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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


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List of all-girls schools

 
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Toronto, Ontario — Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age. View School Profile.


  • 13-acre downtown campus
  • Athletics and Wellness Centre
  • IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Boarding starting in Grade 7
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$37,130 to $75,020
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
960
Avg. Class:
16 to 22
Branksome Hall 37130 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — The Bishop Strachan School is a leading independent JK-Grade 12 day & boarding school for girls. Students build the academic skills to thrive at university and beyond. Over $2 million available in financial assistance. View School Profile.


  • Founded in 1867
  • Specializing in the learning needs of the 'whole girl'
  • Co-curricular programs and clubs
  • 100 per cent university placement
  • Extensive leadership opportunities
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Progressive, Reggio Emilia
Tuition:
$35,800 to $69,145
Living:
Day/Boarding
Enrollment:
1000
Avg. Class:
18 to 20
The Bishop Strachan School 35800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — 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. View School Profile.


  • Girls' school, founded in 1901
  • Enriched and balanced academics at all grade levels
  • Unrivaled Advanced Placement course offerings
  • 100% university acceptance
  • Extensive athletic, arts, and co-curricular programs
Grades:
1 to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts
Tuition:
$34,500
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
460
Avg. Class:
16
St. Clement's School 34500 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — Havergal has been preparing young women to make a difference since 1894 through its innovative curriculum and future-ready programming with a focus on wellness and student agency. View School Profile.


  • Beautiful 22-acre campus in the heart of Toronto.
  • Innovative curriculum and future-ready programming for students.
  • Small class sizes with a focus on wellness and student agency.
  • Award-winning Art, Music and Drama departments.
  • More than 80 co-curricular athletic teams.
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts
Tuition:
$36,950 to $68,540
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
1000
Avg. Class:
18 to 22
Havergal College 36950 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $16,160 to $30,900

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Elmwood School 16160 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $18,860 to $72,555

St. Margaret's School offers inter-disciplinary and experiential learning from JK3 to Grade 12. Confidence, leadership and academic rigor lead to student success.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
St. Margaret's School 18860 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $15,000 to $40,000

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.

  • Homestay/Day
  • Liberal Arts
Hawthorn School 15000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Day Girls Coed
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $12,600 to $31,065

Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Grade 12 since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 12600 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $16,600

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Academie Jeanne d'Arc 16600 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $21,095 to $21,845

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

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 21095 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $27,200

With over 120 years of excellence in all-girls’ education, our rigorous academic program is complemented by strong arts, design technology and athletic programs. Financial assistance is available.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Crofton House School 27200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Braeside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $24,460 to $27,610

The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' schools. Dedicated teachers offer a warm and stimulating bilingual mother-tongue environment from Kindergarten to Grade 11. The World Needs Great Women.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Study 24460 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Garden Street/Hwy. 2
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • $26,125 to $70,625

Trafalgar Castle offers a close-knit, academically challenging environment where girls feel a strong sense of belonging and discover their unique talents and interests.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
Trafalgar Castle School 26125 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Girls
  • $25,600 to $32,000

A Canadian Private Secondary Boarding school, located in the heart of London, Ontario. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
London International Academy 25600 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Coed Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $19,430 to $40,743

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.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 19430 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Boarding Girls
  • St Catharines, Ontario
    Ontario St./Welland Ave.
  • NS to 12 Coed/Girls
  • $350 to $5,200

Heuristic & autodidactic, inspired by Sudbury & democratic models. Students are self-directed, holistically empowered. Voluntary attendance, year-round calendar, agency, & consent inspire free learning.

  • Day/eSchool/Boarding/Homestay
  • Progressive
Agate Private School 350 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day eSchool Boarding eSchool Homestay Coed Girls
  • Erda, Utah
    Droubay Rd/Erda Way
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • US $120,000

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.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
Alpine Academy 120000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Girls
  • Calgary, Alberta
    17th Ave SW/Richmond Road SW
  • K to 12 Girls/Boys/Coed
  • $8,000 to $15,500

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
North Point School 8000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Girls Boys Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $21,050 to $28,350

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 21050 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,750 to $23,950

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School offers a Tier 1 education for girls from K-11, located in Westmount, Qc. We develop bold leaders and creative thinkers — equipping each girl to be the entrepreneur of her own future.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 19750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • JK to 12 Boys/Girls/Coed
  • $13,820 to $19,360

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.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Sacred Heart School of Halifax 13820 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Boys Girls Coed
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Langside St./Westminster Ave.
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $16,500 to $69,400

We offer a supportive environment for girls’ learning with a strong sense of community. We encourage the love of learning in a place of belonging that nurtures resilience, inspires creativity, and celebrates diversity.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Balmoral Hall School 16500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 5 to 9 Girls
  • $34,585 to $37,280

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.

  • Day
  • Traditional
St. Anne's School 34585 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

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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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