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Have you considered a boys-only school?

Why boys' schools still have an appeal today

Many people might think that boys’ school is an outdated concept from a previous ‘patriarchal’ era.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:

  • Ground-breaking new Canadian research shows students thrive in both coed and single-sex schools. Press release.
  • "The boys are all right." Marlene Habib, Globe and Mail. October 22, 2007.

Series: Boys Schools

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St. George's School (est. 1930)  

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 Boys
  • Boarding school (110 students)
  • Boarding school (110 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$52,570 to $71,490


HighSchools Boarding Boarding Boys 52570

Robert Land Academy (est. 1978)  

  • Wellandport, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Boys
  • Boarding school (125 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$53,965 to $57,965

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MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys 53965

Upper Canada College (est. 1829)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • SK to 12 Boys
  • Day school (1082 students)
  • Boarding school (88 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$33,300 to $61,860

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• Our Kids Review
• User reviews (2)
Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Boys 33300

Crescent School (est. 1913)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (750 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$34,150

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reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 34150

Northmount School (est. 1990)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (125 students)
Northmount School offers an enriched curriculum in Catholic education from junior kindergarten to grade eight in Toronto. Its average class size is eight to 15 students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$17,400 to $21,300


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 17400

The Sterling Hall School (est. 1987)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (315 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$30,400


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 30400

St. Clement's Early Learning School (est. 1955)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 2 Coed/Boys
  • Day school (120 students)
  • Day school (25 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$8,500 to $20,500

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• User reviews (1)
Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Day Coed Boys 8500

St. Peter's ACHS College School (est. 1990)  

  • Harrow, Ontario
  • 1 to 8 Boys
  • Boarding school (6 students)
  • Day school (13 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
$8,500 to $29,000

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Elementary MiddleSchools Boarding Day Boys 8500

St. Andrew's College (est. 1899)  

  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (360 students)
  • Boarding school (260 students)
St. Andrew's College offers programs from grades 5 to 12 in Aurora. Its average class size is 17 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$36,920 to $68,720


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Boys 36920

Selwyn House School (est. 1901)  

  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 Boys
  • Day school (550 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$19,880 to $25,760


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 19880

North Point School For Boys (est. 2014)  

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • K to 9 Boys
  • Day school (80 students)
North Point School for Boys is a Kindergarten to Grade 9 independent school in which curious and energetic boys are challenged and motivated, developing into young men of integrity with a genuine love of learning. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$7,000 to $12,000

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Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 7000

London International Academy (est. 2002)  

  • London, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 Boys/Girls/Coed
  • Boarding school (150 students)
  • Boarding school (145 students)
  • Day school (5 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
  • International Baccalaureate
$11,000 to $41,900


HighSchools Boarding Boarding Day Boys Girls Coed 11000

Great Lakes Christian High School (est. 1952)  

  • Beamsville, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Boys
  • Day school (62 students)
  • Boarding school (80 students)
  • Boarding school (52 students)
  • Homestay school (16 students)
Great Lakes Christian High School offers programs for grades nine through 12 in Beamsville. It accepts day and boarding students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$10,300 to $40,400


HighSchools Day Boarding Boarding Homestay Coed Boys 10300

Linbrook School (est. 2014)  

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (180 students)
Linbrook School is Oakville's only all-boys school. This independent, not-for-profit day school fosters and supports each individual students special skills as an athlete, musician, performer, artist, writer or humanitarian. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$21,950 to $25,950


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 21950

Royal St. George's College (est. 1964)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (426 students)
RSGC is an urban day school that combines academic excellence with a stimulating and supportive environment. Our mission is to challenge and inspire each boy to become the best version of himself. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$32,840


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 32840

Hampshire Country School (est. 1948)  

  • Rindge, New Hampshire(USA)
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • Boarding school (25 students)
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. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
US $61,500


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys 61500

St. Michael's College School (est. 1852)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (1025 students)
St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$20,150


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 20150

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