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Girls' Schools

Guide to private schools for girls

Find a list of schools  

At an all-girls school, young women have the opportunity to develop a strong sense of themselves and their abilities in a comfortable environment with staff who understand the unique learning styles of girls and seek to surround them with positive role models.

Each day we challenge and inspire girls to love learning and to shape a better world."

In this type of atmosphere, your daughter can feel free to ask questions, express her feelings, and state her opinions without the restrictions and self-consciousness she may otherwise feel in a co-ed environment. There are great all-girls boarding, Montessori, gifted, language immersion, Christian, Catholic, preschools, and Jewish schools

Video: All-girls independent schools

 

 

Many parents find that their daughters feel less pressure at a girls school than they would elsewhere. For many young ladies, boys are intimidating and girls feel a need to worry about their appearance in front of them. An all girls setting removes a lot of these stresses and allow students to focus on academics first and foremost.

Private girls schools also provide your child with a comfortable forum to discuss distinctly female issues. In a different kind of environment, talking about such things as female body image, expectations, and sexuality might make students feel uncomfortable. However, at all girls schools, the environment facilitates more openness and girls gain confidence.

Benefits of an all-girls education

One of the key advantages of a girls-only school is a sense of empowerment in all aspects of the curriculum. In the past society has dictated that certain subjects such as science or technology are primarily ‘boys subjects’, however when introduced to a single-sex environment, various studies outlined by the National Association for Choice in Education show that girls are more likely to explore non-traditional subjects and to try things they might not otherwise. Consider for a moment how likely it is that girls are willing to take a chance on a different subject when they’re surrounded by peers who have similar experiences as young women and who are surrounded by strong women role models.

According to NACE, teachers can also employ strategies in the all-girls classroom that might not work as well or at all in a co-ed classroom. They recognize differences in the way girls learn and instead of reinforcing gender stereotypes, as can often happen in a co-ed environment where those roles are intensified (what they call 'gender intensification'), they encourage and celebrate the diversity among girls with the understanding that some girls prefer sports and computer science just as much as they enjoy English and arts.

Additional studies have shown that girls in single-sex schools generally perform better than girls in co-ed schools, regardless of socio-economic and ability levels. The Goodman Research Group, who conducted The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools, also stated that 93 per cent of girls school grads are very or extremely satisfied with their school’s ability to provide individualized attention and 80 percent strongly feel encouragement to develop their own interests.

Increased career aspirations

Single-sex schools often give students the confidence to pursue lofty goals both at school and in the work force. 95 percent of recent graduates of all-girls’ schools said that having a career and profession was very or extremely important to them, and 78 per cent added that it was very or extremely important that they hold leadership positions in their professional lives as well.

“More than 80 per cent of girls’ school grads consider their academic performance highly successful,” says Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College.

Identity awareness and confidence

While many young girls are caught up in self-consciousness, doubt and cattiness, an all-girls’ school can provide an environment to foster sisterhood and self-expression. Girls are able to pursue areas of their choice, surrounded by strong role models to follow.

The National Association for Choice in Education states that, in contrast to boys, "girls generalize the meaning of their failures because they interpret them as indicating that they have disappointed adults, and thus they are of little worth. In addition, because girls view evaluative feedback as diagnostic of their abilities, failure may lead them to incorporate this information into their more general view of themselves." One of the advantages of a girls only private school is that it can adapt to this, recognizing that girls respond this way and give feedback accordingly.

Learn more about the advantages from Elizabeth Falco, Canadian Liaison for The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, in discover the benefits of all-girls education.

Criticisms of an all-girls education

Apart from the common criticisms that separating children into gendered classrooms is sexist and that it’s difficult to conduct sound research on the benefits of single-sex education, another important area of concern is that girls’ overall social development is hindered by a lack of interaction with boys.

However, a study conducted by Neville Bruce and Katherine Sanders called "Incidence and duration of romantic attraction in students progressing from secondary to tertiary education” in the Journal of Biosocial Sciences found that not only do girls at single-sex schools have just as many heterosexual friendships and relationships as girls at coed schools but that girls in single-sex environments have more control in their interactions with boys, have more autonomy in their personal relationships, and are much less likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy.

