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Benefits of an all-girls education

Elizabeth Falco shares how girls are celebrated and empowered

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Empowering our girls

Elizabeth Falco, Canadian Liaison for The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS), challenges us to imagine a school where every student in the jazz band is a girl. The captain of the touch football team is a girl. The student council is made up of all girls. Girls win poetry contests and physics competitions. Girls are on stage and backstage.


They design robots, produce documentary films and paint expressive murals. They lead the environmental club and the Hip Hop class. They debate world issues and take on social causes with compassion.

This is what Falco, who is also the Head of School at The Study, an all-girls independent day school in Montreal, Quebec, witnesses every day.

She says that girls’ schools offer an environment where students don’t hesitate to ask questions, make mistakes, express their feelings or state their opinions.

“They are nurtured, empowered and celebrated,” she says. “Girls’ schools are successful in transforming the lives of young women because of their focused learning environment, their unique culture and climate and the endless opportunities for leadership development.”

Learning tailored to their needs

All-girls schools are designed to cater to their students, their developmental needs, and the unique ways in which they learn.

Teachers at all-girls schools are specialists of girls’ learning.

“In general, girls prefer communicative and collaborative approaches where connections are made with people and concepts,” Falco says.

According to Falco, teachers in all-girls schools are attuned to the socio-emotional development of girls and are able to shape the teaching-learning environment to meet the students’ needs and interests.

Removing the gender variable in the classroom helps teachers optimize each girl’s unique potential, Falco says.

Research provided by the NCGS shows that 82 percent of recent girl’s school graduates are satisfied or extremely satisfied with the how well their schools instilled self-confidence and that 84 percent give their schools top marks for providing leadership opportunities.

Girls thrive while taking centre stage. As a result, students who attend schools for girls are more likely to succeed at, and stick with courses such as math, science and technology, the NCGS reports.

Building a strong network of women

“The single-sex environment allows girls to explore their true selves—to articulate their opinions and feelings in class, to create playful and silly skits at assembly, cheer loudly on House Days and take intellectual risks in their curricular and co-curricular programs,” says Falco. “Class time is spent focused on learning.”

High standards and support from both teachers and peers drive students to achieve. Alumnae of girls’ schools readily attribute their confidence and success to the all-girls’ environment and value the strong network of women they have established through their schools, according to Falco.

Shattering glass ceilings

At all-girls schools, the role models for leadership and citizenship in all aspects of school life—academics, athletics, arts and community—are girls. This sets high expectations for students and provides endless opportunities.

“Accomplishments—whether big or small, public or private—are valued by everyone. There are no glass ceilings,” says Falco.

“Girls have a strong sense of themselves and their capabilities and are determined to make a difference."

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List of private all-girls schools

 
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Ottawa, Ontario — Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from PreK to Gr. 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. View School Profile.


  • Recognized for academic excellence
  • Welcoming, inclusive and diverse community
  • International Baccalaureate World School (PYP, MYP, DP)
  • Round Square and Apple Distinguished school
  • Merit- and need-based scholarships available
Grades:
PS to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$14,800 to $28,300
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
370
Avg. Class:
15 to 17
Elmwood School 14800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous, and compassionate. View School Profile.


  • Girls' school, founded in 1901
  • Enriched and balanced academics at all grade levels
  • Unrivaled Advanced Placement course offerings
  • 100% university acceptance
  • Extensive athletic, arts, and co-curricular programs
Grades:
1 to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts
Tuition:
$31,900
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
460
Avg. Class:
16
St. Clement's School 31900 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. View School Profile.


  • 13-acre downtown campus
  • Athletics and Wellness Centre
  • IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Tennis courts, playing fields, saltwater pools
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$34,650 to $69,850
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
964
Avg. Class:
12 to 22
Branksome Hall 34650 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $17,355 to $58,374

Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. We offer grades 7 to 12, day school and boarding.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 17355 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Boarding Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Spadina/St Clair Ave W
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,830 to $64,090

The Bishop Strachan School is a leading independent JK-Grade 12 day & boarding school for girls. Students build the academic skills to thrive at university and beyond. Over $1.6 million available in financial assistance.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Progressive
The Bishop Strachan School 33830 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Lawrence Avenue West/Avenue Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $35,000 to $64,000

Havergal College has been preparing young women to make a difference since 1894.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Havergal College 35000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $19,000 to $29,280

Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Grade 12 since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 19000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $15,980 to $65,125

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.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
St. Margaret's School 15980 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $14,100 to $25,250

Hawthorn School is located in Toronto. We offer a co-ed toddler-SK program and an all girls program for grade 1- grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to help students reach their full potential.

  • Day/Homestay
  • Liberal Arts
Hawthorn School 14100 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Homestay Girls Coed
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,050 to $22,160

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 19050 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $25,200

With over 120 years of excellence in all-girls’ education, our rigorous academic program is complemented by strong arts, design technology and athletic programs. Financial assistance is available.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Crofton House School 25200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $16,175

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc 16175 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $18,750

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 18750 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $21,200 to $26,000

A Canadian Private Secondary Boarding school, located in the heart of London, Ontario. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
London International Academy 21200 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Girls Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $23,150 to $29,450

The Linden School is a socially-progressive community where innovative best practices in girls’ education promote and strengthen student voice, well-being, academic excellence, and global engagement.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 23150 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Breaside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $21,750 to $24,250

The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' school. Dedicated teachers offer a warm and stimulating bilingual mother-tongue environment from kindergarten to grade 11. The World Needs Great Women.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Study 21750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Garden Street/Hwy. 2
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • $24,270 to $65,615

Trafalgar Castle offers a close-knit, academically challenging environment where girls feel a strong sense of belonging and discover their unique talents and interests.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Trafalgar Castle School 24270 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
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