St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School

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St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School
1080 Linbrook Road
Oakville, Ontario, L6J 2L1
Coordinates 43°27′53″N 79°40′06″W / 43.46475°N 79.66829°W / 43.46475; -79.66829Coordinates: 43°27′53″N 79°40′06″W / 43.46475°N 79.66829°W / 43.46475; -79.66829
School type Independent
Religious affiliation(s) Anglican
Founded 1891
Principal Nancy Richards, M.Ed
Grades Pre K-12
Language English
Colour(s) Navy, Red, and White
Mascot Spartans
Last updated: April 14, 2009

St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (also known as SMLS) is an independent all-girls school in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The Junior School, with about 300 students, includes girls from Pre-School to grade five. The new Middle Level with 100 student includes grade 6, 7, and 8. The Senior school also has 300 students and goes from grade 9 to grade 12.


St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School was founded by a community of Sisters, who had traveled to Canada from various parts of England. It was first opened in Toronto as St. Mildred's College, in September 1908. In 1923, Appleby College Headmaster, John Guest, requested for Ruth Lightbourn, who was staying at her parents' house, to watch over his two daughters. Parents continued to ask for Miss Lightbourn's help with their children, and soon enough there was no space left for her to do her job. She continued teaching young children from well-to-do families, in an expanded area, for thirty-seven years later.

In 1964, the Lightbourn School Board of Governors asked the Sisters of the Church to manage their school, and five years later Lightbourn School was expanded, and united as St. Mildred's Lightbourn School. The School was turned over by the Sisters to the Board of Governors in 1986.

Unique Aspects[edit]

Given its age and history, St. Mildred's - Lightbourn has a very rich cultural environment with students divided into different houses upon arrival. The houses are Brant Massey, Grenfell Alexander and Cartier Vanier, whose symbols are a red and black beaver, a blue green flying moose and a green and black frog respectively. The senior school mascot is currently a spartan after a movement to change the mascot from a pink bowed alligator wearing the school kilt called "Millie the Milligator." While Millie might have been banished from the senior school, she is still used frequently with the junior school students. There are many school songs associated with SMLS, the most well known and popular of which are Jubilate Deo and Blest are the Pure in Heart.

Junior School[edit]

"The Junior School program, which spans pre-school to Grade 5, is designed to suit the individual learning styles and developmental stages of girls during these critical years. The Junior School students are on an educational journey of self-discovery that inspires their intellectual curiosity, promotes their personal growth, guides their social development and supports their emotional well-being. Led by dedicated, caring, and knowledgeable teachers and staff who focus on creating exciting, innovative and girl-centric programming, the Junior School develops in our students a life-long love of learning." --Head of Junior School, Irene McRae[1]

Academics: Junior school students are taught literacy, mathematics, science, social science, French, and religion

Arts: The Junior School arts program consists of music classes, visual arts classes, and several performance opportunities for students to showcase their musical, dramatic, and artistic talents.

Athletics: At St. Mildred's, all Junior School students participate in a physical education class. There are also several extra-curricular teams for students to join, such as hockey, soccer, swimming, frisbee, basketball, cross-country, and track and field.

Community Service: The Junior School is involved in a variety of school-wide community events including:

United Way Week (October) - Throughout this week of fundraising a variety of events culminates in a lip sync contest at the end of the week. Money raised is donated to United Way of Oakville.

UNICEF (October) - On October 31 Junior School students earn the privilege of wearing orange and black 'grub' clothes by donating money to UNICEF.

KidsFest Canada (May) - Students collect new school supplies for the KidsFest Canada organization. KidsFest provides backpacks full of school supplies to kids in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), who can't afford to buy their own.

FIRST LEGO League: St. Mildred's Lightbourn School offers FIRST LEGO League (FLL), the "little league" of robotics - in Grade 6. With the help of LEGO robotics technology, they work as a team to build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST robotics event.

Global Studies Program: The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program is an essential feature of Global Studies that encourages perseverance, self-reliance, and community service. SMLS students must complete the requirements for the Bronze level, and are encouraged to continue on to the Silver and Gold levels. This award program encourages and motivates youth in a variety of personal development activities - including community service, physical recreation, skill and adventurous journey - all designed to advance the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the whole person. Visit for more information.

