Senior School
(Grades 9-12)

The Urban Academy Senior School Program focuses on defining students’ futures and contributions to the world. Through a variety of projects and an intrinsic motivation to learn, students will graduate with a sense of self-awareness, a desire to be a positive force for change and the knowledge of where to begin.

We believe that by encouraging children to lead, they will change the world.

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about senior school

Students in Grades 9-12 grow in their awareness of themselves and their impact on the world while remaining firmly rooted in their studies. Every grade at Urban Academy prepares students for post-secondary as they engage in projects and activities that ignite their determination to be future leaders. The result is accomplished young adults, prepared for a bright future.


Throughout these years, technology, science, creative and math-based assignments continue to refine students’ problem solving skills. Opportunity for service, and participating in Model UN training and conferences that Urban Academy is also proud to host, help develop a broader understanding of the world. With greater exposure to technology, integrating technology such as Microbits, Arduino in the Sciences and by actively building an ePortfolio throughout their senior years, they further demonstrate their tech skills as well as aptitude for effective digital citizenship. In the Science Program, students are challenged to develop and conduct their own experiments while utilizing laboratory techniques and equipment in full facility.


Further exploration of various communities in Canada and internationally helps students develop a greater sense of empathy and social justice. Linking back to the curriculum, students gain a deeper understanding of how their actions impact the world and how they can apply their learning to be effective problem solvers and agents of change. By bringing in expert guests speakers in everything from science and engineering to arts and culture, and offering an academic counselor from Grades 9-12 students also learn about what is possible for their post secondary path.


For an overview of the Grade 9-12 Program and the courses offered please click on the Grades 9-12 Course Planning Guide Outline below.

Grades 9-12 Course Planning Guide

Creative Learning

Grade 9-12 students are exposed to art techniques including video equipment, photography, 3D printers, Vinyl Cutters, Photoshop and graphic design and they use art, drama and music for integrated learning. Theatre Company, Senior Concert Band, and Show Choir offer opportunities for performance. Students will also regularly use the arts to display learning, including creating songs connected to in-class learning, exploring social studies and language arts through era-appropriate arts and performing aspects of their in-class learning to showcase their understanding of the curriculum. Examples: American Revolution skits, Plains of Abraham graphic novels, Canada in the 1920s multimedia videos.

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Innovative Learning

Innovation is more than the latest tools, rather a way of thinking. Our students learn to see the world through the lens of innovation, identifying new needs, meaningful breakthroughs and spearheading the ideas of tomorrow. Urban Academy students have access to the school MakerSpace and are inspired to learn with technology - integrating ePortfolios and MacBook Pros to explore new topics and present ideas. They also are able to be hands on in their learning focusing on collaborative problem solving challenges in Math and the resulting application. In the Sciences they have a plethora of innovative opportunities such as participating in a National Crystal Growing Competition, creating stop-motion mitosis animation, conducting Microscope observations of cell division as well as DNA extraction.

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Experiential Learning

Urban Academy Grade 9-12 students get outside and explore the wild. With Whistler trips, art projects with outdoor elements and outdoor inspiration for poetry and literacy projects, it isn't hard to see the impact outdoor learning has on students. Senior students also have access to an Outdoor Education program integrating activities like rock climbing, dragon boating, hiking and water survival with core academics. Physical Education integrates new activities outside and a camp week at the end of the year further allows students to discover the great outdoors while demonstrating their leadership skills. Service and cultural travel opportunities are also available to Senior School Students.

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Real World Integration

For students in Grades 9-12, connecting education to careers is immediately relevant. Urban Academy regularly brings in experts from various fields to talk to students about career opportunities. Students meet regularly with their guidance counselor to plan post secondary opportunities and learn about the programs available to them. This program also includes discovery trips to post secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. There are significant leadership development opportunities including Leadership Day at the beginning of the year, House Leader roles to help guide their younger house members and opportunities to run intramural games. Finally, Grade 10-12 students can also connect with other youth at province-wide leadership conferences.

