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Girls schools: Expert advice

How girls benefit according to experts

It’s no secret that girls and boys learn differently, and that each thrives in different learning environments. Girls’ schools across the world have tapped into this understanding by focusing on the social, emotional and specific academic needs of girls in their approach to education. Single sex education not only gives girls the tools they need to learn effectively, but also provides the opportunity to develop strong friendships and self-confidence.

“When I go to school, I am surrounded by people I want to be with and we’re all learning,” says Juliet Caragianis, a Grade 11 student at Elmwood School in Ottawa, Ontario. With a focus on digital learning, including a one-to-one laptop program and the use of interactive SMART Boards in classrooms, this all-girls’ independent school encourages students to feel comfortable and confident with technology. For Juliet, who writes a weekly blog about student life, technology use is just one way that her school defies many of the stereotypes associated with an all-girls’ environment. “Elmwood also strongly promotes its math and science programs,” she says.

Girls Schools Expert Advice
Bishops College School - Photograph by Christinne Muschi

Math, science and technology targeted for girl

Generally, the belief is that as girls mature faster than boys, they have the advantage when it comes to language and vocabulary skills, whereas boys’ learning styles give them an edge in the sciences. Traditionally, this is accepted as the reason why the scientific and mathematic fields are overwhelmingly male-dominated. The truth is that girls are just as capable of enjoying, excelling at and pursuing careers in these fields – with the right approach. Many girls’ schools offer math, science and technology programs tailored specifically for their students – not to mention the freedom from gender stereotypes associated with these subjects.

According to Elmwood’s Head of School, Cheryl Boughton, at least 50 percent of the school’s graduates go on to study math and science in university. “Ours is a very enabling environment,” Boughton says. “We provide opportunities for educational risk-taking and we establish supportive learning communities.”

Increased confidence for girls

According to a study released by the University of California, Los Angeles in March 2009, female graduates of single-sex high schools in the United States showed higher levels of academic engagement, SAT scores and confidence in mathematical ability and computer skills than their counterparts at coeducation schools.

The study also showed higher levels of self-confidence among students in girls’ schools, says Meg Milne Moulton, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. “Most girls’ schools offer against-the-grain learning experiences where students take on challenges that they may not have done on their own—and are encouraged to learn from their mistakes,” Moulton says.

Improved concentration and the freedom to be themselves

Not only are single sex schools praised for their tailored approach to learning, they also eliminate distractions and allow students to be their best. Girls’ schools provide an environment where girls can truly be themselves and grow into self-reliant, confident young women.

In the classroom, students are encouraged to express opinions and ask questions, Juliet says. “When you’re in a coed environment, the boys often try to say funny things and the girls try to sound smart,” she says. “Here, our classes are much more relaxed.”

The concentration in the classroom is also improved at an all-girls school, as students are more able to sit still and focus than boys, a result of more serotonin and oxytocin hormones.

Without boys around, Elmwood students are able to focus on doing well in school and making friends—with much less social drama, says Ella Mar, who has one daughter in Grade 12 at the school and another who recently graduated. But the girls aren’t without male friends, because that’s an important part of being a teenager.

“During the school day the focus is on academics and not on boys, it’s nice not to have that distraction.”

—Hailey Eisen and Sonja Schweiger

Series: Girls Schools

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List of all-girls' schools

 
FILTERS:
Type
Grades
  School Name Type Cost

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)  

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Boarding school (118 students)
  • Day school (266 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$14,180 to $65,490

User
reviews (5)

• User reviews (5)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 14180

Elmwood School (est. 1915)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • Day school (375 students)
Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$13,500 to $25,660


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 13500

Trafalgar Castle School (est. 1874)  

  • Whitby, Ontario
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • Day school (140 students)
  • Boarding school (80 students)
Located in Whitby, Trafalgar Castle School is an all-girls day and boarding school inspiring students in Grades 4-12. For nearly 150 years, Trafalgar Castle girls have become women of impact. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$22,545 to $59,515


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls 22545

Branksome Hall (est. 1903)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Boarding school (66 students)
  • Day school (900 students)
Branksome Hall is an all girls school in Toronto, from JK to Grade 12, including 56 boarding students. Tuition ranges from $28,995 to $31,245 for day students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$32,570 to $64,305


