While BC may not have a wealth of girls' schools, the province is nevertheless is home to some of the best in the country. As well, they are part of a thriving community of innovative education that benefits, as well, from having a front seat within the communities of the pacific rim.
Gender-based environments receive a lot of attention among parents and in the national media, and it’s understandably one of the top questions on parents’ minds when choosing a private school. For girls, that’s especially true, and often for good reason. Despite the advances in the rights of women, traditional gender roles nevertheless are often unwittingly reinforced in academic and extra-curricular settings. Science and technology are more likely to be promoted to boys than to girls; English and the arts are more likely to be promoted to girls than to boys. Athletics, the prom, and many other aspects of student life can reinforce traditional roles and expectations.
Girls’ schools have been shown to have a role in disrupting the patterns and the messages that accrete around an understanding of gender, ability, and possibility. Studies by the National Association for Choice in Education (NACE) and others have shown that girls in a single-sex environment are more likely to explore non-traditional subjects and activities. Absent from boys, girls perceive new areas of opportunity, something that is encouraged by the presence of female mentors and role models.
In other ways, participation is the result of little more than the environment itself. To be the best hockey player in the school—rather than the best female hockey player in the school—can provide an added motivation. Girls are more likely to join a robotics club, for example, when they don’t run risk being the only girl in the room, or when participation won’t be read as an act of defiance to a perceived status quo. Certainly, that’s the tradition that girls’ schools in Canada continue to this day. It’s not about isolation, it's about providing a space for a greater freedom of interest, engagement, and identity.
Below is a list of girls' schools in British Columbia.
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.
$9,500 to $49,300 /year
Venture Academy is a therapeutic private school providing educational and clinical support services, individualized instruction and engaging interaction to get students back on track and restore confidence.
Crofton House School in Vancouver, BC is a university preparatory school with JK to grade 12 classes. Tuition starts at $16,000.
York House School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Vancouver. Its average class size is 16 to 20 students.
$19,600 to $23,100 /year
Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)
660 Brownsey Avenue,
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.
$5,100 to $52,400 /year