Island Pacific School
Island Pacific School
671 Carter Road, Box 128
West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia, V0N 1G0
Contact name:
Barbara Bingham

Phone number:
(604) 947-9311×
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Island Pacific School

Island Pacific School

671 Carter Road, Box 128, West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia, V0N 1G0

School Type:
Liberal Arts,  IB School
Grades (Gender):
6 to 9 (Coed)
$13,000 per year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 18
Day: 65 (Gr. 6-9)

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Contact Name:
Barbara Bingham

Phone Number:

School Address
671 Carter Road, Box 128, West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia, V0N 1G0

About this school:

Our distinctly different programs include classes in reasoning, philosophy and ethics; Masterworks, where Grade 9 students publicly defend a self-directed research project; monthly community service; a musical; and hiking, sailing and kayaking expeditions. Small by design, and with a mission to equip and inspire students to cultivate their humanity, IPS fosters critical inquiry, community engagement and leadership.

More information on Island Pacific School
Island Pacific School is a liberal arts, IB, day school in West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia. The school offers programs for grades 6 to 9 with enrolment of 65 students. Island Pacific School has an average class size of 12 to 18 students and has a tuition of $13,000 per year. Founded in 1995, this private school requires students to wear uniforms and the language of instruction is English.

Upcoming Events

upcoming events
  • December 04, 2015Early applications due for 2016/17
    Island Pacific School, 671 Carter Road, Box 128, West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia
    Register by Friday, December 04 from 04:00 pm

    Application packages are available on our website. 

  • January 29, 2016Financial Aid Application Deadline
    Island Pacific School, 671 Carter Road, Box 128, Bowen Island, British Columbia
    Register by Friday, January 29 from 04:00 pm

    Please contact the school for more information about our Financial Aid Program.

  • February 19, 2016Regular applications deadline 2016/17
    Island Pacific School, 671 Carter Road, Box 128, West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia
    Register by Friday, February 19 from 04:00 pm

    Application packages are available on our website. 

Principal's Message


Dr. Ted Spear, Head of School



Island Pacific School is a small, independent, Grade 6-9 middle school that has operated on Bowen Island for over eighteen years.  Our students come from the local community, Vancouver, and around the world.

We operate on the basis of the following principles:

  • That “middle school matters most,” i.e. that during these crucial middle years, we can either lose students or set them up for the rest of their lives
  • That education encompasses both academics and the development of character
  • That teaching is, in part, a matter of initiating students into the great conversations of human inquiry
  • That schools must not insult students’ intelligence but must instead stretch and challenge them on all fronts
  • That students need specific opportunities to learn to take responsibility for themselves
  • That small schools are very powerful sites in which to create an intentional educational community
  • That our job as educators is to equip and inspire students to cultivate their humanity

The school expresses and realizes these principles by way of a number of core program elements including:

  • The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) which puts a premium on inquiry-based learning
  • Special classes in reasoning, philosophy and ethics
  • A Grade 9 Masterworks program that requires students to complete—and publicly defend—a 15-30 page piece of independent research
  • Hiking, sailing and kayaking expeditions (including a full “Discovery Week” in May)
  • Monthly afternoon excursions to the art galleries, museums, theatre, universities, and work sites of Vancouver
  • Monthly community service activities
  • A cross-grade mentor system where older students look out for, and support, younger ones
  • House system that requires, among other things, that students clean the school

Every year, a number of our alumni students return to the school’s “Rites of Passage” graduation ceremony because they have come to realize that IPS was a defining chapter in their lives. This is precisely our aim: to make a pivotal difference in the lives of our students, so that they might go on to make a difference in the world at large.

Thank you for taking the time to investigate our school. I would welcome and encourage you to set up an interview and a student visit to get an even better sense of who we are and what we do. I think you will be impressed and intrigued by what you find.