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 32570

Hawthorn School (est. 1989)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls/Coed
  • Homestay school
  • Day school
  • Homestay school
Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$12,500 to $36,500


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Homestay Girls Coed 12500

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School (est. 1909)  

  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 Girls
  • Day school (320 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$18,764 to $21,417


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 18764

Buffalo Seminary (est. 1851)  

  • Buffalo, New York
  • 9 to 12 Girls
  • Boarding school
  • Day school
Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls. Our STEAM curriculum is unique, and creative, independent thinking is valued. Located in Buffalo, NY, girls access the best of city living. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
US $21,900 to US $52,750


HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 21900

St. Clement's School (est. 1901)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 Girls
  • Day school (460 students)
St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous, and compassionate. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$29,900


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 29900

Trafalgar School For Girls (est. 1887)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 Girls
  • Day school (120 students)
  • Day school (120 students)
Based in the heart of downtown Montreal, Trafalgar School for Girls is a diverse school community that challenges and inspires girls to love learning, build confidence and shape a better world. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$18,000


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Girls 18000

London International Academy (est. 2002)  

  • London, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 Girls/Coed/Boys
  • Boarding school (175 students)
  • Day school (5 students)
  • Boarding school (175 students)
A Canadian Private Secondary Co-ed Boarding school, located in downtown London, Ontario. LIA offers academic courses from Grades 9-12 and is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). [View profile]
  • Traditional
$9,200 to $41,900


HighSchools Boarding Day Boarding Girls Coed Boys 9200

St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)  

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • Day school (550 students)
Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$17,000 to $27,600


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 17000

Xyna International School (est. 2010)  

  • Brampton, Ontario
  • 6 to 12 Coed/Girls
  • Homestay school (10 students)
  • Day school (50 students)
  • Day school (50 students)
Xyna International School offers programs from Gr 9 - 12 in Brampton(Co-ed) and 6-12 in Woodbridge(Girls only). At Xyna students have many opportunities to develop teamwork, communication and leadership skills. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$7,000


MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Day Coed Girls 7000

The Linden School (est. 1993)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Day school (115 students)
The Linden School provides a challenging academic program for girls from JK - Grade 12. We create opportunities to discover the joys of learning and foster the development of critical thinking and physical well-being. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$15,400 to $20,950

User
reviews (2)

• User reviews (2)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 15400

The Sacred Heart School of Montreal (est. 1861)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • Day school
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. Grade 12 will be offered beginning in 2019-2020. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$16,795 to $52,814


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Boarding Girls 16795

Villa Maria (est. 1854)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 Girls/Coed
  • Day school (501 students)
  • Day school (1117 students)
Villa Maria offers programs from grades 7 to 11 in Montreal. Its average class size is 30 to 34 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$5,000 to $5,700


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Girls Coed 5000

Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)  

  • Duncan, British Columbia
  • PS to 12 Coed/Girls
  • Day school (209 students)
  • Boarding school (97 students)
  • Day school (161 students)
Queen Margaret's School is an independent day/boarding university preparatory school in Duncan, BC. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$6,250 to $46,700

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Day Coed Girls 6250

The Bishop Strachan School (est. 1867)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Day school (825 students)
  • Boarding school (75 students)
Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$32,860 to $62,250

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls 32860

Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (est. 1905)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 Girls
  • Boarding school (60 students)
  • Day school (1150 students)
École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 4 500 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$4,500 to $10,700


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 4500

Havergal College (est. 1894)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Boarding school (50 students)
  • Day school (870 students)
Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$32,750 to $59,875

Our Kids
Review

User
reviews (1)
• Our Kids Review
• User reviews (1)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 32750

The Study (est. 1915)  

  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 Girls
  • Day school (385 students)
The Study offers a bilingual mother tongue programme in both English and French from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. The average class size is 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$20,140 to $22,675


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 20140

Odyssey Heights School for Girls (est. 2018)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • eSchool school (1 students)
  • Day school (28 students)
Odyssey Heights School starts at 10:30am; Six Overnight Outdoor Ecological Experiential Ed trips (24+days), Equestrian Program, & DELF French Ministry of Education French are included in tuition, and "No Homework Ever!". [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
$15,250 to $27,825

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
MiddleSchools HighSchools eSchool Day Girls 15250

Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • Day school
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. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$17,250


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 17250

Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc (est. 1954)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • Day school
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. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$15,750


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls 15750


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