Fern Hill School - Burlington logo

Fern Hill School - Burlington

Grades Preschool TO Gr. 8 — Burlington, ON (MAP)

Fern Hill School - Burlington:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    Preschool — Gr. 8
  • Gender
  • Class Size
    16 — 19 students
  • Tuition
    $24,684 to 26,681/year
  • Language of instruction
    English, French, Mandarin
  • Associations
    OIS, RoundSquare, NAIS
  • Enrolment
    195 day students
  • Curriculum

School address

  • 801 North Service Rd, Burlington, Ontario, L7P 5B6 (MAP)
  • Busing available (View details)

School Busing:

Fern Hill School offers bus transferring. Service options offered are regular rider, regular rider AM only, regular rider PM only, door-to-door pickup.

The regions Fern Hill School offers busing from are:

  • Burlington
  • Oakville

Our Perspective

How we see Fern Hill School - Burlington

At Fern Hill, academics are important, just as they should be at any school, but culture is important too, including a desire to capitalize on the individual strengths of the staff. Cross-curricular links are a focus, as is a desire to allow students to experience things that may, for the moment at any rate, seem to reside outside their immediate areas of interest. The school takes good advantage of its location within the Ontario Greenbelt, and field studies—there’s a bird banding program, among other initiatives—are used as an entrée to the development of confidence, skill development, and team building. Families are drawn to the strength of the academic program, the small class sizes, the broad range of co-curricular programs, and an abiding dedication to academic excellence.  

School's Perspective

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How Fern Hill School - Burlington sees itself

The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Since 1982, Fern Hill's mission has been to develop students ages 3-14 who are dedicated to excellence, possess a sense of personal worth, and have confidence in their abilities. Our enriched, rigorous curriculum is taught in a rotary timetable by qualified, subject specific teachers who are passionate about their subjects. This approach is reflected in the high level of engagement found in our classrooms. Math, Science & Literacy programs are enriched with Sports,Mandarin,French, Art, Drama,Music and more."

  • Strong Academics
  • Personalized, enriched curriculum
  • Wireless technology & SMARTBoards
  • Accelerated academic courses
  • Full sports program & facilities
  • Visual arts, band, vocal music, choir & musical productions
  • Mandarin study in Grades 7 & 8
  • Full and half day PS & JK
  • Bus Service
  • Global Round Square - a collaboration of international schools committed to character education

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

"Our subject specific teachers make us unique. Almost all elementary schools in Ontario use a single grade teachers to deliver the core program. Fern Hill provides individual teachers for each subject in a rotary schedule similar to that used in Ontario high schools. Our students don't move rooms each period, but our teachers do. This allows our teachers to expand and share their expertise and passion for their subject with students across a number of grades. It also enables us to enrich or support the individual skills of the students in each subject. Throughout the week, our students will many different teachers but whether it is math or art, each teacher believes their subject is the most important subject!"

What tradeoffs has your school made to serve families in this way?

"Fern Hill students all have a consistent homeroom teachers who greets them in the morning, eats lunch with them, and organizes them at the end of the day, but they also have a flow of subject teachers who move through the classroom according to the weekly timetable. This flow brings a regular change of personal connection and chemistry that we believe is positive, but that also requires an ability to transition and refocus quickly in preparation for the next subject. While many children appreciate the structure of a defined schedule, and find the change of teacher to be interesting and refreshing, some children may find this structure and its multiple transitions challenging."

What type of student is a good fit for your school?

"Fern Hill students enjoy coming to school each day and are motivated to learn and participate in their lessons. Our rotary timetable and the transition of teachers throughout the day encourage personal organization and the ability to adapt and focus on each new class. Our students learn to be flexible through the many experiential learning opportunities that may interrupt their schedule with overnight trips, cultural presentations, sports tournaments, etc.

Fern Hill families expect their children to participate in extracurriculars and to develop the courage to step out of their comfort zones to try unfamiliar or challenging opportunities. Character traits that our families value include respect, courage, leadership, persistence and resilience."

