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Collingwood School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — West Vancouver, BC (Map)

Collingwood School:

REVIEW OF Collingwood School BY Alum, Zach Yakaoma

  • Date of Review
    February 23, 2024
  • Grades (year)
    Gr. 8 - Gr. 12 (2011 - 2016)
  • University (major)
    Imperial College London (BEng, Design Engineering)
  • Gender
  • Enrolment
    Day Student
  • Job/Career
    Self Employed

(5) Overall Experience

My experience at Collingwood School was quite amazing, no lie! I really felt that Collingwood was committed to making students feel empowered with their own capabilities and strengths. No doubt, Collingwood is one of Canada's largest JK-Grade 12, university-preparatory day schools. Therefore, they emphasize the importance of community and prioritize students' well-being and growth. Collingwood really did prepare me for my life's next steps. Besides that everyone was coming from their own homes every day. We became a community once on that campus. Collingwood has 2 Campuses but it did not separate us but instead it made it even more welcoming. One would look forward to school activities and I for one can not do away with the big school night memories such as case competitions, homecoming games, prom and pep rallies.

(5) School Leadership

Looking back to my time at Collingwood School I can say that the faculty and staff cared deeply about my well-being, individual growth and development with a view to the future. What stood out about the administration and leadership is that they cared for me and each one of us as if we were their own children. We were provided support, to each student as they each pursue their individual passions. Additionally, students are supported by counsellors, specialists, Heads of House and Advisors. There was mutual respect amongst the students and the leadership. Mrs. Evans, the Head, is a superb role model, she and the whole admin really had a touch with instilling discipline among students.

(5) Teaching

At Collingwood they offered a diverse array of co-curricular and curricular programs. With a remarkable teaching faculty which would be supported by Associate Faculty, Learning Resource Teachers, Teacher Librarians, and specialists in Art, French, PE, Music, and IT I was satisfied with the quality of instruction I received. I found the specialists in Music to be very knowledgeable and passionate, especially in passing the expertise they had acquired over the years. Maybe I’m biased because I was in the band. Liberty Dean, a touring Zumba instructor, was my dance teacher. Learning from an ex-performing choreographer, knowing they lived that life, really developed a sense of loving to learn because it gave a feeling of learning something that is real life, applicable and attainable. Regardless, there were a lot of “stars” and students who stood out at regional and national levels in co-curricular and curricular competitions.

(4.5) Academics

The academic program at Collingwood High School is best known for its robust Advanced Placement program with over 25 Advanced Placement courses. This was a huge academic strength for me when I got to University. Lord knows how that was going to turn out if I had not taken Calculus AP. At the time, it was kind of straining to balance all that but in the end, it did pay off, I did not have to strain as much in university, I was prepared for it. The AP courses really do push the students to be competitive because there are eligibility criteria to enrol into them. Because of the nature of AP programs most students already come to Collingwood with the knowledge, meaning they would be looking to further their studies postsecondary.

(4.5) Extracurriculars

Collingwood offers many extracurricular opportunities such as Co-Curricular Programs and Clubs including Dance, Film, Drum Corps, Model UN & Robotics. Our athletics program was one of the largest selections of individual and team sports in Team BC. Furthermore, we had different programs like Outdoor Education which promoted self-reliance, leadership, environmental awareness, and self-confidence. Explore is Collingwood’s flagship Outdoor Education program that operates in grades 7-9. Explore is run by educators who specialize in teaching students experientially, and in the outdoors.

(5) Students

Collingwood’s Junior School campus features small class sizes. Looking back, what stood out to me about the general atmosphere of the student body is we were united. For the higher grades our faculty-to-student ratios average 1:8. We did not have too many international students at our time I think It was less than 1% of the student body. I think it's time Collingwood goes beyond regional, provincial and national boundaries. Since it is a day school, I felt like more than 1200 students is a lot for day scholars. I felt we needed some students to be boarding at one of the campuses. Collingwood had programs designed for students who wish to motivate others, attain self-awareness in their interactions, and ultimately improve their self-confidence in leadership situations. It involved an overnight retreat to Cheakamus Centre, active seminars, a Passion Project/Choose Your Own Leadership component and either a Tall Ships Expedition or a Sayward Lakes Canoe Trip, which are spectacular expeditions.

(5) School Life

Collingwood focuses on a balanced student life on the basis of the four strands. The School’s four strands are academics, athletics, arts and service. Collingwood is a member of ISABC, NAIS and we are a CAIS-accredited school. Collingwood is the only Round Square School in the Lower Mainland of BC Overall the school life at Collingwood is one you can admire, like any other system, unlikeable but very effective. For prospective students and families, the ideal student is one who will thrive in a vibrant, supportive instructional and social environment, and prepare for post-secondary education. So when coming to Collingwood, that's what to expect. For me the expectation of doing more school after high school was a no-brainer, I already knew that was in line all because of the AP courses.

(4.5) Community

What really stands out to me about the community at Collingwood is the sense of belonging and connection I felt. I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself, and that was very meaningful to me. The alumni community was also incredibly supportive and welcoming to me. The alumni, community was also incredibly, supportive and welcoming. I felt like I could always reach out to alumni for advice or guidance, and they were always happy to help. The alumni community really cares about the school and wants to see it succeed, and that was inspiring. Parents are involved in the life of the school. There are many opportunities for parents to get involved such as attending school events, volunteering and joining the parent association. I felt like I was able to develop a strong rapport.

(4.5) School Location

Collingwood is located in the beautiful West Vancouver, the commuting system is proprietary, with services spreading over a wide catchment area, including North Shore from Deep Cove and into South Vancouver. Vancouver has beautiful weather compared to the rest of Canada all year. Students did venture beyond the school grounds quite often because at Collingwood they believed outdoor education promotes self-reliance, leadership, environmental awareness, and self-confidence.

(5) Admissions

Tuition is quite expensive for most people, almost $30,000. However, financial Assistance is available for students entering Grades 6-12 which are awarded based on merit. My advice to someone applying to Collingwood would be to attend the open house and appreciate the value of attending the school. Afterwards, book in with the Admissions office so as to start the application process early and to also be eligible for a scholarship and or financial aid, as these facilities have a different deadline from the application process. I did not find it stressful because the admissions officers working with me knew what they were doing and really showed they had been doing this for a long time and made sure that the school was the right fit.

(5) University placement and counselling

At Collingwood, the University Guidance department meets regularly with students in order to guide individuals in their respective post-secondary planning. I used to meet with the department at least twice a week for my own benefit besides the prescribed times. Each student from Grade 8-12 is required to meet at least once per year. Each of the four members of the University Guidance team is trained in Canadian, US, UK and international applications so there is no limit as to where one would want to study. The University Guidance team offered workshops for BC, Ontario, and other specific applications; application essay-writing workshops; and individualized application writing support upon request. Collingwood's approach to finding the best school and best program for each student involves the support and engagement of all stakeholders including their families, teachers and counsellors.


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More written reviews


Alum, Yuri Park (2024)

Gr. 8 to Gr. 12 — Looking back on my overall experience at Collingwood I am more than grateful. For me, it was life-changing and it did prepare me for my future endeavours. Collingwood High School is one of the largest...

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