Application Deadlines:

Type Date
Day December 05, 2014

Application Requirement:

Early admission - December 5, 2014 Regular admission - February 13, 2015 Late admission - Always welcome http://islandpacific.org/admissions/

To receive an admission package please contact:

Barbara Bingham
Request a package
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School Entry Points:

  • Entry Points (Day): Students Admitted
    6 Limited
    8 Limited
    7 Limited
    9 Limited

Tuition & Financial Aid



Type Tuition
Day Students $13,000 CDN

Stories & Testimonials


The Spear Sisters Strive To Promote the Female Voice in Film

Fiercely committed to expanding and exploring the voices of females in the arts and society, IPS grads Kailey and Sam Spear are making an impact in the film industry in Vancouver BC.

The identical twins grew up on Bowen Island where they started acting at the Tir-na-nOg Theatre School. The love for acting and the art of storytelling that was cultivated at the school prompted them to expand their work into film. Majoring in Film, they completed BFAs with honours at Simon Fraser University. They co-direct their films and also collaborate on their scripts. Their grad film went on to screen at festivals in Canada, the US, and Britain.

They recently went back to their theatre roots to direct and produce Hamlet for the stage in Vancouver.  While staying true to the classic dialogue, their re-imagining of Hamlet saw the lead as a young female royal in a modern world. In addition to switching the gender of Hamlet, Laertes, Rosencrantz and Marcellus were also female. The play was greeted with great success in Vancouver with sold out shows, great press, and amazing audience feedback. They plan to take their adaptation to film in the future. 

The Spear Sisters recently learned that they were among 6 winning directors in a field of 1200 for the The Storytellers: New Voices of Twilight Saga project. Female writers and directors were invited to tell original stories in the form of short films, set in the Twilight universe and based on those characters. Kailey & Sam’s, “Mary Alice Brandon File” focuses on Alice’s human life before she became a vampire. Fans have an opportunity to vote on finalist films in July 2015.


Rising Above – IPS Grad Liz Williams, Captain, RCAF

Liz Williams is a Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving as a First Officer on the CH146 Griffon helicopter at 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton, Alberta. While she had originally envisioned herself as a fighter pilot, early in training a quick flight in a helicopter completely converted her, and she now feels sorry for pilots who can’t hover. With 408 Squadron, Liz has had the opportunity to travel as far as Las Vegas, NV (transiting an aircraft home from exercises) and CFS Alert, NU, which is the northernmost permanently inhabited installation in the world. Liz plans to become an Aircraft Captain in the coming months, and looks forward to whatever her career will bring her next.

Liz Williams attended IPS for Grades 7 through 9, starting in 1998. She also attended Island Pacific Odyssey, an experimental Grade 10 program, in the 01/02 school year, before completing high school on the mainland. While at IPS, she enjoyed all of the many trips and experiences offered, particularly hiking and kayaking; but perhaps one of the most life-changing opportunities was the chance to fly in a Cessna 172 aircraft in Grade 8 thanks to the generosity of Mr Ian Henley. This experience first interested Liz in aviation, and she joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets the following year in order to pursue that interest. While in Cadets, Liz learned more about the Canadian Forces and eventually decided to pursue a career as a military pilot.


Message from the Bridge

I graduated from IPS in 2005 and went into the IB program at West Vancouver Secondary.  From there things got a little complicated: as I tried to pursue the academics I was interested in, I had trouble seeing the point of them.  IPS taught me the value of learning for the sake of learning and I don’t for a minute regret my history degree. I began a new journey at BCIT three years ago and have almost earned my first marine license of Officer of the Watch.

I am in school to become a ship’s captain.  I grew up sailing and teaching sailing, and I always knew I needed to be near the ocean, it just took me time to realize it was possible to work on the ocean.

As part of my training I have worked on a research vessel run by the man who found the Titanic, sailed on BC Ferries’ Queen of Oak Bay and, most recently, joined Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas.  I have traveled all over the world and worked with Captains from three different continents. There’s something about the open ocean that fills me with joy.  At night you can barely see the stars because without light pollution the whole sky is filled with a bright glow. I think my favourite part is the navigation – I love working with the charts, planning routes between little islands and coral reefs. There’s something quite spectacular in knowing that a cruise ship carrying 3000 people is following the course that I drew on a piece of paper.


