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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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:
$15,540 to $29,700
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
370
Avg. Class:
15 to 17
Elmwood School 15540 Preschool Kindergarten 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:
$35,700 to $65,280
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
1000
Avg. Class:
18 to 22
Havergal College 35700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
 
 

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:
$35,700 to $72,500
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
954
Avg. Class:
12 to 22
Branksome Hall 35700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
 
 

Oakville, Ontario — 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. View School Profile.


  • Signature Programs in Global Studies, STEM & Robotics, Active Healthy Living, Arts & Design
  • Professional Internship Customized for Each Girl (Grade 11)
  • Enriched curriculum, Advanced Placement, DELF
  • Focus on whole girl and student wellbeing
Grades:
PS to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Progressive, Reggio Emilia
Tuition:
$20,000 to $30,160
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
550
Avg. Class:
Varies
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 20000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — St. Clement's School's goal is to develop and equip compassionate, courageous, curious, and adaptable learners, empowering them to make impactful contributions in local, national, and global communities. 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:
$32,850
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
460
Avg. Class:
16
St. Clement's School 32850 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Spadina/St Clair Ave W
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $34,760 to $65,850

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 34760 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $18,180 to $37,000

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 18180 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Day Girls Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $17,200 to $69,100

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

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
St. Margaret's School 17200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $17,355 to $62,797

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.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 17355 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Girls
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Girls
  • $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 Coed Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Braeside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $22,860 to $25,810

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 22860 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Calgary, Alberta
    17th Ave SW/Richmond Road SW
  • K to 12 Girls/Boys/Coed
  • $8,000 to $15,000

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 For Boys 8000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Girls Boys Coed
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,525 to $23,000

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 19525 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.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Trafalgar Castle School 26125 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $26,200

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 26200 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
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $26,050 to $33,350

The Linden School is a socially progressive community where innovative, research-based practices in girls’ education promote and strengthen personal well-being, academic excellence, and civic engagement.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 26050 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Langside St./Westminster Ave.
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $15,450 to $49,440

STEAM and experiential learning are at the heart of our program, making learning at BH both dynamic and meaningful. With a focus on post-secondary guidance and internship, BH girls graduate with purpose.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Balmoral Hall School 15450 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $19,315

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 19315 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • St Catharines, Ontario
    Ontario St./Welland Ave.
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $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.

  • Boarding/eSchool/Homestay/Day
  • Progressive
Agate Private School 350 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding eSchool Homestay eSchool Day Girls Coed
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • JK to 12 Coed/Girls/Boys
  • $13,290 to $18,620

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 13290 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Coed Girls Boys
  • 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

"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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