How we see Mulgrave School
Mulgrave was founded in 1993 on the grounds of the West Vancouver Montessori School, and has grown exponentially since then due to the strength of the program and the school’s earned reputation. Today Mulgrave is home to just over 900 students from pre-school through grade 12, housed within a 150,000 sq. ft. building that includes substantial upgrades completed with the senior school expansion in 2015. The school operates a centre for educational innovation, a clear expression of the administration’s desire to be a model to others, and to continue to evaluate and grow the programs the school offers. So, there's a lot going on, largely driven, as it was at the start, by the members of the community the school serves. The school rightly prides itself on maintaining a close, community feel throughout, while offering a strong academic foundation through the International Baccalaureate and an overall dedication to delivering the curriculum through a global lens. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a vibrant, challenging yet supportive academic environment.
How Mulgrave School sees itself
"Mulgrave is a gender-inclusive, non-secular Pre-K to Grade 12 IB World School nestled in the forested slopes of West Vancouver. We inspire students to be self-motivated critical thinkers, young leaders, and active, responsible citizens in a global community. Mulgrave offers a wide range of enrichment activities in athletics, outdoor education, service and leadership, and the arts. Our students, diverse yet united in their values, support and care for one another as they strive to achieve their personal best."
"Why Mulgrave? can be answered in so many ways - each as unique as our students themselves. A few of the most cited reasons include: outstanding individual care and attention and focus on wellbeing; development of an individual’s character, personal skills, and qualities, and values; balanced programme of the arts, athletics, outdoor education, and service learning alongside academics; world-renowned IB programmes; highly skilled teaching faculty; and our diverse and engaged community."
"Families come to visit our campus and describe the feeling as 'Mulgrave magic'. Our campus is beautiful and our location is spectacular, but it is our warm and inviting community of learners, teachers, and families that contribute to something truly special. Mulgrave students are encouraged to be their personal best, to be allies and advocates, and to follow their passions. While the IB programme offers academic rigour, we hold student wellbeing at the heart of our purpose."
"Families new to Mulgrave come to quickly appreciate the openness and community at Mulgrave. It may be cliche to say we're family, but it's true! We delight in having parents, grandparents, and loved ones volunteer at our school. Teachers and leaders are approachable and happy to engage with families in partnership in their child's education. Parents and caregivers chat in parking lots and enjoy a cup of coffee together at drop-off. Students connect across grade levels in support of one another."
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How people from the school’s community see Mulgrave School
Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone
Mr. John Wray, Head of School
BEd, MEd University of Exeter
Most big schools provide your extroverted child with plenty of social opportunities and the ability to interact with different peer groups with a wide range of personalities, interests, values, etc. A larger student population and more extracurriculars—including activities like team sports, arts programs, and debate—will give them a broader scope of opportunities to participate in events that scratch their interpersonal itch. “This may also give them the opportunity to hone certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students.”
Throughout the continuum—from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to the Diploma Programme (DP)—the IB offers plenty of group work, projects, and activities, which can be great for extroverts who often enjoy social and collaborative learning. Also, “Since IB schools have a strong emphasis on community service and activism, your child will have great opportunities to harness their outgoing and collaborative personality,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. These schools will also give your child the chance to interact and spend time with a bright, motivated, and ambitious group of kids who may have interests similar to them.
However, given the challenging curriculum and heavy workload of the IB, it can sometimes leave less time for socializing. This makes it especially important to ask about social opportunities at the school, including the ability to interact with different peer groups, both in class and out.
Make sure any prospective school, no matter what size, provides the right social environment to help your child feel at home, make friends, and develop confidence. This is especially important at big schools, which are sometimes more socially overwhelming and challenging for an introvert to find their bearings in. Of course, “Because larger schools usually have a more diverse student population, introverted kids are more likely to find a small group of people like them, a peer group they can relate to and find acceptance from,” says Dona Matthews, Toronto-based education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence.
Bigger schools often have a broader scope of extracurricular activities, which is another way to help your child meet the right group of friends. “This may also give them the opportunity to develop certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students. Remember, though, each child is different—so what works for one may not work for another.”
IB schools give your child the opportunity to interact and spend time with a bright, motivated, and ambitious group of kids who may have interests similar to them. Due to the IB’s heavy focus on group work, the programme offers a social and collaborative learning environment, which can help your introverted child overcome their shyness and get to know their peers well. This can relieve some of the pressure associated with having to take the initiative outside of class to make friends.
Just make sure any school you're considering offers enough independent work time for your introverted child—something which can vary widely between IB schools.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Mulgrave School
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