High School Reimagined
Succeed in the 21st century
Located on the edge of Yaletown, our Miniversity® is high school re-imagined in the light of new knowledge about learning.
The skills required to succeed in the 21st century economy are different than what they were just ten years ago. Soft skills are just as important as good grades in Math. It’s no longer true that just getting into university is enough to assure a fulfilling and engaging career path.
That’s why this program is designed to give you life skills, teach you leadership, and prepare you for your future in university and beyond.
KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN
You might not know exactly what you want to pursue right now.
Deciding on a career path when you’re just entering high school isn’t reasonable for most students. But no door should be closed to you simply because you didn’t receive the right support or education when you were in high school.
This is a program designed to help you excel in your areas of interest and deepen your strengths, while still supporting you to accomplish your goals in subjects where you experience more difficulty.
If you struggle with Math or English or any other subject, the dedicated support of Westside’s teachers will help you to improve in those areas, while the independent study options allow you to pursue your areas of interest.
This means doors will be open to you as you head into Grade 11 and 12, and even if you decide to change your career goals later in life. It can be hard to predict which direction you’ll want to take as you grow and develop. A well-rounded education helps keep your options open in the future.
Decrease Stress through Focused Learning
Balancing a full course load all at once can be stressful.
For many students it can mean struggling to complete course work and having difficulty with subjects where you otherwise could have excelled.
That’s why at Westside’s Miniversity, students from Grades 10 to 12 study one course at a time for a block of 20 school days. This is referred to as a Block System. It’s more common in England than it is in Canada. And as of 2019, Westside is the only school in Vancouver offering this to students.
The benefits of a block system are many. What students tend to like most about this systems is that it prevents the conflicting demands of different courses. In a regular system your English teacher might assign a big paper due on the same day your Physics teacher has decided to schedule an important test.
This can make time management difficult and prevent you from getting the grades you desire and learning the subject matter as deeply as if you were able to have a singular focus.
Stress and a lack of focus are two reasons that students struggle during high school.
The block system helps to lessen both of those issues. While there will always be areas that aren’t your favourite or that you struggle with, the block system can help you focus on improving every subject area.
Another side benefit of the Block System is that you always have something to look forward to. Even if there is a mandatory subject that you don’t love, it’s done in just 20 school days, and you can move onto a subject that you prefer.
While this system doesn’t mean you won’t have to put in your best effort - that will always be necessary - it does mean you don’t have to deal with competing deadlines or doing a balancing act with all the different subjects you’re trying to study at the same time.
You’ll get to enjoy the benefit of focused learning and a less stressful high school experience, which will help you achieve the grades you need to get into a top university in Canada, the USA, or abroad.
It’s been proven time and again that you learn best when you’re engaged in the process.
Teachers hold discussions rather than lecturing. They challenge students to share ideas in a respectful way and be thoughtful and analytical.
They provide students with individual attention, are happy to answer questions and engage in dialogue, provide encouragement, and challenge students to do their best.
Westside’s teachers care about the success of their students.
They’re always looking for ways to make the classes more engaging and interesting. They seek feedback from students, and then implement that feedback to make the classes better with every year. This isn’t a school where teachers do the same thing over and over, never looking to improve. It’s a school where the teachers are growing and learning as much as the students.
This means that your classes will be engaging, interesting, and challenging.
Get The Support You Need from teachers who care
To ensure every student is thriving, the Miniversity uses a tutorial system.
Each teacher is also a tutor for a group of about 10 students. Tutor groups meet every day. This way your tutor is able to check in with you and see how you’re doing on a regular basis. If you’re having difficulty in a particular area and need some advice or extra help, your tutor will be happy to assist.
You’ll also participate in tutor group competitions and go on special outings together.
Prepare For University
Get all the assistance you need when pursuing your dream university.
Westside’s Miniversity has a comprehensive university advising system that will help you determine which university programs might be the best fit for you and what you need to do to get there.
The Career and Planning Week in Grade 10 has also proved deeply useful to many of our students who say it has helped them feel less confused about all the options open to them and what steps to take next. With hundreds of universities and competing programs, having some assistance can be a relief.
Planning your future can seem like a daunting task, even when you have the full support of your family. The combination of our early Career Planning process and our University Counselling program will allow you to plan a future that works for you.
Prepare for Your Future
The Miniversity Program will help you prepare for your future.
There’s no one single path for every student. Your dreams are not the same as anyone else’s. Your path is not the same as your best friend’s. The individual attention, Block System, and opportunities for independent study allow you to follow a trajectory that’s right for you.
This school program is unlike anything else being offered in Vancouver.
Come visit the school and see for yourself if it’s the right school for you.