Head of School’s Message


Welcome to St. John’s Academy Shawinigan Lake. As you get to know us, you will soon discover the different ways an SJASL education is both unique and powerful. From engaging academics to experiential education – learning at SJASL is an enriching, life-changing experience where life-long friendships are built.

SJASL students and staff develop caring and purposeful relationships, upon which meaningful and relevant learning happens. As educational sciences demonstrate, in order to understand and retained new skills and knowledge, students must actively embrace their learning. Consequently, teaching strategies at SJASL prioritise active learning. Families praise SJASL for the quality of our academic programs, which are enhanced by experiential and outdoor education, the arts, and sports.

An education at SJASL is an International Baccalaureate (IB) education. SJA uses the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) from Grades 6 to 10. During the 2022-2023 academic year SJASL will complete IB Diploma Program (DP) authorisation (Grades 11 and 12), resulting in our 2024-2025 graduating class being SJASL’s first IB Diploma Programme graduates. SJASL’s IB programs are built upon British Columbia’s (BC) excellent educational standards, which SJA enhances and extends with International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes.

SJASL values whole-child development. We are passionate about teaching students to understand themselves as learners, as problem-solvers, and as caring, contributing members of their community. SJASL prioritises holistic student achievement inclusive of both subject knowledge and learning skills. Developing knowledge across different subjects (i.e. languages, mathematics, humanities, art, science, physical education, etc.) teaches our children how to understand and interact with the world through different knowledge lenses. The more knowledge lenses our children can competently manage, the greater their ability to understand complex situations and problem-solving effectively. Balancing subject knowledge are learning skills, which begin with SJA’s core values, starting with caring about self, others, and learning. Learning skills are developed through our approaches to learning including the skills of reflection, critical thinking, effective communication, productive collaboration, research and inquiry, resilient self-management, and deliberate practice.

SJASL students learn to use their considerable skills and knowledge to help make the world a better place through creativity, action, and service, all of which are embedded into our daily timetable. Learning at SJASL nurtures well-rounded students who appreciate the arts, value our environment, and engage in community and service work.

The SJA campus has a fascinating history of resilience and hope reaching back over a hundred years. Once you have visited our campus or explored the photographs and videos on SJA’s website, you will quickly appreciate why we love our school. During your visit, whether virtual or physical, you will see many smiling and engaged faces. One parent recently described SJASL as a big hug. Though a virtual visit provides you with an opportunity to see the incredibly beauty of our campus, there are few things more awe inspiring than standing on our Shawnigan Lake dock watching dazzling sun sets, climbing through our forest to take in spectacular vistas atop Old Mount Baldy, or strolling along the abandoned train tracks to Shawnigan Lake village. SJASL is our second home.

Thank you for taking time to get to know us.

If you are interested in joining us as a student or colleague, as we work to do our part to create a better and more peaceful world, we hope to see you on campus soon.

Warn regards,
Dr. John D’Arcy
SJA Head of School