Duke of Edinburgh's International Award
For 20 years, WPGA has participated in the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award
, a skills development framework for youth aged 14-24 that readies them with important life skills, including leadership and goal setting, as well as a commitment to community service and a passion for learning and adventure. By completing individual challenges (service, physical recreation, skills), students work toward a globally recognized certification, achieving a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award. At WPGA, all grade 9 students participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program; grades 10-12 enrol voluntarily. The school covers all fees for the Bronze level.
As of 2023-2024, 165 students are enrolled at the Bronze level, 14 at the Silver level, and 3 at the Gold level. For more information on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at WPGA, contact Olivier Korol
, WPGA Duke of Edinburgh's Award Coordinator.
Third Language Program
At WPGA, language is approached from a holistic and global perspective. Students not only learn vocabulary and syntax but also explore and celebrate the cultural practices, art, music and landscape of the countries whose people speak that language. From JK, students take French and a third language (Mandarin or Spanish). Beginning in grade 7, students can join study clubs for international language exams such as the Diploma of French Language Studies (DELF) and Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE).
Global Studies Program
Our senior social studies department, inspired by their participation at Harvard Graduate School’s Think Tank on Global Education, oversee the Global Studies Program, which focuses on a different topic each year (global health, design thinking) and has students create solutions to current global issues that can be implemented at a local level.
Global Online Academy
WPGA is a member of Global Online Academy
(GOA), a consortium of independent schools worldwide that offers online courses with a global perspective. Andrew Bendl, Head of Senior Social Studies, and GOA Site Director, co-developed the Global Health course for GOA. Students present at GOA's annual Catalyst Conference; the interactive, multimedia projects are designed to spark change in their local communities.
Debate, Model UN and Public Speaking Clubs
Grade 7 Experiential Trips
WPGA has an intermediate debate club (grades 4–7) and senior debate club (grades 8–12); both clubs compete in local, provincial, national and international competitions. The senior club includes Model UN, which further develops students’ negotiation skills and understanding of global issues. In Model UN, students compete at provincial and national tournaments, and every October host the Vancouver Youth Model United Nations for both junior and senior students from schools across the Lower Mainland.
Gateway Program: Mexico/France Exchanges
Our senior languages department coordinates the Gateway Program: cultural and linguistic immersion exchanges for grades 9–11 students. WPGA has partnered with Lycée Raoul Vadepied, a public high school in Evron, France, and Colegio Williams, a private high school in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Prior to being selected for the program, students and families completed comprehensive applications and interviews to confirm readiness for the experience.
WPGA offers grade 7 trip experiences every year, which have included England, France, Québec, Ontario, Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. These educational trips offer students the opportunity to practice their language skills, learn about historical sites and events firsthand, make scientific discoveries, explore marine life, and develop an appreciation for the cultural and environmental diversity within Canada and abroad.