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Westside School
The Westside School
788 Beatty Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 2M1
Contact name:
James MacKay

Phone number:
(604) 687-8021×
Westside School

The Westside School

788 Beatty Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 2M1

Grades (Gender):
K to 12 (Coed)
$9,000 to 55,000/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
10 to 15
Day: 200

get more information Get more information

Contact Name:
James MacKay

Phone Number:

School Address
788 Beatty Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 2M1

About this school:

The Westside School is creating a new model of affordable excellence! Westside offers an education the equal of the highest-ranked schools, but at 40% of the price! Westside is a working parent-friendly, safe, ideal learning environment for all students.

The Miniversity (10-12) offers a studious environment in its own facility and operates the Oxford University tutorial system. Students study one course at a time with revison intervals between each course. A unique program for aspirational students.

Principal's Message


Graham Baldwin, President & Chief Executive Officer

 The President & Chief Executive Officer of The Westside School is Graham Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin joined Westside in 2013 following a distinguished career in the independent schools of British Columbia. After emigrating to Canada from the UK, Mr. Baldwin has served as the Head of the English Department and Housemaster at Brentwood College School, Mill Bay, BC 1983-6), as Headmaster/CEO of Collingwood School, West Vancouver, BC (1986-2000), and as CEO/Headmaster of Southpointe Academy (2005-2012). Mr. Baldwin led both Collingwood and Southpointe from being new, small schools in leased premises to highly successful schools with full enrolment in new, fully-owned facilities and #1 rankings.

Between 2001-2005, Mr. Baldwin served as Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada, President of Cherwell Education Strategies Ltd., and International Ambassador of Setagaya Gakuen School, Tokyo, Japan.

Mr. Baldwin has also served as President of the Independent Schools’ Association of BC, President of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools, Vice-President of the Pan-Pacific Association of Private Education, Member of the Education Marketing Advisory Board of the Government of Canada and Executive Board Member of the Federation of Independent Schools’ Associations of BC.

Mr. Baldwin is renowned internationally as a speaker on educational matters and has been a guest speaker at The Pan-Pacific Association of Private Education Conferences in Manila, Taipei and Vancouver, the Blue Mountains Grammar School in New South Wales, The American Headmasters’ Association in Princeton, The Yuelu Symposium at China South University in Changsha, the 60th Anniversary celebrations at the Liaoning Province Shenyan High School, the Centenary celebrations of the #10 High School, Suzhou, the Leading Principals Symposium at the High School Attached to Hunan Normal University and the CHEER Foundation International Conference in Beijing.

Mr. Baldwin’s mandate is to lead The Westside School to a pre-eminent position among the schools of Canada and the world.



Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Westside School says: Our curriculum is traditional but our processes are innovative. After ensuring a strong foundation of literacy and numeracy, we remove as many constraints as possible from Grade 5 on. We teach core subjects by accomplishment and readiness levels while taking care of the pastoral needs of our students in small cross-graded 'houses' each with a leader. At the most senior levels -our Miniversity- where all 10,11 and 12 courses are taken, we use the Oxford University Tutorial system to mentor and monitor students. The students study one course at a time to enable total focus. Each course takes 120 hours and is taken over four successive weeks. We use the City of Vancouver, its libraries, galleries, museums, businesses, theatres and universities as our campus to enable authentic, experiential learning.

  • Pedagogies and subject courses

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Westside School says: We use the Singapore Math Program

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Singapore Math texts and workbooks

    • Calculator policy: Used at teacher discretion and need.

    Early Reading Phonics-intensive

      Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Westside School says: We use the Adrienne Gear literacy program to supplement our phonics-intesive program.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Westside School says: [Westside School has not provided this information]

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Westside School says: We use the Adrienne Gear literacy program.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Observation, experimentation, discovery and problem-solving are the hallmarks of our Science program.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Westside School says: We teach literature through enjoyment, while examining writing techniques and the human condition. The humanity explored is that which is accessible to the age and experience of the reader.

    Social Studies Core Knowledge

      Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Westside School says: We teach to enable our students to know, understand and cherish what made us the world we are.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Perennialism

      Perennialism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes the idea of education being a kind of “conversation” between generations, and so frequently turns to “Great Works” and “Big Ideas” for teaching-content. Perennialist programs approach past works on their own terms; as if they might actually help students understand “today” better. Past works are not viewed as mere historical artifacts, but as gateways to a deeper understanding of the human condition. History (and, by extension, the humanities in general) therefore plays a large role in perennialist curriculums, though social sciences like economics, psychology, and sociology can still be taught. There is a strong Liberal Arts bent to perennialist programs. The key goals are to develop critical thinking, a strong foundation of core knowledge (or “cultural literacy”), and persuasion skills through informed debate and extensive practice in essay writing.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Westside School says: We take the view that the past can and does inform an understanding of the present and of the likely future. This being so, core knowledge is essential to enable fruitful consideration of present situations and enlightened citizenship.

