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 responsibility, commitment, honesty, risk-taking, and empathy. And behind them always are the fundamentals—truth and courage.
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 to our IB curriculum.
- Glenlyon Preparatory School was founded by Major James Ian Simpson who opened a Boarding and Day School for boys in a large house on St. David’s Street in 1932.
- In the summer of 1935 Glenlyon moved to 1701 Beach Drive.
- Mr. Hamish Simpson succeeded his father in 1964 and was Headmaster until 1982.
- In September 1982, Mr. Christopher Gordon became Headmaster of Glenlyon.
- Mr. Keith Walker, the Assistant Headmaster since 1970, became Headmaster in 1984.
- Norfolk House was founded by Miss Julia McDermott and Miss Dora Atkins in 1913.
- In 1932 the school moved to the Main Building on Bank Street.
- In 1957, Miss Winifred Scott arrived from Ontario to head the school.
- In 1978, Miss Scott retired and Mrs. Christine Bullen managed the school for four years.
- After the 70th Anniversary of Norfolk House in 1983, the school welcomed Mrs. Margaret Wilmot as the new Headmistress.
- Early in 1986, Glenlyon and Norfolk House Schools amalgamated under the leadership of Mrs. Wilmot and Mr. Walker.
- Mr. David Brooks was appointed Headmaster of the school in 1987.
- In 1996, the school was accepted as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and began offering the IB Diploma Programme.
- From July 1997 until June 2001, Mr. Charles Peacock served as Headmaster of the school.
- In 1998, the school was elected to membership in The Round Square.
- From July 2001 until June 2004, Mrs. Barbara Emmerson served as Head of School.
- In 2002, the school began implementation of the IB Middle Years Programme.
- The school was reconfigured in September 2003. The Beach Drive Campus became a primary campus with Grades K to 5 in single-gender classes sharing a co-educational environment. The Pemberton Woods Campus became a Grades 6 to 12 campus with Grades 6 to 12 in co-ed classes.
- In July 2004, Mr. Simon Bruce-Lockhart succeeded Mrs. Barbara Emmerson as Head of School.
- In 2004, GNS was officially authorized to offer the IB Middle Years Programme.
- A Junior Kindergarten opened in September 2004, the first Junior Kindergarten in BC.
- The Junior School began implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme in September 2004, and was accepted as a candidate school in June 2005.
- A Middle School was created in January 2005, and the school embarked on a comprehensive strategic planning initiative.
- The school celebrated the 20th Anniversary of amalgamation in May 2006.
- In February 2007, the Junior School was officially authorized to offer the IB Primary Years Programme.
- In September 2008, the school completed the first project in the Campus Transformation Plan—the building of the new artificial turf field at the Pemberton Woods Campus.
- In October 2008, the school co-hosted the International Round Square Conference with Collingwood School.
- In 2012/2013, the school celebrated its 100th anniversary.
- In May 2013, the school celebrated the opening of the new Hall.
- In July 2015, Dr. Glenn Zederayko succeeded Mr. Simon Bruce-Lockhart as Head of School.