1. École La Grande-ourse is a public school
École La Grande-ourse is not a private school! It’s a public school that provides free education in French — even school bus transportation is free. As a member of the Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF) of British Columbia, students must have a family connection to francophone education.
2. Francophone instruction, and English too
To be admitted to École La Grande-ourse, students must meet one of the following requirements:
- Speak French as a first language, or
- Have received previous Francophone education (not French immersion), either in Canada or abroad, or
- Have a parent or sibling who has received Francophone primary school education (not French immersion).
Read the full conditions of admission at csf.bc.ca/csf-eng/admissions.
Students are educated on all subjects in French, and supplement their studies with English as a second language classes starting in Grade 4.
“Almost all of our current students are fluent in both languages,” Principal Khoutir says. “Not only do we teach in French, we also educate our students in French culture around the world.”
3. École La Grande-ourse is new, but growing fast
The school is in its third year in the community, and currently teaches 17 students from Kindergarten to Grade 7.
“The pandemic has certainly made our first few years interesting, but we’ve grown steadily since opening in 2019,” says Anne-Marie Findlay, who teaches Grades 3 to 7. “Having a small, multi-age group is really wonderful. The older kids are such great role models for the younger children, and the younger kids really look up to them.”
4. Building collaboration and autonomy
Students are sometimes separated for age-specific studies, but they also spend time learning together.
“The community spirit is really strong. Kids learn to work both independently and with instruction. It builds collaboration, and autonomy as well,” Principal Khoutir says.
The school has a kitchen, garden and great outdoor space, and students spend a lot of time outdoors exploring their natural environment and learning about their world. École La Grande-ourse has also taught skiing, skating, curling and other sports.
5. Register now for September 2022!
Registration is now open for the next school year! Visit lagrandeourse.csf.bc.ca to learn more, or call 778-648-2144 to speak with school staff and arrange a tour. To keep up with the latest news, follow École La Grande-ourse on Facebook.