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The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Branksome Hall (2021)

Branksome Hall alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Devin, Chile, Nina had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Devin — alum and current parent

  • School alumni

Devin attended Branksome Hall years ago, and decided to send her daughter there when the time came. She was on the alumni board for eight years, and brings an informed perspective on how Branksome Hall is run and what makes it so warm and welcoming.

  • "The one thing that I recognize that I came away from Branksome with was a real sense of confidence. When I arrived at university, I was in a program that was quite male dominated. And I remember being in lecture theatres with 500 people, and I had the confidence to put up my hand. And … I remember sitting there thinking I never would have had the ability to have the confidence to speak up and to question things... if I had not had the experience [at Branksome] to build my confidence. For me, that was a really big takeaway from the school. And I think that it's helped throughout my life."
  • "I think that the IB [Programme] is a massive differentiator for the school. I think that it gives the girls a really well-rounded education that offers them a ton of opportunities long term at university and beyond. I think that it gives the gifted schools that the girls are applying to a really confident sense of how well educated the girls have been, because their marks are universally accepted through the IB."
  • "[The Branksome Hall alumni board] did a big survey to find out what people thought about the school and what their feelings were on the school, when they were building the new mission statement. One of the concepts that kept coming up was that Branksome feels like a warm hug or Branksome feels like a cozy sweatshirt. And when you walk in the door, you really feel that sense of community is real, you can really feel that sense of warmth."
  • "So I think for me, Branksome is really warm, kind, caring, but I also think that Branksome has a real spirit about it, and has a real spunk to it as well. So if you can think about your one of your kind, warm friends, that has a real sense of sparkle and spirit to them, then I think that's a great way to describe the school."
  • "The principal [of Branksome] is really the CEO of an operation. She's a warm and lovely and knowledgeable CEO that is really approachable and is involved, and if you think of the students as employees, I mean, she's an approachable CEO that people have the ability to get to know and be connected to."
  • "They have a clan system [at Branksome Hall], where you join and you're mixed with other girls in other grades. I still have great friendships with girls that were many years ahead of me. I have friendships with girls that were behind me. And so I think that it's really just such a unique opportunity to try so many things. You wouldn't have those opportunities at other schools."
  • "[Branksome Hall] really met my expectations, but it also really exceeded my expectations.”
  • “[My daughter] had a concussion last year, and it really didn't get her down at all. She was really only at school for half days. But she still had such a great sense of confidence because of the support from her classmates, and the support from her teachers.The Learning Strategy Center supported her as well, in order for her to not get behind on her work. The school nurse was supporting her with her headaches. The school social worker was supporting her with her feelings, if she was upset about [missing classes]. Just helping her identify how she was feeling, or work it out if she was having any frustrations around that."
  • "[My daughter] loves the all-girl environment. She has three brothers and she loves being with other girls. She loves being with other strong women. She loves being motivated and mentored by strong women, she loves the challenges that she receives in class. I think that's had a great impact on her just being in an all-female environment, and receiving great challenges through her education."
  • "I think that Branksome Hall has a really collaborative sense of community, and a collaborative sense of education. So I think collaboration is a huge value between the schools, that would also echo within our family."
  • “[Branksome Hall] is well-rounded. I think that we try to encourage our kids to be really well-rounded, and to not just focus on one sport and to not just focus on one activity."
  • "I just thought the communication [from Branksome Hall] is amazing, the physical changes that the school implemented and really gave a huge sense of confidence and being able to send my daughter back to an in-person school".

Chile — current parent

Chile is currently class parent this year for her daughter's Grade 1 class. This is their third year at Branksome Hall. Her daughter thrives and feels at home in the serene environment of Branksome Hall.

  • “So from a mother's perspective, I just love the health and well-being approach of Branksome Hall, and we haven't been let down a single day. It is the focus of the school. She's super happy. And every day we are there, we feel like it's such a blessing to be there".
  • "[My daughter is] quite a communicator. ... [My daughter] wants me to name my feelings. So I thank Branksome every day for that, because I'm becoming a much better communicator. She's an introvert, and I found that over the years she's found her confidence. She's found her voice, and that's all Branksome. That's not me."
  • “[Branksome Hall is] all about our community. She carries the Branksome flag. She feels she can't be sick because she needs to be with her community. They need her. So many people are expecting her to be at school. So, I have to say her sense of community is very inspiring for me."

Nina — current parent

Nina is a current parent of two daughters who attend Branksome Hall in Grades 9 and 11. Her daughters enjoy the beautiful campus, the arts program, and have cultivated new friendships that will last a lifetime.

