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Southridge School develops students with strong minds and good hearts

Forward-thinking approaches and philosophies to teaching and learning foster collaboration, creativity and inquiry in K-7 and 8-12 programs at Southridge School in Surrey, BC.


BCBusiness Southridge School

Credit: Southridge School | Surrey, BC

International baccalaureate in K-7 and diverse, enriched curriculum in 8-12 foster collaboration, creativity and inquiry at Southridge School

Since 1995, Southridge School, a K-12 independent school of 680 students located in South Surrey, BC, has been charting a new course in education—driven to be a school where students receive outstanding teaching and where they flourish as individuals, developing the integrity, confidence and character to make a difference in the world.

Recognized as a leader in academic excellence, Southridge fosters graduates that are resilient problem-solvers, compassionate leaders and caring individuals who contribute to the community around them.

“Our students are individuals with strong minds and good hearts,” says Renée Lepp, Director of Enrollment. “We are proud and excited to offer our students an academic program that encourages them to think independently, contribute to the collective, and use their minds to reflect and analyze – from kindergarten to graduation.”

Forward-thinking Teaching and Learning

In Southridge’s K-7 Junior School, this approach comes to life through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which includes the Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Middle Years Program (MYP). In the Senior School, Southridge provides a diverse academic program with an enriched curriculum, uniquely designed to prepare grade 8-12 students for post-secondary.

Beyond the curriculum, classrooms look different in the Southridge Senior School.

“When you enter a Senior School classroom, whether it is a Science, Mathematics, English, Socials, or Language class, you’ll see students and a teacher highly engaged around large oval table called a Harkness table,” Lepp says. “The nature of the discussion will be different every day, but one thing remains the same: a student-centered, collaborative learning process is taking place.”

southridge-school-harkness-tableSouthridge School | Surrey, BCHarkness Learning Philosophy

Southridge has been committed to the Harkness learning philosophy since 2012 and is the only school in Canada to fully implement the Harkness philosophy across an entire Senior School curriculum.

“Instead of the ‘stand and deliver’ technique of teaching, which has students seated in rows listening to the teacher lecturing, Harkness learning guides students to find their own meaning through analysis and discussion with their peers,” Lepp says.

In a Harkness classroom, the teacher facilitates the dialogue by asking probing questions and initiating ideas that allow students to deepen their understanding of the course content. Students develop the sophisticated skills of asking thoughtful questions, creating understanding and getting to the “why” of a problem rather than settling on simply finding the “right” answer.

“In today’s world, you’d be challenged to find any work environment where the ability to converse, share knowledge and work effectively in teams isn’t highly valued,” Lepp says. “We know from our alumni that learning in this way prepares our students exceptionally well for life beyond Southridge.”

Applications for September 2023 are now open. To learn more and to apply, visit Attend an Open House: Junior School Tuesday, October 25, 2022, or Senior School Wednesday, October 26, 2022.

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Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Southridge School