At an all-girls school students still have opportunities to interact with boys but they are much more likely to have a broader social circle that includes boys and whom they can choose to interact, instead of their complex social circle being a central focus as is often the case in co-ed schools.

Bullies at all-girls schools

In general, due to a number of factors such as individualized attention, lower student-to-teacher ratio, increased supervision, closely monitored technology, and supportive and inclusive learning environments, private schools have increased resources to better handle instances of bullying or problems before they escalate.  

Learn more about bullying in private schools.

Differences in culture at an all-girls school

The overall culture of a single-sex environment compared to co-ed is perhaps felt most strongly during a school visit. Where girls may feel more prone to getting lost in the shuffle or overshadowed by their male counterparts at a co-ed school, among a strong culture of women in the hallways and classrooms each student can feel free to stand out and be herself, empowered to excel throughout her day without the competition of boys.

Things to consider when choosing a girls private school

  • What is the school's reputation? Do you have references from other parents or girls at the school?
  • What is the school’s educational philosophy (e.g., Waldorf, Reggio Emilia)? Do you agree with it?
  • Why would you prefer an all-girls education to a coed school?
  • How far is the school from where you live?
  • Did the tour of the school impress you?
  • Does the school have scholarships and bursaries available?

Plenty of all girls schools offer programs from pre-K until grade twelve. And, some schools have both elementary institutions ("feeder schools") that are affiliated with middle or high schools.

Get more information on choosing a school, how to apply, and ways to pay for private school.

For a much more in-depth look into all girls schools, visit one of our annual Private School Expos. Here, you will learn about what you need to know to navigate the private school selection and admissions processes.

Series: Girls Schools

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List of Girls' Schools

School Expo Exhibitor
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    School NameTypePaceCost

    Trafalgar Castle School (est. 1874)

    • Whitby, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Girls
    • Day school (125 students)
    • Boarding school (85 students)
    Located just 45 minutes east of Toronto, Trafalgar Castle School offers world-class curriculum in a small-school environment that inspires and encourages growth. * Day and boarding * All Girls * Grades 5 to 12 [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$21,995 to $56,950MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day21995

    Hawthorn School (est. 1989)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • NS to 12 Coed/Girls
    • Day school
    Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    Accelerated$10,000 to $31,400Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Day Homestay10000

    Branksome Hall (est. 1903)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (834 students)
    • Boarding school (66 students)
    Branksome Hall is an all girls school in Toronto, from JK to Grade 12, including 56 boarding students. Tuition ranges from $28,995 to $31,245 for day students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$29,590 to $56,855Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day29590

    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]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Vancouver
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$9,500/program to $49,300Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day9500

    Alive Montessori & Private School (est. 2014)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • PS to 8 Boys/Girls
    • Day school (5 students)
    50% off the first three months for new elementary students. [View profile]
    • Montessori
    Accelerated$7,500 to $14,500Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Girls Boys Day7500

    Elmwood School (est. 1915)

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Girls
    • Day school (370 students)
    Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Ottawa
    • Progressive
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$12,956 to $22,980Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day12956

    St. Clement's School (est. 1901)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Girls
    • Day school (470 students)
    St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$28,350Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day28350

    Havergal College (est. 1894)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (870 students)
    • Boarding school (50 students)
    Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$31,725 to $58,000Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day31725

    The Sacred Heart School of Montreal (est. 1861)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (230 students)
    • Boarding school
    The pre-eminent All Girls English Catholic high school in Montreal, with 156 years of experience graduating young women of action with solid skills and tools for success. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$13,764 to $49,492MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day13764

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (BC)

    • Kelowna, British Columbia
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    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. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (est. 1905)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (1150 students)
    • Boarding school (60 students)
    École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 3 800 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$4,000 to $9,150MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day4000

    The Study (est. 1915)

    • Westmount, Quebec
    • K to 11 Girls
    • Day school (385 students)
    The Study offers a bilingual mother tongue programme in both English and French from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. The average class size is 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$19,230 to $21,655Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day19230

    Heritage (est. 1984)

    • Provo, Utah
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    • Boarding school (115 students)
    Heritage offers expert care for at-risk adolescents including those diagnosed with Mood Disorder, depression, anxiety, defiance towards authority figures and those on the Autism Spectrum. Learn more on our website. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$138,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Boarding138000

