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Girls' schools encourage girls to be themselves

How a girls' education inspires individuality and builds confidence

"It's kind of easy to be yourself here - you pretty much don't have to worry about what other people are thinking, or about impressing boys," says Alison, a student at St. Clement's School, an all-girls school in Toronto, Ontario. The Grade 8 student, who's attended the school since Grade 1, says she enjoys the strong sense of camaraderie she enjoys with her peers, and the ability to focus on academics without any interruptions. Read more


List of all-girls' schools

 
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Toronto, Ontario — St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous, and compassionate. 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:
$31,900
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
460
Avg. Class:
16
St. Clement's School 31900 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. View School Profile.


  • 13-acre downtown campus
  • Athletics and Wellness Centre
  • IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Tennis courts, playing fields, saltwater pools
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$34,650 to $69,850
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
964
Avg. Class:
12 to 22
Branksome Hall 34650 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
 
 

Ottawa, Ontario — 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. View School Profile.


  • Recognized for academic excellence
  • Welcoming, inclusive and diverse community
  • International Baccalaureate World School (PYP, MYP, DP)
  • Round Square and Apple Distinguished school
  • Merit- and need-based scholarships available
Grades:
PS to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$14,800 to $28,300
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
370
Avg. Class:
15 to 17
Elmwood School 14800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $17,355 to $58,374

Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. We offer grades 7 to 12, day school and boarding.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 17355 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Spadina/St Clair Ave W
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,830 to $64,090

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 $1.6 million available in financial assistance.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
The Bishop Strachan School 33830 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $19,000 to $29,280

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 19000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $15,980 to $65,125

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
St. Margaret's School 15980 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Lawrence Avenue West/Avenue Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $35,000 to $64,000

Havergal College has been preparing young women to make a difference since 1894.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Havergal College 35000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $14,100 to $25,250

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 14100 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Day Girls Coed
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $21,200 to $26,000

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 21200 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Girls Coed
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Garden Street/Hwy. 2
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • $24,270 to $65,615

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 24270 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Breaside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $21,750 to $24,250

The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' school. 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 21750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $16,175

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
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc 16175 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $25,200

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 25200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $18,750

Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 18750 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,050 to $22,160

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School is a Tier 1 school for girls in Kindergarten through Grade 11, located in Westmount, Quebec. For every girl who has a mind of her own, we have a school to nurture it.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 19050 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $23,150 to $29,450

The Linden School is a socially-progressive community where innovative best practices in girls’ education promote and strengthen student voice, well-being, academic excellence, and global engagement.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 23150 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

"I like all the house spirit. At a coed school, it might be uncool to be spirited, but here, everyone is," Alison says. "It's also probably a bit easier at an all-girls school because you get rid of all the distractions and the gossip, and it minimizes the drama."

The social and academic benefits to which Alison is referring are backed up by the facts. A March 2009 study released by the University of California, Los Angeles found that female graduates of single-sex high schools in the United States were more academically oriented, intellectually confident and politically engaged.

"In an all-girls learning environment, girls are encouraged to express themselves and to take healthy risks they might not otherwise try in a coed environment," says Susan Beck, executive director of The National Coalition of Girls' Schools.

"They're also surrounded by other girls performing at the highest level in every area, so there's lots of positive reinforcement."

When it came to academics and career ambitions, the study found that the single-sex school grads were more comfortable with their abilities in traditionally male-oriented areas: they had greater confidence in their math and computer skills, and were more likely to begin college aspiring to become engineers.

Science happens to be Alison's favourite subject, one she says she'd like to pursue further upon graduating: "I'd like to study it at Queen's University or the University of Toronto, and then possibly go into the health sciences field."

Alison's success at school and beyond is bolstered by LINCwell, an innovative female-oriented student enrichment initiative at St. Clement's that's designed to help students achieve their academic, co-curricular and personal goals. Customized to the developmental needs of girls, the holistic program includes yoga, tai chi and Pilates classes, school-life balance support, study skill-building seminars, and nutrition and brain development workshops.

"What we're hoping to do, through LINCwell and through girls' education in general, is to affirm that the unique strengths these girls have in communication, emotional connectedness and relationships are valuable to being leaders," says Dr. Leanne Foster, director of the LINCwell program. "We're laying the foundation that allows them to launch themselves and go further."

—Sharon Aschaiek

Series: Girls Schools

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