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Best schools in Vancouver chosen by expats

A snapshot: schools in Vancouver considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.

Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names.

 (pending) means that the school is on our list to review.

By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.


In the case of Vancouver, the following schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 900 students

Founded in 1955, once the only high school in Abbotsford as well as one of the oldest state secondary schools in Vancouver. An eco-friendly renovation has recently been completed and the school offers a soccer focused sports programme as well as a thriving visual and performance art department.

Alexander Academy

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 300 students

A relatively young secondary school, opened in 2013, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, close to cultural resources, including museums and galleries.

Aspengrove School

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 300 students

Founded in 2003 with only 42 students, the school has grown steadily and now offers an all-through International Baccalaureate education as well as the BC Dogwood Diploma. In keeping with its name, the three school houses are Oak, Cedar and Arbutus.

Britannia Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; state; 760 students

Founded in 1908 and now the oldest remaining secondary school in the city. Known for its Hockey Academy, as well as for success in several other sports fields. Nearly 40 different languages spoken in the school, including Vietnamese and Mandarin.

Brockton School

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 270 students

A smallish, junior and senior school located in the Lynn Valley neighbourhood of North Vancouver since 2004.

Brookes Westshore

British Columbia curriculum/ MYP/ IB Diploma: ages 9-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 300 students

On a 4 acre site near Victoria at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The school takes advantage of its location to offer an impressive choice of sporting opportunities, including rowing and golf. Part of the Brookes Education Group, which also runs new schools in Moscow and St Petersburg. Offering the choice of an International Baccalaureate or a BC Dogwood Diploma.

Carson Graham Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,400 students

A public school in the North Vancouver School District, opened in 1965 offering two International Baccalaureate programmes as well as the local curriculum.

Cousteau School

British Columbia curriculum/ French curriculum/ Brevet; ages 4-14; co-ed; day; state; 210 students

Also known as the French International School of Vancouver. The school recently joined the French network Mission Laique Francaise (MLF) which promotes the teaching of French to nearly 60,000 students, whose mother tongue is not French. The network now covers over 110 schools in 39 countries.

Crofton House School

British Columbia curriculum/ AP; ages 4-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 890 students

Founded in 1898, in just established Vancouver, by two sisters, one of whom had been one of the first women to go to Cambridge University in the UK. A rare single-sex school in Vancouver, with rigorous academics leading to graduates achieving places at major global as well as Canadian universities.

École des Pionniers de Maillardville

French curriculum/ French Bac/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; state; 700 students

Charmingly named school located in Port Coquitlam on the edge of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park to the east of Vancouver. A French first language school and the International Baccalaureate Diploma is also taught in French. Part of the Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF) which promotes the constitutional right of Francophone parents to have their children educated in French.

École Gabrielle Roy

French curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; state; 600 students

One of the 41 French-speaking public schools in British Columbia, opened in 1998. A French first language school, offering a French education and the International Baccalaureate Diploma taught in French.

Garibaldi Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ MYP candidate/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,040 students

Opened in 1958 and now one of the older state secondary schools in British Columbia. Teaching the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme since 2008 and a candidate for the Middle Years Programme. Also offering additional fine arts programmes, practical options, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing and technological skills.

Glenlyon Norfolk School

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 680 students

Based in six wooded acres in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Offering both weekly and full boarding and a member of the Round Square network. A rigorously academic school, sending graduates to leading universities such as McGill in Canada, Harvard and Penn in the USA and UCL and the LSE in the UK.

Lowell High School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 100 students

Founded in 2015, in Yaletown in downtown Vancouver teaching the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the local curriculum. Currently a very small school with small class sizes.

Meadowridge School

British Columbia curriculum/ PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 670 students

Founded in 1985 and describing itself as a country day school. Located in Maple Ridge to the east of Vancouver. The school has its own ecological reserve, used as an outdoor classroom by all age groups as well as offering the three stages of the International Baccalaureate programme.

