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Holy Name of Mary College School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 5 TO Gr. 12 — Mississauga, ON (Map)

Holy Name of Mary College School:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Holy Name of Mary College School (2020)

Holy Name of Mary College School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Isabella, Colleen, Gina, Laura had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Isabella — alum

Isabella graduated from Holy Name of Mary College in 2017, after spending the duration of her high school education there. She went on to study engineering in the U.S. and decided to switch to business halfway through. She credits Holy Name of Mary College with helping her explore her many interests and inspiring her to take on new challenges.

  • “All of the students [at Holy Name of Mary College] are unique in the sense that we all bring different things to the table, different things to the school, we all have our strengths and talents. It really shows … . I was surrounded by so many high performing people. There was always a bit of friendly competition, whether it's academics or even in spirit (events).”
  • “I felt safe to work with others. I loved group projects [at Holy Name of Mary College]... I enjoyed working with my classmates because I knew everybody was going to do their part.”
  • “I did not feel overwhelmed or anything when I went to university, I studied mechanical engineering. As you can imagine, that had its own sort of overwhelming just the workload, with the labs and things like that. Academically, I felt very prepared [for university]. Even just my time-management skills, I think were the biggest, most important thing for me in university.”
  • “I never felt like I was struggling more than others [in university] … . I made it through no problem. I felt very prepared.”
  • “ I think the biggest thing that my family was surprised about [at Holy Name of Mary College] ... was how much there was in terms of extracurriculars that you could do at such a small school... my parents were like, ‘how are you involved in so much stuff’? I had to write it down because there was such a long list [of extracurriculars I was involved in] from swimming, cross country, track and field, soccer, the model U.N., choir, winter camp, leadership camp, it goes on forever. I did all those things [at Holy Name of Mary College].”
  • “Everybody's always worried about what they want to do in their undergrad, and it's great to have goals, and [engineering] was my goal at the time. It's okay to change your career path and your interests, because everything that I learned from the STEM program and engineering, like the analytical skills, the time management, the data analytics, all of those little skills [I learned from Holy Name of Mary College] were all transferable in the business industry.”

Colleen — alum

Colleen graduated from Holy Name of Mary College in 2017, she started in Grade 7. She began university on the path to be an English teacher, and ended up switching programs, and graduating from an accounting program.

  • “[Holy Name of Mary College] was empowering because I was always challenged to be the best version of myself and to continue to learn … . I also personally find it very empowering to be surrounded by such high achieving girls, and high achieving women. I think I almost took that for granted. I was very lucky. I grew up in a household where I didn't know that women were treated differently, until I got a lot older just because I was lucky that my family really values strong women.”
  • “It’s really cool to be surrounded by people that want to challenge each other, and want you to be the best version of yourself. So, I would say empowering was my first word [to describe Holy name of Mary College]] … . The second word I would use is compassionate. I think that what is lacking in a lot of schools is remembering that students are whole people that are developing and growing and learning too.”
  • “I think it was emphasized [at Holy Name of Mary College], that academics are very, very important, and you're going to be challenged, and you're going to learn … but you're also going to learn about who you are, and maybe who you want to be. … I was pushed to the limits of my potential and maybe beyond [at Holy Name of Mary College).”
  • “I learned that I love to think outside the box. I think the support and the knowledge that my teachers really wanted was best for me …  as a student and as an individual. It really allowed me to push myself past the limits academically and try new things … . I think one of the reasons why I went to Holy Name was because I knew I was going to be challenged academically. I personally think that allowed me to grow in my knowledge, but then also in knowing what I wanted to do later in life.”
  • “I was very prepared (for university) ... . I didn't feel that there was a huge shift from high school to university, except that there is a lot more reading in university, which is kind of par for the course. I would say I didn't feel swamped or overwhelmed or anything like that. I think the biggest differentiating factor for myself was that I learned a lot about fundamentals that you need to know at university.”
  • “We don't have the same emphasis as [some other] schools do on art, but I would say that it's that part of my experience at Holy Name, and it was very unexpected and very positive. I think that's a surprise, just because it is equally as good as the STEM program, and the STEM program is excellent.  I think what's surprising when you first join [Holy Name of Mary College], is how much we incorporate music and dance and art into every day.”
  • “I think that what sets Holy Name apart is the fact that there are so many things that you can get involved with, and you might try something … that you don't really like at all, [and end up] meeting your best friends there.”
  • “I am not athletic at all, but I joined all the sports teams that would have me, and I really learned lots of really important skills. The biggest [skill I learned from Holy Name of Mary College], would be confidence and my ability to try new things. I think especially when you go off to university, it's a much bigger pool. Having that skill set, and knowledge that you can try something new … was really great.”

Gina — current parent

Gina went to an all-girls Catholic school when she was a young girl and wanted the same experience for her daughter. Her daughter is now a Grade 8 student at Holy Name of Mary College, where she enjoys the challenging curriculum, and all of the opportunities to engage in extracurriculars.

