Keep Well the Road
|10 Elm Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1N4, Canada
|Grades||JK – 12|
|Mascot||Ribbit the Frog|
|Colours||Red, Green, Black and White|
Branksome Hall is an independent girls' school for day and boarding students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Toronto, Canada, that was founded in 1903. It is an International Baccalaureate World School and a university preparatory school. All three IB programs are offered: the Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP) and International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (DP). Branksome Hall is located on Elm Avenue, off Mount Pleasant Road, one block north of Bloor Street, in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale. The 13-acre campus contains several heritage structures and some modern buildings.
- 1 Setting
- 2 Junior School
- 3 Middle School
- 4 Senior School
- 5 Uniform
- 6 Prefects
- 7 Extracurricular activities
- 8 Clans
- 9 Other Community Activities
- 10 Alumnae
- 11 Related
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Branksome Hall's 13-acre (53,000 m2) campus is in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale. The campus contains a section of Carolinian forest with an outdoor classroom, four tennis courts, a large lower field used by teams and classes, two playgrounds, and a "quad" with an adaptive playground, where senior students often relax and eat lunch during the warmer months. There are about a dozen buildings on the Branksome Hall campus, including two that are home to the school's 70 boarding students (Sherborne House and Ainslie House). Tuition for the 2013-14 school year is 27,620 CAD for day girls (29,620 for IB1 and IB2) and over 51,000 CAD for boarders.
- 15 classrooms
- Kindergarten wing
- library/resource centre
- art studio with kiln
- Performing Arts Room
- outdoor play space
- Forum on the first floor
- The Gillam Atrium
- Design and Technology Centre
- 2 science labs
- 7 classrooms
- drama room
- fitness centre
- change rooms and lockers
- 3 student work/study areas
- meeting and work areas for faculty and guidance staff
- outdoor playground
- Film and Environmental Labs
- four science laboratories
- art, drama and music studios
- Allison Roach Performing Arts Centre
- gymnasium and fitness centre
- swimming pool
- cafeteria and tuck shop
- Resource Center
- Reading Room for senior students
- Grade 12 (DP2) students' recreation room
The most basic and formal uniform (also known as #1 Dress) consists of an off-white blouse, a blazer (green or, for Prefects, red), a tie, and a kilt.
There are five ties in Branksome. The most basic one is a tie featuring the same plaid (Hunting Stewart tartan) as the kilt. The second one is a navy blue tie with yellow stripes, for the Grade 10 clan chieftains and Grade 8 clan reps. The third one is a green tie with small crests, and is for Heads of Clubs and Societies. The fourth is a red plaid tie (Royal Stewart tartan) for girls in the Graduating Year. The fifth, for sports captains.
There are two kilts at Branksome Hall. Most of the students wear the Hunting Stewart Kilt, which is green. Prefects wear red kilts that are Royal Stewart.
Blouses and Polo Shirts
There are long-sleeved and short-sleeved off-white blouses that students must wear with a tie for #1 Dress. Students may choose to wear long-sleeved or short-sleeved polo shirts on school days when #1 Dress is not necessary.
Blazers and Sweaters
There are two kinds of blazers: a green one for most students and a red one for elected Prefects. On non-#1 Dress days, students may choose to wear a zip-up green sweatshirt, a green wool sweater, green cardigan or the green button-up vest.
There are different team uniforms for all the sport teams, and all of them are green. During gym class, students usually wear a white T-shirt with the school crest, a pair of green shorts that says "Branksome Athletics", or a pair of black sweatpants. During some team games such as badminton and tennis, students must wear a "Branksome Athletes" polo shirt, Branksome shorts, and a red Branksome Hall athletic sweater. Branksome in 2007 adopted a team name: The Branksome Highlanders.
Twelve Prefects are elected each year by the students, faculty and teachers to lead the school and represent the study body. Each Prefect has a different portfolio that represents an area of school life. Prefects wear a distinctive red kilt and red blazer. They, like the rest of the Graduating Class, also wear the red tie.
Clubs play a very important part in the lives of the students of Branksome Hall. In the 07/08 school year, 39 clubs exist, with about 80 heads. Some of the clubs allow Branksome students to meet people from other schools in Canada, Toronto, and other countries. The school is also represented at conventions such as the International Model United Nations in The Hague, SSUNS in McGill, World Affairs Conference held at Upper Canada College, SOMA held by University of Toronto, and possibly the Ontario Model Parliament this coming school year. The Debating program at Branksome participates in numerous public speaking and debating tournaments, Canada-wide and international. Branksome Hall is a member of the Fulford League, a group of independent schools that compete in several tournaments each year to achieve the Fulford Cup at the end of the year. Branksome Hall was the first all-girls school to win this cup.
There are approximately 40 Grade 11-12 students in Branksome Hall who act as mentors and "peer supporters" for the school community. This small group tackles issues such as drugs and alcohol, body image, bullying, and other issues that might concern girls. Potential peer supporters apply for these positions and go through interviews with a guidance counsellor and a current peer supporter. To identify themselves to fellow students, peer supporters wear a yellow patch in the bottom left corner of their kilts.
