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Private Schools in Victoria BC to Know and Consider

If you have children nearing school age, it’s time to start reviewing your options for education. Victoria is home to excellent schools and high-quality education systems at every level, and there’s more than you might think. Public schools are plentiful, but it’s important to remember you must live within a catchment area to enroll your kids in public school – they can’t just go anywhere unless exceptions are available.

There is also no shortage of private schools here in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. Whether you want to go private for religious reasons, class sizes, curriculum, or otherwise, there are some solid options at every age group. Some require a bit more of a drive, but there are also lots right in town.

In this article, we’re going to break down your options for private education in Victoria and the surrounding region.


Private Schools in Victoria, BC

Glenlyon Norfolk

GNS logo

Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS) was established over 100 years ago in 1913 and is the only full International Baccalaureate World Continuum School in Victoria. This co-ed, fully independent, and non-for-profit school holds 5 core values: Truth, Courage, Caring, Individuality and Community.

At GNS, students can go to school during the day or also as part of their boarding school program. There are three separate schools distributed between two locations, which enroll students from age 3 all the way to Grade 12.

The Beach Drive campus is a stunning waterfront character property that houses Junior Kindergarten all the way through Grade 5. The Pemberton Woods Campus, located in the Rockland neighbourhood, is the main campus that houses both the Middle School (Grade 6-8) and Senior School (Grade 9-12).

Beyond the classroom, GNS students can participate in soccer, rugby, basketball, field hockey, volleyball, golf, track, cross-country running, ultimate, rowing, and tennis. There’s also a debate club, and plenty of arts programs, like choir, concert band, photography, theatre company, jazz, musicals, and more.

Cost: Annual tuition ranges from $10,975 to $82,575.


St. Michael’s

SMUS logo

St. Michael’s University School, also known as SMUS, is well known to be one of the country’s best independent schools. From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, students can attend during the day or as a boarding student while getting prepared for post-secondary education.

The main campus sits on 17 acres off McRae Avenue, and home to both Middle and Senior students, plus the boarding students’ residences. The Junior School campus is located on Victoria Avenue, for students starting in Junior Kindergarten through to Grade 5.

University prep is a big aspect of SMUS. The school has a dedicated University Counselling department for students that receives hundreds of acceptance letters and secures millions in scholarships for students every year.

Alongside their two campuses, SMUS also has a purpose-built Rowing Centre on the Gorge Waterway, plus a number of other facilities including the Derby facility on Shelbourne Road. Rowing is a popular sport at SMUS, but students also have the option of Soccer, Tennis, Track and Field, Basketball, Cross Country, Sailing, Golf, Rugby, and more.

Cost: Tuition for day students ranges from $23,590 to $$53,140 per year.


Brentwood College

Brentwood College logo

Brentwood College is a boarding school designed for university preparation. The school is in Mill Bay, with a spectacular oceanfront campus and plenty of surrounding nature. Having just celebrated its 100th anniversary, Brentwood is known for its gorgeous campus, unique timetable, quality boarding experience, inclusivity, and strong culture. Students can take classes outside, dine oceanside, and enjoy the schools 1km of coastline.

The timetable at Brentwood allows students to learn and grow in academics, arts, and athletics. The morning is for academics, followed by alternating afternoons of arts and athletics. Students also attend classes on Saturdays, which means break times are longer, allowing students to travel home and visit with friends and family.

Brentwood College has 20 different athletic teams, including hockey, basketball, volleyball, rugby, dance, rowing, and much more. Students also select three sports for each of the three school terms every year. For arts, students can take part in everything from music to robotics to woodworking and more.

Cost: Annual tuition ranges from $32,000 to $96,300.


Pacific Christian

PCS logo

Pacific Christian School is located on Agnes Street in Victoria off Glanford Avenue. PCS provides education with a Christian perspective to students all the way from preschool to Grade 12. Founded in 1960, the school enrolls around 900 students per year from over 90 churches.
PCS has just the single campus, but separate schools on that campus for both Elementary (Kindergarten to Grade 7) and Secondary (Grade 8-12). There’s also Preschool and Junior Kindergarten options available 5 days a week for children as young as 3.