    Trafalgar School For Girls (est. 1887)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (140 students)
    Based in the heart of downtown Montreal, Trafalgar School for Girls is a diverse school community that challenges and inspires girls to love learning, build confidence and shape a better world. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$17,995 to $26,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day Homestay17995

    St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)

    • Oakville, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Girls
    • Day school (550 students)
    Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$9,000 to $26,300Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day9000

    Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School (est. 1909)

    • Westmount, Quebec
    • K to 11 Girls
    • Day school (320 students)
    Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School offers programs from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. Its average class size is 18 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
    • Progressive
    Accelerated$17,095 to $19,570Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day9999999999

    Buffalo Seminary (est. 1851)

    • Buffalo, New York
    • 9 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    • Boarding school
    Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls. Our STEAM curriculum is unique, and creative, independent thinking is valued. Located in Buffalo, NY, girls access the best of city living. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Accelerated$19,840 to $46,715 USDHighSchools Girls Boarding Day19840

    Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)

    • Duncan, British Columbia
    • PS to 12 Girls/Coed
    • Day school (254 students)
    • Boarding school (94 students)
    Queen Margaret's School is an independent day/boarding Senior School for girls in Grades 8-12 and co-ed Junior School from Preschool to Grade 7 in Duncan, BC. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$5,325 to $53,600Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Boarding Day5325

    York House School (est. 1932)

    • Vancouver, British Columbia
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (656 students)
    York House School provides an exceptional education for girls from JK to Gr. 12. We instill in each girl the belief and confidence that girls can do anything! [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • Reggio Emilia
    Standard-enriched$20,600 to $21,400Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day20600

    The Linden School (est. 1993)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (115 students)
    The Linden School provides a challenging academic program for girls from JK - Grade 12. We create opportunities to discover the joys of learning and foster the development of critical thinking and physical well-being. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$14,000 to $19,400Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day14000

    Odyssey Heights School for Girls (est. 2017)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 3 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    OHS has three programs: Core Comprehensive, Pre-Professional Dance, and Equine Science & Equestrian Studies. Tuition inc. overnight OEE trips & riding lessons. School starts at 10am with 1hr of yoga, dance, or fitness. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • Montessori
    Student-paced$7,995/program to $31,775MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day Homestay7995

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)

    • Barrie Area, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    Venture Academy is a therapeutic treatment and education program for students who may be struggling with ADHD, learning challenges, underachieving, behavioural issues, and a variety of clinical diagnoses. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    Collège François-Delaplace (est. 1963)

    • Waterville, Quebec
    • 7 to 12 Girls
    • Boarding school (200 students)
    COLLÈGE FRANÇOIS-DELAPLACE is a private Traditional / academic boarding school in Waterville, Quebec. The school offers programs for grades 7 to 12 with enrolment of 200 boarding students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$7,950 to $30,300MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding7950

    The Bishop Strachan School (est. 1867)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (825 students)
    • Boarding school (80 students)
    Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    • Reggio Emilia
    Student-paced$31,740 to $60,130Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day31740

    Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc (est. 1954)

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • JK to 8 Girls
    • Day school
    In our all-girls environment, academic achievement in both official languages is the norm. A Joan of Arc Academy bilingual education prepares the women leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Come and see the difference. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Ottawa
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$14,825Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Girls Day14825

    Crofton House School (est. 1898)

    • Vancouver, British Columbia
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (885 students)
    Crofton House School in Vancouver, BC is a university preparatory school with JK to grade 12 classes. Tuition starts at $16,000. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$18,960Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day18960

    Alpine Academy (est. 2001)

    • Erda, Utah
    • 7 to 12 Girls
    • Boarding school (70 students)
    Alpine Academy isn't just a school, it is an experience that prepares young women for life beyond our campus. Students learn to engage in not only academics, but also family, community, and interpersonal relationships. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    $120,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding120000

    Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
    • Progressive
    Accelerated$16,650 to $45,950MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day16650

    Villa Maria (est. 1854)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls/Boys
    • Day school (1400 students)
    Villa Maria offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Montreal. Its average class size is 28 to 32 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$4,175MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Day4175