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British Columbia boarding schools

Combining innovation and a commitment to supporting the entire educational spectrum — BC continues to put its educational money where its mouth is.


St. Michaels University School

  Looking for a boarding school in BC? St. Michaels University School is a coed boarding and day school with a global reputation for academic excellence.



“I refer my clients to OurKids.net all the time. It's a practical resource for parents to examine and analyze their choices.”
—Judy Winberg, M.Ed., Canadian educational consultant


Private schools are a well-established and highly supported aspect of British Columbia's education system. More than 85 percent of B.C.'s private schools receive some provincial funding, totaling in excess of $150 million in provincial funding support each year. The BC ministry of education inspects and regulates private schools, and all schools are accountable to the School Act which identifies their core responsibilities and requirements.

British Columbia supports private schooling through tax incentives. Additionally, a portion of tuition paid to faith-based institutions may be accounted as a charitable donation and eligible for a tax credit.

On this page we cover boarding schools in the province of British Columbia. For a complete guide to boarding in Canada, including information about admissions, please see our introductory guide.

Table of contents


  1. List of boarding schools in British Columbia

  2. Choosing a school

  3. Tuition

  4. Compare boarding schools

  5. Going to school in British Columbia
  6. Further resources


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Boarding schools








 
  • St. Margaret's School
  • Brookes Shawnigan Lake
  • St. Michaels University School
  • Bodwell High School
  • Shawnigan Lake School
  • Queen Margaret's School
  • Brentwood College School


 
School NameTypePaceCost

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (220 students)
  • Boarding school (130 students)
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$9,500 to $49,300

Brookes Shawnigan Lake

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Boarding school (110 students)
Brookes Shawnigan Lake, an IB boarding school on beautiful Vancouver Island, offers grades 7 to 12 for both day and boarding students with an average class size of 12 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$9,500 to $44,500

St. Michaels University School (est. 1906)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$17,235 to $61,590

Bodwell High School (est. 1991)

  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school (378 students)
Bodwell High School in North Vancouver is a full boarding school that enrolls 600 students. Tuition starts at $15,000. We provide Education for a Changing World. The school motto is "Strength in Diversity." [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$18,150 to $34,200

Shawnigan Lake School (est. 1916)

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • Boarding school (440 students)
Shawnigan Lake School is the largest boarding school in Canada. Located in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, we offer a comprehensive program to 500 young men and women in grades 8-12. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$25,500 to $61,200

Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)

  • Duncan, British Columbia
  • Preschool to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (250 students)
  • Boarding school (90 students)
Queen Margaret's School is an independent co-ed day school Preschool to Gr. 7 and all girls day/boarding school for Gr. 8-12 in Duncan, BC. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$5,100 to $52,400

Brentwood College School (est. 1923)

  • Mill Bay, British Columbia
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (114 students)
  • Boarding school (398 students)
Brentwood is a truly co-educational, progressive boarding school for Grades 9 to 12 located on an oceanfront campus on Vancouver Island, BC. Tuition runs from $23,300 to $57,500. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$23,800 to $60,500




Our boarding school guide has advice specific to finding boarding schools in Canada. For insights that are more general (on how to evaluate school options) we recommend you review our hub on choosing a school.

Private school expos

Private school expos are ideal launching pads for your school-finding journey. All expos are held in the fall at a number of centres across Canada. There are three expos hosted in Ontario, one in Toronto, one in Halton-Peel, and one in Ottawa. Expos are also held each fall in Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. All are opportunities to speak with administrators from leading boarding schools within the regions in which the expos are held.

Parent discussion forum

Word-of-mouth is another powerful tool in your school-finding arsenal. The Our Kids private school discussion forum allows you to discuss your options and debate topics around gifted education. You can use our community of parents, educational experts, alumni, and schools to help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.

Upcoming open house events

Attending open houses is obviously a great way to learn more about a school and get a feel for the environment. For some advice on open house visits, go here. For questions to ask that are specific to boarding programs, refer to our main boarding school hub.

School nameDateLocation
St. Margaret's SchoolNovember 18, 2016 9:00 amSt. Margaret's School
1080 Lucas Avenue Victoria British Columbia V8X 3P7
St. Margaret's SchoolJanuary 25, 2017 4:30 amSt. Margaret's School
1080 Lucas Avenue Victoria British Columbia V8X 3P7
St. Margaret's SchoolFebruary 24, 2017 9:00 amSt. Margaret's School
1080 Lucas Avenue Victoria British Columbia V8X 3P7




Broadly speaking, the cost of boarding reflects the cost private school tuition in general, though with premiums added to cover housing and meals.

Many schools offer financial aid, including scholarships and bursaries. Financial aid is needs-based, and financial aid programs are created as a means of broadening the student base and attracting students, independent of means, who will contribute most to the culture of the school. Generally speaking, the larger and more expensive schools provide the most aid.

