Brentwood magazine

Independent schools rise up – Vancouver Magazine

British Columbia’s independent schools are uniquely positioned to make the most of change and chart a brighter course.


No one has felt the pandemic like children. From strained social interactions to routine disruptions and missing extended family members, our youngest had to navigate a changing landscape with more than a few balls of curve. For many, the school has been the foundation, and independent schools in British Columbia have been uniquely positioned to move forward constructively, often leveraging pandemic pivot points to chart new paths towards even brighter student experiences.

Brentwood College School in Mill Bay is back to its fully operational tripartite program which places academics, art and athletics in fixed blocks that operate all day until 6 p.m., six days a week, and provide students an interdisciplinary education without having to compromise cross-curricular programs. Activities.

“This structure really provided us with the foundation to move forward and deliver the boarding and school experience that we thought was so essential for the young people at Brentwood College School,” says Liam Sullivan, Deputy Principal, student life. “When you think about the well-being and mental health impacts that many young people face, we are so happy to have been able to provide a sense of community that was not available to many students in Canada. “

Brentwood CollegeBrentwood is well positioned to handle the change, regardless of a pandemic, as it is 100% committed to the on-boarding. “Our boarding school numbers far exceed our day population, and our entire structure is dedicated to the student experience all day, every day,” said Sullivan. “For this reason, if we are to talk about change or innovation, we are all here together. “

While the end of the pandemic cannot come soon enough, the school is currently facing a lot less stress than it was last year. The focus is now on the vaccination program, which has been adopted and allows the rest of Brentwood’s business to run freely.

“There’s a freedom you feel on our campus that wasn’t there last year,” Sullivan says. “Like everywhere, there was a depletion of positivity and energy because of what was going on, but this year is much better and brighter.”

In Spring 2020, when all schools had to switch to distance learning, Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria launched GNS GO! (Gryphons Online) —a platform that allowed students to continue their learning for the rest of the year.

Although GNS was operating full time, in person last school year, it remains close to being able to deliver GNS GO! again, if necessary.independent-3Glenlyon Norfolk School

“Last year we continued to provide a strong extracurricular experience for our students,” said Trevor Mannion, Director of Enrollment at GNS. “We hosted virtual events, performed live or recorded performances, or just continued to train and stay engaged while having fun through intramural sports. “

Going forward, the GNS will continue with its policies on health and safety and communicable disease management, and it will retain the role of school nurse and additional mental wellness support indefinitely.gns-basketGlenlyon Norfolk School

GNS’s ability to pivot stems from its greatest asset: its people. “In many situations, our parents and guardians were unable to come to campus last year, so they stayed connected to the school through our communications,” says Mannion. “Now that they start to have the opportunity to come back to campus, they are more enthusiastic and engaged than ever, and it continues to strengthen a wonderful partnership. Our students and staff have proven to be very resilient and the pandemic has brought us together as a community. “

Learn more:

Brentwood College | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Glenlyon Norfolk School | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes