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A girls' school with many advantages

Women all over the world are used to combating naysayers, who believe in limiting our horizons and dreams. Tuning out the noise, focusing on our ambitions, fighting back — these are the skills women cultivate to achieve their goals regardless. This uphill battle is made easier as each generation breaks new barriers. Teaching young girls to strive for their full potential should begin even in school. 

Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) does just that. It is an accepting and safe place where students are empowered to reach for the stars. The school’s mission is “to prepare girls for the rigours of a college education,” but the lessons they learn extend throughout their lives

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The birth of this institution began with the merger of five girls’ schools, dating back to 1869 with the Prospect Hill School of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Over its 150-year history, there have been many noteworthy highlights. For instance, it was in 1988 when the first SBS speaker competed in the World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championship; in 2002 the school won its first Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Championship Title; and in 2004 the SBS Middle School was founded. 

Be it day or boarding students, local or international, SBS girls are challenged intellectually in a space that they feel most at home, encouraging them to reach for greater heights. 

Here are some of the SBS’s offerings which make it the best choice for your child:

The broad IB curriculum

As the first girls’ boarding school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, SBS maximises the benefits of the programme’s approach to learning. Developing critical thinkers with a global mindset, the IB curriculum includes two languages, maths, science, individuals and societies, and the arts. 

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The IB programme prepares students to succeed in the ever-evolving 21st century through its teaching, and so subjects are not taught in isolation but classes are interdisciplinary and connect subjects across the curriculum. IB students are inquirers, thinkers, knowledgeable, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. There are also three additional core elements central to the philosophy of the IB curriculum: Theory of Knowledge, an exploration of the nature of thought and knowledge; an independent research paper called Extended Essay; and hands-on activities under Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). 

School is incomplete without fun activities, sporting opportunities and artistic adventures. These features make for a more well-rounded education — and SBS has an extensive list which students can explore:

Exciting extra-curriculars

Those interested in performing and visual arts can join Dance Repertory, an ensemble-based, process-oriented course, or one of the other dance options. The vocally talented can try out for the chorus or the Octet ensemble. The musically inclined can be part of the Rock Band, Big Band, Chamber or World Music.

Athletics are an essential part of student life here. SBS believes that it is a positive developmental medium that enriches the educational and personal experiences of the student body as healthy athletes and teammates. Both interscholastic and recreational opportunities are on offer. Depending on the season, sports played include horse riding, dance, cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, softball and tennis.

SBS students take at least two trimesters of arts offerings per year. From drawing, painting and photography to animation, ceramics, sculpture and even paper making/book making, students are exposed to a wide range of artistic mediums and expressions.

Learning to speak with clarity and confidence is a key emphasis here, and the girls have the option to test their progress by taking part in competitions. The school’s Debate and Public Speaking Society is world-class — 20 (and counting) SBS students have ranked as World Competitors in Debate and Public Speaking.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

School is incomplete without fun activities, sporting opportunities and artistic adventures. These features make for a more well-rounded education — and SBS has an extensive list which students can explore:

Hear from the students


My experience as a day student at SBS has been really fun. I feel like I know the school and the people, even as a day student. My favourite spot on campus is probably the Grade 8 day student space. Every grade level has a space designated for all day students to share and enjoy. It’s a really fun environment and everyone feels comfortable there. My favourite class would be Humanities (which is a blend of English and history). I feel really connected with my class and it’s a safe space for all students. I am in GSA, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance club, as well as drama and tennis during the different seasons.

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Day student from Vermont. Joined in Grade 7


As a boarding student, the Common Room in the 9th and 10th Grade hallway is my favourite place because we all get together and play games or talk. With my day student friends, the Capen Room is my favourite because it’s kind of like a community hub — and it has a really comfy couch! History is currently my favourite class. We have many endless discussions and the class is never easy, which doesn’t seem appealing, but I came to boarding school to be challenged so I’m glad I get to have this experience.

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7-day boarding student from New Jersey. Joined in Grade 9


I love Vespers, a tradition where the senior class share their last memories before graduation and place their candles in the fountain while the rest of the student body is gathered around them. My favourite class was definitely International Baccalaureate (IB) French. My teacher always makes the class fun!

I am involved in the Community Service Club, a member of the Blue Key Ambassadors, a member of the Students of Color affinity group (SOC), and also the Student Alumnae Association (SAA). I joined SBS’s Debate and Public Speaking Society and competed in a couple of tournaments.

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International student from Honduras. Joined SBS in Grade 7

Want to know more?

Families are welcome to personally visit the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, join on-campus and off-campus events or connect virtually with a Blue Key Ambassador for a Student Meet-Up.

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