The PCS mission is “Nurturing students in Christ-like living, critical thinking and joyful service to be faithful citizens in God’s world”. The programming is robust, with access to athletics, fine arts, performing arts, and a range of academics.

Registration at PCS is only open to children of committed Christian parents who are both on the same page with the school’s religious values, and part of a Christian Church in Victoria.

Cost: Tuition at PCS ranges from $8,600 to $33,000 for international students. There are also large discounts available for additional children.


St. Andrew’s

St. Andrew's logo

St. Andrew’s Regional High School offers education to kids in Grade 8 through 12, located off McKenzie Avenue in Saanich. A significantly smaller school than some in this article, St. Andrew’s typically has under 400 students per year, while 98% graduate to post-secondary school.

Founded in 1983, St. Andrew’s is on a mission “to provide Christ centered education of the highest standard, equipping students to be leaders in their chosen profession”. Students benefit from a disciplined academic environment and an opportunity to experience God.

The curriculum at St. Andrew’s includes a balance of academics, athletics, and fine arts. In addition, there diocesan approved programs of Religious Studies and Christian Family Life. For sports, students have the choice of Rowing, Soccer, Basketball, Badminton, Volleyball, Golf, Swimming, and Track and Field.

Cost: Tuition at St. Andrew’s ranges from $9,377 to $14,478 per year.


Shawnigan Lake

Shawnigan Lake logo

Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational school for day students and boarding students in grades 8 through 12, located in beautiful Shawnigan Lake. It was founded over a hundred years ago and originally modelled after the Westminster School in England. The school has students and staff from over 30 different students, and boasts a 100% university acceptance rate.

The Shawnigan Lake School campus sits on 270 beautiful acres of lakefront property, with top-tier facilities like a research-grade observatory, ice arena, grass pitches, field hockey turf, library, theatre, chapel, recording studio, growing dome, robotics lab, and more.
At Shawnigan, arts, academics, and athletics are on an equal playing field, which means equal respect, opportunities, and support.

Shawnigan’s arts and activities program provides dozens of opportunities for students to get creative and explore their artistic potential. There are also a selection of sports that students can participate in, with some being competitive and others not.

Cost: Tuition at Shawnigan Lake ranges from $38,000 to $94,500 per year.


Brookes Westshore

Brookes Westshore logo

Brookes Westshore is a relatively new International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, on a mission to create a future filled with self-confident, lifelong learners. They believe in small class sizes, engaging teachers and a caring community support students in a personalized environment. And as a day and boarding school, 21 different nationalities are represented at Brookes Westshore, among kids Grade 4-12.

Brookes Westshore site on 4-acres in the municipality of Colwood, sharing the historic grounds of Royal Roads University. The school is close to Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, and walking distance to the ocean.

Built in 2018, the campus feels fresh and modern, with West Coast architectural styles integrated with technology. There are science labs, art studios, a gym, kitchen, and cafeteria. Plus, students will have access to neighbouring tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball diamond, and hockey rinks.

Cost: Day students pay between $10,290 and $17,750 depending on their grade, while boarding students pay between $40,640 and $62,000 per year.


Christ Church Cathedral School

CCC school logo

Christ Church Cathedral School offers education to children in Kindergarten to Grade 8, plus Jr. Kindergarten and childcare. The school follows the provincial curriculum, and provides additional specialist teachers for Art, Music, Faith, French, and PE. Plus, being a religious school, students participate in weekly religion lessons, chapel service every Wednesday in the Cathedral, and prayer in assembly and at the beginning of the day.

The main campus is for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students, located in a nice quiet part of Downtown Victoria on Vancouver Street. The main building is over 100 years old, and the Cathedral is a local landmark. There’s a playground, soccer pitch, large music auditorium, art room, gym, and more.

The Early Childhood Education program includes Art, Music, Kindergym, Gardening, and Faith classes. Designed for children aged 3-5, this school operates out of a separate campus on Richardson Street.

Cost: Inquire with the school.


