A Vancouver-based school focused on the opportunities our children will have in the future, and the skills they will need to succeed.
Education for a Changing World
When Claren Academy was founded in 2017, our goal was to prepare our students for the future as it will actually be when they graduate around 2030. It may sound overly simple, but we boiled it down to skills that robots do not have, such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and empathy. Along with strong academic foundations and access to the best resources and educators, these are the skills and tools that will help our children succeed and be happy in their future, which we knew will look so different from what they were being prepared for in other schools.
As COVID-19 has affected the world, we could not have known that these future-focused skills would become so valuable so urgently, and we are grateful that we took the steps we did to help build confident, resilient children.
Using an individualized approach to learning, Claren Academy teaches a uniquely enriched version of the B.C. curriculum to provide strong fundamentals, while also exposing students to forward-looking areas of study such as programming languages, digital citizenship, and use of technology to solve problems and create beautiful things.
For the 2021/2022 school year, Claren Academy will offer kindergarten to grade six. One additional grade will be added each subsequent year.
At Claren Academy, we have a high teacher to student ratio, and specialists collaborate with homeroom teachers to provide support, feedback, and an individualized approach to learning. Hands-on learning and inquiry foster curiosity, and provide the best motivation to learn and progress. In key cumulative subjects such as math and reading, our students proceed at their own pace, advancing to the next lesson only when mastery of previous lessons has been demonstrated. This ensures that students do not have gaps in foundational knowledge (e.g. difficulty with fractions) that could cause them to struggle with more complex lessons in the future (e.g. algebra).
We are also set apart by our unique, student-focused reporting system, where children from kindergarten up participate in useful, regular assessment of their own work, thereby becoming accountable, self aware learners. Parents are kept up to date with plenty of communication, meaning that potential problems are identified and dealt with early, and that daily successes and achievements are celebrated!
Constructive, immediate, and accurate assessment also fosters a growth mindset, and helps students see their progress, and be brave enough to try, fail, and try again!
No matter how much the world changes, creativity and inventiveness are skills that will always be in demand. The Oxford study The Future of Employment states, “Specialist occupations involving the development of novel ideas and artifacts, are the least susceptible to computerisation.” This includes occupations in the fields of science and engineering, but it also includes work in the fields of entertainment, helping, and the arts.
We foster creativity in our students by reducing emphasis on rote memorization, and by teaching them to find answers for themselves, critically assessing the information available. We also encourage diversity over conformity, and have passionate educators and plentiful resources to follow our students on their paths of inquiry, applying those hard-earned core fundamentals to projects, creations, and always important: play.
Possibly the most important focus to set our students apart from robots, which can never be automated, is kindness. Mindfulness, community, and service to each other are fundamental to the Claren Academy model, and it is a joy to see our students grow into individuals we are proud to care for and learn from in return.
The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.
Creativity and Play
A school that children are excited to attend each morning!
We evolved to enjoy play because play helps us to learn about our environment and prepare for our adult lives. However, learning only feels like play when it is hands-on, self-directed, and self-motivated. Students are excited about learning when they can see how the subject at hand will be relevant to their lives.
Most high school students are not excited about learning the quadratic formula because they don’t see how it will ever be useful to them. What if they knew that that formula might allow them to animate a realistic fight scene, or project the budget of a start-up idea? At Claren Academy, we expose students to aspirational fields in a hands-on way from the very start to show that their studies will indeed help them to excel in the areas they most enjoy. Our students are introduced to:
- Computer programming
- Art, music, drama, and performance
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Robotics and electronics
- 3D printing
- Dance, yoga, gymnastics
- Broadcasting and streaming
- Virtual Reality
- Film making and animation
- Science experiments and inquiry
- Urban and nature-based field trips
- Game design
- Swimming, skating, outdoor sports
- …and much more!
We could not be more thrilled with our decision to enroll at Claren Academy.
We value our families, our connections, and our experiences outside of school.
Claren Academy was founded by one set of parents, but our growth and success are due to the families, educators, and community members who have contributed their support and energy from the very beginning. We value our roots, and are proud to watch our school and students growing together. Monthly family nights, online portfolio updates, and morning “soft starts” give us frequent chances to connect. We welcome parent contributions in any form, from accompaniment to the park, hosting at open houses, and shared professional expertise. We are thrilled to share testimonials that demonstrate our families’ pride in and commitment to Claren Academy.
We consider it a key component of our students’ education to learn about the community outside of our walls – although we do have a wonderful campus. Our field trips are such a central part of our curriculum that the costs are included in our tuition. We believe that our students will be well served by being confident, capable citizens of their community.
Field trips in recent school years have included:
- Microsoft Garage
- Grouse Mountain
- Richmond Country Farms
- Yukon Shelter
- Firehall No. 8
- Robson Square Ice Rink
- Vancouver Playhouse
- Jump Gymnastics
- Science World
- Carousel Theatre
- The kitchen of the Pan Pacific hotel
- Granville Island Children’s Festival
- Maplewood Farms
- Beatty Biodiversity Museum
- Stanley Park
- Waterfront Theatre
With more to come! We also make regular outings to our local parks, our community centre, and the Vancouver Public Library.
Do you want to know more?
Get in touch!
We'd love to speak to you further about Claren Academy's educational philosophy. Please get in touch to discuss in-person, over the phone, or by email.