Sir Winston Churchill High School is a public senior high school in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It derives its name from Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister of Britain during World War II and the early 1950s. The high school is built in the northwest quadrant of the city, and currently accommodates more than 2000 students. The school offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, various second languages, and numerous clubs and teams.
Academic Focus Edit
Churchill is known for its outstanding academic program. Many parents move to NW Calgary each year so their child may attend the school. Several teachers have won major teaching awards including, Dom Chieffo, Ted Pike, Pat Ancelin, and Dennis Cantrill. It also boasts a staff of outstanding young teachers including David Nickell, Andrea Seidlitz and Neal Rehill. The vast majority of its graduates attend post-secondary institutions across the country.
International Baccalaureate Programme Edit
The head of the International Baccalaureate program at Sir Winston Churchill is Mrs. C. Antonuk. The IB Diploma program begins in the middle of a student's grade 10 year with math and biology/physics. Other IB courses begin during the grade 11 year and include Art, Chemistry, Computer Science, History, English, and various Second Languages. This academic program is demanding but encourages students to be well-rounded individuals. IB students must complete hours for creativity, activity, and service. During their grade 12 year, IB Diploma students will work on an involved, self-instructed and teacher-guided essay on a topic of their choice, known as the Extended Essay. Diploma students are required to complete 150 Creativity, Action, Service hours while Certificate students must complete 75.
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Extracurricular Activities and Clubs Edit
Churchill also boasts an extremely well equipped weight room. Students can purchase memberships for a small price, and can work out in the morning, at lunch, and after school. The weight room offers a variety of equipment and well trained teachers to help instruct students on proper techniques and help as spotters when needed.
School Productions Edit
SWC prides itself on its well-developed Theatre and Musical Theatre programs. Each year a large scale production is presented, giving any interested students a chance to show off their exceptional skills. As a final project in grade 12, students in both Performing Arts programs are given the opportunity to direct or stage-manage their own half hour productions. These productions are completely student driven, and are among the best in the city. Each production is presented at lunch in the theatre, giving students and staff a chance to view them. Many Drama 30 students have been fortunate enough to have their pieces presented at the Calgary Drama Festival, and for the past several years, more than one student’s production has been submitted for viewing, a rarity in the festival.
Sir Winston Churchill High School Bands Edit
One of the main sources of pride for Sir Winston Churchill are the various Sir Winston Churchill bands, conducted by Judy Wishloff and David Graham. Churchill's bands include the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band, the Blue Jazz Band, the Jazz Army Band, the Jazz Combo, the Choir, and the Percussion Ensemble. At the beginning of each year, students wishing to enter the school bands attend band auditions. The student's skills are judged and then placed in either the Concert or Symphonic band. Those of a high skill level are placed in the Symphonic band, while most tenth-grade and some eleventh-grade students are placed in the Concert Band. A small percentage of highly skilled grade ten students may find themselves placed in the Symphonic Band, which plays music at grade 5 through 6 music levels. With both the Concert and Symphonic bands, students must take corresponding courses in the school year. Those students who have schedule conflicts due to IB courses must attend IB-Band classes at lunch (these classes are not according to an IB curriculum, the name is simply because the students are in other IB courses, and do not have room in their timetable to attend the regular class).
The Blue-Jazz, Jazz-army, and Jazz Combo bands, as well as the Percussion Ensemble, are entirely volunteer-based as well. Students are allowed into Blue Jazz if they have exceptional skill at jazz music and play the appropriate instruments. Otherwise, they may choose to be part of the Jazz Army. Percussion Ensemble consists of percussion instruments, which include drums, xylophones, timpanis, vibrophones, pianos, maracas, and a variety of other percussion instruments. None of these groups have a corresponding in-school class that students have to attend.
Both the Concert and Symphonic bands at Sir Winston Churchill are composed of woodwind, brass, low woodwind, low brass, and percussion instruments. The only string instrument in the band is the Low String Bass. The Jazz Army and Blue-Jazz bands also have an electric bass and sometimes an electric guitar. It is also interesting to note that the Jazz Bands (usually) consist of Brass instruments, whilst the Concert and Symphonic bands are composed mainly of woodwind-type instruments.
Each year, Sir Winston Churchill bands attend several competitions, including the Alberta inter-city competition, Alberta International Band Festival, and several other inter-province band festivals. All bands also go on an annual band trip, to spend a few days in another city, where they perform and record the annual Sir Winston Churchill CD (recorded by DarkMatter Productions). On the last evening of each trip, students attend a formal dinner with one another, followed by the awarding of section-leader awards, as well as the various medals of achievement earned by students.
The Symphonic and Concert bands also perform at the Sir Winston Churchill Graduation ceremony. The Symphonic band plays a piece that the students have chosen, whilst the concert band plays march-style pieces at the entrance and exit of the graduates.
Athletic teams and clubs available, sorted by gender.
The junior boys volleyball team in 2000 won city championship. The same group of athletes on the senior team in 2002 and 2003 also won the city championship. This is the only volleyball team in the city and province to win 3 years of city championships. In 2002 the volleyball team also won provincials under the coaching of Al Taylor.
In 2006, five different teams won awards in various divisional and city championships. Churchill fielded a Senior Boys Rugby team for the first time in many years, and they took home the city championship for Div II Rugby with a 30-22 win over Queen Elizabeth Highschool.