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Grades 9-12 Curriculum

Language Arts

  • Exploring text and story to deepen an understanding of diverse, complex ideas about identity, others and the world
  • Learning to understand texts differently through the lens of diverse world views and perspectives
  • Linking subject matter to Social Studies and History as texts are socially, culturally, geographically and historically constructed
  • Exploring ideas and influences
  • Questioning information and perspectives to build critical thinking skills as educated and engaged citizens


  • Foundations of Mathematics
    • Developing understandings and critical-thinking skills identified for post-secondary studies in programs that do not require the study of theoretical calculus
  • Pre-Calculus
    • Building mathematical understandings and critical-thinking skills identified for entry into post-secondary programs that require the study of theoretical calculus
  • Calculus 12
    • Discovering differential and integral calculus. This course is considered to be enriched and similar to courses taken in first year university

Social Studies 10

  • Learning how global and regional conflicts have been a powerful force in shaping our contemporary world and identities
  • Discovering how the development of political institutions is influenced by economic, social, ideological and geographic factors
  • Uncovering world views leading to different perspectives and ideas about developments in Canadian society
  • Identifying how historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society

Biology 11 & 12*

  • Discovering major themes including:
    • Unity and Diversity
    • Evolutionary Relationships
    • Ecological Relationships
  • Learning laboratory skills by focusing on hypothetical and practical experiences

*Biology 12 focuses on human biology, allowing students to develop an interest in and understanding of science by looking at themselves and seeing how the diverse body systems are integrated to maintain homeostasis.

Chemistry 11 & 12

  • Focusing on building the ability to:
    • Comprehend the natural environment
    • Understand various other pure and applied sciences, as well as the nature of scientific inquiry
  • Participating in co-operative labs, independent research and other classroom experiences to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes to pursue further study and experience success in the workplace as informed decision makers and full participants

Physics 11 & 12

  • Discovering the nature and properties of matter and energy
  • Exploring phenomena related to mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism and the structure of atoms

Social Studies 11 & 12

  • Learning through a variety of courses including Human Geography, Law, Economics, History, Political Studies and more

Psychology 12

  • Delving into the study of self, identity and thought processes to understand how decisions and reactions affect the human body and the world


  • Listening and viewing with intent deepens French acquisition
  • Discovering how language and culture are interconnected and intertwined
  • Experiencing the creative works of another culture to promote an understanding of one’s own culture
  • Receiving a unique opportunity to access and interact with the Francophone world
  • Developing proficiency in French to open up career, travel, personal growth and study abroad opportunities


  • Discovering the foundational elements and principles of design, aesthetic awareness, problem solving and developing observation and technical skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics
  • Studying the basic design fundamentals necessary for any further experience in art, with a major emphasis on observational drawing, drawing primarily from life
  • Exploring a variety of drawing and painting techniques and media including pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, acrylic, collage, water colour, oil paint and mixed media
  • Engaging in research and reflective analysis of works created and of those created by master artists of various cultures and media

Theatre Company

  • Increasing emphasis on theatre skills and script work
  • Applying a wide variety of theatre terms related to the acting process, use of voice, make-up, staging of plays, styles of production and theatre background skills

Music (vocals and band)

  • Refining skills and proficiency of instrument performance technique
  • Engaging in regular attendance and home practice to achieve maximum potential


  • Discovering lifetime recreation activities, with a balance between indoor and outdoor activities
  • Developing physical fitness and leadership skills
  • Understanding healthy eating, injury prevention, mental and emotional health, as well as addiction prevention
  • Participating in different types of physical activity to influence physical literacy and personal health and fitness goals
  • Learning new sports and activities such as fencing, capoeira, ballroom dancing, Ultimate Frisbee, bowling and more

Outdoor Education

  • Engaging in new experiences
  • Enhancing skills, linking experiences to curriculum, building courage, exploring new environments
  • Building developmental curiosity


  • Exploring how personal choices, worldview and action can effect change
  • Collaborating, brainstorming and planing for leadership initiatives
  • Participating in leadership conferences, student forums and community events
  • Engaging in leadership opportunities (older students only) including:
    • Intramurals
    • House activities
    • Collaborating with younger students in our performing arts programs
    • Leading athletics and Sports Day
    • Attending extracurricular conferences
    • Planning and co-coordinating leadership opportunities for younger students
    • Leadership Day

9-12 Health & Technology

  • Developing skills, attitudes and behaviours that can enhance personal well-being throughout their lives and prepare them to deal with a world of complex, ongoing change
  • Observing, learning and engaging with community resources empowers us to make sense of our world
  • Integrating outside resource people to engage while reinforcing curriculum content
  • Learning from community visitors who expose students to different points of view and provide opportunities for discussions
  • Examining the ethical and social issues related to the use of information and communications technology

Other Programs

  • Field Study
  • Camp


High Academic Standards

Our students embody excellence. They learn at new levels and are motivated to become the very best they can be. We create an ideal environment for learning, so the amount of information students are able to absorb is truly incredible. Urban Academy boasts a 100% acceptance rate to the universities of our students’ choice over the last three years and 98% A’s and B’s performance on their provincial exams.


