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About Us

With deep gratitude and respect, we are honoured to be learning and unlearning on the ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). University Hill Elementary School, located in Pacific Spirit Park near Acadia Beach and the University of British Columbia (UBC), is a Kindergarten to Grade 7 school with a population of 385 students. 

The student population is composed of permanent residents in the catchment, as well as children of UBC employees, students, and visiting professors. It includes English Language Learners, as well as International and Indigenous students. Many of the students are multi‐lingual and the school population has 33 different home languages. The cultural diversity of the school lends itself to meaningful, cultural learning.

Generally, the students have well developed background knowledge and are familiar with adult negotiated conversations and ask lots of questions. The parents are actively involved in the education of their children and have high expectations for academic achievement.

The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) is very active with an elected executive that is committed to providing amazing opportunities for the students. The PAC holds parent education sessions on various pertinent topics and spearheads initiatives throughout the year to not only help support the learning of the students, but also the families in the school community. Volunteers are plentiful in the school and students benefit from the many learning opportunities and the sense of community.

The school offers unique learning spaces for students. Being in Pacific Spirit Park, University Hill Elementary School has direct access to a network of trails in the forest, a freshwater salmon stream, and Acadia Beach. We have two outdoor classrooms with large rocks arranged in a circle. These spaces are used to help facilitate class meetings, drama activities, cooperative games, and other activities. We have a Ready Bodies Learning Minds space, five small break out spaces, and a calming room. As a school we recognize that students learn differently and these spaces help provide students with the opportunity to regulate and be better prepared to learn.

The school also has an All Nations Room. This room is a breakout space for the Indigenous learners, a space for the Indigenous Education worker, and for Indigenous cultural teachings. Through the generous support of FuturePlay, we have redesigned the library into a modern learning space with flexible furniture, open space, large whiteboards for ideation, and technology to support inquiry-based learning. The diverse learning spaces are conducive to place-based learning, self-regulation, and implementation of an inquiry model of teaching and learning. Students are invited to ask curious questions to drive their learning and understanding of the world. The teachers provide opportunities for students to refine their questions to engage students in making observations, predictions, creating and testing hypotheses, and using a variety of language skills to communicate understandings. They also provide opportunities for the students to participate in a variety of school programs, clubs and sports, such as cooking classes, Drama and Student Council, and Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, and Track and Field, for example.

The proximity of the school to UBC and downtown Vancouver provides easy access to extension opportunities at educational venues, as well as mentorship opportunities. This creates a multitude of unique conversations and learning opportunities. Mentors have included faculty from the Faculty of Education/Outdoor Education and Biodiversity Genetics Department at UBC, as well as a former Canadian World Cup Soccer player. Community partners include the Vancouver Public Library, Pacific Spirit Coastal Health, University Endowment Lands, and various organizations at UBC.

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