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Grades Preschool TO 12 — Winnipeg, MB (Map)


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Balmoral Hall School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
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Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Balmoral Hall School (2021)

Balmoral Hall School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Laura, Nancy, Aisha had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Laura — alum and current parent

  • School alumni
    Yes

Laura graduated from Balmoral Hall School in 2003 after attending the school for 14 years. She is a member of the Board of Governors, and is the co- chair of the school’s finance committee. She currently has two daughters enrolled at Balmoral Hall School, who are receiving the same rich education that she did during her time as a student. She credits Balmoral Hall School with helping both of her very different daughters develop confidence, while preparing them for life after high school.

  • “I think when you're going through [Balmoral Hall School], you appreciate different things than 10, 20, 30 years in the future. ... I recognized the opportunities right away after I graduated, ... There are various opportunities that the school gives you to see where your passions are and see where your interests are. [Students are] able to explore so many different things.”
  • “I was able to explore a lot of different languages at [Balmoral Hall School]. It might be different now with technology and all the things that the school offers in that field, and our new Center for Arts and Design. I think that the various opportunities that [Balmoral Hall School] gives [students] are so amazing for the girls. It also gave me the chance to see what I liked before I even experienced university. One of the things that I still appreciate to this day is the preparation for real-world career opportunities and career situations.”
  • “Being able to get exposure to interviews, the panel interviews, things like that, my peers at University had never gone through anything like that. Things like that really still stand out to this day. I talk about the fact that I never had to feel uncomfortable wearing a suit in my business experiences in university and early career.”
  • “I would say what stands out to me the most at [Balmoral Hall School] is the university preparation, or even just career preparation, at such an early age. I'm just amazed to be going through now as a parent of a child in childcare, and my other daughter is going into kindergarten at [Balmoral Hall School]. The things that they do with them at three or four years old, it's absolutely incredible. They're giving presentations to their class at age four. That is something that will benefit them, whether they end up being very confident public speakers naturally or not, it'll benefit them so greatly.”
  • “[Balmoral Hall School] is teaching [students] so much about mental health, and being well-rounded. That's the type of thing that prepares you for University, but prepares you for the rest of your career in your life, and the fact that they are doing that at such a young age is amazing. I know that every year that they grow up in school, I'm going to see that more and more, so that's the thing that really differentiates [Balmoral Hall School], the forward thinking, the exposure to different experiential learning opportunities.”
  • “The three words [I would use to describe Balmoral Hall School] are well-rounded, confident, and empathetic. Just if I think about a person, I think if they're well-rounded, it means that they've had experience in very many things, and they're not just focused on academics. They're not just focused on a sport. I think [Balmoral Hall School] is really good at exposing the girls to a lot, and recognizing that it's important to do a lot of things, even though you might not be the best at a particular subject. If you have something outside of school that really is passionate to you and it's your hobby, then that's great.”
  • “The Junior Kindergarten presentations at [Balmoral Hall School] give opportunities to the girls to really be confident. They don't have to be the best public speaker in the entire world, but they should be able to get up in front of a room and be able to say something without being too nervous or too scared. ... They need to get exposure to it. The school is so amazing at giving the girls the confidence that they need for life skills.”
  • “Empathy is really important nowadays, and I know just in society we've seen a lot more focus on empathy, and it's a really big topic in childcare and Junior Kindergarten. I'm sure that the school will be fostering those kinds of conversations with the older kids as well. ... The teachers at [Balmoral Hall School]are empathetic at the school to the students, and to each other. They teach the girls to be empathetic to each other, and I think that's just so lovely to see.”
  • “My kids are younger, they're two and five. The younger one just started childcare in the two-year-old program in January, and my older daughter has been at this school for three years and she's going into Kindergarten. Honestly, I can't even say enough things about how they have both flourished at [Balmoral Hall School]. It's absolutely incredible to see.”
  • “The teachers just interact with [my daughter] in such a more mature way than I ever really gave her credit for at home. Apparently she asks them all questions, and she asks all the other girls questions. She's just so much more inquisitive than I ever thought she was. She is able to express her feelings more than I ever gave her credit for.”
  • “I can't even say enough good things about Junior Kindergarten at [Balmoral Hall School]. My older [daughter], she's not even in kindergarten, and she reads fluently. She's been reading books to me over the summer. I knew she was pretty good. … She likes to practice and she likes to do things at home. So, I will say she's motivated, but I'm just blown away. She reads full books at age five, and she's not even in Kindergarten.”
  • “The impact of the friendships [my daughters] have made at [Balmoral Hall School] over the last year, and the families that I've been able to connect through, has had an impact on [the whole family]. ... They just have completely flourished as very young kids.”
  • “[My daughter] talks about specialty classes. She talks about all the lessons that they do, and the things that they talk about at [Balmoral Hall School]. Going back to empathy, they talk a lot about listening to your body when you need a break. There's a space that you can go to when you are maybe a bit overstimulated, because it can get very exciting in the classroom. [They also] talk about resting and being caring for your friends. She speaks so highly of all of those lessons. She just loves it. She absolutely loves it. I think it was telling when she cried when she finished Junior Kindergarten.”
  • “[My daughter] just absolutely loves [Balmoral Hall School]. My younger one, she's two. ... I think what's really telling is that she just walks in. She doesn't even look back to say bye to me. She just walks in and we try to say ‘bye, have a good day.’ And she's just off. She's like, ‘no, I'm on a mission to go to my locker.’ I wouldn't have it any other way, because I know how much fun she's going to have there.”
  • “[My daughters] are always talking about the teachers at [Balmoral Hall School], and every teacher does something different with them. So it's clear to me that they are in there with the girls. They obviously give them the space to do things together, especially for the two year olds, where it's a very independent place. Still, they are there saying, ‘oh, do you want me to help you draw’ or they're observing what they're drawing, or kind of just telling stories with them. I know if the [students are] exploring something, then the teacher might come and show them how it can be used for something else. So [my daughter] speaks about them all the time. ... She just walks right in [to the school]. And that tells me all I need to know about how much she loves it.”
  • “I feel as though the families that we have at [Balmoral Hall School], and the community, the teachers and staff, take it seriously. … But we're all really there to do the best thing for the girls. I see that the families that I have gotten to know are really of that same mindset, and just value community.”
  • “The teachers, staff, families, parents, girls at [Balmoral Hall School]. … I think we all want to get to know each other well. The teachers so openly communicate with the parents, the teachers communicate with each other, and then the parents just get to know each other, and the teachers as well. It's the value of community.”

