Departments

Additional Languages

The Languages Department services the additional language needs of students from Grades 7 to 12. The department members deliver a comprehensive program of French studies and Spanish studies in the Middle School and Senior School sections. More specifically, the Department offers the following:

French Studies:

  • Regular French 7-12
  • Advanced Placement French 12 (Offered only when the number of prospective students warrants the inclusion of this course in the current year's catalogue)

The French curriculum is based on a fully articulated program from Grade 7-12 called Discovering French Nouveau.

Spanish Studies:

  • Introductory Spanish 9
  • Regular Spanish 10-12
The Spanish curriculum utilizes the state of the art fully articulated program Realidades, complete with internet resources for Grades 9-12.

Note:

  • The Department does not offer any immersion type courses that would satisfy the continuing needs of students with Elementary immersion experiences
  • However, the Department does employ a rigorous challenge policy for those student candidates seeking to accelerate their learning

Applied and Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department provides students from Grades 7 to 12 with opportunities to develop their creative talents specifically in the areas of Music, Theatre, Visual, and Applied Arts.

Visual Arts Program

VC visual art classes give students a chance to creatively actualize their ideas and emotions, learn to look critically at the visual world around them and to appreciate beauty. Students will learn techniques in drawing, photography, painting, image manipulation and sculpture to help them convey their ideas, create mood and effect and comfortably express themselves. It is the goal of the art department to make sure students enjoy what they are doing, gain confidence in their creative abilities and learn new ways to look at art and our visual culture.

Music Program

There are nine ensembles within the music program:

  • Grade 7 concert band
  • Grade 8 concert band
  • Grade 9 concert band
  • Grade 8/9 jazz band
  • Grade 10 jazz band
  • Grade 11 jazz band
  • Grade 12 jazz band
  • Senior concert band (10,11,12)
  • Middle School Choir
  • Senior Senior Choir (10,12,12)

Theatre Program

The Theatre Program offers students the opportunity to engage in a wide range of theatrical experience such as major productions, frequent theatre visits, and more. Courses offered:

  • Drama 7
  • Drama 8
  • Drama 9
  • Theatre Performance 10
  • Theatre Performance 11/12
  • Theatre Production 10-12

Applied Arts Program

  • Entrepreneurship 12
  • Psychology 12
  • Law 12
  • Information Technology

English

The goal of the English Department is to prepare the students to be able to communicate effectively. They are prepared for the Provincial Exams in Grades 10 and 12. All students write English 12 and a small number also write Communications 12. There is a strong emphasis on novel reading and related discussions. The accelerated program begins in Grade 10. The top 30 students finish the Grade 11 program in March of the Grade 11 year and then commence the Grade 12 schedule. The goal of these students is to write the Provincial Exam in February and thus complete their Grade 12 English. These students have the option of enrolling in first year university English on the VC campus or studying for the Advanced Placement Exam in May.

Students participate in various essay writing competitions throughout the year. There is also a very vibrant drama class where students are given the opportunity to experience live theater and participate in dramatic presentations. The journalism class produces three newspapers in the school year.

Mathematics

The Mathematics Department offers mathematics education that meets the needs of all of its students. If your son has a natural ability and inquisitive mind for mathematics we offer courses such as Mathematics 8 Plus to maintain interest and challenge their abilities. We also offer an accelerated mathematics program beginning in the tenth grade that allows students to complete Pre-Calculus 10, 11 & 12 in two years so to enroll in Advanced Placement Calculus in their twelfth grade. We offer students of all abilities the opportunity to succeed and achieve their goal of entering post-secondary education by offering both Foundations 11 & 12 as well as Pre-Calculus 11 & 12.

The Foundations pathway is designed to provide students with the mathematical understandings and critical-thinking skills identified for post-secondary studies in programs that do not require the study of theoretical calculus. Topics include financial mathematics, geometry, measurement, number, logical reasoning, relations and functions, statistics and probability (WNCP, 2008). The Pre-Calculus pathway is designed to provide students with the mathematical understandings and critical-thinking skills identified for entry into post-secondary programs that require the study of theoretical calculus. Topics include algebra and number, measurement, relations and functions, trigonometry, and permutations, combinations and binomial theorem (WNCP, 2008). Students that enroll in Pre-Calculus 12 are strongly recommended to take Calculus 12 concurrently to better prepare them for post-secondary mathematics. Aside from curricular activities, the Mathematics Department proudly participates in extracurricular activities such as American and Canadian mathematics contests and Math Club. Students are often sought after by universities because of their contest results.

