Lansdowne Middle School strives to achieve this mission through dedication to the exemplary middle school model and an array of interconnected structures and programs designed to support the success of our students.
As students enter adolescence, middle schools are designed to offer a unique opportunity for greater independence and exploration while still nurturing a sense of community.
Lansdowne students begin every day in their Advisory class, a cornerstone of middle school education. With its focus on the development of personal and social responsibility from time management and study skills, to personal goal-setting, decision-making, team-building, and conflict resolution activities, to making a contribution to the broader school community and society-at-large our Advisory program provides students with a foundation for success that complements and enhances the curriculum of their regular courses.
As well as leading Advisory class itself, the Advisory teacher instructs a significant amount of their students’ core courses and serves as the primary contact between the school and home.
Through the Advisory program, students spend a significant amount of time with a main teacher and class of peers through which a sense of belonging and support can be established and maintained throughout the school year.
Teams, Teaming, and Flexible Scheduling
The team structure is key to the middle school model, with three to five Advisory classes joining together to form a team.
These teams further provide students with a sense of belonging to a smaller ‘mini-school’ within the larger school-at-large.
The team structure enables teachers to build relationships with a relatively small number of students as well as collaborate with colleagues to deliver the core curriculum (English, French, Math, Physical Education, Science, and Social Studies) to the students on their team.
These teachers share common instructional and planning time, thereby gaining the flexibility to plan together, whether for special team events and activities or for interdisciplinary integration of subject matter.
We believe middle school students should be introduced to a wide range of learning experiences before getting into the more specialized courses of high school.
Our Exploratory program provides students with the opportunity to experience and further develop their potential in a variety of practical and fine arts.
On a rotating basis throughout the school year, all students will b e enrolled in the following Exploratory courses:
Foods and Nutrition
Art and Drama or Dance
Students on a team comprised of four Advisory classes will also participate in a MusicExploratory. (This Exploratory – with its focus on such areas as guitar and African percussion – is complementary rather than redundant for students enrolled in our optional Music Enrichment program discussed below.)
These Exploratories continue throughout students’ three years of middle school, with the various activities increasing in their level of sophistication and complexity.
Through our Exploratory program, Lansdowne students have the opportunity to go beyond their core academic learning to ‘explore’ a broad range of human endeavour.
Athletics and Clubs
Lansdowne has a strong athletics program and numerous clubs. From recreational to highly competitive teams in a wide variety of sports, we have athletic opportunities for a diverse range of student interest and ability.
We also have numerous clubs through which students can connect with peers, pursuing common interests and developing their skills in a particular area. Varying from year to year, Lansdowne’s wide array of sports activities and clubs have included such activities as:
- Field Hockey
- Mountain Biking
- Track & Field
Along with some of the extra-curricular sports listed above, Lansdowne also supports athletics through a well-established Physical Education program.
To enhance our curricular and extra-curricular athletics, we also have a multi-station Fitness Circuit on which students and staff can further their physical conditioning and agility.
- Eco-Action Club
- Student Leadership & Me to We
- Aboriginal Backpacking Club
- School Newspaper
- Animation Club
- Art/Theatre/Dance Clubs
- Homework Club
- Youth Creating Inclusion Club
- Cross-Country Running Club
- Woodworking Club
- Lego Robotics Club
Both our Daily Announcements (read by students over the P.A. system as part of our “Lansdowne Radio” program) and the “Activities & Events” section of our monthly school newsletter provide information about current and upcoming clubs, sports, and special events (as well as contact people on our staff) awaiting student participation.
For two blocks a week within the regular timetable, all students have a choice between Lansdowne’s two school-wide Enrichment programs – Band and Mini-Exploratory.
Lansdowne has a very large and well-supported Band program with several bands at each grade level, and students are encouraged to join the Band regardless of their musical experience or ability.
Students in Band have a third block each week that begins prior to the regular school day and runs through advisory time. (For more information about Band, see the Music Program section below.)