A Thirst for Knowledge

I graduated from IPS with a thirst for knowledge and I was taught not to be afraid to ask questions. I still look around in my university classes wondering why no one else is putting up their hands sometimes. I believe IPS also took me a lot of places. I was the third IPS graduate to receive a scholarship to a United World College (following Cristina Dos Santos and Paula Hay). In my interviews I talked about some of the basic values that IPS taught me (integrity, courage and wisdom), experiential learning (all those fun trips!), and being grounded in a small supportive community. In fact, I still talk about those values in interviews, but I think I have added one more--compassion. Some of those earlier lessons about being a good person (€“that gluteus maximus award we were always hoping to receive). I fill my life with all sorts of academic and personal engagements (like back-country ski trips!), but I never forget to add in meaningful volunteer work (right now I do a children's environmental education program at UBC farm). A balanced life does not mean being busy though. I went to Costa Rica for eight monthes on exchange and then on an internship with The Nature Conservancy in some rural communities where I developed a volunteer program. Probably one of the most critical things I came back from that trip with was being stress-free and taking time for the most important things in your life. Usually I have to re-learn those values and how to relax every time I go off somewhere! Speaking of which, going to the Arctic was another fantastic opportunity where I fell in love with the magic of the tundra, and the generosity and spirit of the Inuit people. I think my advice is to be open to everything in life, windows are waiting to be opened... IPS grads have the courage to open them, the wisdom to learn from the new experiences, the ability to act with integrity in difficult situations, and compassion to reach out to others. Robyn Hooper ('03) ...

What IPS Gave to Me

The four years I spent at IPS were some of the most exciting and rewarding years of my life. I was hard pressed to find anyone in later schooling who could say that they had hiked Mount Garibaldi; kayaked from Bowen Island to Anvil Island and back; spent a “Solo” night alone in the woods with only the most basic survival gear; gone on various cross-country skiing expeditions at Manning Park; flown an airplane; learned about history’s greatest philosophers and applied their ways of thinking to critical discourse on current issues; or defended a thesis for a Masterworks project in front of their fellow students, teachers, and greater community. Furthermore, I would not have been able to find anyone who had done all of these things in their early teenage years and with the same close-knit group of classmates and teachers. IPS taught me how to think critically, think globally (and act locally), and think with an open mind. This helped shape my personality and worldview at a very critical age in my life. I know this to be true of other students as well, and I believe this is why many of the friends I made at IPS remain my closest friends today. It was through IPS that I learned about Global Education at WVSS - a class that I took in Grade 11. As a class of about twenty students, we learned about global issues; fundraised for a trip to Nicaragua by selling fair-trade coffee and chocolate; and went for three weeks to Nicaragua to do development work, learn about sustainable agriculture practices, and experience another culture. This trip, in combination with IPS’ focus on global stewardship and exploration of other cultures, resulted in my decision to focus on International Development in my further education. My experience gained at IPS also helped me during my travels in Europe this past year. Firstly, I would not have been nearly as able to communicate with people in France had it not been for the AIM French program that I went through in IPS. Secondly, when my journey continued on to L’abri in England, the open mindedness (particularly toward other cultures’ ideals and lifestyles) that IPS instilled in me helped me greatly as I lived in a house for three months with about twenty other people from very different places and cultures around the world. I cannot imagine the person I would be today had I not attended IPS, but I can tell you that without having gone there, some of the greatest experiences of my life (both during my middle school years and afterward) probably would not have happened. For that I can only say thank you to IPS for making my middle school years truly remarkable, and for setting me up for the rest of my life. Emily Allan ('06) ...

Why I choose IPS for my son.

My son Theo entered IPS in Grade 6 in the fall of 2004 as an average student who was loosing interest and confidence in learning. Even during that first year things began to turn around for Theo. His marks and self-confidence improved and more importantly, the school had re-kindled his love of learning. Each succeeding year at Island Pacific School was another leap forward. By Grade 9 Theo was top of his class in science, math and social studies. He had developed into an excellent athlete and team player. His class was a tight group of girls and boys that liked and respected each other. Now that Theo is in grade 11 at West Vancouver High School, I can see him buildings on the strengths he developed at IPS. He is a happy, confident student with great work habits and has set himself high academic standards. For our family, our investment in sending our son to Island Pacific School has payed off huge dividends. ...