    Foreign Languages Communicative

      The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Westside School says: In both French and Spanish we offer AIM instruction.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   9
    • Languages Offered: • French • Spanish

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Westside School says: Expression is hampered when its means are not available: imagine trying to express deep feelings orally with a tine vocabulary. Thus with the Arts -we develop core skills to free the creative spirit.

    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Westside School says: Computers and technology are used as tools, but we teach and encourage students to master as many tools as possible to aid their learning.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Westside School says: We teach life activities and skills. We do not run school athletic teams on a regular basis. We use a holistic and wide-ranging approach to enable students to learn and enjoy active lifestyles.

    • Westside School's approach to sex-ed: We follow the guidelines of the BC Ministry of Education.

    Religious Education
    • What Westside School says: [Westside School has not provided this information]

    Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Physics 2
    • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
    • AP Studio Art: Drawing
    • AP World History
    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Chinese Language and Culture

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    What Westside School says: Singapore math; Adrienne Gear Literacy; AIM French and Spanish; Specialist Music and PE, available Super Curriculum. Working-family friendly policies.

    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    What Westside School says: [Westside School has not provided this information]

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Westside School says about flexible pacing: [Westside School has not provided this information]

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What Westside School says: Students are expected to work hard and demonstrate perseverance. We use frequent formative assessment to demonstrate their progress. We expect students to work beyond the specific assignments given and to intentionally increase their knowledge and understanding. We believe all students who work in this way will succeed in university and life.

    Developmental Priorities Emotional, Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Emotional
    Emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What Westside School says: Our students will graduate as virtuous citizens and successful scholars.

    Special Needs Support Mild difficulties

    Mild difficulties

    Westside School can provide support for mild disablities. Westside School does NOT provide specialized support for moderate-to-severe learning disabilities, developmental disabililties, behavioural/emotional disorders, or physical disabilities.

    • Academic Support:

      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD

      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Summary: All students are individuals. The way we teach them depends on the particular details of each case. Wherever possible we follow the advice of specialists and clinicians.

    • What Westside School says: We will accommodate all students who aspire to university. If their condition requires additional staffing, parents are required to fund it. We do not advise parents against enrolling students with diagnosed learning disabilities. Indeed, our President invented the KEY PROGRAM, widely used in BC for just such children.

    Gifted Learner Support Moderate


    Westside School offers gifted learner support in the form of inclusive practices -- special, custom arrangements made for advanced learners (who otherwise remain in the regular classroom).

    Inclusive practices:

    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)

    What Westside School says: We follow the recommendations of the psycho-educational test reports.

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesK to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackK to 12
    Academic achievement reportingK to 12
    Habits and behaviour reportingK to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsK to 12


    What Westside School says:
    • Our SuperCurriculum operates daily and creates programs by request and demand. We have a huge variety of three-week programs throughout the year.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Ice Skating
      Martial Arts
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Community Service
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Math Club
      Online Magazine
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid



    Day (Domestic: in province) Day (International) Homestay (International)
    Day (Domestic: in province)$9,000
    Day (International)$16,000
    Homestay (International)$55,000
    What Westside School says: Tuition covers all elements of our curriculum and supercurriculum. Special arrangements for individual needs that require additional staffing are at additional cost.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    2nd child (sibling)Day (Domestic: in province)5%
    3rd child (sibling)Day (Domestic)10%

    Need-based financial aid

    Westside School has not provided this information.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Governors Scholarship
    Amount: 100%
    Deadline: 03/01/2016
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 10 to 12—

    5 scholarships per year for outstanding students of high academic achievement who aspire to attend one of the top 50 universities on the Times rankings. Scholarships are for three years in our Miniversity, beginning in Grade 10.

    Application Details:

    A recent transcript and personal interview are required.

    For more details, visit: www.thewestsideschools.ca


    Total enrollment 200
    Average enrollment per grade15
    Gender (grades)K to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment15151515151515151515252525




    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewK - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Westside School says:

    Students and families to be in accord with the school's aims and processes.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student The Westside School is looking for: We seek aspirational students.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    15 - 30 (75%)0000000

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size12
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements8
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University of Alberta or Dalhousie.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    What The Westside School says:

  • Most students choose UBC and Toronto and gain admission.

  • Notable Alumni


    Alumni Highlights

    • We are too new to have anyone reaching the heights yet.

    In the News


    June 26, 2014 - The Westside School students receive acknowledgement from U of Geneva!

    "Congratulations" to Gr.8 students who received "Statements of Accomplishment" for their completion of a "Human Rights" online course. ...


    • Advanced Placement Canada (AP) Associations
    • Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) Associations
    • The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Associations

    Social Feeds


    Get more info

    Contact Name
    James MacKay

    Phone Number:
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