Students not enrolled in Band participate in our Mini-Exploratory program, assigned to their “Mini-Ex” along with students from other Advisories.
Mini-Ex teachers offer a variety of enrichment activities, which may include Architecture, Cartooning, Computers, Creative Writing, Cultural Art, Debating, Engineering, Flight Design, International Games and Sports, Mathematical Brain Teasers, Re-Enacting Parliament, Quilt-Making, Sewing, and much, much more.
Lansdowne prides itself on having one of the largest and most outstanding middle school music programs in British Columbia.
Not only do hundreds of our students participate in the Band Program and Music Exploratory (discussed in the Enrichment and Exploratories sections above) , but Lansdowne also provides opportunities for students to participate in a Jazz Band, a Rhythm & Blues Band, Beginner to Advanced String Ensembles, and Concert and Vocal Jazz Choirs.
Many of these optional programs take place beyond regular school hours, accommodating students from all classes and teams.
Students in Lansdowne’s Music Program regularly represent the school at local music festivals and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Dual Language Tracks
Lansdowne is a dual track middle school, with both English and French Immersion programs.
Those selecting our French Immersion program are placed in “early” or “late” immersion, depending on their prior language track experience.
Students are organized onto teams within their language track, with English and French Immersion students mixing for Enrichment, Extra-Curricular Activities, and numerous Special Events.
The linguistic and cultural diversity embedded into our make-up as a dual language track school contributes to the rich fabric of Lansdowne’s community.
As well as learning about French culture, Lansdowne students also learn about Aboriginal cultures and traditions as well as Multiculturalism more generally.
Moreover, we are committed to teaching students about social justice and environmental concerns both locally and around the world.
From our extensive Student Leadership Program (including Free-the-Children’s Me To We focus) to our Youth Creating Inclusion (YCI) group, from the Terry Fox Run to Food Bank Collection and United Way fundraising drives, to much more, Lansdowne students are involved in a broad range of experiences designed to further their global awareness as well as provide them with opportunities to take action that gives something back to the local and global community.
Finally, we are a “Green School”, with bins for recycling and composting almost all of our waste as well as focusing on environmental awareness initiatives through our Student Eco-Action Club and in-school Seaquarium, Aboriginal Backpack Club and Eco-Rowing Program, and the development of our school “Naturescape”.
Personal & Social Responsibility
Lansdowne Middle School is committed to a positive climate based on mutual respect.
Through various programs and activities described above under “Global Education” – as well as other special initiatives (such as our Community-Building Start-Up Week, Aboriginal Welcoming Ceremony, Remembrance Day assembly, cyber-safety and cyber-bullying presentations, SafeTeen and a variety of other social skills and assertiveness development activities, Pink Shirt Day and presentations on diversity & inclusion, all candidates political debates, Justice Theatre mock trials, School-Community Interview project, etc.) – we educate our students in the development of personal and social responsibility to broaden their outlook and make a positive difference in the community-at-large.
In this regard, we teach students desired conduct, skills, and attitudes for success at school and beyond using common school-wide language known as our 5 Practices for Success:
- Be Present
- Be Punctual
- Be Prepared
- Be Positive
Utilizing Positive Behavior Support (PBS) –a well known approach to fostering positive student behavior and school culture – student success in these 5 Practices is supported, acknowledged, and then reinforced with “Caught You!” draw tickets.
Moreover, those struggling with the 5 Practices are provided with additional levels of individualized support through Lansdowne’s Summit Approach Check & Connect System.
By furthering these Practices, students develop attributes that not only support their success at school, but also in many aspects of life-beyond-school.
Thus, at Lansdowne, we strive to foster qualities for life-long success in the world-at-large. Furthermore, through our Project X initiative, we encourage students to go beyond these expectations, striving to excel.
In this regard, we recognize students for consistently demonstrating the following:
- Extreme Kindness
- Excellence in Academic Achievement
- Excellence in Performance Achievement
Using these overlapping approaches, we thereby support the development of students’ personal and social responsibility as well as a positive school climate.