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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.

  • I was surrounded by so many high performing people at Holy Name of Mary College. I loved group projects, it sounds unusual, but I enjoyed working with my classmates. I knew everybody was going to do their part. I felt safe to work with others.

  • All students at the school are unique. We all bring different things to the table; we all have our strengths and talents. There was always a bit of friendly competition.

  • When I went to university, I did not feel overwhelmed or anything. I felt very prepared for university, academically. And the time-management skills I had learned were the biggest, most important, thing for me in university. I studied mechanical engineering. As you can imagine, that had its own sort of workload, with the labs and things like that. I never felt like I was struggling more than others.

  • My family was most surprised by how many extracurriculars there were, and how much 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— swimming, cross country, track and field, soccer, the model UN, choir, winter camp, leadership camp, it goes on forever. And I did all those things at Holy Name of Mary College.

  • It's okay to change your career path, and shift in your interests, because you are learning transferable skills. Everybody's always worried about what they want to do in their undergrad, and it's great to have goals, and my goal was engineering at the time. Everything that I learned from the STEM program and engineering were all transferable to the business industry, like the analytical skills, the time management, the data analytics, all those skills.

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 empowered me, through always challenging me to be the best version of myself, and to continue to learn. So, the first word I’d use to describe the school is ‘empowering.’ I also found 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.

  • The school is also compassionate. What is lacking in a lot of schools is remembering that students are whole people that are developing, and growing, and learning too.

  • Academics are very, very important for the school, 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 who you may want to be. I was pushed to the limits of my potential at Holy Name of Mary College. One of the reasons why I went to Holy Name was because I knew I was going to be challenged academically. I think that allowed me to grow in my knowledge, but also in knowing what I wanted to do later in life.

  • I learned that I love to think outside the box at Holy Name. I think the support I received, and knowing my teachers really wanted was best for me, really allowed me to push myself past the limits academically and try new things.

  • 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 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 had already learned a lot of fundamentals that others might learn at university.

  • We don't have the same emphasis on art that other schools might have, but art was part of my experience at Holy Name, and it was very unexpected, and very positive. I think that's a surprise. It is as good as the school’s 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 what sets Holy Name apart is that there are so many things that you can get involved with. I am not athletic at all, but I joined all the sports teams that would have me, and I really learned lots of important skills. The biggest one was confidence and my ability to try new things. Especially when you go off to university, it's a much bigger pool. Having that skill set, and the knowledge that you can try something new is 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.

  • I wanted a Catholic education. I wanted an all-girls education, but I wanted one that was founded on creativity, and not just academics. That's not because academics aren't important. Academics must be the default. Everyone knows that academics are important, but in conjunction with other things, like creativity, that are a complement to that.

  • I think all of us at the school are united in our faith, as it’s a Catholic school. We are united in that belief, or else wouldn't be there. We're united because we all have girls. And we all believe that if boys can do it, girls can do it, too.

  • One of the things I love about Holy Name is the co-curricular program, which I think we should 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.

  • My daughter used to hate singing, for five years, because she didn't think she had a voice. The music teacher at Holy Name helped her find her voice. Now she can't stop singing. If you try something different, if you plant a seed, 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 you can do anything you set your mind to, even something that you thought would be impossible.

  • The leadership team, as far as I'm concerned, are the gold standard. I could never say a negative word about leadership, about the team, and their execution. Imagine taking over the school, and then the pandemic, having to execute an online learning plan, not just executing it, but executing it with excellence.

  • At Holy Name of Mary, the teaching staff, the head of school and the office staff, are of extremely high caliber. They have been excellent. 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 has the perfect size. It’s small enough for my daughter to feel known, not to feel left out, to know she's not a number. But it's also large enough that there are enough opportunities for her. She can grow within that environment.

  • A lot of the assignments I see the girls doing are focused on creativity, on art and music. It's not so much about the art itself, it's what it's creating in you. It allows you to stretch, and grow, and reach. It’s really powerful. I think it will inspire them to do bigger and better things.

  • Hopefully, we have been able to persuade people that Holy Name of Mary College is awesome. It's the place we believe in, strongly. It is an attractive place, where 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, who were all previously in the public school system, before enrolling in Holy Name of Mary College. In talking about how happy she and her daughters are with Holy Name, Laura highlighted the school's emphasis on individuality and the ability to meet diverse needs. She also appreciates the alignment of values between the school and their families. The positive teacher-student relationships, the broad range of extracurricular activities, and the supportive environment were also mentioned as important factors.

  • We really felt that we found a school that would take their individuality seriously, not presenting a program that was one-size-fits-all. I needed a place that wouldn't just meet one of my daughter’s needs but meet all of my daughters’ needs, and we've found that at Holy Name of Mary College. The teachers did not provide feedback from some preset list; they showed that they know my children. What I heard were things that really resonated with me as a parent, including both the compliments and the areas that needed to be improved.

  • We were looking to raise strong and confident girls. We wanted to raise girls who wouldn't feel limited by their environment, but instead, would feel encouraged, welcomed, and strengthened by it. Knowing that I'm sending my girls into a supportive environment that will challenge them, but in a gentle and safe way, is critical.

  • The biggest thing my husband and I observed when our children first started at Holy Name last year was their excitement to go to school. They liked it, not just because of their friends, but also because they enjoyed the teachers, their way of teaching, and all the other experiences they've had at Holy Name of Mary College. This is fascinating, especially considering the ongoing pandemic conditions. My daughter, in high school, took on a lot of leadership opportunities and participated in many activities.

  • I am an advocate for my children, and I want Holy Name of Mary College to be an advocate for my children as well, which I believe is the case. Our kids come home from school happy. The basic things that are offered by Holy Name of Mary College ensure that the girls are happy, excited to go to school, feel heard and seen, and are in a supportive environment. I have not had any problems, any time that I needed a quick answer, or some support. 

  • The spiritual aspect of the educational environment at Holy Name of Mary College was really important to us. To my knowledge, there aren't any Catholic, all-girl schools in the area that would meet that requirement or check all those boxes. It's important to note that although Holy Name of Mary College is a Catholic school, there are a lot of different types of people and personalities at the school.


More about Holy Name of Mary College School

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Key insights on Holy Name of Mary College School

Each school is different. Holy Name of Mary College School's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

See key insights about Holy Name of Mary College School

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.

  • Holy Name of Mary College School (HNMCS) combines Catholic values with rigorous academics to prepare students for higher education, while adopting modern teaching approaches and technology to meet students’ evolving educational needs.
  • The school actively promotes girls’ engagement in underrepresented fields like science, business, and engineering.
  • HNMCS is suited for academically-inclined girls who share the school’s values, facilitated by a tight-knit student and parent community.
Read our in-depth review

More video reviews

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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