  • “The reason I brought [my daughter to Holy Name of Mary College] was because I wanted a Catholic education. I wanted an all-girls education, but I wanted one that was founded in creativity, not just academics, and that's not because academics aren't important. Academics must be the default. Everyone knows that academics are important, but in conjunction [with other values that] are a complement to that.”
  • “I think all of us at the school are united, I believe, in our faith. I'd like to believe that … since it's an all-girls Catholic school. We are united in that belief, or else wouldn't be there. We're united because we all have girls. We all believe that, you know … if boys can do it, girls can do it, too, right?”
  • “One of the things I love about [Holy Name of Mary College] is the co- curricular program, which is one of the things that I think we need to highlight … . It is a testament to the teaching staff. The co- curricular program … allows us to be able to cross pollinate so many different courses into different environments, for example, band this year is a co-curricular, singing is a co-curricular.”
  • “For the last five years of [my daughter’s] life, she hated singing because she didn't think she had a voice. Well, [the teachers at Holy Name of Mary College] solved that problem, because my daughter [now] can't stop singing. If you knew [my daughter], you'd know that she hated singing before three weeks ago, when [the music teacher] helped her find her voice. If you try something different, plant a seed, and a flower will bloom. These are the things that grow the kind of self-confidence that 10 and 15 years from now, allow you to realize that you can do anything you set your mind to, even something that you think would have been impossible.”
  • “At Holy Name of Mary, the teaching staff, the head of school and the office staff, are of extremely high caliber.”
  • “[The] leadership [at Holy Name of Mary College], as far as I'm concerned, are the gold standard. I could never say a negative word about leadership, about the team that [the principal has] assembled, and her execution. Imagine taking over school and then being thrust upon a pandemic, then having to execute an online learning plan, not just executing it, but executing it with excellence.”
  • “The staff has been excellent [at Holy Name of Mary College]. When I went to the parent teacher interviews... I thought, ‘look at the anecdotes they're giving us right now.’ They weren't generic. It was specific about a specific situation.”
  • “[Holy Name of Mary College] is small enough that she's not getting left out, that she's known, and she's not a number, but it's large enough, so there are enough opportunities for her, that she can grow within that environment, and I think that's the perfect combination.”
  • “A lot of the assignments that I see the girls [at Holy Name of Mary College] doing are focused on creativity, focused on art, focused on music … it's not so much about the art itself, it's what it's creating in you. It's what allows you to stretch and grow and reach. This is really powerful stuff. I think it will inspire them to bigger and better things.”
  • “Being able to communicate in words is so powerful, it's so powerful. Look at today. We've had no spreadsheets up. We've had no billboards. We've had nothing. We've been able to speak through our words, to be able to hopefully persuade people that [Holy Name of Mary College] is awesome, that it's the place that we believe strongly, is an attractive place, that other people should want to bring their girls, to educate their girls, to allow them to grow and become responsible young ladies.”

Laura — current parent

Laura has three girls that were all in the public school system before switching to Holy Name of Mary College. They are all active and happy students, in Grades 6, 8, and 10.

  • “We really felt that we found  a school that would take their individuality seriously, and not present a program that was one-size-fits-all.”
  • “My girls span the continuum and all in different ways, in terms of personality, in terms of academics, in terms of their athletic ability, they would cover the whole continuum. I needed a place that wouldn't just meet one of our [daughter’s] needs but meet all of our [daughters’] needs, and we've found that at [Holy Name of Mary College].”
  • “I think the values of the school, and the other parents that we got to know when we joined the school ... were very similar to our family values. We were looking to raise strong and confident girls. We were looking to raise girls that didn't feel limited by their environment, but instead felt encouraged and welcomed them and strengthened by their environment … .”
  • “The spiritual aspect of the educational environment [at Holy Name of Mary College] was really important to us as well. There really aren't, to my knowledge, any Catholic, all-girl schools in the West End that would meet that [requirement] or check all those boxes.”
  • “The biggest thing my husband and I saw when they first started at Holy Name last year was that [our children] were excited to go to school … . That was actually a new experience. They love going to school. They like it, not just to be there with our friends, but [our kids have] enjoyed the teachers, and their way of teaching, and all the other experiences they've been able to have [at Holy Name of Mary College]. I think it is fascinating, and you would think under these pandemic conditions, that would have changed.”
  • “There were so many sports [at Holy Name of Mary College] that I couldn't even handle [my daughter’s] schedule. My daughter, in high school, took a lot of leadership opportunities, and did all kinds of things. This year, clearly there's some restrictions. I thought, ‘oh, I wonder how they're going to react to that’, but [all my kids are] still excited to go to school.”
  • “[My kids] come home [from school], and they're happy… these basic things [that are offered by Holy Name of Mary College]... is that the girls are happy, that the girls be excited to go to school, that they are in a supportive environment, that they feel heard, that they feel seen, and that they have opportunities to engage in things that they hadn't had opportunities to engage in before.”
  • “I remember going to my first parent-teacher interview night [at Holy Name of Mary College], and leaving, my husband and I looked at each other and thought ‘well, the teachers really know my kids.’ These were not generic comments. These were not just something that they got from some computers, they know… what I heard were things that really resonated to me as a parent, all the compliments and all the things maybe that needed to be improved.”
  • “The teachers [at Holy Name of Mary College] really know my girls, and were able to communicate that to me very strongly. I think the responsiveness is great … .I have not had any problems any time that I needed a quick answer or some support.”
  • “I think that it's important to know that although [Holy Name of Mary College] is a Catholic school, and although it's an all-girls school, there are a lot of different types of people and personalities at the school. My girls have been exposed to a lot of learning in terms of different people, different backgrounds, different personalities and what that brings.”
  • “Knowing that I'm sending my girls into an environment that is supportive, an environment that is going to challenge them, but in a gentle and safe way, is critical.”
  • “I am an advocate for my children, and I want [Holy Name of Mary College] to be an advocate for my children as well, and I do believe that that's the case.”

More about Holy Name of Mary College School

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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Holy Name of Mary College School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

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Alum, Caley Gibbs (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Caley Gibbs to learn about the unique experience of attending Holy Name of Mary College School.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Holy Name of Mary College School

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