You can read more about financial aid and scholarships in our dedicated guide.

Below you'll find the range of costs at British Columbia boarding schools:

 
Tuition (baording school)Students receiving financial aidGrade eligibility for financial aidAvg. aid package size (annual)
St. Margaret's School$38,600 to $49,300
Brookes Shawnigan Lake$35,900 to $44,50010%7 - 12$5,000
St. Michaels University School$47,075 to $61,59020%K - 12$11,685
Queen Margaret's School$38,200 to $52,40032%K - 12$3,000
Brentwood College School$45,500 to $60,50027%9 - 12$19,417




 
 Founding dateEndowmnentAdmissions rateEnrollmentEnrollment
per grade
St. Margaret's School190865%
Brookes Shawnigan Lake95%
St. Michaels University School1906$11,200,00096374
Bodwell High School1991$0100%513103
Shawnigan Lake School1916$13,500,000
Queen Margaret's School1921100%34021
Brentwood College School1923$20,000,000




 
 
Primary curriculum
Secondary curriculum
Curriculum pace
Academic culture
Average class size
Language immersion
Special needs support
Tech integration
St. Margaret's SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous10 to 20HighMedium integration
Brookes Shawnigan LakeProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateStandard-enrichedRigorous12 to 15Mild difficultiesLight integration
St. Michaels University SchoolProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorousModerateMedium integration
Bodwell High SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous18LimitedMedium integration
Shawnigan Lake SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous15ModerateHeavy integration
Queen Margaret's SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous18Mild difficultiesMedium integration
Brentwood College SchoolProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorous16 to 20LimitedHeavy integration





 Legend:

 ADHD

Learning disorders:
 Dyslexia
 Auditory processing disorder
 Dyscalculia
 Dysgraphia
 Language processing disorder
 Non-verbal learning disorders
 Visual motor deficit
Development disorders:
 Autism
 Asperger's

Behavioural and emotional:
 Troubled teens
 Depression
 Suicidal
 Substance abuse
 Oppositional defiant disorder
Physical:
 Dyspraxia
 Blindness
 Deafness
 Cystic fibrosis
 Multiple physical
 




 
 Admission deadlineSSAT requiredInterview requiredAcceptance rateNext open house
St. Margaret's SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
Preschool - 1265%
Brookes Shawnigan LakeDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
7 - 1295%
St. Michaels University SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
8 - 12K - 12
Bodwell High SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
8 - 12100%
Shawnigan Lake SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
8 - 12
Queen Margaret's SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
Preschool - 12100%
Brentwood College SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
9 - 12




 




 




 
 MathScienceLiteratureHumanities Social SciencesForeign LanguagesFine Arts
St. Margaret's SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCreative
Brookes Shawnigan LakeEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalancePerennialismCommunicativeCreative
St. Michaels University SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Bodwell High SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Shawnigan Lake SchoolTraditional MathEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCommunicative
Queen Margaret's SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCommunicativeEqual Balance
Brentwood College SchoolTraditional MathExpositoryTraditionalPerennialismCommunicativeCreative




 
 
Student council
School newspaper
Yearbook
Radio club
Photograph club
Art club
Choir
Band
Dance club
Yoga club
Drama club
Debate club
Chess club
Math club
Science club
Robotics club
Computer club
Environmental club
Outdoor club
Community service
St. Margaret's School
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
St. Michaels University School
Bodwell High School
Shawnigan Lake School
Queen Margaret's School
Brentwood College School




 
 
Badminton
Baseball
Basketball
Cricket
Equestrian
Football
Golf
Gymnastics
Ice Hockey
Lacrosse
Rowing
Rugby
Soccer
Softball
Squash
Swimming
Tennis
Track and Field
Volleyball
Wrestling
St. Margaret's School
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
St. Michaels University School
Bodwell High School
Shawnigan Lake School
Queen Margaret's School
Brentwood College School




Graduation Requirements

High school graduation requirements are set by British Columbia's Ministry of Education, not the federal government. In order to earn a high school diploma—named the Dogwood Diploma—students are required to complete 80 credits, where each credit represents 30 hours of in-class instruction. To graduate, a student must ear 48 credits for required courses, a minimum of 28 elective credits. Students are also required to earn 4 credits for Graduation Transitions, a requirement intended to prepare students to make a successful transition to life after graduation.

These are:

Regardless of when students begin their programs, all must fulfill all graduation requirements and demonstrate competence in one of Canada's two official languages in order to earn a graduation diploma. A high school completion certificate, known as the Evergreen Certificate, is granted in some cases, and is not equivalent to the Dogwood Diploma.





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Further resources

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