Girls' schools

Guide to private schools for girls


Branksome Hall

Looking for an all-girls private school? Consider Branksome Hall, a leading all-girls day and boarding school in Toronto.

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

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. Read more


List of all-girls schools

 
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"SMLS is a premier independent school for girls Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 since 1891. We give our students the tools to excel in the world—and help shape it.

  1. Signature Programs in Global Citizenship, STEM & Robotics, Active Healthy Living, Arts & Design
  2. Professional Internship Customized for Each Girl (Grade 11)
  3. Focus on whole girl and student wellbeing
  4. Enriched curriculum, Advanced Placement, DELF

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $25,685 to $33,280
 
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St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 25685 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

Holy Name of Mary College School


Mississauga, Ontario
Mississauga Rd/QEW
 
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"We strive to take the best aspects of Catholic teaching & interpret it in a modern context for the confident young woman of today. They are imbued with a strong work ethic, sense of purpose & a desire to change the world

  1. University preparatory school
  2. Catholic academic tradition
  3. Academic Excellence
  4. Mini-Medical School

—From the school

  • Gr. 5 to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $25,300 to $26,200
 
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Holy Name of Mary College School 25300 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

St. Clement's School


Toronto, Ontario
Yonge St./Eglinton Ave.
 
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"Our goal is for SCS students to understand learning as an outcome in and of itself. Learning that doesn't follow a straight path. And if it gets messy, that's okay, because at SCS it's safe to explore and be who you are.

  1. Girls' school, founded in 1901
  2. Enriched and balanced academics at all grade levels
  3. Unrivaled Advanced Placement course offerings
  4. 100% university acceptance

—From the school

  • Gr. 1 to 12 (Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $38,000
 
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St. Clement's School 38000 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

Branksome Hall


Toronto, Ontario
Bloor Street East/Mount Pleasant Road
 
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"Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for girls in JK-Grade 12, developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age.

  1. 13-acre downtown campus
  2. Athletics and Wellness Centre
  3. IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  4. Leadership opportunities

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $40,940 to $82,290
 
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Branksome Hall 40940 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls

Havergal College


Toronto, Ontario
Lawrence Avenue West/Avenue Road
 
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"Havergal has been preparing young women to make a difference since 1894 through its innovative curriculum and future-ready programming with a focus on wellbeing and student agency.

  1. Beautiful 22-acre campus in the heart of Toronto.
  2. Innovative curriculum and future-ready programming for students.
  3. Small class sizes with a focus on wellness and student agency.
  4. Award-winning Art, Music and Drama departments.

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $41,520 to $79,905
 
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Havergal College 41520 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
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"Confident Learners. Inspiring Leaders. Creating a thriving world.

  1. SMS is Western Canada's only girl-centred boarding school
  2. SMS was the first girls-school in Canada to integrate a STEM curriculum into daily programs
  3. Visual and performing arts options are woven into our weekly programs

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $19,992 to $74,006
 
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St. Margaret's School 19992 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
Ottawa, Ontario
Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
 
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"Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from PreK to Gr. 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $16,970 to $32,800
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Elmwood School 16970 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
Toronto, Ontario
Spadina/St Clair Ave W
 
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"The Bishop Strachan School is a leading independent JK-Grade 12 day & boarding school for girls. Students build academic skills to thrive at university and beyond. Over $2 million available in financial assistance." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $39,800 to $78,200
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The Bishop Strachan School 39800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
Toronto, Ontario
York Mills/Leslie
 
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"Hawthorn School is located in Toronto. We offer a co-ed toddler-SK program and an all girls program for grade 1- grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to help students reach their full potential." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed/Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $17,000 to $40,000
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Hawthorn School 17000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Day Coed Girls
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Langside St./Westminster Ave.
 
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"Parents trust us to personalize the educational experience of each girl, to care for each girl, to challenge her to grow, to build a supportive community around her, and, most importantly, to prepare her for the future." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $18,750 to $69,000
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Balmoral Hall School 18750 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
Ottawa, Ontario
Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
 
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"Empowering girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 through bilingual education." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $18,300
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Joan of Arc Academy | Academie Jeanne d'Arc 18300 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
St. Catharines, Ontario
Ontario St./Welland Ave.
 