All Girls Schools in Victoria, BC

St. Margaret’s

St. Margaret's logo

St. Margaret’s School is the only girl-centered school on Vancouver Island and Canada’s first girl-focused STEM school. The all-girl dynamic at St. Margaret’s encourages girls to take risks, develop resiliency, and discover their strengths in a supportive environment.

Located on Lucas Avenue in the Lakehill neighbourhood of Saanich, St. Margaret’s 22-acre campus is open to both day students and boarding students. Girls can attend St. Margaret’s at the Junior Kindergarten level all the way through Grade 12, taking part in experiential learning, athletics, arts, and academics.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a major focus at St. Margaret’s, which aims to produce graduates that are imaginative, confident, and innovative. It all starts with outdoor exploration in Junior Kindergarten, and finishes with complex problem solving and critical thinking at the Grade 12 level.

Girls have the option to express themselves with a variety of arts programs, including Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. There’s also a robust collection of athletics teams and clubs. Girls have the option of playing basketball, volleyball, rowing, soccer, rugby, and much more. Plus, there are plenty of clubs to join involving tech, sports, social justice, leadership, and more.

Cost: Tuition ranges from $21,192 to $78,446 depending on location of residence and boarding optionality.


Montessori Schools in Victoria, BC

Montessori is a different method of education that started in the early 20th century by Italian physician Maria Montessori, who developed theories through scientific experimentation with her students. Independence is a central theme at Montessori schools. Grades and tests are avoided, and instead students are given long blocks of uninterrupted time, more freedom and discovery, and hands-on learning opportunities.


Westmont Montessori School

Westmont Montessori logo

Westmont Montessori School is a pre-school to Grade 12 Montessori school located right on Metchosin Road. Being in a more rural area, Westmont students get the opportunity to learn in nature thanks to the campus’ 160+ acres of forest-meets-ocean land to explore. Students get the chance to visit local organic farms, nearby ocean labs, and embark on global adventures.

The school is divided into different stages of learning, starting at ‘Early Years’, where there is one teacher per 8 students. Next is ‘Lower Elementary’ where the focus is reading and math, followed by ‘Upper Elementary’ for field trips, music, art and French. ‘Middle School’ is next, where the latest research in human development and education trends is implemented. Last is ‘High School’, where students focus on project based learning, while getting to travel and spend 2 days a week off campus in the real world.

Cost: Tuition ranges from $10,309 per year for ‘Early Years’ students up to $17,897 per year for ‘High School’ students.


Selkirk Montessori School

Selkirk Montessori logo

Selkirk Montessori School is located on Jutland Road in the Burnside neighbourhood of Saanich, which is just minutes by car from downtown Victoria. The school is designed for preschool, elementary and middle school-aged children. Kindergarten/Preschool is for children 3-6, and Elementary/Middle School is for kids Grade 1-9.

Before and after school care is available for Selkirk Montessori students, from 7:45 in the morning to 5:15 in the evening. French is one of the main programs at Selkirk, along with Musical Education and Athletics. Kids also have the choice of a variety of clubs, including Cross Country, Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Chess, Volleyball, and Badminton.

Cost: Contact the school to learn more.


Maria Montessori Academy

Maria Montessori logo

Maria Montessori Academy is located in Saanich on Fairburn Drive, near Mount Douglas Secondary School, Lambrick Park, and the University of Victoria. Founded by the late Angela Martin of Spain in 1980, the school provides Montessori preschool to Grade 12 education within a family-like setting.

Maria Montessori Academy offers Early Childhood Education, Preschool, and education Kindergarten, along with Lower and Upper Elementary, Middle, and High School. Camp is an exciting part of the curriculum for students Grade 1-6, who get to spend July away at camp immersing themselves in science, art, and sports. Maria Montessori also holds a strong belief in outdoor education, which students begin to experience in Grade 1. By Grade 4, students will be taking part in fire building, cooking, kayaking, canoeing, climbing and a host of other activities. Senior students get to go on three week-long expeditions each year.

Cost: Tuition ranges from $780 per 12-months for Kindergarten kids to $1,108 for high school students.


If you’re new to the area or are planning a move, check out our website for tons of info on moving to Victoria. Our site also has plenty of useful info on Victoria real estate, fun things to do, and neighbourhoods.

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