Spring Reign Tournament in Seattle the Ultimate Experience

Our trip to Seattle for Spring Reign was a great experience on all fronts. Of course, one of the absolute best parts of it was going to the Experience Music Project Museum before playing in the tournament. I had been looking forward to going there all week because I had heard great things about it. For example, you can go in to a sound proof room with a few of your friends and jam with three instruments. You can also record a song you played and take home the CD. I thought it was a great experience not only for me, but for my friends as well. The Jimi Hendrix Exhibit was really cool as well because they had one of the guitars Jimi Hendrix smashed after a concert. I think that the trip to the museum was a great start to the week. Spring Reign not only helped the team come together as a whole and participate, but also helped us improve vastly on both our catching and throwing skills. The weather in Seattle improved our playing and our spirits as it was a major step forward from the weather we left on Bowen Island. Coming back home from Seattle, knowing that I had just played Ultimate from about 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. for two days really lifted my confidence. The trip also brought me closer to my friends and let me experience 3 days spent solely with people from IPS. I think that my favourite part would have to be making a catch and hearing my team cheer me on. Hearing your team mates assuring you that you made a great catch or throw really lifts your spirits. At the end of the last day in Seattle the winners were announced and our school won the spirit award. As soon as that was announced we all cheered. I think how loud we cheered proved to the rest of the schools at Spring Reign how much we deserved the award. It showed how dedicated we were to the sport and how much team spirit we really had. Spring Reign was definitely one of the best experiences I've had all school year. An article was even published about our international trip in 'The Undercurrent'. Noah, Grade 6 ...

Danielle Alan ('04) Addresses Class of 2009

Good evening everyone. I was very honoured to be asked by Michael a couple months ago if I would speak at Rights of Passage. IPS has meant a lot to me and to my family, so I’m really happy to have the opportunity to be here tonight. I was thinking about the last time I spoke in front of this many people, and I think it was during my own Masterworks presentation. I wasn’t able to see any of the presentations this year, but I’m sure you all worked very hard and did very well. Congratulations. It may not have been easy, but hopefully it was something you are able to look back on and be proud of. It has been five years since I have been a student at IPS. I still have great memories of being here, playing ultimate, and going on the expeditions. It was amazing four years, and, looking back on it, I know that IPS had a huge role in shaping me into who I am today. IPS and Bowen Island have been great communities for me to have grown up in. I want to talk to you today about community and relationships, and what an important role those things can have throughout your life. IPS is definitely a unique community, and you may never find one like it again, but no matter where you go in life, or what you do, being surrounded by a community is something that can offer you support and care. Communities can help you when life doesn’t go according to plan. You’ve probably already had some experience with this during your time at IPS. On my grade 9 Quebec trip, I had a great time, but I also had a bit of an accident involving a zip line and a tree and I ended up breaking my leg. In Quebec, I felt a lot of support from my teachers and friends, who all took turns pushing my wheel chair and saying “Run, Danielle, run.” I had surgery when we got back to Vancouver, and was recovered enough to go on the kayak trip. I was still on crutches as we walked up the path to our solo spots. I had help setting up my tarp, but I spent the night like everyone else. I am really glad that I was able to experience my solo, and it was the community around me that made it possible. Next year, you are all going to high school. West Van is over 30 times as large as IPS. For some of you, the transition may be easy, for others, maybe not. For me, it wasn’t the best time of my life, but I want to share with you an experience that made it a lot more enjoyable for me. I first heard about the Global Education program from some IPS alumni who came back to the school to share about their trip. It is a course that allows students to experience first-hand what it is like to work in a developing country, specifically Nicaragua. The three-week trip at the end of the course was one of the most challenging and amazing times of my life. Not only did our class help out small communities in Nicaragua, but I also formed lasting relationships with some of the people on the trip. These people remain some of my closest friends today. I would encourage you to get involved in something at high school and to be connected to a smaller community – it’s a great way to form lasting relationships. The other thing I experienced firsthand in Nicaragua is that you can make a difference in your community and other communities around the world. One of my other great friends Megan was in Ghana a few months ago. She was living at an orphanage and taking care of some of the kids there. She also got to deliver the letters that some of you wrote for the kids. All of your help and fundraising, while it may not be enough to help every single person in Africa, or even in Ghana, still makes a difference for that community. Some of the best initiatives have started with one person, like Ryan Hreljac, who, at the age of 6, started raising money to build wells in Africa. The Ryan’s Well Foundation has now built over 500 wells and has provided water to more than 600,000 people. That’s just one example, but all it takes is one committed person – you can make a difference. So take the experiences you have had here at IPS and use them to make a difference wherever you may end up in the future. A community should be more than just the sum of its parts, and if you recognize this and contribute in what ways you can, you will live in a way that is the very best of what it means to be a human being. Danielle Allan (’04) ...