Drama, visual arts, and music are also important to the Branksome community, with several productions put on by both the drama students and other groups throughout the year. Celebrations of art such as Collage and Paper Magnolia happen regularly. The multicultural music, drama and reading show, Infusion, is held every two years. Students' prodigious literary and visual arts creations are celebrated through art shows and several publications, including the annual collection Perennial, and the school papers The Kilt Press and the annual yearbook, Slogan.
Every year the music students and band members put on several concerts to show off their own distinct styles and tastes. There are many different music groups in Branksome:
- 7/8 Singers
- Senior Choir
- Chamber Choir
- Jazz Choir
- Grad Choir (from April to June only, perform at the Graduation ceremony.)
- Chamber Strings
- Strings Orchestra
- Beginner Strings
- Concert Band
- Stage Band
- Senior Band
- Woodwind Ensemble
The heads are of the Music Council by default, along with the Music Department teachers.
Under the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) principle, girls are encouraged to participate in sports. Branksome Hall offers several sports teams each season:
- Field hockey
- Cross Country
- Rowing (regattas)
- Track and Field
There are 8 clans in Branksome Hall Senior and Middle School:
- Scott (blue)
- Ross (red)
- Douglas (pink)
- Campbell (purple)
- MacGregor (yellow)
- McAlpine (green)
- MacLean (black)
- McLeod (orange)
There are also 8 clans in the Junior School:
- Fraser (blue)
- Bruce (red)
- Robertson (pink)
- MacDonald (purple)
- Gordon (yellow)
- Johnston (green)
- Grant (black)
- Duncan (orange)
- Every Senior School (east side) clan has two leaders: a grade 10 or 12 chieftain and a grade 8 rep. There are always competitions between clans, ranging from intramurals (dodgeball, ultimate Frisbee, floor hockey, etc.) to the Terry Fox fundraisers. Chieftains host Clan Homerooms and Assemblies about once a month to keep the school updated on past and coming clan events. Students are usually encouraged to participate in clan activities,like Intramurals, and it is a big part of Branksome's school life.
Other Community Activities
Branksome offers several "communities" within its main student body. Each student is assigned to an Advisor Group. This is a group of students that meet several times during the school's eight-day schedule, and usually consists of 8-10 students and an Advisor teacher. The students in each advisor group all belong to the same clan.
In addition to this, each grade is encouraged to become a close community. Each year in February the school hosts a week of grade celebrations called "Spirit Week". Normal classes continue during this week, but the week is punctuated by lunchtime activities such as the arts event or the human scavenger hunt. The most celebrated events of the week are the lipsync and cheer that occur on the final days. Each grade is assigned a colour, which is used as a way of expressing grade pride. The grade is given a colour in Grade 7 and continues with that colour until they graduate, with new Grade 7s inheriting the colour of the previous year's graduates. Colours for each grade are as follows:
- Graduating Class of 2014 and 2020 - Pink
- Graduating Class of 2015 and 2021 - Red
- Graduating Class of 2016 and 2022 - Yellow
- Graduating Class of 2017 and 2023 - Orange
- Graduating Class of 2018 and 2024 - Blue
- Graduating Class of 2019 and 2025 - Purple
During each day of Spirit Week, students dress in a specific fun manner. Traditionally, during Spirit Week, Tuesday is Crazy Hair Day, followed by Crazy Tie day (Wednesday), Crazy Socks Day (Thursday), and then Friday is a "Grub Day" during which students are free to wear whatever they choose so as long as it meets the dress code. Typically, each grade orders an item of "grade wear" and wears them on Friday.
Currently, Grade 9 students go to Onandoga for outdoor camping, which helps them develop leadership skills. Grade 8 students travel to Camp Timberlane in Haliburton, Ontario, and Grade 7 students travel to Niagara Falls as part of their leadership program.
Generally, 100% of the graduates go to university. A list of university destinations of the graduates from 2006-2010 is provided on the Branksome website. One can get a more detailed brochure about the 2010 graduates' destinations in the school.
- Heather Apple, writer, artist, and educator
- Jackie Burroughs, actor
- Alexandra Clarke, writer, Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars
- Lindsey Deluce, news anchor of CP24
- Stacey Farber, actress, best known as Ellie Nash on the TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation
- Marjorie Gross (April 18, 1956 – June 7, 1996), graduated in 1974. She was a television writer and producer and wrote for such shows as Newhart, The Larry Sanders Show and Seinfeld.
- Jennifer Lees and Fiona Lees, founders of Balmshell cosmetics
- Margaret MacMillan, pediatric oncologist
- Linda McQuaig, journalist and author of works of non-fiction, including The Wealthy Banker's Wife
- Lucile Pratt, philanthropist
- Ann Rohmer, lead anchor of CP24
- Nancy Ruth, Ontario senator and philanthropist
- Meredith Shaw, singer/songwriter, recording artist and resident Boom 97.3 radio personality
- Amy Verner, journalist
- Budge Wilson, an author of several short stories, including "The Courtship"
- Upper Canada College
- St. Andrew's College (Aurora, Ontario)
- Crescent School
- Havergal College
- Hawthorn School for Girls
- Bishop Strachan School
- St. Michael's College School
- St. Clement's School