  • "The first moment when you walk on campus … you feel the hug, you feel welcome. It just felt like the right nurturing environment for us..”
  • "What [my daughters] found at Branksome Hall was the warm environment, the academic program they were looking for, the arts program they were looking for, and in addition to that, the athletic piece of it. So for them, it all came together really well in terms of how the school was, what I expected it to be. I was expecting a warm school. I was expecting the school to work collaboratively with me. If there were any issues with the kids, I expected the teachers to be engaged and I will say, hands down, all of those pieces were met.”
  • “The one piece I think I wasn't expecting and it really left me pleasantly surprised was particularly around my daughter, who started in Grade 9. There were only 15 or 18 girls starting. So my concerns were around how the friendships were going to work. [My daughter] has found such an amazing group of friends. I would say that the ladies that she is friends with are really genuine, beautiful young ladies who are really determined to change different parts of the world … . It was really nice to see that she has such a good cohort of girls who are driven and happy, which is not what you see every day."
  • "I would say the biggest impact the school has had is in terms of their confidence in themselves, their leadership, and their desire to present and make change happen."
  • "[My daughters] want to lead. They're very comfortable presenting, working collaboratively with others, all life skills that you see in a corporate world, any type of environment. So it is good [they are at Branksome Hall]."
  • "Both girls would probably say that the school is very forward thinking, trying to get ahead of the curve, in the way the teachers make them think about life, approaching problems, school things, just across the board. My daughter’s very, very first day in Grade 9, she came home that day and she gave me a big hug and she said, ‘Mommy, why don't you send me here sooner?’”
  • "So with regards to the values [of Branksome Hall], the one that I would say probably my girls and us as a family can most relate to, is making a difference, being inclusive and having a sense of community, all of those really aligned with our family values, which is probably why the school feels like home. When we talk to our kids, we talk about making a difference. If there's anything they're ever unhappy about, it's like, ‘well, what can you do differently?’"
  • "So both my girls transitioned [into Branksome Hall] beautifully. I think a big part of it is that when they started the school year, they were keen to join clubs offered by the school, which provided them with opportunities to meet other girls. I think the school did a good job as well by matching them up with a buddy. My daughter that's in Grade 9, in her very first year, she actually met and became friends with two girls who are in residence from Germany."
  • “The school works with you in order to make sure that [your children] do transition really well [into Branksome]. They also provide opportunities during the transition to make friends. I think part of it is also up to your own child as well, putting themselves out there, joining many clubs or teams, just to meet other people.”
  • "The residence coordinator [at Branksome Hall] will work with the girls. They do weekend outings together. So there are opportunities for them to mingle with the other girls within residence”
  • "Guidance is very strong as well, I would say at the school in terms of helping the girls adjust and settle as well."
  • "From an arts perspective, I would say that Branksome probably offers more arts than what I was expecting. There's a wide variety. Visual arts was probably my daughter’s favourite subject going into Grade 7. What I loved was that she had the opportunity to do visual arts, but she also had the option to do drama. In addition to that, you also have another art option in terms of music, whether you do an instrument, or voice."
  • "[My daughter] loved the arts program [at Branksome Hall] ... they did sculptures, they did actual paintings, and they also did a unit of sewing, and they went fairly in depth with these items. And my other daughter, who started in Grade 9 and was given an arts option, actually opted to do dance."
  • “[My daughter said], ‘I picked dance just to get out of my skin and take on a new challenge’. So, there's definitely different options … . The arts program [at Branksome Hall] goes above and beyond what I was expecting. For drama, when you got to go in to see whatever play they were working on, you're always blown away. The art projects that were coming home were very intricate, and you could see that a lot of work went into them.”

More about Branksome Hall

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Key insights on Branksome Hall

Each school is different. Branksome Hall's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

See key insights about Branksome Hall

Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Branksome Hall is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • Home to the Chandaria Research Centre (CRC), Branksome Hall became one of the rare few school-based research centres of its kind in North America, something that supports and strengthens the academic offering.
  • Branksome Hall sets high standards, and the ideal student is one who shares its core vision and is able to function in a very diverse, challenging, expansive environment.
  • The school offers the IB Programme at all levels.
Read our in-depth review

Our Kids Feature Review video

Learn about Branksome Hall's unique and defining characteristics through this informative video.

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Roundtable Q&A (2020)

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Alum, Nora Hodgson (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Nora Hodgson to learn about the unique experience of attending Branksome Hall.

Alum, Becca Clark (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Becca Clark to learn about the unique experience of attending Branksome Hall.


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