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Selwyn House School

95, chemin Côte St. Antoine, Westmount, Quebec, H3Y 2H8

Grades (Gender):
K to Gr. 11 (Boys)
$17,500 to 22,500/year
Main Language:
English & French
Avg. Class Size:
15 to 20
Day: 540 (Gr. K - 11)

School Address
95, chemin Côte St. Antoine, Westmount, Quebec, H3Y 2H8



About this school:


Selwyn House School is a CEGEP/university-preparatory school for boys, combining academic excellence, a dedication to the French language and culture, and a compassionate and supportive environment enabling boys to live a happy, balanced and purposeful life. Visit our Open House on Wednesday, October 3, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM (Kindergarten information session at 4:30 PM and Grade 7 information session at 5:30 PM). Family Visits at 8:30 AM also available - see www.selwyn.ca for schedule. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Selwyn House School

our takeMany schools have changed considerably over their lives, and of course that's particularly true of the older schools. Selwyn House was begun in 1908 by Captain Algernon Lucas, a graduate of Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge. He was just 29 at that time, and he arrived in Canada in the same year that he graduated from Cambridge. He was, frankly, looking for a job. In Montreal, he found one, namely teaching seven boys. To say that the school has come a long way since it was founded is as much an understatement as you could ever hope to find. A visitor to Selwyn House today is impressed in all sorts of ways, and rightly so. The school is home to an exceptional academic program, and despite having begun its life in Lucas' apartment, is now housed in the kind of buildings that Lucas could only have dreamed of. The school participates in the full range of traditions, and has in turn gained notice well beyond the city of Montreal. (It even plays a role in two classics of Canadian literature, Mordecai Richler's Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang and Barney's Version.) The alumni of Selwyn House include, literally, titans of industry, including the Bronfmans and the Molsons, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and the philosopher Charles Taylor, among many other notable Canadians, past and present.

Principal's Message


Hal Hannaford, Headmaster

At Selwyn House our objective is to prepare boys to lead balanced and productive personal and professional lives. We know boys. Their potential, energy, dedication and passion are all celebrated; at Selwyn House we take advantage of being able to focus on best practice for boys.

Nous offrons un programme de formation générale à la fois chargé, sans toutefois être rigide, stimulant et approprié, tout en faisant parallèlement preuve d’une grande souplesse. Nous tentons de constamment maintenir un équilibre entre les études, l’athlétisme, les arts, la croissance sociale, et le développement spirituel et affectif. Dans notre milieu biculturel, nous nous efforçons aussi de viser la billitératie.

The culture is one of excellence in all areas and this ideal is clearly demonstrated each and every day by our wonderful faculty. I marvel at their passion and their dedication. They are true professionals and together with our students and their parents, they forge strong relationships – relationships we refer to as the triangle of commitments.

In 2008, Selwyn House celebrated its 100-year anniversary, proud to be at the forefront of education in Canada and equally excited about our future. A Selwyn House graduate is a young man who cares. He is prepared academically, he is a life-long learner, and he has developed a true sense of self-awareness.

Nous croyons que nous pouvons amener votre fils à relever les défis du 21e siècle et à apporter une contribution importante et précieuse à la société.

I encourage you to visit our school and to discover for yourself the unique qualities of the Selwyn House experience. It remains impressive.


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

If you want to learn more about Quebec education, check out our comprehensive guide.

What Selwyn House School says: At Selwyn House School, we are proud of our strong and enriched academic program. We challenge students to learn, to study, and to read, write and think well. We do this in an environment targeted to boys’ education through hands-on and action-oriented activities. We understand boys and how they learn best. As a small school, the opportunities to contribute are great. We have an inclusive atmosphere where students develop positive attitudes to participation, personal performance, teamwork, and fair play. In all grades, students study the French language in addition to another subject in French. The faculty values and encourages learning and experiences in French. At Selwyn House School, students learn to think critically and to express themselves clearly in both languages. They will conduct and analyze experiments, solve math problems, learn to make mathematical conjectures, read contemporary and classic novels, write critical essays, discuss current events, and debate political and social issues. Selwyn House School provides an excellent academic program that is supplemented with exceptional athletic, artistic, and experiential education.

