The Bishop Strachan School (BSS) ('Strachan' pronounced /ˈstrɔːn/) is Canada’s oldest day and boarding school for girls. The School has approximately 820 day students and 80 boarding students ranging from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (approximately ages 4–17). The school seeks to nurture the academic, social, emotional, spiritual, creative and physical well-being of the student. While the school is Anglican in tradition, students are from all faiths. The School is named after John Strachan
John Strachan was an influential figure in Upper Canada and the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto.-Early life:Strachan was the youngest of six children born to a quarry worker in Aberdeen, Scotland. He graduated from King's College, Aberdeen in 1797...
, the first Anglican bishop of Toronto, and was founded by John Langtry in 1867. The school was an unusual private school for its times: it was relatively affordable and not Catholic. The founders' intention was to educate girls to be leaders.
The campus is situated within the Forest Hill neighborhood of Toronto. The main building was designed by Henry Sproatt
Henry Sproatt was a Canadian architect in the early 20th Century.Born in Toronto, he trained in Europe and in New York. He formed a partnership with another celebrated architect, John A. Pearson in 1890 and with Frank Darling in 1893...
The school's traditions are based on similar schools in Britain. Senior formal leaders in their graduating year are called prefects, the students must wear uniforms, and each student is a member of a house.
The Junior School employs a Reggio
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach...
-inspired, inquiry based approach to early childhood learning focused particularly on the learning needs of girls. Students have scored well above the provincial average in reading, writing and mathematics in Ontario-wide testing (EQAO) for Grades 3 and 6. The boarding program starts in Grade 7, and boarders come from many parts of Canada and the world. The Senior School offers a wide range of courses in both traditional subjects as well as courses such as Film and Robotics. It offers Advanced Placement courses in some subjects.
When students enter BSS they are placed in a house with 8 to 10 other students from their grade. If a student has a relative, either a current student or graduate, they are placed in the same House. Houses are a source of community and spirit, providing an opportunity to interact with teachers and students of all grades on a daily basis. There are 11 different houses: Acres, Dupont, Grier, Griffith, Lamont, Langtry, Marling, Nation, Pyper, Rosseter, and Walsh. The school has approximately 80 boarders from Grades 7 to 12 from over 21 countries. Each boarder is a member of a boarding House as well as a day house (which are listed above). The boarding program includes regular evening study (including tutorial support).
The school offers programs in the arts and a variety of musical ensembles. It stages a classical production and a musical annually with UCC. BSS also offers a co-educational summer academy during July.
Students are encouraged to become involved in the many teams and other co-curricular activities offered at the School.
Traditional events include:
- Crazy sports day: Students dress up in house colors and compete in a variety of games to win points for the Cadbury-Bell Cup.
- Harvest Games: A reunion weekend for BSS students and Old Girls, featuring teacher versus student basketball games.
- Hockey Day: Starting with a pep rally, BSS girls cheer on Hockey team against rival school Havergal College for the annual Hewitt Cup game.
- Spirit week: Divided into grades, students compete against each other in weeklong competitions. Each grade has a colour that they dress up in to show their school pride.
- Philanthropy Week: Organized by the prefects, this week is filled with special snacks and lunch-time events in an effort to raise money for charity.
- Sister Speeches: Graduating girls have the opportunity to give a final farewell to their younger siblings.
- School Theme (cheer): Every year the prefects choose a theme for the school year. The annual agenda, school cheer and many school events center around the theme.
- Arts Week: An opportunity for students to showcase their year end projects in dance, visual arts, drama and film.
- Grad Retreat : The Graduating class travels outside of the city to spend the weekend together.
- Nativity : A traditional reenactment of the Nativity Story. Many Old Girls return for the performances.
- Grad Tie-Dye: On the last day of school the graduating class wears their tie-dyed midi-blouses and gets other students to sign their shirt.
- Grad Chapel: Opportunity for the graduating class to organize and participate in monthly chapel services. They get to share stories and advice to other students. The final chapel always include a ‘keep standing’ segment which highlights major events from jk to grade 12 that they have experienced.
- Father Daughter Dance: Annual dance at Royal York Hotel where girls dress up in formal attire and share a night of dinner and dancing with their father.
- Hill Speaker: The Hill family sponsors an author or playwright to come in and speak to the school.
- Festival of Carols: Annual event featuring the school’s musical groups performing holiday music.
- Deck the Halls: Annual sale in November that is open to the public. Features vendors from around the city.
- Coffee House: An event to involving COSSOT (coalition of single-sex schools of Toronto) schools that features a variety of student talents.
- Holiday Giving: A humorous performance done by grade 12 students.
The school's alumni include:
- Viola Allen
Viola Emily Allen was an American stage actress who played leading roles in Shakespere and other plays, including many original plays. She starred in over two dozen Broadway productions from 1885 to 1916...
- Thea Andrews
Thea Andrews is a Canadian actress and TV personality best known for her stint at ESPN where from October 2003 to November 2006 she served as co-host on several ESPN shows such as Cold Pizza , Breakast at Churchill Downs , Breakfast at Pimlico , The ESPY Red Carpet Show , ESPN Hollywood and Sports...
- actress and TV personality
- Margaret Campbell (politician)
Margaret Campbell was a municipal and provincial politician from Toronto, Canada.-Background:Born Margaret Baird she was raised in Rosedale and attend Bishop Strachan School, University College and then Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in 1937. She married American film maker and...
- municipal and provincial politician
- Lin Chi-ling
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- Taiwanese model and actress
- Devin Connell – restaurant owner/chef of Delica Kitchen
- Michelle Giroux
Michelle Giroux is a Canadian stage actress whose credits include numerous productions at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival over nine seasons....
- Canadian stage actress
- Kate Hewlett
Katherine Emily "Kate" Hewlett is a Canadian actress, writer and songwriter.-Biography:Hewlett was born in Toronto, Ontario. Her brother is actor David Hewlett, who portrayed Rodney McKay in Stargate Atlantis who was also her brother on-screen. Kate guest-starred as McKay's sister Jeannie in four...
- Canadian actress, writer and songwriter
- Dr. Joan Whitten Miller - Macular degeneration specialist, Harvard Medicine
- Emily Murphy
Emily Murphy was a Canadian women's rights activist, jurist, and author. In 1916, she became the first woman magistrate in Canada, and in the British Empire...
- Canadian women's rights activist, the British Empire's first female judge & one of the The Famous Five (Canada)
- Marjorie Pickthall
Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall , was a Canadian writer who was born in England but lived in Canada from the time she was seven...
- Poet and writer
- Valerie Pringle
Valerie Pringle, CM is a Canadian television host and journalist.Pringle began her career in broadcasting as a summer student with Toronto radio station CFRB in 1973, and became a fulltime reporter for the station the following year...
- Canadian television host and journalist
- Margaret Wente
Margaret Wente is a columnist for Canada's largest national daily newspaper, The Globe and Mail and a director of the Energy Probe Research Foundation. She has received the National Newspaper Award for column-writing twice....
Columnist for The Globe & Mail
- Beatrice Helen Worsley
Beatrice "Trixie" Helen Worsley was the first female computer scientist in Canada. -Education:Beatrice Helen Worsley was born in Mexico, but graduated from Bishop Strachan School in Toronto in 1939, receiving the Governor General’s Award for the highest overall grade...
- first female computer scientist in Canada
- Larysa Kondracki - writer/director of The Whistleblower
The Whistleblower is a 2010 thriller film directed by Larysa Kondracki, written by Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan, starring Rachel Weisz. Inspired by actual events, the film tells the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, and premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival...