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Explore GNS

History of GNS

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, Miss Dora Atkins and Miss Julia McDermott founded Norfolk House School (NHS), an all-girls school dedicated to a rigorous education in academics, arts and values. After several years of transition and growth, NHS moved into what is now known as the Main Building on our Pemberton Woods Campus in 1932. Glenlyon Preparatory School for boys was established in 1932 by Major Ian Simpson and moved to what is now our Beach Drive Campus in 1935.

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 to our IB curriculum.

A Brief History of Glenlyon Norfolk School

List of 3 items.

  • Glenlyon Norfolk School

    • 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.
      David Brooks
    • 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.
      Charles Peacock
    • 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.
      Barbara Emmerson
    • 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.
      Simon Bruce-Lockhart
    • 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, the Junior School became fully co-educational.
    • In 2012/2013, the school celebrated its 100th anniversary.
      GNS celebrates 100 years
    • 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.
      Dr. Glenn Zederayko
    • In July 2020, Mr. Chad Holtum succeeded Dr. Glenn Zederayko as Head of School.
      Mr. Chad Holtum
  • Glenlyon School

    • 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.
      St David Street location
    • In the summer of 1935 Glenlyon moved to 1701 Beach Drive.
      Original Glenlyon brochure cover
    • Mr. Hamish Simpson succeeded his father in 1964 and was Headmaster until 1982.
      Hamish Simpson
    • In September 1982, Mr. Christopher Gordon became Headmaster of Glenlyon.
      Chris Gordon
    • Mr. Keith Walker, the Assistant Headmaster since 1970, became Headmaster in 1984.
      Keith Walker
  • Norfolk House School

    • Norfolk House was founded by Miss Julia McDermott and Miss Dora Atkins in 1913.
      Miss Julia McDermott and Miss Dora Atkins
    • In 1932 the school moved to the Main Building on Bank Street.
      Main Building on Bank Street
    • In 1957, Miss Winifred Scott arrived from Ontario to head the school.
      Winnifred Scott
    • In 1978, Miss Scott retired and Mrs. Christine Bullen managed the school for four years.Christine Bullen
    • After the 70th Anniversary of Norfolk House in 1983, the school welcomed Mrs. Margaret Wilmot as the new Headmistress.
      Peggy Wilmot

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

Middle (Grade 6 to 8) and Senior (Grade 9 to 12) Schools

We wish to acknowledge and respect the Straits Salish Peoples on whose traditional territory we gather. Specifically, we recognize the Lekwungen Peoples known today as the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land where we live, work, play and learn continue to this day.