Nancy — alum and current parent

  • School alumni
    Yes

Nancy is an alumna of Balmoral Hall School who graduated in 1986, following in the footsteps of her mother who also attended the school. She is a member of the Balmoral Hall Foundation board, and was previously the chair of the board of governors. She carried on the tradition by sending her two daughters to the school, and is very pleased with her decision. Nancy describes Balmoral Hall School as “a pair of comfy slippers,” that continues to nurture and educate the women in her family.

  • “[What I appreciated most about Balmoral Hall School] is just the sense of comfort and family. It’s very nurturing, such a family. I was away for many years from school. When my first daughter started nursery school, when she was three, I walked through the front doors with her, and it just felt like I was putting on an old pair of slippers, like I was walking into my house. Off with my shoes, into my comfy slippers.”
  • “[Balmoral Hall School] has that homey comfort feeling, very nurturing, but also really prepared me for University for the real world.”
  • “I think it was far easier for [Balmoral Hall School] to facilitate [online learning during the pandemic]. We literally flipped the switch. I know behind the scenes the teachers were working like crazy, but it wasn't something that we hadn't thought of already. They think about the school beyond the brick and mortar, there's a lot more to school than that. I think Balmoral Hall School doing the forward thinking and just being able to work through those two strategic plans, first of all allowed us to really get going forward, and second, allowed us to say ‘the sky's the limit, and we should just go for it, and give our girls the best all-girls education possible.’”
  • “Something I learned this summer was that Balmoral Hall School was rated the number one independent school in Winnipeg.”
  • “The first thing that I can guarantee is that [Balmoral Hall School students] are receiving the best all-girls education out there. I would tell [prospective students], ‘hey, get involved.’ There's a lot of stuff to get involved in, they should just enjoy all that the school has to offer. We have so much to offer in so many areas, such great teaching staff and support staff.”
  • “I think [having an all-girls setting] eliminates some of the anxiety girls have in terms of not wanting to put their hand up in class to answer because boys are there. ... I think science has proven that boys mature at a different rate than girls. Boys may learn a little differently than girls do. This allows us to just sort of drill down on how girls learn, how mature they are at certain ages, what we can give them, and what they can handle, and that's just [Balmoral Hall School’s] specialty. That's what we do. We want to find out their passion and help them succeed. Whatever that is, we're not focusing on one specific area. We're trying to help those girls find their passion, and succeed.”
  • “The girls are confident, and it's very comfortable [at Balmoral Hall School]. It was like putting on my comfy slippers. … Just an amazing education.”
  • “Both my girls love [Balmoral Hall School]. They really do, and for different reasons, because [my daughters] are very different. I have one who's very scholastic, and one who's very athletic. And the school, I love the fact that the school supports both … . [My daughter] in previous years had a very big commitment to volleyball and a variety of different sports. She's always said to me, ‘Mom, I love that the teachers are always very supportive of me to achieve those things, but help me keep up with this scholastic piece as well.’”
  • “[My daughter] tells me that she loves the challenge that the [Balmoral Hall School] teachers give her. She's one of those kids that just loves that challenge all the time. ... She appreciates that the teachers give her that opportunity to do that, and maybe get her to do more, above and beyond what they're doing in class. They say they're both very happy there. I've heard other people ask them, ‘if you were going to go to a different school. Where would you go?’ They say, ‘no way. We're going to stay right here. We're happy here. We love the teachers. We love the environment. We love our friends.’”

