Grade 8 Experience

Coming in Grade 8 was the best decision I ever made. - Adam
One of Shawnigan’s uniquely differentiating features is our carefully crafted Grade 8 experience. For our 12- and 13-year-old Grade 8 students, we have developed a nurturing program that acts as a supportive springboard into the wider Shawnigan community.
Rather than being immersed in a “big House” from the get-go, our Grade 8s begin their Shawnigan Journey alongside their peers in Samuel House, the first co-ed Grade 8 boarding house in Canada, specially designed for our youngest students, with separate wings for girls and boys flanking shared common spaces. Run by a caring team of dedicated House staff, Samuel House fosters a safe co-ed grade culture characterized by close friendships that will shape and support the students’ onward journey at Shawnigan.
The Grade 8 experience at Shawnigan provides a safe and supportive environment in which students can take risks as they discover their interests, passions and limits. It encourages individual growth alongside navigating a place within the broader community.


The fact that you have your friends in the same House, they end up being like your family. Everybody’s there to support you – your House Director, your Grade 11 mentors, they’re all there for whatever you need.” – Sofia


Samuel House opened in February 2024 as the first co-ed Grade 8 boarding house in Canada, bringing together the former Stanton (girls) and Levien (boys) Houses. It was named for long-time Shawnigan staff members Gaynor and Rhodri Samuel, who have filled many roles over their decades of service to the School.

Colours: Yellow & red
Motto: Cartref ~ A Loving Home
Hymn: “Calon Lan”


House Director: Rainbow Bartlett

“My House Director asks us every morning about how we are feeling....she does an awesome job of giving us enough time to figure things out.” - Yumi


House Director: Ed Taylor

“Doc T. is very supportive and will do his best to help you through tough stuff…” - Ryland

Grade 8 News

The Shawnigan Journey

As part of the Shawnigan Journey, each grade experience is guided by a single overall concept that is linked to our core values of curiosity, compassion, community and courage. These guiding concepts have been further developed into concrete grade-specific goals—our distinctive “moments that matter”—that fall under each of our three strategic pillars of Academic Excellence, Co-curricular Distinction and Student Life Unparalleled. Read More
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.