Round Square Program: St. Mildred's Lightbourn School's regional membership in the international Round Square Program has also been integrated into Global Studies. As a Round Square school, SMLS teaches and develops the IDEALS (internationalism, democracy, environmental awareness and action, adventure, leadership, service), through activities, workshops, speakers and curriculum integration. Young Round Square Program (Grade 6-S2) is not offered to students in the Junior School. Visit for more information.

Laptop Program: As of September 2009, St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School has expanded their laptop program to include Grade 6. This change has been made in hopes of preparing the Grade 6 students for further use of the laptops throughout their senior school years. This addition has begun to teach students that technology can be a great help in their learning. Laptops allow students to find their own way to learn. Whether it be visually or auditory, the laptop program helps students find what works best for them. As with the rest of the students using laptops, distractions such as Facebook, Myspace, MSN, and gaming websites have been blocked. However should students try to by pass these barriers, there are consequences. St. Mildred's - Lightbourn School has decided that introducing the laptop program to a younger age group will benefit them in the future, not just in their future years at SMLS, but also when they graduate to university.

Senior School[edit]

"The focus of the Senior School at St. Mildred's - Lightbourn School is meeting the needs of girls as they grow through the physical, emotional and intellectual phases from Grade 7 to Grade 12. In a girl-focused supportive and challenging environment, students are encouraged to discover their passion as they learn about themselves and how they learn." --Head of School, Dorothy Byers[2]

Laptops in the Classroom[edit]

St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School makes an effort to keep up with the latest educational methodologies and tools preparing students for the future. Through studies and analysis they realized laptops were an asset, preparing students for higher education. In 2004 St. Mildred’s introduced laptops to girls in the senior school. In addition, younger students were using laptops within the school environment when necessary, teaching the girls how technology can benefit their learning. Over the past five years, the laptop program was gradually introduced to other grades and expanded the communication network within the school. Over the past few years there have been concerns relating to online chats, socializing networks, blogging sites, games and cyber bullying. These distractions could impact student focus in class, which is why St. Mildred’s introduced the “acceptable use policy”. Currently most of these distractions are blocked on the school network.  Social networks should be used outside the school and when a student is caught using her laptop for an inappropriate reason, there are consequences. Despite some of these drawbacks, students take the responsibility of their laptop seriously and by doing so, they are preparing themselves for the future. Learning how to use technology properly and effectively, introducing students to technology advancements they will encounter later on in life are only a few benefits. St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School has come to the conclusion that the benefits of laptops in the classroom far outweigh any disadvantages.

The laptops chosen by the school to be used by the students are versions of the Macbook Pro. The Macbook offers the students software that greatly helps expand the education boundaries and offers learning opportunities to students from grade 6 - S6/grade 12. The students utilize software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash CS3 and many others in classes such as Computer Science, Writers Craft, Computer Technology and several more. The programs help the students complete more efficient work and teach the students skills that they will continue to utilize in many different aspects of their lives. The age of students that received the Macbook Pro laptops has been lowered since the beginning of the laptop program at St. Mildred's - Lightbourn School. The starting age is now at the grade 6 level. This is because the skills learned by using computers will be much more beneficial if the students are given more time to become accustomed to the laptops.

Senior School Grade System[edit]

St. Mildred's - Lightbourn School compresses the grades 7, 8, and 9 according to the Ontario curriculum and offers grade 12 over a span of two separate years. This enables the students to participate in an External Studies program, where students are given several weeks to study abroad (see below).

The following is the match-up for the SMLS grades according to the conventional Ontario grades: S1 - Grade 7 and half of 8 S2 - Rest of Grade 8 and Grade 9 S3 - Grade 10 S4 - Grade 11 S5 - Half of Grade 12 and AP Chemistry S6 - Rest of Grade 12 and AP Art History, Physics, Biology, and Calculus

Senior School Courses[edit]

St. Mildred's - Lightbourn School provides different courses for different students. Students would have to select courses they would like to take for their school year through the option sheet.

