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Have you considered a boys-only school?

Why boys' schools still have an appeal today

Find a list of schools

Many people might think that boys’ school is an outdated concept from a previous ‘patriarchal’ era. But at a recent conference in Toronto, representatives from schools all over the world listened to speeches and discussed the theme that we are living in a “New World for Boys.” Speakers ranged from Stephen Lewis, head of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and one of the most respected commentators on international and social affairs to Bill Lishman, the inspiration for the movie Fly Away Home.


David Booth hosted a pre-conference workshop on boys and literacy. Booth is the author of numerous books including Even Hockey Players Read: Boys, Literacy and Learning. The workshop presented various strategies to help create a culture of literacy for boys and to motivate boys to read.

In “Decoding Male Communication,” Manfred von Vulte uses a humorous tone while making the important point that there are specific codes of communication you will only ever hear coming from boys. Because the education system tends to praise “girlish behaviour” much more than “boyish,” boys’ communication is often systemically misinterpreted as malicious, foolish or indifferent. Read "Decoding Male Communication"

Still, is it a good idea to send boys to a boys’ school? Do we really need to segregate the sexes in this day and age? Or is it a better idea now more than ever? The International Boys’ School Coalition states, "Boys' schools are able to develop their resources, choose their teachers and design their programs with only one goal in mind—to meet the educational and developmental needs of young men." The organization cites recent research that demonstrates that boys and girls have fundamentally different learning behaviours.

In an article in the Globe last year, Tim Drager, a student at St. Andrews Private School (an all-boys school in Aurora, Ontario), reported on his experiences. Among other comments, Drager says, "At first, I have to admit, I was skeptical about the fact there was no [classroom] interaction with girls, but I have found it easier to concentrate in class and express my ideas. And the competitive atmosphere of having all guys you play on the field with, and are in the classroom with—it's motivating to be around."

Upper Canada College recently undertook a study as to whether or not to maintain its boarding program. Response to the study was a very strong affirmation of the boarding programlet alone the schools’ boysonly policy.

Evidence to the contrary?

Contradictory evidence was brought forth in a 2006 survey. In part, the survey (conducted by The Strategic Counsel, a private research firm) concluded that “despite a traditional viewpoint that students are distracted by their opposite sex peers and that boys, in particular are less focused in class, the data suggest that boys in coed schools are as engaged as their single-sex counterparts and relate equally to examples used by their teachers.”

The survey found that in general, students thrive in either a co-education or same sex environment. But the fine print of the findings did reveal some interesting data, such as “50% of those attending independent single-sex schools revealed they are ‘very confident’ that they will be academically prepared.”

On the important issue of bullying at school, single-sex school students reported far less (perhaps surprising to some): “[Verbal] harassments or attacks were noted as occurring ‘often or sometimes’ by at least 45% of students in public schools (54% coed, 45% girls-only) compared to 37% or less at independent schools (37% coed students and 35% single-sex).”

In the end, of course, the final decision as to whether you send your son (or daughter) to a single gender school is up to you and your child. There are certain advantages to the co-educational system but there remains a good argument today that boys’ only schools do have distinct advantages that allow them to remain a relevant alternative. To learn more about coed and single-sex schools, read our guide.

Sources:

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  • Toronto, Ontario
    St Clair Ave W/Avenue Rd
  • SK to 12 Boys
  • $34,135 to $66,835

Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our IB graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Upper Canada College 34135 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys
  • Wellandport, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Boys
  • $53,965 to $57,965

Robert Land Academy is a private military-themed boarding school (Gr 5-12) helping boys to achieve their potential and gain admission to post-secondary programs.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
Robert Land Academy 53965 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bayview Avenue/Lawrence Avenue East
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • $35,075

Crescent School is a Toronto independent day school for boys in Grades 3 to 12. Our learning environment develops students' characters through academics, arts, athletics, business, outreach and robotics.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Crescent School 35075 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Dufferin AVenue/401 Highway
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • $31,200

The Sterling Hall School is a leading independent school for boys, JK to Grade 8. We understand how boys learn best and we support each boy in his learning journey.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Sterling Hall School 31200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Dupont St
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • $35,320

Our vision: Encourage life-long Georgians ready to use their scholarship, compassion, conscience and courage to make a difference. Our mission: To challenge and inspire each boy to become the best version of himself.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Royal St. George's College 35320 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Duplex Ave/St Clements Ave
  • PS to 2 Coed/Boys
  • $9,500 to $20,500

St. Clement's Early Learning School 70 St. Clements Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4R 1H2 St. Clement’s Early Learning School provides a child with an opportunity for growth in all areas of his or her development.

  • Day
  • Progressive
St. Clement's Early Learning School 9500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Day Coed Boys
  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 Boys
  • $19,880 to $25,760

Selwyn House School provides a well-rounded education of exceptional depth and scope for boys from Kindergarten to Grade 11. It is located in Westmount, Quebec.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
Selwyn House School 19880 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Aurora, Ontario
    St. John's Sideroad/Yonge Street
  • 5 to 12 Boys
  • $36,920 to $68,720

St. Andrew's College offers programs from grades 5 to 12 in Aurora. Its average class size is 17 students.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
St. Andrew's College 36920 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys
  • Calgary, Alberta
    17th Ave SW/Richmond Road SW
  • K to 10 Boys
  • $13,000 to $15,000

North Point School for Boys is a Kindergarten to Grade 10 independent school in which curious and energetic boys are challenged and motivated, developing into young men of integrity with a genuine love of learning.

  • Day
  • Progressive
North Point School For Boys 13000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St./St. Clair West
  • 7 to 12 Boys
  • $20,900

St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
St. Michael's College School 20900 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • $22,850 to $26,990

Linbrook School is Oakville's only all-boys school. We know boys have different learning styles, and we respect their unique personalities. Research shows that boys learn differently and socialize in their own distinct ways. We also know through research that boys thrive in an all-boys’ learning environment.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Linbrook School 22850 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys
  • Harrow, Ontario
    Concessions Rd 6 S/Hwy 18
  • 1 to 8 Boys
  • $8,500 to $29,000

St. Peter's ACHS College School in Amherstburg, Ont. is a day/residency school for boys grades 1-8 who love Sports and the Outdoors. Tuition starts at $8,900. and is a member of OFIS. We put "FUN" back into learning.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
St. Peter's ACHS College School 8500 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boarding Boys
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 Boys
  • $52,570 to $71,490

St. George's School in Vancouver offers university-preparatory program to Canadian and International boarding students from Grade 8 to 12. The School's mission: Building Fine Young Men. One Boy at a Time.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
St. George's School 52570 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills Road/Don Mills Road
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • $18,100 to $22,200

We value partnership with parents, creating a genuinely warm and friendly community. We raise the academic bar on academic excellence, and expectations of character, helping the boys become the best that they can be.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
Northmount School 18100 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys
  • Rindge, New Hampshire(USA)
    Deer Run Ln/Hampshire Rd
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • US $61,500

A friendly, active boarding school for bright boys who have good intentions but who may be too impulsive, intense, or bothersome for other schools and whose intellectual interests may separate them from their peers.

  • Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Hampshire Country School 61500 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys


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