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Strategic Directions for Glenlyon Norfolk School

student rope slide and trees

Approved by the GNS Society Board on December 3, 2022, the school’s renewed mission statement and new strategic directions express our ongoing commitment to provide an exceptional experience for our students and families.

Dear GNS Community,

In April 2022, the school began a process to establish a set of strategic priorities to guide our decision-making in the coming years. One of the lessons we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic was the need to be flexible and innovative in our planning, enabling the school to meet unexpected challenges. This time has also taught us to capitalize on new opportunities. As a result, instead of creating a plan that bound us to a specific timeline, we have created a set of strategic directions based on overarching themes identified by our community. This approach will allow our strategic directions to continue to evolve as required to best meet the ongoing needs of our school.

We are excited to share Momentum: Strategic Directions for Glenlyon Norfolk School, a plan that will allow us to develop concrete short- and medium-term future-facing goals while giving the school the ability to respond and thrive in our ever-changing world. Thank you to the over 250 members of our community, including alumni, current and past parents, board members, students, teachers and staff, who contributed their time and energy to help us create a plan that provides a clear path forward and is uniquely tailored to our community’s needs and aspirations.

Over several weeks, our community articulated what matters most to us and to our children, and what sets us apart from other schools. Our Senior Leadership Team and Society and Foundation Board members then worked together to identify goals that will support the delivery of an exceptional student experience from age three to Grade 12. By focusing our goals under the three pillars of Community Driven, Inspired Pathways and Planning for a Bold Future, we have created a strong position to continue building on the significant momentum we have already achieved.

We extend our gratitude for partnering with us in educating your children. Our school’s strength lies in the people who compose it, and we are fortunate to have such a supportive and dedicated community. Our core values remain at the forefront of everything we do, guiding us as we make these strategic directions a reality for our school. We look forward to working together to bring these new goals to life.


Chad Holtum
Head of School

Curtis Mundstock
Chair of the GNSS Board of Governors

Who We Are

Glenlyon Norfolk School is an inclusive family-driven community whose members care about each other and the world around them, where dedicated teachers and staff deliver the full International Baccalaureate Program in a co-educational environment from First Steps to Grade 12. Building on our foundation as a university preparatory school, we encourage students to be curious, engaged and balanced learners who are ready to take positive risks, make mistakes and discover their true selves.

We recognize each student as a unique individual with specific needs, passions and learning styles, and work to empower them to design a personalized pathway to success at GNS and beyond. Our students graduate equipped with the skills required to navigate the complexities of the 21st century and effect positive change in the world.

A GNS education is intended and designed to open a universe of possibilities to every student and ignite a passion for their own unique futures.

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Core Values

The foundation of GNS lies in Our Core Values. These principles guide each member of the “GNS Family,” as we ensure the school remains an exceptional place for students, parents, families, alumni, faculty and staff.

We act with integrity and honesty. We share and promote a strong sense of fairness and justice, and we strive to respect the dignity and rights of all people. We speak up, we speak the truth and we take responsibility for both our actions and their consequences.

We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination. We embrace challenge as opportunity. We promote a courageous approach to both independent and cooperative work, as we explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of change. We engage all members of our community in contributing to an environment where it is safe and desirable to take risks. We do what is right, rather than what is easy or popular.

We demonstrate empathy, compassion and respect. We celebrate the success of others and work together to allow every individual to do their best and realize their full potential. We are committed to service, and we act to create positive differences in the lives of others and in the world around us.

We value and respect the individual and are always mindful of the opinions of others. We enable each student to define and realize their own unique version of achievement. We understand there is no singular mould for success. We recognize each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and we work with them in their pursuit of personal excellence. We acknowledge and support the uniqueness of each member of our community. We provide a respectful and welcoming environment that cultivates acceptance and inclusion.

We work collaboratively to realize our common goal of supporting each student to reach their potential. We are sensitive toward others and promote positive interactions and fairness. We select leaders for the Board and the school who embody our values and make intelligent forward-facing decisions. We celebrate and value each other and our shared GNS heritage. We pull together with kindness and effectiveness at times of stress or crisis. We recognize the responsibility we have to work with the people who live around us to create a cohesive neighbourhood. We are committed to reaching beyond the boundaries of our school to become a meaningful contributor to the local and global community.

Senior girls field hockey team


Community Driven

The strength of GNS lies in our connected, collaborative and caring community, which fosters an important sense of belonging among its members and sets us apart from other schools. Our students feel supported and valued for who they are at every moment of the day.

Culture: The culture of GNS is grounded in the values-enriched environment we provide to our students and is built on the connections made within our extended community of students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and community partners.

Inclusion: At GNS, we work to ensure that each member of our community has a voice and the opportunity to share their personal perspective in meaningful ways.

Student Health & Wellness: Pastoral care is an integral component of the GNS experience. This applies to caring for the physical health and safety of our students, as well as their social and emotional well-being.

Middle School band performing

Inspired Pathways

We have embraced the IB curricula for over 25 years as it encourages critical thinking skills and compassionate global citizenry through the development of intercultural awareness and respect for the needs of others. We recognize our students have distinct needs, interests and learning styles. We will continue to encourage students to explore their individual passions and develop their unique talents while preparing them for the future and adapting to the changing landscape of education and emerging real-world issues.

Tech, Innovation & Entrepreneurship: GNS prides itself on preparing our students for an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, we will continue to follow our long-standing tradition of exploring and offering inventive learning opportunities to all our students.

Unique Pathways to Graduation: At GNS, there is no single mould for students or predetermined idea of a graduate. Each student at GNS is given the opportunity to choose their own pathway and is supported in achieving success on their chosen journey.

Planning for a Bold Future

We will chart an exciting future for GNS with a continued commitment to renewal. We will leverage existing resources and secure new financial support to enhance our infrastructure and facilities while continuing to develop world-class services, faculty and staff.

Planning for a bold future

Financial Sustainability: The GNS experience should be as vibrant and fulfilling as possible for our students, which requires a stable financial foundation that allows us to adopt innovation, be responsive to change and make it possible for more families to join our community. 

Pemberton Woods Campus Renewal: The long-term sustainability of our school relies on our facilities keeping pace with and supporting the evolution of our exceptional programs. We are committed to meeting the evolving needs of our school while growing a strong connection with the broader community and to ensuring that our students have access to the latest resources and technologies needed in preparation to thrive as leaders in a constantly evolving world. 

Talent Acquisition & Retention: As an institution that prioritizes student learning, GNS works to inspire our faculty and staff to continue to learn and grow to become the best they can be in their chosen area. We will invest in our faculty and staff by supporting them to discover professional development opportunities through which they will acquire the skills needed to fulfil the school’s mission. We will work to establish a workplace culture that prioritizes inclusivity, collaboration, innovation and compassion. By creating such a community, we aim to achieve a shared sense of success, where everyone can thrive and feel empowered to achieve their full potential.

Momentum: Strategic Directions for GNS

Reporting to our Community

These videos provide comprehensive updates on our accomplishments, ongoing initiatives and forthcoming plans and shares our progress toward putting Momentum: Strategic Directions for Glenlyon Norfolk School into action. They serve as valuable resources to keep you abreast of our advancements and aspirations for the future, reaffirming our unwavering commitment to educational excellence.

Head of School’s Report to the Community

Launch Pad Program Fosters Tech & Innovation Learning at GNS

What is #winatsocial at GNS?

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