Courses For Grades: S1

  • Languages - English, French, Mandarin
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Healthy Active Living
  • Arts - Music, Drama, Visual


  • Languages - English, Mandarin, French
  • Principles of Mathematics
  • Science
  • Geography of Canada
  • Healthy Active Living
  • Introduction to Business
  • Arts - Music, Drama, Visual


  • Languages - English, French, Mandarin
  • Principles of Mathematics
  • Science
  • Canadian History in the Twentieth Century
  • Healthy Active Living
  • Civics
  • Career Studies
  • Arts - Music, Drama, Visual


  • Languages - English, French, Gr. 12 Mandarin, AP Mandarin, Spanish
  • Maths - Functions, Financial Accounting Fundamentals
  • Sciences - Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Economy
  • World History
  • Healthy Active Living
  • Arts - Music, Drama, Art, Communications Technology


  • Languages - Writer's Craft, AP Writer's Craft, Grade 12 French, AP French, Spanish
  • Maths - Advanced Functions, Mathematics of Data Management, Accounting Principles
  • Sciences - Grade 12 Chemistry, AP chemistry, Physics
  • Computer and Information science
  • Law
  • Environment and Resource Management
  • Recreation and Fitness Leadership
  • Arts - Music, Drama, Visual Arts, Communications Technology


  • Languages - English, Spanish, Studies in Literature, AP Literature and Composition
  • Maths - Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors, AP Calculus
  • Sciences - Grade 12 Biology, AP Biology, Grade 12 Physics, AP Physics
  • International Business
  • Economics
  • Social Sciences - Canadian and World Issues, World History, Philosophy, Canadian and World Politics
  • Exercise Science
  • Computer and Information Science
  • AP Art

Major Senior School Social Events[edit]

Semi Formal - a dinner/dance in November where girls are allowed to bring dates; S1/S2 Dances - first is a February Grade 8/9 Valentine's Day Dance; Father Daughter - a February dinner/dance for students and their Fathers; Mother Daughter - ; Grade 11 Dance - an April dance for Senior students, planned by the Grade 11s

Global Studies[edit]

St. Mildred's offers a variety of opportunities for students to participate in exchanges and travel to other areas on the globe. Students are required to complete the bronze level of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Grade 6, S1 and S2 work on completing their Junior Duke award. S3 has a 10-day block S4 has a 15-day block S5 has a 25-day block Grade 6 students participate in a 'near adventure' that is made up of a water activity day facilitated by World Challenge. S1 students participate in their 'near adventure' by staying overnight at Canterbury Hills Conference Centre in Ancaster, and the students have the opportunity for a team-building and 'high ropes' climbing experience made available by S2 students work with World Challenge at Algonquin Park for a 3-day winter experience that includes building shelters, learning winter survival skills and dog-sledding. S3 students participate in a 3-day block that includes team building, and an introduction to the Duke of Ed program. On the second day, they have block preparation and leadership development. On the third day, the students participate in Cultural Sensitivity including 'Discovering Diversity Schools Program'. S4 students have the opportunity to travel afar to China or Japan, or stay local and do a co-op placement. S5 students have the opportunity to travel afar to various locations either set up by the school or a parent initiated experience. The various opportunities available from the Global Studies department help the students better themselves and learn independence.


St. Mildred's Lightbourn School's Athletics Program offers opportunities for students, whether they compete at an elite level or just like to play for fun. At SMLS, they encourage all girls to participate in sports and physical activity to promote important life skills and healthy living. Some sports offered at SMLS are:

  • Soccer
  • Floor Hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Swimming
  • Field Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Track & Field
  • Badminton
  • Golf
  • Softball

Extracurricular activities[edit]

  • Drawing Club
  • Graphic Design Club
  • Improv Club
  • ISDF (Independent School Drama Festival)
  • Japan Club
  • Jazz Band
  • Junior Band
  • Math Club
  • Math Olympics Club
  • Mock Trial Team
  • Panda Club
  • Photography Club
  • Red Maple Reading Club
  • Round Square Club
  • Robotics (FIRST)
  • Senior School Musical (Bi-Annual)
  • Senior School Dramatic Production (Bi-Annual)
  • Senior Band
  • Senior Book Club
  • Senior Ensemble
  • Senior Vocal Ensemble
  • Sewing Club
  • Social Justice Documentary Day (SOC-DOC) Committee
  • Spanish Club
  • Theatre Sound and Lighting
  • White Pine Reading Club


External links[edit]