If you were to create a school from scratch, what would it include? What would you borrow from the past? What would you innovate? Where would you put the school, and what would it sit next to? As attractive as it might be to be located in the heart of a city, you’d know that there’s value in having room to grow and having access to a variety of outdoor learning spaces. You’d want trees to measure, animals to ogle, and leaves to name. You’d keep some private school traditions—houses, for example—while updating others. There would be uniforms, but there’d be options beyond just kilts and ties.
In the classrooms, there would be more tables than desks. You’d want opportunities to build resilience and teamwork, and you’d create spaces with those lessons in mind—just as much as you would develop quiet places to read and think big thoughts. You’d build something that was sympathetic to the environment and sympathetic to growth. You’d build in opportunities to review and the capacity to change. You’d want to be responsive to the people in the building and what they need, knowing that as people grow, some of their needs might change, too.
And that’s precisely what Meadowridge is. It’s literally a product of that kind of questioning, and the result is a school firmly rooted in its time and place. It’s a conscious reflection of the social, cultural, and natural contexts it sits within.
While all schools are unique, Meadowridge nevertheless proves the point. It’s an IB school, though it adopted that curriculum out of an understanding that the IB was an opportunity to formalize the values and the programs it was already offering, rather than adopting the IB and then aspiring to fulfill it. Meadowridge has rightly put its own character on the delivery of the IB, augmenting it in meaningful, creative ways.
And while parents look to schools to offer strong academics, and perhaps strong athletics programs, the best schools are notable for the health of the community that they encourage. Meadowridge is a prime example of that—the students and faculty clearly feel that they are part of something larger, and that they are participating within the life of the school as well as the life of the communities and families that compose it. It’s a vibrant, unique place. While Meadowridge may not be the most famous private school in Canada, it has a very large profile within private education, and schools rightly look to it as an example of how they might develop their programs.
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