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everything you need to know about richmond’s secondary schools

Everything You Need to Know About Richmond’s Secondary Schools

Embarking on a journey of education is a significant step, but it can be even more challenging when it’s done in another country. When it comes to Richmond’s secondary schools, the possibilities for international students are both exciting and diverse. In this mini guide, we’ll summarize everything you need to know about Richmond’s secondary schools – from their unique offerings to their academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and the supportive communities that shape students’ experiences. 

richmond school district

Linear-based schools (September – June)

Richmond Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 1250

Located near downtown Richmond, Richmond Secondary School is within arm’s reach of the city’s biggest shopping mall, city hall, and main library branch. Many students at the school are active in sports and intramural activities. Richmond Secondary School is 1 of 2 schools in the city that offer International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, which many universities around the world recognize. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme
  • Chef Training
  • Global Perspectives
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Physical Education Leadership
  • Printing and Psychology

Allan Roy (A.R.) MacNeill Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 950

A.R. MacNeill is the only school in Richmond with an Outdoor Incentive Program, an accelerated program for motivated students with a passion for the outdoors. Students in this program will study in a higher-learning environment (Pre-AP-style courses) while developing leadership skills during outdoor excursions (hiking, snowboarding, camping, etc.). General students can choose 1 of 3 intermediate academies that suit their academic interests and learning styles. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Fine Arts, Design, and Media
  • Citizenship/Leadership
  • Computer Programming
  • Guitar
  • Car and Concepts Fabrication
  • Law
  • Robotics

Semester-based schools (September – January; February to June)

Hugh Boyd Secondary School

Enrollment: Up to 850

Hugh Boyd Secondary School is 1 of 2 schools in Richmond that offer International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. These courses are a part of IB’s Middle Years Programme, which is a 5-year long program focused on teaching 8 subject groups – Language Acquisition, Language and Literature, Individual and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts, Physical and Health Education, and Design. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) – Middle Years Programme
  • Drafting – Architecture and Habit Design
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Multimedia/Video Production
  • Photography 
  • Jazz Band
  • Music

John Napier (J.N.) Burnett Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 1200

At J.N. Burnett, teachers, and staff members emphasize student development. Every year, two conferences are held to focus on social responsibility and career awareness. Burnett also has an exchange program for students who wish to travel abroad, with several sister schools located in various countries around the world. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Yearbook Journalism
  • Animation
  • Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Health Sciences
  • Music
  • Psychology

Henry James (H.J.) Cambie Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 900

Cambie Secondary School is located in East Richmond and is connected to the East Richmond Community Centre. The school has been recognized for its outstanding reputation in sports and extracurricular activities, with an award-winning robotics club and many provincial championships in badminton and volleyball. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Accounting
  • Honours Mathematics
  • Mandarin
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Photography
  • Recreational Leadership
  • Jazz Band and Vocals

Robert Alexander (R.A.) McMath Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 1250

R.A. McMath Secondary School is a popular choice for students enrolled in French Immersion elementary schools since it offers instruction in both English and French. Located in the historical town of Steveston, the school is close to plenty of open space, local restaurants, and water. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Explorations (Grade 8-10 enrichment program)
  • Leadership
  • Financial Management
  • Digital Media
  • Theatre Performance
  • Jazz Band
  • French Immersion

Matthew McNair Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 950

Matthew McNair offers a “Mini School” for students who wish to challenge themselves academically. The program runs for 5 years (Grades 8 to 12) and focuses on enriched academics, leadership, and outdoor education. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Mini School – enrichment program
  • Culinary Arts Training
  • Environmental Science
  • Strings Orchestra, Concert Band, and Jazz Band
  • Directing and Scriptwriting
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Stagecraft/Theatre Production

Hugh McRoberts Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 1150

Hugh McRoberts also offers a French Immersion program for students who wish to learn French. McRoberts has a long and reputable history when it comes to academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. The school sits next to South Arm Community Centre, which many students go to after school to use its fitness centre, gymnasium, and outdoor basketball courts. 

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Animations
  • Human Services
  • Photography
  • Economics
  • Industrial Design
  • Directing and Scriptwriting
  • French Immersion

Robert Cecil (R.C.) Palmer Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 750

Despite being a small school, R.C. Palmer Secondary School is well-regarded for its close community of students and teachers. The school’s Pre-AP Incentive Program, an accelerated program that prepares students for AP courses and postsecondary education, ranks high within British Columbia and is recommended for students who are up for an academic challenge. Palmer also has an active sports scene, with the school’s basketball and ultimate frisbee teams frequently ranking in provincial-level games.  

Unique Programs & Courses

  • AP Psychology
  • Leadership
  • Accounting
  • Drafting-CADD
  • Fashion Design and Merchandising
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Japanese Exchange (JAX)

Steveston-London Secondary School

Enrollment: up to 1250

Did you know that Steveston-London Secondary School was previously two separate schools: Steveston and Charles London? Steveston-London is one of three schools with a semester-based schedule. The school is known for its large student body, many of whom are involved in sports teams and extracurricular clubs.  

Unique Programs & Courses

  • Broadcasting and Recording Arts
  • Art and Metal Art
  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Geology
  • Multimedia and Technology

Source: Richmond International Education Brochure – Secondary Schools

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