Perhaps one of the things we have valued the most about our daughter attending Havergal, is the friendships she has developed there. Prior to our daughter entering Havergal, like most parents, we had concerns over whether she would fit in, and whether the size of the student body would cause her to get lost in the crowd. Our daughter knew only one other student in her grade before she arrived at Havergal, and naturally we were worried about whether she would easily connect with her classmates and other girls in the school. Our fears were quickly assuaged when our daughter developed several close friendships within weeks of her entering Havergal, as the school does an excellent job of integrating new students and helping everyone feel as though they are welcome and valued. Over the years we have come to know many of our daughter's classmates and friends from school, and have learned that they are polite, engaging, like minded girls who are positive influences on our daughter.
There is a lot of diversity in the students. Girls from all different races, ethnicities, religions - and yet the most inclusive place for all. The grade sizes in the Middle and Upper School run from about 85 in Grades 7 and 8 to 115 in 9-12. All girls are assigned a house - which is a smaller group of students with whom they meets several times weekly. And houses are then subdivided again into smaller TAs. There is a lot of school spirit. From school spirit week and hockey day to House Shot and various events throughout the year, the girls feel a connection to their houses (similar to sororities) and are able to establish more meaningful connections with girls form all grades. The girls tend to be very encouraging and supportive of each other - they want their classmates to be successful both academically and socially and they champion each other - this is especially apparent at prayers.
Havergal's student body is a high energy, inclusive and friendly group. There is definitely a huge effort by most of the girls to scatter positivity and good cheer amongst their peers. I can mainly speak to my daughter's grade but new girls are welcomed with open arms. There are several events and opportunities for new girls to get integrated with the rest of the grade. The house system helps with mixing up social groups and for spreading school spirit. Havergal has a sprit week and several house shout days where the girls do their best to show their school spirit. It is all fun and inclusive and these are my daughters favourite days. As well as the numerous clubs and teams make it fun for the girls and is a great opportunity for girls to meet and make friends with other girls.
The Junior School is a perfect size for an elementary school. There is 1 class of students in JK and 1 other in SK, and then there are 2 classes of students in Grades 1-6. This also for all students and faculty and staff to know one another, and makes for a warm, close community. However it is large enough that girls have different social experiences each year, as classes are mixed up and they have the opportunity to mix up their friendships. The Upper School is significantly larger, and this seems to be great for the age of the girls, with many new students entering Havergal in grades 7 an 9. That being said, it is still a very warm environment. My daughter has always felt included and had very positive social experiences each year. The girls are nice. They are kind and respectful towards one another, regardless of how close they are. And my daughter has formed incredibly close friendships with a number of her fellow students at Havergal College.
The girls at Havergal embrace and embody their school spirit at every opportunity. There are many school events that contribute to this enthusiasm and excitement shared by the students of Havergal, for example, house cheer and gator day. The school goes above and beyond to provide opportunities for girls in different grades to connect. They have a buddy system (Haver-pals ) which breaks down barriers between grades. Warm, friendly connections are made between the students, which creates special bonds and a feeling of belonging. Girls and their buddies are given time to get to know one another, do activities, read together, eat lunch together, etc. In addition, the girls are always reminded to be respectful to each other, be kind and caring and that small acts of kindness go a long way. The house system also contributes to the infectious school spirit which resonates at house events and sporting activities. It is a joy to watch our daughter eagerly participate in these events along side girls from the junior, middle, and upper school.