Aisha — alum and current parent

  • School alumni
    Yes

Aisha graduated from Balmoral Hall School in 1991, and went on to become a human rights lawyer, and the CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She has three daughters that currently attend the school. She describes Balmoral Hall School as a strong, supportive school that has a nurturing environment for students. She believes that the forward thinking all-girls environment is helping her daughters thrive academically and prepare for the future.

  • “[Three words I would use to describe Balmoral Hall School] are strong, supportive and visionary. …  I would say there is a stability at [Balmoral Hall School], and you feel that. It is an old school. It has a history, and that grounding. ... You feel it in tradition, but also in the approach the school has to positioning itself to go forward. ... Whether it's through curriculum, tradition, or some of the activities, there's something solid there which feels stable… Looking back at my time there that hasn't wavered, that feeling is still there.”
  • “I would say [Balmoral Hall School] is supportive. … There's a feeling of family. There's a feeling of support. I can't think of what else you would want for your kids, just to know that there are people who are looking out for them, whether they're individual classroom teachers or just other people in the school who know them, know who they are. That's huge, I think. Then there is that piece about [Balmoral Hall School] looking ahead or being visionary. … The last year has confirmed more than ever that [Balmoral Hall School] was positioned already, thinking about the future of education and remote learning.”
  • “Many times throughout the history of [Balmoral Hall School], it's been ahead of the game in terms of what's next, whether it was STEM or STEAM or any of those concepts. It's funny, because their stability balances out with them looking forward. I think the personality of the school is able to balance both.”
  • “I think one of the wonderful things about [Balmoral Hall School] is, there's so many offerings. There's a lot going on, and every student can find their way.”
  • “There's really a place for everyone and every kind of personality or student [at Balmoral Hall School]. Reflecting on an all-girls education, that was a big driver for me. … I think that [an all-girls] environment for learning when you're developing all the skills that you need to get out there in the world, is really unique. [Balmoral Hall School is] a nurturing environment that plays to the strengths of how girls and women learn, which I think is pretty special.”
  • “We originally chose [Balmoral Hall School] because I always thought that if I could, I wanted my girls to have an all-girls education environment, just to see how they would thrive, and so far, so good. As an alumni, I have always had that in my mind, ‘If I have girls, I hope that I'll be able to send them there. I hope I'll be in Winnipeg’, all of those things. So that was huge. I already knew that it had such a positive impact on me.”
  • “I always said ... I want [my kids] to be confident. So that was a big part of my tie to [Balmoral Hall School]. Was the school what I expected? Absolutely. They are growing up to be confident young women, as I expected.”
  • “I have three very different children, so they all have different personalities. … I think that they feel comfortable exploring who they are at the [Balmoral Hall School]. So whether that's what their professional or academic pursuits will be, or what their personality is, how it's forming and refining through their teenage years, or just exposure to other activities, I think there is a comfort that it's okay to explore all of those things. I think the school is a big part of that, and that's kind of a soft environmental thing.”
  • “There's lots of direct motivation to think about what you will be in the future. ... And university planning, from a very young age [at Balmoral Hall School], which I think is wonderful. ... It's just an environment in which [students] feel like it's okay to be whoever they're going to be, do whatever they're going to do. It doesn't have to always look the same, and interesting to see them all finding different paths.”
  • “I've asked my kids recently … So what do you think of the school?... All three [of my kids] would say they're getting a good education [at Balmoral Hall School], and they feel strong in order to have the foundation to do the kinds of things that they want to do.”
  • “I think there's empathy [at Balmoral Hall School]. I think that there is pride in that family, the school itself, the kids, there's a community, a feeling that evokes pride. I would say it's sort of combined with humility. ... We're fortunate to have each other, or to have the support, or the education, or have the opportunities, which is a value.”
 

More about Balmoral Hall School

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More video reviews

Alum, Ella Thomson (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Ella Thomson to learn about the unique experience of attending Balmoral Hall School.
 

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Balmoral Hall School

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