  • Approach:
    Focus Language-based
    Academic French immersion

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics
    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading
    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Selwyn House School says: For our Kindergarten to Grade 2 French immersion program, we use several recognized evaluation tools to test early literacy skills.

    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies
    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology
    • What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Selwyn House School says: Selwyn House School maintains a strong commitment to physical education and athletics as part of the student’s overall educational development. Students may choose to compete inter-scholastically or opt for recreational and instructional programs. Both ensure that our students are physically active and challenged. To accommodate our programs, the school rents 16 outside facilities and benefits from the leadership of 28 full- and part-time staff members. This extraordinary level of adult participation helps students understand that a complete education involves both body and mind. The school’s objectives are ambitious. We strive to foster healthy attitudes toward play and to encourage a robust belief in hard work. Students are taught that athletics involves more than just physical activity. It is an experience that can provide lifelong lessons about effort, teamwork and fairness.

    Sex and Health Education Quebec curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Play-based

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Selwyn House School says: Our early French Immersion Kindergarten builds upon the belief that young children acquire a second language with ease and are able to use the language as a means of communicating their ideas, feelings, and opinions in an authentic environment. The program is designed to help students learn about themselves and interact effectively and appropriately with others. It provides a solid preparation for Grade One. Class size is from 12 to 15 students per class. English language activities take place daily. Physical education is taught six times per 10-day cycle (40-minute periods). Children regularly visit the library and computer labs.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Selwyn House School says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What Selwyn House School says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Selwyn House School offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Selwyn House School does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Selwyn House School says:

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Cross-country skiing
      Ice Hockey
      Ice Skating
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Math Club
      Outdoor Education
      Robotics club
      School newspaper
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid



    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: 7 to 11
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid15%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Deadline:
    Rolling deadline Repeats annually

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with Financial Aid for School Tuition. for processing financial applications
    Parents are asked to complete the Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) online application form available by link on the Selwyn House School website at www.selwyn.ca. This organization will analyze a family's financial situation and recommend to the school's bursary committee, on a confidential basis, the tuition reduction for which it could qualify. In order to further ascertain a family's ability to pay for their children's education, parents are also asked to submit copies of their tax documents. Applications for bursaries are reviewed on an annual basis.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 540
    Average enrollment per grade45
    Average class size15 to 20
    Gender (grades)K to Gr. 11 (Boys)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewK - 11
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)K - 8
    Entrance Essay
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Selwyn House School says:

    The Admissions Office seeks students who will contribute to the school and who will also be able to thrive in our program. The Director of Admissions and the members of the admissions committee who interview the candidate and his parents place equal weight on the candidate’s previous school record, the impression a candidate projects in the interview, and the results of the admissions entrance tests.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Selwyn House School is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeK1234567891011
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Jonathan Kay 1986 Editor-in-Chief of The Walrus. Regular columnist for The National Post.
    Tiga Sontag 1992 Juno-winning electronic dance music DJ
    Michael Meighen 1957 Canadian Senator
    David Culver 1942 Chairman and CEO of Alcan Aluminum Limited. Officer of the Order of Canada. Officer of the Order of Quebec.
    Joel Anthony 2000 NBA basketball player, currently playing for the Detroit Pistons. Member of the Canadian basketball team.
    John  McCallum 1967 Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship

    Stories & Testimonials


    Known and Loved

    We’ve experienced that each boy is known and loved. The school understands the importance of physical activity for boys, and it provides immediate assistance by committed teachers and staff regarding any issue that may arise. Our son has flourished at the school. His confidence, his ability to express himself, his pride in himself and the school…it has been wonderful watching how he has grown and matured.


    Athletics and Leadership

    What I like about Selwyn House is how our athletics program is. Football, Soccer, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis, we learn more about each sport. There is also an amazing leadership program. We have opportunities to step up as leaders in events such as Open House, House Heads, Prefects, etc.


    Home Away From Home

    Selwyn House is a getaway from reality. Every day, we get to come to this school and be greeted with warmth and comfort. During my twelve years here at Selwyn, I have never encountered a day where coming to school was an issue, and this is all thanks to an unbelievable staff core and student community. They make you want to be here, and we love it.



    • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Associations
    • International Boys Schools Coalition (IBSC) Associations
    • The Quebec Association of Independent Schools (QAIS) Associations

    Social Feeds

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