St. John's-Ravenscourt School

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St. John's Ravenscourt School
400 South Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Headmaster Mr Jim Keefe
Grades K-12
Language English
Mascot Eagle
Team name Eagles
Colours Green and Gold         
Founded 1820
Enrolment 806[1]

St. John's-Ravenscourt School (commonly referred to as SJR) is an independent, co-educational, university-preparatory school founded in 1820. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the school delivers an enriched curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, is the royal patron of the school.


The school was founded in 1820 by Rev. John West as the Red River Mission School for the children of early Selkirk settlers and select aboriginal children.[2] The School was originally built on the banks of the Red River in Selkirk, and then relocated by Rev. David Thomas Jones to the west bank of the river near present-day St. John's Park. In 1834, the School recorded 20 boys and 21 girls attending the renamed Red River Academy.[2]

The Academy was purchased in 1849 by the Bishop of Rupertsland, David Anderson, and was renamed St. John's Collegiate.[3] In 1866, the school's name was changed to St. John's College School. The school's campus was expanded to include buildings on Main Street and Anderson Avenue, and stood as a landmark until their demolition in the early 1950s.

In 1929, Norman Young became the first headmaster of Ravenscourt. Young had been encouraged by a group of Winnipeg businessmen, who promised that their sons would attend. The school was originally located at Armstrong's Point on the Assiniboine River.[4] In 1934, it was relocated to a house built by Colonel R.M. Thomson.[5] The unfinished home was located in Fort Garry on the banks of the Red River. The new facility was soon expanded to include the Richardson Gymnasium, the first gym in Western Canada to sport a basketball court.

In 1950, the Board of Anglican churchmen that as a group governed St. John's College decided to close the school. This decision upset the alumni of the school, and the alumni sought a way to continue their school. It was finally decided that St. John's College School would be amalgamated with Ravenscourt. The two schools became St. John's-Ravenscourt.[6]

After the flood of 1950, many new facilities were added to the school, notably an arena, and a lower school building. In 1971, the school made the decision to readmit girls to the school.[7]

In November 1981, Her Majesty the Queen granted her patronage to the School, and one year later gave permission for the creation of scholarship in her name to mark the event of her patronage.[5]

In 2004, Kindergarten Classes and the Music Room were created, and girls were allowed into Junior School.

In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, St. John's-Ravenscourt School was named one of Manitoba's Top Employers, announced by the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper.[8]

Today, the school's student population has increased to just over 800 students, with full integration of girls in all grades since 2007.


St. John's-Ravenscourt School has a large campus and several different buildings. The school campus is located directly on the Red River in Fort Garry at 400 South Drive. The school features an arena, multiple playing fields, two separate gyms, a music wing with several different music rooms, and numerous classrooms.

The school is divided into three main wings. Each wing has its own faculty, including a principal and vice-principal.

Junior School Wing - The Junior School Wing consists of several buildings, the largest being the Kiddell Building. The Junior School wing includes a distinct Kindergarten education facility, several classrooms, a gym, and a computer lab. In addition to this, the Junior School contains an atrium adjacent to the Junior School office, as well as its own library and music room.

Middle School Wing - The Middle School's facilities contain an art studio and the school's only theatre, the Moffat-Richardson Theatre. It also contains a computer lab, a common room for the students' use, several science labs and multipurpose rooms, and the Middle School Office.

Senior School Wing - The Senior School Wing is the oldest and largest wing of the school, though a substantial renovation project is almost complete, updating many of the Senior School's facilities. The wing encompasses many separate buildings, now connected, including: the Camsell Science Wing, the Tom Bredin Athletic Building, and the entrance hall of the school. The Athletics building includes one of the few international-sized hockey arenas in Manitoba, the Dutton Memorial Arena. The Senior School also includes the school's cafeteria, Hamber Hall. In addition, the wing contains several music rooms, shared by the whole school.


There are approximately 150 faculty members listed on the St. John's-Ravenscourt website. Some teachers teach in both Senior and Middle School, but most teach only on one level. Teachers who teach for over 25 years are recognized with a service award.


St. John's-Ravenscourt School delivers the Ministry-prescribed curriculum, as well an enriched curriculum set by SJR's own teachers. The school places emphasis on the math and public speaking programs within their curriculum. The school has devised its own mathematics curriculum, using its own textbooks and teaching materials. It has also made public speaking a mandatory course from grade six to eight. On the international stage, SJR has won 15 of the 27 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSCs) thus far, with their most recent first place overall finish at WIDPSC 2014.

2010 Hazing Scandal[edit]

In April, 2010, four students aged 16 to 18 were charged with 82 offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, including sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, and uttering threats.[9] The offences stemmed from hazing assaults on sixteen younger students. All four accused withdrew or were expelled from the school, and the eldest, tried as an adult, was sentenced to probation in 2013.[10][11]

Notable alumni[edit]

St. John's-Ravenscourt School has produced 18 Rhodes Scholars,[12] as well as numerous otherwise notable alumni, including:


Athletics are important in the SJR community. Soccer is the school's most popular sport in terms of participation, with fourteen teams from ranging from U12 to Varsity. Ice hockey, another popular sport at SJR, is played in Dutton Memorial Arena, the only international-sized arena in the Winnipeg area.[13]

Other popular sports include rugby, ultimate, basketball, volleyball, and badminton.


  1. ^ "Fast Facts About SJR". Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  2. ^ a b Manitoba Historical Society. "St. John's Ravenscourt School".
  3. ^ Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. "Anderson, David".
  4. ^ Manitoba Historical Society. "A Walking Tour of Armstrong's Point".
  5. ^ a b Thomson A, Lafortune S. Handbook of Canadian Boarding Schools. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1999, p 241
  6. ^ "The St. John's-Ravenscourt School Incorporation Act". Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  7. ^ Thomson, A. "Secondary Education in Manitoba in 1994".
  8. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Manitoba's Top 20 Employers Competition". 
  9. ^ Canadian Press. "School scandal grows. Red Deer Advocate, July 7, 2010.
  10. ^ Turner, J. "Crown seeks jail for 'ringleader' in Winnipeg hazing case. Sun News, Feb. 1, 2013.
  11. ^ CBC News. No jail time for Winnipeg student in hazing. CBC News, Feb 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "St. John's-Ravenscourt School FAQs". 
  13. ^ "Max Hockey School".


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°50′36″N 97°07′20″W / 49.8433°N 97.1221°W / 49.8433; -97.1221