REVIEW OF Bodwell High School BY Alum, Danat Turakbayev
- Date of Review
January 24, 2024
- Grades (year)
Gr. 10 - Gr. 12 (2012 - 2015)
- University (major)
SAIT (Computer Science)
(5) Overall Experience
I had a positive lifetime-changing experience at Bodwell High School. I believe it influenced most if not all of the decisions which ultimately led me to be where I am right now and honestly, I am grateful for that. Had I remained in my home country (Kazakhstan) I would have not met half the potential of the gentleman I am today. The global friends I made, the dorm staff and not to forget the cafeteria crew really made my transition smooth and seamless. Going to Bodwell High School and meeting different people from different parts of the world really requires one to be willing to turn a new slate in life and mentality for data absorption because if not opportunity and lessons may pass you by as there is just a lot at one's disposal to grasp
(3.5) School Leadership
The Student Parliament was selected carefully, fairly and accordingly. The students would apply for a position and teachers would interview and then the students would vote for the shortlisted candidates. Candidates had the opportunity to listen to student grievances and would then campaign in a manner which would address any issues among the student body. The Parliament would then work with the school staff to resolve and better any issues the students would have raised. The development of the school was incorporative, leaving no one behind.
The teaching and learning environment at Bodwell was very personal in the sense that one student would have every resource they would need to study and learn easily available. The materials used to learn would be provided per student to allow their own time studying either at home, in the dorm or Library. We would have study time every day during the night so as to cover any assignments, study for a quiz or research for a project. During that time, tutors would be available to help any student struggling. There were no limits to who one could ask for academic assistance or even well-being assistance. This made learning more interesting as one wouldn't struggle much in the case of encountering a tough subject, you could approach dorm assistance for help if they could.
Bodwell High School academic program follows the curriculum set forth by the BC Ministry of Education and Students who succeed in the program will receive a high school diploma (Dogwood Diploma) issued by the Ministry. The school ran on a trimester system with the third semester being optional for those requiring extra credits. Bodwell High School is a private co-educational boarding school offering grades 8 to 12. The class sizes were pretty small so understanding concepts was easier as a teacher would devote adequate time required per student in order to ensure everyone grasps the concepts. Most teachers had one class they specialized in teaching. The classwork, quizzes and tests prepared me well for my diploma, most of the work was covered in class I had to supplement a bit with personal study time but other than that I excelled in my final diploma examinations.
A lot of extracurriculars are offered at Bodwell High School such that I'm not able to mention all except the ones I was involved in. I'm sure there were well over 20 clubs and teams one could sign up for. I was in the Photography club with Mr. Griffin and it was quite exciting really because we would round all clubs while working. We would attend different clubs and sports events to cover the media.
The students were pretty welcoming and open-minded, unlike in the movies, our cafeteria did not have "sections" or gangs, anyone could sit anywhere with anyone anytime. Honestly, the vibrancy that I would see on the Basketball and volleyball teams was encouraging and showed the school spirit. Students would come together for one cause. For a school with 500 students, I am sure we would have been one of the loudest ones. When it came to being a Bruin, it would matter what gender, race or background you had, it was so involving for everyone. it gave a spirit and purpose of oneness. Only about 10% of the students were from Canada, the rest were coming from all parts of the globe. It was diverse and inclusive at the same time, such a rare combination in this day and age.
(4.5) School Life
To be honest, like any other normal person, I was very scared to move to such a place far away from home with people I had never met in my life. The first week of school was acceptable, my English was not fluent yet and I had to link up mostly with Russian-speaking students. After getting into "trouble" a few times for breaking the English-only Policy that was in play at the time, I decided I had to change a few dynamics. I started hanging out more with non-Russian-speaking students and bit by bit my English got better not to talk about the quality of life too as I had even more companions. I made new friends from around the world, and generally not much stress was ongoing on around as interaction was inevitable. People would talk and help each other where need be.
The alumni community is very strong. I know most students who remained in Vancouver but had been to Bodwell before me would even come in for some of the special assemblies. After I left Bodwell, Alumni got opportunities to also be involved in school development. The newsletter would be sent out to alumni monthly updating them on any developments and upcoming events. I once volunteered for Bodwell's University Summer Programs which has been a leader in educational and exciting summer programs for youth ages 10-17. After the pandemic, people felt more disconnected and a forum was established in which alumni were able to organize and host their first-ever formal annual reunion since the establishment of the school in 1991. It was a good time to reconnect, reflect and reminisce.
(4.5) School Location
Living in the dorm gave me time to take walks in the dog park every night just to wind down. Just a small walk and a small stone-throwing session by the north Vancouver shore overlooking the water would do the trick to resolve some ongoing dilemma. Transit was easily accessible and over the weekend we would get ferried downtown and North Quay. Everything was within reach, all amenities could be accessed within the hour.
The admission process for Bodwell was quite straightforward and the interface is very user-friendly. I saw no need for using an agent as all the instructions given to me were quite clear. During my application process, I even got to interact with Boris Remesm an award-winning education marketer, entrepreneur, speaker, and author during my admission and recruitment, as he was part of the recruiting team for Bodwell High School. Boris left Almaty, Kazakhstan (my home country) as an international student at the age of sixteen. He lived and worked in Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, studied on exchange in Paris, France, and visited more than sixty countries. Everything was up to par i got every document on time and assistance whenever I needed any for processing my visa.
(4.5) University placement and counselling
I did not want to go straight to university after graduating Bodwell. I wanted to do a bit of travelling and see the world and get some things set right in my life first. I was not pressured into doing otherwise during my counselling instead I even got career guidance as they showed me alternatives I could take as opposed to going to university. The counsellors were so on point it wasn't much of a dilemma as to how I would execute and not fall off the trail of my path to success. They advised me to take some courses while on break to supplement and then I would go to college a year after high school and I did not find the transition hard. It was smooth and when I returned to the desk it was as if I did not take any time off I was still in it like before. I give credit to some of the programs I enrolled in as advised by counsellors. I was happy that they were not rigid and were flexible enough to listen to my concerns and helped me navigate instead of rushing to university, I would have dried out before completing my bachelor's degree.