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"Heuristic & autodidactic, inspired by Sudbury & democratic models. Students are self-directed, and holistically empowered. Voluntary attendance, year-round calendar, agency, & consent inspire free learning. Also Forest" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Girls/Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $57 to $10,000
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Agate Private School 57 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Homestay eSchool Girls Coed
Montreal, Quebec
Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
 
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"Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all-girls English Catholic high school, has been preparing girls to change the world. We offer grades 7 to 12, day school and boarding." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Girls)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $21,790 to $47,559
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The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 21790 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Day Girls
Westmount, Quebec
Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
 
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"Located in Montreal, QC, Miss Edgar’s & Miss Cramp’s School offers a bilingual education for girls from K-11. From entrepreneurship to STEM, our unique learning environment empowers girls to lead the way." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 11 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $24,000 to $29,300
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Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 24000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
Calgary, Alberta
17th Ave SW/Richmond Road SW
 
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"In addition to academics, our focus on mentorship, hands-on learning in and outside the classroom, and character development, will allow our students to thrive academically and personally as they discover who they are." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 12 (Boys/Girls/Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $14,500 to $16,500
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North Point School 14500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Boys Girls Coed
Westmount, Quebec
The Boulevard/Place Braeside
 
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"The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' schools. Our bilingual mother-tongue program, experiential learning, and small classes help girls become leaders who are driven to make a difference." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 11 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $27,780 to $31,150
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The Study 27780 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
Toronto, Ontario
Yonge/St. Clair
 
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"The Linden School's transformative teaching and socially-progressive values inspire academic excellence, wellness, and civic engagement, empowering students to become changemakers ready to take on complex global issues." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $21,850 to $29,450
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The Linden School 21850 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
Aurora, Ontario
St. John's Sideroad/Yonge Street
 
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"With a tradition dating back to 1899, St. Andrew's remains the single largest all-boys boarding school in Canada. Our 126-acre campus provides our students with an ideal setting for learning and growth." —From the school

  • Gr. 5 to 12 (Girls/Boys)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $4,100 to $80,800
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St. Andrew's College 4100 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Boarding Girls Boys
Calgary, Alberta
Crowchild Trail/Flanders Ave. SW
 
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"Clear Water Academy is the only private Catholic school in Alberta. We offer a rigorous academic program from Jr. Kindergarten to Grade 12 for students of all faiths. 100% of our students pursue post-secondary education." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed/Boys/Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $15,700 to $17,400
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Clear Water Academy 15700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Day Coed Boys Girls
London, Ontario
Richmond Street/King Street
 
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"A Canadian Private Secondary Boarding school, located in the heart of London, Ontario. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Girls/Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $16,000 to $32,000
  • Boarding
  • 345 students
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London International Academy 16000 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Girls Coed
Halifax, Nova Scotia
 
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"With a global network of schools around the world, a rich and proud history, and a strong and unique set of core values, Sacred Heart offers not just an education but an experience that is unparalleled in Nova Scotia." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls/Coed/Boys)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $15,230 to $21,340
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Sacred Heart School of Halifax 15230 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Girls Coed Boys
Whitby, Ontario
Garden Street/Hwy. 2
 
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"Whether exploring science and technology, creating art, or competing in athletics, there is nothing a Trafalgar girl can't handle." —From the school

  • Gr. 4 to 12 (Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $29,348 to $78,215
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Trafalgar Castle School 29348 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
Aurora, Ontario
St. John's Sideroad/Shining Hill Way
 
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"Girls at St. Anne's will thrive in an inspirational and progressive learning environment. The school’s focus on STEM/STEAM, community giving, leadership, and wellness will develop well-rounded, global-minded citizens." —From the school

  • Gr. 5 to 12 (Girls)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $43,100 to $46,640
  • Day school
  • 174 students
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St. Anne's School 43100 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

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 coed environment. There are great all-girls boarding, Montessori, gifted, special needs, 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 coed 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 coed 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 workforce. 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 percent added that it was very or extremely important that they hold leadership positions in their professional lives as well.

“More than 80 percent 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 coed 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 coed 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

Plenty of all-girls schools offer programs from pre-K until Grade 12. 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.
 

Child-specific advice on choosing an all-girls school
Read our child-specific insights on choosing the right school, including girls' schools. We explore how choosing the right type of school crucially depends on kids' unique traits, such as their mental and academic focussocial tendencies,  and activity level.

To get school-choice advice customized to your child's unique traits, create a child profile through an Our Kids user account.

Child-specific advice on choosing an all-boys school
Read our child-specific insights on choosing the right school, including boys' schools. We explore how choosing the right type of school crucially depends on kids' unique traits, such as their mental and academic focussocial tendencies,  and activity level.

To customize over 350 school profiles with insights unique to your child's traits, create a child profile through an Our Kids user account.

 

Series: Girls Schools

In the spotlight:


Latest Articles

Benefits of an all-girls education  
Elizabeth Falco shares how girls are celebrated and empowered (September 25, 2019)

Testimonials: What it's like at an all-girls school  
Students share what they love most about their experience (September 24, 2019)

How single-sex schools let kids flourish  
A more in depth look at the learning differences between boys and girls (August 14, 2019)

Coed vs. single-sex schools  
Do girls and boys learn better together or separately? (August 14, 2019)

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