure that we know, value, and understand each of our students.
We believe all students are capable of entering and succeeding in university, as long as they’re willing to put in their best effort.
We are an inclusive school. Our admissions are based on the capacity of the program, gender balance, English language ability, and the school’s ability to meet the needs of the individual applicant while maintaining our mandate of individualized education in a group setting.
The Admissions Team works intimately with each applicant to determine if Westside is the right school for the family.
We believe the admissions process should be a collaborative process.
Customized Learning Plan
Our teaching and learning are customized to the individual student.
The KEY Program allows students with difficulties in certain areas to obtain extra assistance.
In other cases, there may be the option to take more advanced classes if students are thriving in a particular subject.
Westside’s tuition represent extraordinarily good value
The school fees are as reasonable as we can make them. This is because we want to make excellent education accessible to more families. Tuition and fees are also clearly outlined so that there are no surprises and you can create your financial plan accordingly.
At Westside, effective communication is a priority.
We communicate with our parents and families regularly and effectively.
Parents are important partners who need to be current on the progress of their children. In addition to regular reports, teachers and school leaders are readily available for consultation when requested.
We run several Parent Academies each year to discuss programs, plans, and processes.
Above & Beyond
Westside is always looking to provide greater opportunities for enrichment to our students. We greatly enrich the Ministry of Education’s mandated program
We run an After-School program for Kindergarten to Grade 7 that allows students to engage in fun and educational activities. This is provided with no additional tuition.
The Miniversity is open until 5:00 pm, so students can continue studying in a focused environment with access to teachers. With the support of teachers, Students from Grades 8 to 12 are encouraged to develop after-school clubs that meet their interests.
Westside offer specialist preparation for university.
We offer a specialist program called ‘University Track’ which provides comprehensive coverage of matters that inform decisions about University entry. The program includes regular visits from University Admissions Officers, detailed guidance on application procedures, exploratory visits to Universities, enriched mini-courses to establish a scholarly mindset, and the permanent services of a University Counsellor.
At Westside, our teachers care about the whole child.
In addition to the curriculum, pastoral care is of high importance to us. Pastoral care refers to nurturing each student holistically. A student is not just the sum of their report card. Students are supported emotionally as much as they are academically. Thanks to the small class sizes and dedicated teachers, no student is ever lost or left behind. Every student is given the attention and support they need.
From Kindergarten to Grade 9, all students have a Homeroom Teacher. While at the Miniversity every student is part of a teacher-led Tutor Group. This means students can receive daily support from a teacher who is paying attention to their progress throughout the year.
International students benefit from the attention and care of our International Dean, who is always looking out for the welfare of students who may be away from home for the first time.
While you may be coming to Westside at the Foundation Years or Middle Years level, our hope is that your child will aspire to attend the Miniversity, which is Westside’s centre for students from Grades 8 to 12.
Our Miniversity is High School re-imagined. It is one of the most unique aspects of Westside’s education program. With a block system that allows students to focus on one subject at a time, students are able to manage their course load while minimizing the stress which is so common for high achievers and those aspiring to gain an excellent university education.
Students at the Miniversity are highly motivated. While some have their eye on top universities around the world, others are looking to take advantage of the excellent education available within Canada. Whatever the individual student’s goals are, Westside helps guide each one towards a fulfilling and successful future.
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 go to school in Westside’s Foundation Years Centre on Beatty Street, right next to the Terry Fox Plaza.
Here there are classrooms, a library, and a central Learning Commons, all providing a warm and engaging learning environment. Westside has a small gym space on Beatty Street for indoor PE classes that complement the current outdoor offerings.
Just one block away, at Beatty and Smithe, stands the beautiful new Middle Years Centre, where students in Grades 4 to 8 go to school. The Middle Years Centre holds classrooms, a dedicated Science Room, Art Room, Music Room, Maker Space, and a Library.
The Westside Miniversity is just one block away from the Middle Years Centre and houses the university prep program for Grades 10 to 12 and the transition program for Grades 8 and 9.
This exceptional facility provides a modern learning environment. There are pop-up classrooms, collaborative learning spaces, a library, tutor rooms, and a Science Lab. It is a unique space which encourages focused learning, independent study, and collaboration.
THE CITY IS OUR CAMPUS
Westside makes great use of facilities in the neighbourhood and throughout downtown and metro Vancouver.
The schools are a short walk from the impressive Vancouver Public Library, Science World, Granville Island, Simon Fraser University and the University of BC downtown campuses. Students take trips to art galleries, museums, farms, media centres, and other educational events throughout the year.
Our Physical Education classes and sports program make use of several local facilities enabling us to engage in field sports, skating, kayaking, swimming, cycling, martial arts, tennis, and dance.
788 BEATTY STREET, VANCOUVER
101 SMITHE STREET, VANCOUVER
211 NELSON STREET, VANCOUVER
Community matters at Westside.
The Westside community is one of the greatest strengths of the school. From parents, to faculty, to leadership, to students, Westside is more like a family than a school.
Some of the ways Westside builds a strong community every year are as follows:
Mixed grade events, competitions, and activities
Community Pot-Luck lunches
Middle Years Alternative Programming Week twice per year
Middle Years Camp Week
Mixed grade Super Curriculum programming
Musical Theatre program culminating in the Spring Concert
The Christmas Concert
Westside also does its best to make a positive contribution to the greater Vancouver community as well by participating in some of the following:
Performances and companionship for Seniors
Purchasing goods and services from local suppliers
Providing speakers on education for local clubs and societies
Participating in local charity and civic initiatives
Encouraging student volunteerism
The Westside has partnerships with schools in China and Nigeria.
Activities include student and faculty visits, teacher professional development, curriculum development, teacher education, and cooperative student projects.
We regularly cooperate with The High School Attached To Hunan Normal University, The Liaoning Province Shiyan High School, Halifield Schools Lagos in Nigeria, and JunWu Elementary School in Nanning.
The best way to get a feel for Westside is to visit the schools. We would be delighted to show you around and answer any questions you might have. Get in touch with the Admissions Department or book a school visit by clicking on the link below.