Middle School Education includes taking our students on two extended trips into the great outdoors during the academic calendar: a fall hiking trip and a spring kayak trip.
These expeditions provide physical and critical thinking challenges intended to bring out the best in individuals and the groups in which they work and play; challenges that call on the values on which Island Pacific School is founded: wisdom, courage and integrity. Students and staff also have a chance to get to know one another informally, outside the classroom.
In sharing hard work, fears and triumphs, hot meals and stories around a campfire, students and teachers build mutual trust and respect that carries academic tools into the classroom when they return to school.
We think it important that students get out and see the world around them. So, once a month we take students on excursions, or field trips. These experiential learning outings are meant to give students academic, cultural and fun experiences they could not get within the confines of a regular classroom setting.
Island Pacific School students have watched Brutus stab Caesar at Bard on the Beach, seen raw sewage flow into the Annacis Island Treatment Plant, picked through bins of dried squid in Chinatown, sat in on a service at a Sikh Temple, climbed a rock wall, scored goals on an hockey rink, listened to the organist play in a cathedral, counted birds at Reifel Island, launched rockets at the H. R. Macmillan Observatory, ordered poutine in French at a local chip joint, and studied abstract paintings at the Vancouver Art Gallery, to name but a few experiential learning excursions.
Students sometimes learn as much, if not more, from the middle school activities in our extracurricular program. They are part of an intentional education strategy at Island Pacific school that challenges critical thinking, inquiry and the implementation of our values: wisdom, courage and integrity.
We Play Ultimate
Island Pacific School’s sport is Ultimate, a low-contact frisbee game originally invented by high-schoolers. Rules are enforced by the players themselves, who rely on the “Spirit of the Game” for fair play. IPS has been playing Ultimate ever since we opened in 1995. It is a perfect sport for our school because:
- there are co-ed teams,
- students can play at a variety of skill levels, and
Ultimate’s emphasis on “Spirit of the Game” aligns completely with our own IPS values of Wisdom, Courage & Integrity.
The seniors participate in the North Shore Ultimate League and games are Wednesdays and Fridays in April. In addition to League play, the IPS Ultimate teams participate in tournaments such as Spring Reign (the largest coed youth ultimate tournament in the world) in Washington state and the local schools’ Sabrefest Tournament.
IPS also hosts several in-house tournaments during school hours throughout the year as part of our regular program. Students team up according to one of four cross-grade houses: Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Orion, and Pleiades, and House colours dominate the tournament. In-house tournaments include Monsoon Madness (November), Toblerone Classic (June) and Golden Disc (June).
Practices are on Mondays and Thursdays after school in the spring and fall.
Students at IPS are divided into one of four cross-grade houses: Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Orion, and Pleiades.The purpose of the house system is to integrate all students into the academic and social aspects of the school in ways that call on them to work collaboratively with each other and their teachers.
Students like to compete as houses for the coveted House Points Trophy each year. Student leaders within each house help plan and organize fundraising and other community service initiatives. Students can earn points for demonstrating the IPS Values of wisdom, courage & integrity. Students particularly look forward to:
House lunches – House members devise a lunch theme, decorate the MBC, and plan games & entertainment for the entire school.
House tournaments – Houses go head to head in tournaments such as World Cup Soccer, or Arctic Games.
House reading contest – all students can earn points for the number of books read throughout the year.
House public speaking competition – Students in all grades are challenged to a public speaking competition.
House Trophy – the annual announcement of which House earned the most points for the year.
Coffee House started in 2001 when the school was taking trips to Manning Park in December. The tradition was to have an evening of entertainment at the Manning Park Lodge where all of the kids dressed up – if the boys didn’t have a tie then Ted Spear would give them one from his stockpile! We had a beautiful meal followed by a talent show and goofy games!
2008 marked the last year of the Manning Park excursions, so the coffee house portion of these excursions moved into the school and this fun filled evening is now held on the last day of the winter term in December.
The students attend a semi-formal dinner while the parents have a potluck social, followed by an evening of entertainment provided by the students, showcasing their various talents.
A highlight for students and their audiences every year, the IPS musical theatre production is a voluntary extracurricular activity that has used both original and adapted material to mount an impressive student show each spring. Read more about our creative Mainstage Production opportunities.
At IPS we mine the students’ creativity as much as possible, and tend to create our own scripts, which are sometimes based on popular stories, and sometimes completely original! Even productions based on pre-existing plays have a distinct IPS twist.
All students are invited to audition their talents, and the show frequently features over half the student body in some capacity. Students are involved in acting, singing, musical instrumentation, dance, set/prop construction, and tech production (such as lighting and sound) and stage crew.
A short rehearsal run takes the place of our Monday & Thursday Ultimate program during the winter when the weather starts to favour indoor activities, then rehearsals will become more frequent as the performance days near. In the spring, when the lines are (almost!) memorized, the dress rehearsal is performed for a highly enthusiastic audience of IPS staff and students. The next day, the show will open to an inevitably packed house, then close the following day. A short run, but always successful and worth the effort.
No matter what the play, everyone will be touched by the magic; students and audience alike.
It’s hard to be yourself when you’re a teenager – especially when there’s two of you! Three unsuspecting teenagers get in double trouble when they meet carnival workers with mysterious powers, and come up against The Doppelgang.
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
Witty, Wonderful and Wildly Imaginative in every way…
Alice in Wonderland
A re-boot of Lewis Carroll’s classic. Prepare to be amused, and confused by The Duchess and Humpty Dumpty, whirled around by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and serenaded by the Mad Hatter. Just make sure you don’t upset The Queen…