Mulgrave School

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 900 students

Founded in 1993 and moved to a campus at the foot of Cypress Mountain in 1998. One of the few schools in Vancouver to only teach the International Baccalaureate programmes throughout the school. One of only two schools in Canada to be accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

New Westminster Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 2,060 students

One of the largest public secondary schools in British Columbia, opened in 1960. Also offering a French immersion programme. In the process of constructing a new state-of-the-art, no-expense -spared campus.

Pacific Academy

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,500 students

A private Pentecostal Christian school, based in Surrey, BC, founded by billionaire Jim Pattison in 1985. The campus is divided into four divisions: primary; intermediate; middle; high. The high school also enrols international students.

Port Moody Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,500 students

A public secondary school founded in 1973. The original school burnt to the ground so an appropriate choice of a Phoenix, as their mascot, was made.

Richmond Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,200 students

Established in 1927 as the first high school in the city of Richmond in the south of Vancouver. It is the only International Baccalaureate Diploma school in the area as well as the only one to offer a chef training option amongst their pre-employment programmes.

Seaquam Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,300 students

Founded in 1977 in Delta, BC in a prosperous neighbourhood. The school recently featured as the highest ranked public school in British Columbia. Not only academically successful, its students have also won recognition for their arts and sporting achievements.

Semiahmoo Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,710 students

A public secondary school opened in 1940 in South Surrey, BC and transferred to its current location in 1989. Academically rigorous, with students achieving International Baccalaureate Diploma scores in the mid-thirties against a global average of around thirty.

Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 2,000 students

One of the largest public secondary schools in south-central Vancouver, offering two French immersion programmes, a pre-IB programme and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Also open to international students.

Southridge School

British Columbia curriculum/ PYP/ MYP/ AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; independent; private non-profit; 680 students

A private school founded by a group of parents in 1995 in South Surrey, BC and one of the few schools in Vancouver to offer Advanced Placement courses and the only school in Canada to fully implement the Harkness philosophy in the senior school. In the process of making renovations to the senior school.

St George’s School

British Columbia curriculum/ AP; ages 5-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,150 students

A private, single-sex school founded in 1930, including approximately 110 boarders amongst its students. Founded in 1930 by some new English arrivals to the west coast of Canada. Academically rigorous and offering a wide choice of Advanced Placement courses. Graduates move on to leading Canadian universities and US Ivies, with a small percentage to other global destinations.

Stratford Hall

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 530 students

An independent school founded in 1999, offering kindergarten to grade 12 International Baccalaureate programmes, with two classes at each grade level. Based in three buildings in East Vancouver near the enticingly named Trout Lake.

West Point Grey Academy

British Columbia curriculum; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 940 students

Founded in 1996, as a progressive, independent school, with the distinction of having employed Justin Trudeau for three years. Located on an 18 acre site on Jericho Hill in Vancouver, teaching the BC curriculum, with a strong, senior school, visual arts programme.

West Vancouver Secondary School

British Columbia curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state 1,570 students

One of three public high schools in West Vancouver and also one of the oldest in Vancouver as it was originally established in 1927 and has been on its present site since 1952. The school follows the BC curriculum and then offers a choice of International Baccalaureate Diploma courses. Strong on the performing arts with a centre that hosts professional performances of music and theatre.

White Rock Christian Academy

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 570 students

Opened in 1981 in South Surrey, BC. Originally, following a religious core curriculum but now teaching the International Baccalaureate programme from kindergarten to grade 12. There is a strong Christian emphasis, as the name suggests, and all classes are taught from a biblical viewpoint. However, the school also has a very successful sports record.

York House School

British Columbia curriculum; ages 4-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 660 students

One of the older schools in Vancouver (founded 1932) and also one of the few to only cater for girls. An independent all-through school based right in the centre of the city in the Shaugnessy district. Very highly ranked amongst BC schools, often at the very top, sending graduates to leading universities.

For more information on the schools above, please go to  each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.

 

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