Madrona is a small independent school that offers an academically challenging program for gifted and bright students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.
Our purpose is to prepare our students academically, socially, and emotionally for their future paths. After Grade 8, our students are welcomed into other independent schools and specialized programs in local public high schools.
At Madrona, we know that each student's gifts are different, and while students are advanced in some areas they may need support in others. Our strengths are our low student-to-educator ratio and our focus on project-based and independent learning, which is intentionally planned to address the asynchronous pathways of gifted students.
Our primary students study core subjects in multi-age small groups, allowing them to progress at their own pace while receiving individualized instruction and support along the way.
In addition to all required subjects in the BC Curriculum, our primary students also develop their social and emotional skills and problem-solving abilities within our SEL (Social Emotional Learning) program. They learn the basics of coding and take part in our ADST (Applied, Design, Skills & Technology) program. Additionally, all students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 receive instruction in a second language.
Primary students also take part in Learning in Depth (LiD), a research-based program created at Simon Fraser University. Each student is assigned a topic to study throughout the year from a variety of angles, becoming experts in their subject area.
Our Physical Education program aims to cultivate a healthy, lifelong relationship to physical activity. As well as following the BC curriculum for PHE, our students take part in regular field trips including gymnastics, ice skating, and more.
As part of the outdoor learning experience, Primary students extend their learning outside of the classroom by exploring our local community and venturing into nearby parks.
In all our programs, we seek to balance enriched opportunities for intellectual growth with the time needed for students to absorb and integrate what they have learned. Each day includes time for rest, play, and fun. We want every child’s day to be academically, socially, and emotionally fulfilling.
In the Intermediate program, Mathematics and Language Arts are taught in small, flexible groupings enabling our students to learn at their own pace and receive individual support as needed. Critical thinking, scientific literacy, and strong skills in reading and writing are emphasized at the intermediate level.
Along with the BC Curriculum, our intermediate students have opportunities to participate in a variety of specialist classes. These courses engage students in projects that provide them with an understanding of how technologies are used to solve problems and create innovative solutions in the real world.
Madrona teaches executive functioning skills that our students require to be successful students today, in high school, and throughout their university years and careers. Executive functioning includes organization, self-regulation, planning, and time-management skills that are essential for problem-solving and achieving goals.
Students engage in outdoor learning by attending day camps, using our community as a classroom, as well as exploring the nature around our city.
Physical and Health Education classes are community-focused and help students develop lifelong physical health and mental wellbeing. Students also have the opportunity to engage in new physical experiences beyond the classroom.
In the Middle School program, Grade 7 to 8 students receive the same individualized education as our primary and intermediate students and continue to cover all required subjects in the BC Curriculum.
The Middle School program includes rigorous academic classes in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Humanities (English and Social Studies), and French. Skills in critical thinking, communication, research, citizenship, and ethics are a focus in these courses. Arts (Drama, Visual Arts, Music), Physical and Health Education, Digital Citizenship, and ADST complement the BC curriculum and provide opportunities for students to engage in deep learning in an area of interest or passion.
Service is one of our school’s core values and we strive to embed this into our day-to-day experiences at Madrona. Our Grade 7 and 8 students have had specific time allocated in their schedule to engage in Service Learning. Through this program, students aim to be good citizens, show empathy for others, and give back to our community. Student-led initiatives are encouraged within the school community. In the wider community, students have supported the “Clean the Catch Basin” initiative and taken part in regular “Neighbourhood Clean-up” events.
Students continue to practice executive functioning skills with a focus on learning career-related skills such as resume writing, interview strategies, task management, and decision-making skills.
In the Middle School program, we work with each student’s family to ensure that every student finds a program that best meets their needs for high school. This includes liaising with mini-schools, alternative programs, and other independent schools. Our students all transition to schools that will help them meet their university and career goals.