Exposing our students to different cultures and global perspectives is an integral component of our future-focused vision at WPGA. Our schoolwide third language program, signature Global Studies Program, Connected North partnership, Global Online Academy membership, debate and Model UN clubs, and international service trips are just a few examples of our desire and commitment to prepare our students to succeed in a diverse, connected and rapidly evolving world.

Global Studies Program

WPGA’s senior social studies department, inspired by their participation at Harvard Graduate School’s Think Tank on Global Education, oversee the Global Studies Program in partnership with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC. Grades 11 and 12 students must apply for enrollment in this dynamic diploma program, in which they work with faculty and graduate students from the Liu Institute to create solutions to global issues that can be implemented at a local level. These projects are presented at a Global Studies Symposium hosted by WPGA and the Liu Institute. 

Connected North Program

In 2016-2017, WPGA's grade 9 social studies classes will again participate in Connected North, an interactive digital learning exchange between WPGA and schools in Canada's remote northern communities, including John Arnalukjuak High School in Arviat, Nunavut, and Father Porte Memorial Dene School in Black Lake, Saskatchewan. This program, piloted in 2014, is in partnership with government, CAIS, the University of Toronto and Cisco Systems, Inc., which provides its TelePresence collaboration technology to connect the classes. WPGA's Parent Volunteer Group helped fund the school's participation in this program, a unique opportunity for our students to learn more about First Nations communities and cultures and to explore what identifies and unites us as Canadians. WPGA teachers Jenise Boland and John Thomas are excited to continue to facilitate this Canadian global learning initiative.  

French, Spanish & Mandarin Languages

From JK, specialists teach French and a third language (Mandarin or Spanish); Japanese is also offered in select grades. At WPGA, language is approached from a holistic and global perspective, that is, learning vocabulary and syntax as well as celebrating the cultural practices, art, music, architecture and holidays of the countries whose people speak that language. In the senior school, 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). (WPGA is the only DELF/DELE testing centre in Vancouver; our teachers are accredited examiners.)

Global Online Academy

As the only Canadian member of Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of 60 independent schools worldwide, WPGA offers grades 11 and 12 students the opportunity to study globally inspired online courses in subjects including Medical Problem Solving, Comparative Politics, Gender Studies, Bioethics, Game Theory, and Digital Journalism with peers in countries such as India, Mexico, Africa and Germany. GOA courses are similar in intensity and challenge to AP courses and are highly regarded by postsecondary admissions officers. In 2016-2017, Andrew Bendl, Head of Social Studies, Senior School, and GOA Site Director, is teaching GOA’s Global Health course, which he and his GOA teaching colleague, Amy Merrell from the Latin School of Chicago, developed for GOA. With community activities, threaded discussions, and group and individual presentations, the course uses video, text and other learning applications to improve students’ health literacy by examining the most significant public health challenges facing today’s global population.