Under what conditions would you advise a family against choosing your school?

"Families looking for a single teacher approach may not find our rotary schedule of subjects and teachers appealing."

To your knowledge, why do families choose your school over others?

"Families choose Fern Hill for a multitude of reasons, but at the heart of it is our commitment to providing a challenging academic program led by highly qualified teacher specialists. Here at Fern Hill School, we believe in kindling the academic potential of each student through engaging lessons and experiential learning.

What sets Fern Hill apart are our unique offerings. From Mandarin to Field Studies, Band, and an amazing selection of Arts programs, we provide opportunities for students to explore and excel in various disciplines. Our international travel and leadership opportunities broaden horizons and foster global citizenship.

Yet, beyond our programs, it's the palpable sense of warmth, community, and connection that truly defines Fern Hill. When families enter our doors, they immediately feel embraced by our supportive community."

How would you characterize your school's image amongst the public?

"Fern Hill is a feeling. Parents who choose us will often remark on the quiet they encounter in our halls and the respectful way students address them when we encounter them in the halls or ask them questions visiting a class.

We have a reputation for strong academics that support applications to excellent high schools where our students excel."

What improvements or changes has your school made recently?

"In 2024-25, we will be introducing a new reach-ahead Grade 9 credit course named Building the Entrepreneurial Mindset (BEM10). This course replaces BTT10 and is will be offered through our Grade 9 Technology program. All Grade 8 students will complete this program along with the option of taking Grade 9 Math and French and will receive the official transcript that will be reflected in their high school credit reports."

How will your school change in the next 5 years?

"With a history that began in 1982, Fern Hill holds fast to the philosophy and ideals that were the foundation when we began. The journey from Preschool through Grade 8 represents 11 years with each family and they need to be able to trust that the reasons they choose Fern Hill will hold true throughout their time with us. With careful attention to the Ontario Ministry of Ed and their curriculum guidelines and recommendations we endeavour to stay true to our proven delivery methods, school values and our core philosophy of teaching our students the importance of being 'dedicated to excellence'."

School Facilities

Photo-tour of facilities

Athletics facilities

Arts facilities



Science facilities

Instructional resources

Shared spaces

School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see Fern Hill School - Burlington

Video reviews of Fern Hill School - Burlington

Parent, Dave Stansbury (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Dave Stansbury to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Fern Hill School - Burlington.

Written reviews of Fern Hill School - Burlington


Parent, Justin Jones (2021)

We have two children (twins) who have attended Fern Hill School – both absolutely loved their 9 ye...

School leadership

Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone

Message from school leadership

Wendy Derrick, Director
B.A. (Honours English), B.Ed

My vision for Fern Hill School began long before there was a building, a student body or even a faculty. It began with a wish list: small class sizes, a warm friendly environment, attention to intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth and caring subject-specific teachers.

Today, more than 30 years later, Fern Hill combines the best traditional learning approaches with individualized techniques that have proven to be effective in engaging young minds. Taught by teachers who are as passionate about their students as they are about their subject specialties, our enriched curriculum stimulates and challenges students to give their personal best.  

Our families choose Fern Hill not only because of its excellence in education, but also because our 22 acre campus is warm and inviting with indoor and outdoor spaces that are rich in purpose. In addition to spacious classrooms, a fully equipped gymnasium provides opportunities to be a part of school teams. A music room where vocal music is supported by Orff instruments and where band starts in Grade 5, offers a wide range of opportunities for performance. And a spacious art centre where students are led on an artistic journey that exposes them to all aspects of form, colour, light, perspective and Art History. 

My honest opinion is that the only way to know what we do, is to come to visit and see for yourself. Ask our teachers why they love to teach here and our children what is it that makes them want to come to school each day. I know you will like what they have to tell you. 

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Fern Hill School - Burlington

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Fern Hill School - Burlington:
The Our Kids Report


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