Individualized Attention

Our teachers get to know their students  and act as mentors. They get the attention to succeed and they are empowered according to their own unique needs. Every student is challenged and supported academically for a perfectly balanced and well rounded education upon graduation.

Technology Education

The careers our students will pursue might not even be invented yet. Innovation is a priority at Urban Academy and we create nimble students that can adapt with the world. Technology skills will prepare students for jobs of the future and Urban Academy offers full IT classes where students build their ePortfolio, perform digital editing of audio and visual projects and learn to embrace change.


Leadership Opportunities

Senior students attend Leadership Day at the start of the year, which helps position them for the leadership roles that they will fill over the course of the year – and beyond. These include Student Council, House Leaders, intramurals, mentorship opportunities, the ISABC leadership conference and more.

Community Service

Students that are connected to a community understand how their actions affect others. They know that it takes all kinds to make a strong team and they learn to work with others that are different from themselves. Mandatory community service hours help students engage with the local community and build connections.


Field Study

Students explore the world through an assortment of field trips and excursions. They are afforded visits to post secondary institutions, conferences and field trips to companies from areas of interest to allow them to learn about the opportunities available to them upon graduation.


Students in Grades 9-12 participate in an ISABC Leadership Conference, visit the Royal British Columbia Museum and go on trips to Whistler for skiing and snowshoeing. They have access to an array of clubs, intramural sports and full competitive sports teams including volleyball, basketball, badminton, track, fencing and soccer. Parents stay involved in their child’s learning through senior education attending plays, events and parent teacher conferences. Students also participate in a large variety of activities including public speaking competitions, Yearbook Club, the Artastic Art Exhibit, Spring Play, Remembrance Day, Terry Fox Run, Winter Concert and Sports Day.

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Student Services

The “extras” beyond the classroom create meaningful experiences and ensure every student is connected, learning and invigorated.

  • Technology for learning and research
  • Library
  • Drama and music specialist instruction
  • Vocals instruction
  • Ongoing academic assessment
  • Bus transportation
  • Weekly assemblies
  • Grades 4+ are entered into a house system with 4 houses
  • Health and media class
  • Outdoor education, linking math to rock climbing, science to eco hiking, physics to cross country skiing, First Nations Studies to long house visits
  • Student council
  • Career counselling beginning in Grade 9 allows students to work with a councilor to determine post secondary studies of interest as well as prerequisites needed

Latest News

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Head of School’s Weekly Message

Dear Families, January is a month when we celebrate New Years and new beginnings. It is so lovely to see our students dressed in Home Clothes and Lunar New Year celebration clothes today in the halls and classes of UA. We wish all of you Gōng xǐ fā cái, Chúc Mừng Năm Mới, Saehae Bok […]

Head of School’s Weekly Message

Hello Everyone, I hope that you had a wonderful and restful holiday. The benefit of three weeks off, other than opportunities for vacations, is that many students seem to have been very ready to return to school. It is always a treat to hear the hallways buzzing once again. Today is an important day as […]

Head of School’s Weekly Message

Hello Everyone, It is hard to believe that this is the last day of school in 2022. It has been a very exciting year for all of us at UA with many highlights including the completion of our school construction project, and of course, all of the excitement that our students and staff bring to […]

The right education takes your child from remembering and reciting to knowing and understanding.


Stop imagining. Start achieving.

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Upper Middle

We believe that by allowing children to demonstrate their knowledge, they will build confidence.

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Student Leadership

Our program is designed to give students ample opportunities to develop confidence and leadership skills.

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Academic Excellence

We don't just ask our students to reach their potential. We make it happen.

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At Urban Academy, learning transcends the classroom and outdoor education is an integral learning tool at each grade level.

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Urban Academy focuses on creative perspectives in learning, enabling students to develop their own processes.

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Urban Academy innovates the way learning happens, bringing the latest breakthroughs into every aspect of the educational experience.

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