The staff of the mathematics department are all teachers with strong mathematics backgrounds. They are all willing to help their students maximize conceptual understanding and promote success in future years of mathematics.

Physical Education

Physical Education has unique and significant contributions to make to the total education of every student. Physical Education is that portion of the education process which utilizes physical activity as a primary means for stimulating mental-intellectual, social-emotional and physical growth and development. The program draws on and together with what has been worked on in the previous years and adds some lifetime skills to those activities. Effective 2010-2011 school year, Physical Education 12 or Fitness Training 12 is a requirement to graduate from Vancouver College.

Religion

At Vancouver College we believe that the Religious Education classroom is a privileged place and time where students can deepen and make sense of what is happening in their lives. For their lives to have meaning we believe they need to value the sacredness of their own story and to place it within the context of the value base and belief system of the Christian faith.

We want our Religious Education class to be 'real', linked to their life experiences and reflecting honestly their psycho-sexual growth. The Religious Education class has a privileged role in giving the students 'coat hangers' and language that they can use to help them reflect upon and make sense of what is happening in their life of faith and meaning.

Central to much of what we do - both in class and out of it - is a Theology of Presence. In all of their life experiences, whether reflecting in their own feelings, listening to a classmate on retreat or at school or while involved in our Service Learning opportunities, we challenge and invite students to be deeply present to the person and situation. This means to question past labels and outward appearances to the person. We ask the students to enter into the sacred ground, the sacred place with each person they meet with open hearts, eyes and ears.

Sciences

The Science Department at Vancouver College offers students during their Middle School years a variety of opportunities to inquire and progressively discover the natural world through the BC Science Curriculum. During their senior years, this continued inquiry is diversified through the offering of regular and honours programs, giving the student choice and flexibility to explore with lesser or greater depth topics of science which they are interested in pursuing in their post-secondary education.

In Grade 10, the standard program offers the BC Science Curriculum, while the honours program offers a broader and deeper inquiry for students with the aptitude and interest in pursuing science or engineering programs in the future.

The Grade 11 program offers all the standard courses in the major areas of science. This includes Biology 11, Chemistry 11, and Physics 11. All four courses are graduation credits and qualify for university entrance in British Columbia. Additionally, an honours equivalent of Chemistry 11 is available. In the academic year 2019-2020, Honours Biology 11 and AP Physics 1 will be offered to those students who complete the Honours Science 10 program succesfully, or upon teacher recommendation.

The Grade 12 program of study includes Biology 12, Chemistry 12 and Physics 12. AP Chemistry 12 is offered to those students who have successfully completed Honours Chemistry 11, or upon teacher recommendation. Each of the courses in grades 11 and 12 are taught by subject area specialists.

Senior science students can also participate in extra curricular enrichment activities in STRINGS (Senior Science Club). This club meets to plan and attend enrichment activities at the Michael Smith labs at UBC, the TRIUMF Synchrotron, and trips to other local universities.

Physics students in grades 11 and 12 participate in two written contests, the Sir Isaac Newton Contest and the Leonardo da Vinci Contest, as well as the Physics Olympics at UBC. This contest combines both theory and practical applications. A final favorite is the Physics PlayLand day attended each year by the Physics 12 students.

The Sciences Department is located in the The Holler Family Science Centre, which houses four classrooms where all Senior Science classes (Gr. 10 -12) are held. The Holler wing also contains a well-equipped SuperLab (with a greenhouse) available for use by all Science teachers and students from Grade 4 - 12.

Social Sciences

The Social Studies curriculum aims at helping the students understand the world around them. Vancouver College students gain this understanding by studying the history and growth of civilization, exploring the trends that affect the way we think and act, and by looking at social issues. Specific topics include: Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, Canada - both historical and geographical, Civilizations of the World, World History: the rise of Communism to the Fall of Communism specifically 1917 - 1991, Geography - both physical and environmental, Psychology, and Law.

Students are encouraged to question and analyze the world they live in; tools such as exploration games, field trips, contests, and competitions aid in this endeavor. Specifically, students are encouraged to participate in the Great Canadian Geography Challenge. Building upon a solid foundational base provided in Socials 7 – 11, Vancouver College students have consistently performed well on Provincial Exams for Social Studies 11, History 12, and Geography 12.