The Giles School

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The Giles School is a private French immersion school located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school (formerly called The Markham School for Human Development) was founded in 1989 by Harry Giles, CM, QC - a pioneer in bilingual French immersion in Canada and the founder of the Toronto French School.

The Giles School offers classes for students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 6. It is independent, non-profit, non-denominational no-gender,and co-educational.


The school began near an Anglican church at Don Mills and Sheppard with a small number of students. After one year the school moved to another site and then moved again in 1991. In 1994, with increased enrollment, it opened a second branch to house older students.

In 2008 The Giles School relocated to 80 Scarsdale Road in the York Mills and Leslie area of Toronto. This location provided a single building for all the school's students and offered room to expand.


The Giles School follows a strict first-come, first-served admissions policy, rejecting standardized tests in the belief that academic and social achievements are possible for all children, not just the gifted.

The student population is limited to 350 with student to staff ratios never exceeding 16:1. For Pre-Kindergarten classes the maximum ratio is 10:1; Junior Kindergarten 12:1; Senior Kindergarten 14:1.

Educational Philosophy[edit]

The school was founded on an educational philosophy developed by Giles. It is based on six pillars: early academic intervention, bilingualism, third languages, small classes, highest international standards and love.



French is the core language for all subjects at the Pre-Kindergarten level. Starting at age 2.5, The Giles School French immersion programme teaches children letters, numbers and French vocabulary using interactive games, books and pictures.

In mathematics, the goal is to have students counting aloud to 60 by the end of the year. Students are taught to recognize and write numbers up to 20.

Junior School[edit]

Starting in Grade 1, students are introduced to a third language, either Mandarin or Japanese. From Grades 1 to 3, children receive 45 minutes of English instruction everyday; most core subjects are studied in French throughout the primary grades.

Half Middle School[edit]

French immersion is part of the curriculum until the end of Grade 6, at which point students have the option to continue. From Grades 4 to 6, French and English instruction share equal time.

International Exams[edit]

In addition to regular course work, The Giles School prepares its students for many international exams including British O & A levels and the French Brevet des collèges. The school also offers Advanced Placement courses that provide students with the opportunity to do university-level work while still in high school.


Canadian Who's Who (2003), ed. Lumley, Elizabeth, University of Toronto Press.
Habib, Marlene (2008-09-22). “The little French-immersion school that could…and did”, [The Globe and Mail]. Accessed online January 16, 2009.

External links[edit]