Exposing our students to different cultures and global perspectives is an integral aspect of our future-focused vision. With a core value to be Globally Inspired, we offer third language learning, cultural immersion trips from grade 7, international service outreach, Global Online Academy (blended learning with a network of member schools across the world), internationally recognized debate and Model United Nations clubs, and a Connected North partnership with Cisco and Taking It Global, which facilitates virtual and in-person exchanges with a school in Haida Gwaii and other Indigenous communities.

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  • Globally-Inspired Programs

    Third Language Program
    At WPGA, language is approached from a holistic and global perspective, learning vocabulary and syntax as well as celebrating 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, e.g. Climate Change & Global Inequality, Entrepreneurship in a Global Context, Gender & Society. Andrew Bendl, Head of Senior Social Studies, and GOA Site Director, co-developed the Global Health course for GOA. Students present projects 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 
    WPGA offers one of the largest debate and Model United Nations (Model UN) programs in North America. The intermediate debate club (grades 4–7) and senior debate club (grades 8–12) include 125 students; both clubs compete at 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, attend Harvard Model UN each year, and every October host the Vancouver Youth Model United Nations in Whistler for students from schools across the Lower Mainland.

    Connected North Program 
    Since 2014, our social studies classes have participated in Connected North, a virtual learning exchange between WPGA and schools in remote northern communities, such as Arviat, Nunavut, and Black Lake, Saskatchewan. The program is a partnership between government, CAIS, the University of Toronto, and Cisco Systems, Inc., which provides its TelePresence technology. WPGA's Parent Volunteer Group helps fund our participation in this program, a unique opportunity for students to learn about Indigenous communities and to explore what identifies and unites us as Canadians. 

    Grade 7 Experiential Trips 
    Visiting new places is critical for self-growth and learning—travel expands self-awareness, provides context in curriculum, and exposes us to cultural norms and values that may differ from our own. We offer three grade 7 trip experiences to Europe, Québec or Ontario, and Vancouver Island or Haida Gwaii. These annual 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. 

    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.
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