IPS Alum, Kathryn Ovenell-Carter (’03)

When Kathryn was still in Grade 10, her Bowen Island friends kidded her for quite a while after she confessed that her favorite Christmas present that year was a book about DNA. Now the Governor-General bronze medalist is delighted to be studying molecular biology, biochemistry, and philosophy at SFU. The WVSS graduate passed up scholarships from McGill and Queen’s for the opportunity to study in Neil Branda’s chemistry lab in her first year, and she is eagerly anticipating the time when she can do a term in International Co-op. ...

Class of 2008 - Valedictory Address

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, students and alumni, friends and guests: I would like to begin by thanking my family who helped me through my time at IPS. My mom always believed in me, and encouraged me to try my hardest. My dad consistently pushed me to make good choices. I am grateful that my parents were forgiving when I did make mistakes, and that they helped me to learn from them. My friends have also been a constant support and I am thankful for their friendship, belief in me, and everything I have learned from them. Malcolm Forbes once wrote, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” In many ways over the past four years, IPS has done exactly this. IPS is different from other schools in many ways. Because it is a small school, there are strong relationships between the students and teachers. There is a high degree of respect for the teachers, and a sense that they really care about us. In the middle school years, most students just want to fit in, and avoid standing out in the crowd. At IPS everyone knows who you are, and it’s a good thing. There is no such thing as anonymity here. On every piece of IPS clothing it says: Wisdom, Courage, and Integrity and Learning To Make A Difference – the school’s mottos. Unlike some schools, we live by these words. By living with wisdom, courage, and integrity, we are able to find out who we really are. We discover our strengths by being pushed out of our comfort zones. Beyond just academic challenges we are expected to be leaders, especially in Grade 9. We are also challenged physically with our annual kayaking trip to Anvil, our hiking trip up Garibaldi, and our crosscountry skiing trip at Manning Park. In Grade 9 we are also put to the test emotionally with our overnight solo. Through this process, we may also discover our weaknesses, but at IPS we have the support and encouragement to transform them into strengths. IPS inspires you to work hard to be the best you can be. We have also learned to make a difference in the world around us. For example, The school participated in the 30-hour famine to raise money for food and water for children in Africa. We have learned that by each one of us doing something small, together, we can make a big difference. My hope for the Class of 2008 is that each one of you “makes a difference”. In the future, I would like to pick up a newspaper and see that someone from this graduating class built an energy efficient car, found a cure for cancer, or won the Nobel Peace Prize. I want the Grade 9 class to live fully and not be afraid to believe in themselves. We are often limited by a little voice in our head that tells us that we can’t achieve great things. IPS teaches us to block that voice out. My wish for IPS is that it keeps on expanding so that more people can benefit from the experience it offers. My advice to the younger students is to stick with it and go all the way through because it is worth it. Even though it may feel really hard at times, you always have the support you need. At this point I am stepping into a new chapter of my life but I know that what I have learned from IPS is always going to stay with me. I have gained the courage to face life’s many challenges, the wisdom to make good decisions and do the right thing and, I have a better understanding of what integrity means and how important it is. With these skills I believe that all of us will succeed at anything we set our minds to achieve. Thank you, Juliette Day, Class of 2008 ...

