Our promise to our students: we will work to understand, challenge and support you to do your best and realize your potential as a whole person each day and throughout life. Our mission: to challenge and support each of our students to do their best through truth and courage in learning and life. Our vision: to prepare outstanding citizens of character who will contribute to the world through their leadership, their commitment to service, and their understanding that we are all responsible for the future of our communities.
On this site, you will get a sense of the depth and breadth of our programs in academics and beyond. You will be introduced—perhaps for the first time—to the International Baccalaureate and the Round Square Conference of Schools, two aspects of GNS which set us apart and of which we are justifiably proud. You will discover the range of co-curricular opportunities available to our students—the greatness of small.
The traditional values that make up our motto—Do your best through truth and courage—have well-established roots at Glenlyon Norfolk School. In 1913, a pair of enterprising British women founded Norfolk House School, an all-girls school on what is now our Pemberton Woods Campus. Miss Atkins and Miss McDermott were dedicated to a rigorous education in academics, arts, and values. Some 20 years later, Glenlyon Preparatory School for boys was established on the location of our Beach Campus by an equally committed and gifted educator, Major Ian Simpson.
In 1986, the schools joined together to share their philosophies and resources in a cohesive approach to fostering the futures of their students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Ever responsive to changing needs and a changing world, GNS has continued to evolve. That evolution is grounded on values that act as a touchstone for our decisions and guide our approach to teaching. These values include truth, courage, caring, individuality, and community.
GNS has a long-standing history of building bright futures. For over 100 years, our graduates have spanned the globe furthering their studies at esteemed universities. The success of our students is due, in large part, to our GNS family—the exceptional faculty and enthusiastic students—and our IB curriculum.
Each child holds our attention at GNS, a co-educational, university preparatory school that is firmly rooted in the values of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Round Square. As one of only 5% of IB schools in Canada authorized to offer the full continuum of IB programs, GNS is proud of its unique 'IB Advantage': a 21st-Century approach that educates the whole child and creates global thinkers. GNS offers 5- and 7-day Family Boarding options for students who are not residents of Victoria and provides an extensive co-curricular program.
GNS is comprised of two locations, three schools, but one shared philosophy. A magical waterfront setting in Oak Bay is home to our Junior School. Young students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 5 learn at a school where the beach is their playground and sometimes even their classroom. The grounds include the original home of architect Francis Rattenbury. At the center of the campus, this gracious, historical landmark hosts the library, music room, and offices. Classrooms, the gym, and the art room are housed in other buildings around the campus.
Nestled in the six acres of the Pemberton Woods Campus are the Glenlyon Norfolk Middle (Grades 6–8) and Senior (Grades 9–12) Schools. Buildings are connected by pathways that lead through small gardens, giving the campus a peaceful, university-like feeling. Facilities on-site range from a 340-seat performing arts hall to art, music, and band rooms turf field gymnasium fitness center libraries classrooms, and labs for science and information technology. Though separate, the Middle and Senior Schools share some facilities and programs, combining the advantages of age-appropriate approaches with an overall sense of community.
The foundation of the GNS student experience is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. Comprised of three separate but complementary strands—the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the Diploma Programme (DP)—this modern, inquiry-based approach to learning is designed to enable students of all abilities to find success in their studies and to develop the skills necessary to lead happy and rewarding lives. As an IB World Continuum school, we pride ourselves on delivering a program that ensures students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 learn foundation skills at a challenging level enabling them to develop higher-level thinking skills such as research, analysis, and synthesis.
Our committed, expert and compassionate teachers put our students first and work as a team with parents to make sure that we approach students as individuals so that they learn to do their best through truth and courage.
Welcome to the Beach Drive Campus! Located on the oceanfront in heritage buildings, our Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5 classrooms are wonderful examples of the best of learning in action. This beautiful location is enhanced by the quality of our curricula, the passion of our teachers, and the energy and involvement of our students. Having been a student at GNS along with my cousins and three sisters, I was delighted to send my three children here. Subsequently, my daughter came to teach at GNS and has since enrolled her two girls in the school. We feel lucky to have such a strong connection to this amazing school through the generations.
The Middle School heartbeats very much with a sense of vitality and passion as our students take steps towards finding out who they are, what they can do to make a difference, and the part they can play in their personal growth and development. We are firm believers in placing our students right at the center. The Middle School is a great place for this to happen as it offers a safe, nurturing, and wholly positive environment where students can enjoy what they do and have fun learning, knowing that this sense of enjoyment is just what helps to make us a special part of the GNS community. The Senior School is a very unique and special place that offers a rich variety of opportunities for our students. I hope the following pages give you a sense of how great it is to be a GNS student and encourage you to explore further. We are always happy to welcome visitors to our school.