Why I choose IPS for my daughter.

Going to IPS was not our daughter's choice, it was one of those decisions that we, as parents, made on her behalf. As she fought us those first couple of years, we questioned whether or not we had made the right choice for Juliette. During her final year, we could see just how important this decision was and how lasting the beneifts were going to be. Hearing her valediction at graduation, we knew that she felt and knew it too. She continues to be enormously greateful for her four-year term at IPS and credits the school and her teachers with her growing self confidence (she has since delivered two lectures at UBC to future teachers), her broader sense of global responsibility (she continues with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards program) and her success academically and in life (she is doing well and is happy!) ...

An international student reflects on IPS.

What I like about IPS is that everyone is so bonded together like a family. IPS helps you to get involved in a lot of school activities, such as Ultimate, House Lunch, Assembly, Community service, etc. IPS helps you to find wisdom, courage, and integrity. The best thing about IPS is that it helps you to find who you really are so that you do better in the future. In IPS there is a subject called practical reasoning which really helps you to understand the world. Kevin ('08) ...

An international student reflects on IPS.

I am Juny from Korea who attended IPS from Grade 6 to Grade 8. I now attend high school studying at the Hawaii Preparatory Academy. When I first came to IPS, I was very nervous about meeting people from a different country, speaking a different language, and settling into a new school. For the first few weeks, I was homesick, of course. But the teachers and students at IPS welcomed me so well that I made my first foreign friend in just a one day. I learned many different things both in school and out of school such as ultimate frisbee, hiking and skiing. The friends at IPS were so nice and friendly to me that I became friends with all of them in just a few weeks. I was excited to go to school every single day. At the Rites of Passage, Graduation Ceremony, I cried. I'm not a guy who usually cries from sad movies and sad situations. But somehow, tears fell out of my eyes. All my friends cried too. That's how much I loved and enjoyed IPS and my friends. Here I am in Hawaii, in another island and a great school having fun. But I will never forget people in IPS and how much they loved me. Juny ...

In the News


April 10, 2015 - A Night In the Cold to Understand Homelessness

This past February, grade 8 & 9 students from IPS opened their hearts and minds to the devastating world of youth homelessness. ...

February 6, 2015 - IPS Annual Science Fair and Open House Wed Feb 11, 2015

This family-friendly event is an opportunity to view creative middle school science projects at Island Pacific School. Open to the community ...

February 6, 2015 - 10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Education

Dr. Ted Spear, Head of School and teacher Jen Henrichsen, Ass't Head spoke to 50 people about trends in education on Jan 28, 2015. ...

Curriculum & Programs

Curriculum & Programs

    Specialty Academics

  • Community service
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Award
  • IB middle years program

    School Support

  • Private/Individual lessons

    Special Needs

  • Learning study assistance


  • 3-D Design
  • Acting
  • Ceramics
  • Dance
  • Drawing
  • Film & video
  • Music Theatre/Opera
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Production
  • Sculpture
  • Song writing

    Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Classics
  • Ethics
  • Independent study
  • Philosophy
  • Public speaking


  • English
  • ESL
  • French

    Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Computers

  • Algebra
  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer programming
  • Computer science
  • Ecology
  • Geology
  • Geometry
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Web design
  • Zoology

    Academic / Social Clubs

  • Community Service
  • Yearbook


  • Drama Club
  • Musical theatre/Opera
  • Photography


  • Camping/Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Outdoor Club
  • Outdoor Education
  • Running
  • Yoga

    Moral Development

  • Character education
  • Leadership
  • Social justice

    Admissions & Finances

  • Bursaries
  • Financial aid
  • Interview required

    Religious Affiliation

  • Non-denominational


  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Associations
  • Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Associations
  • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Associations

Social Feeds


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Contact Name
Barbara Bingham

Phone Number:
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