St. Margaret’s School (SMS) is an all-girl, independent day and boarding school located in the City of Victoria on the scenic west coast of British Columbia, Canada. At SMS, we are focused entirely on the education, development and well-being of girls. We provide a personalized learning experience in an environment where girls can be daring, gain confidence and discover their passions. Our student-directed programs equip girls with the knowledge, attitudes and courage to thrive - in their studies and careers, and in life.
St. Margaret’s School (SMS) was founded in 1908. Started in a small house at 810 Cook Street, the school soon moved into a purpose-built school at the corner of Fort & Fern streets which was designed by Francis Rattenbury, the noted architect of Empress Hotel and BC Parliament Building fame. In 1928 SMS amalgamated with St. George’s School for Girls. In September 1970, the school moved to its current location at 1080 Lucas Avenue in the Lakeside area.
Grades: Junior Kindergarten (Age 3) – Grade 12 (linear non-semestered)
EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM:
Junior Kindergarten for 3-year-olds (half or full-day, 5 days/week) and for 4-year olds (full-day program). Learning through play is the focus of this program. We're also pleased to host an annual Early Learning Speaker Series throughout the school year for current parents and the public.
INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM (IEL):
Prepares students to graduate confident in the English language and to achieve success at universities and colleges in Canada, the United States and other parts of the world. Depending on their English ability, international students may begin the program in dedicated IEL classes (the Transition Program) or enter regular classes with IEL support classes (the Bridge Program).
AFTER SCHOOL CARE & SUMMER CAMPS:
Care extends beyond the school day and year at SMS for students in grades K to 6 to continue exploring creatively and physically through scale-able activities in a supportive environment.
At the core of our mission is the belief that higher education is a powerful and valuable experience. Our guidance department works with each student to reflect upon her strengths and passions, identify related programs and careers and articulate her goals for the future.
Our academic programs are supported by a variety of experiential programs designed to engage students in learning beyond the classroom and provide them with opportunities to apply their knowledge in real-life situations. Opportunities include: integrated technology in academics, cross-cultural exchanges, field trips, outdoor education, mentorships, community service, and leadership opportunities.
PE & ATHLETICS:
SMS provides opportunities for daily physical activity through physical education, athletics teams, club sports, intramurals, house challenges and outdoor recreation.
ARTS: A variety of courses and extracurricular activities provide opportunities for students to explore and develop their competency in a variety of art forms including visual arts, media arts, dramatic arts and music, and gain confidence in their own abilities to express themselves artistically.
There are over 20 clubs, councils and activities to choose from; whether your passion lies in baking tasty treats, making a difference in your community or pushing yourself on the soccer field, there is something for everyone.
PROGRAMS WITH COMMUNITY SPECIALISTS:
Our campus continues to hum with activity well after the school day is over. A number of afterschool activities and programs are offered on-site through external service providers, including: dance and music lessons, tennis, public speaking and driver’s education.
WHY ALL GIRLS?
The benefits of a girls’ school do not come from separating girls from boys, but from the ability of a girls’ school to focus entirely on the education, development and well-being of girls. Girls’ schools are able to focus all of their time, resources, attention and energy to the unique needs of girls where co-educational schools simply cannot. This offers us the flexibility to customize teaching strategies, programs, and experiences to match girls’ interests, challenges and learning styles. As such, we are uniquely positioned to provide girls with opportunities and experiences they simply won't have anywhere else.
- When rating their computer skills, 36% of graduates of independent girls' schools consider themselves strong students, compared to 26% of their co-ed peers.
- 48% of girls' school alumnae rate themselves great at math versus 37% for girls in co-ed schools.
- Three times as many alumnae of single-sex schools plan to become engineers.
More about the ‘All Girl Advantage’ can be found online at stmarg.ca
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Saint Margaret is the patron Saint of Learning for whom the school is named. Despite its name, however, the school is non-denominational.
The SMS experience is truly international. 36% of our students come to SMS from countries abroad, including: United States, China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Russia, Mexico and Brazil.
SMS boasts a states of the art campus where technology is fully integrated into our approach to enhance both learning and teaching. Students learn to implement five major technologies: Cloud Technology, Tablet (in grade four all students are provided with a tablet) and Mobile Technology, Social Technology and Desktop Technology (Windows and Mac).
"Outside while Learning"(OWL)
The Outside While Learning (OWL) Program is a unique environmental education program designed to foster children’s imaginative and active participation in the outdoors. Our Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes spend three afternoons each week exploring our natural surroundings. They trek around our campus with backpacks of investigative tools and clipboards to explore various units of study hands-on. The School’s Environmental Classroom allows the OWL Program to be delivered year round, rain or shine.
BIG SISTER LITTLE SISTER:
Our Big Sister/Little Sister Program is a student-led mentorship program much beloved by our students. Each Junior School girl is paired up with a Senior School girl and Little Sisters and Big Sisters participate in school-wide events and house challenges together. The program fosters positive relationships that span grade divisions and a strong sense of community within our school.
ONE SCHOOL, FOUR HOUSES:
And no, we're not talking about the four residences that house our boarding students. The house system is a long-standing and much beloved tradition at SMS. Every student, teacher and staff member belongs to one of four houses – Canmore, Christian, Malcolm or Turgot – and relatives automatically belong to the same house. The house system fosters inter-grade camaraderie and a great sense of pride amongst students and staff. The school spirit is infectious and the sense of community is overwhelming; every student belongs, and every student is immensely proud of this fact.
Connection to Community
The school's motto "Service with Love" is embraced in both individual pursuits and shared responsibilities. Citizenship, volunteerism and social responsibility are central to activities at all levels of the school. We believe in both doing well and in doing “good” and that the two are inextricably linked. We aim to help every girl develop the selflessness to give and the moral compass to do the "right thing" simply because it is the right thing to do. Our students are learning to be part of a community and to seek out opportunities to strengthen that community. They are engaged in fundraising initiatives and community service projects year-round. These activities are largely initiated and led by our students, through the Leadership Program, school clubs, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and independent service and volunteer hours.
Located in beautiful Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia the school is located just 20 minutes from the downtown core, minutes from the intersection at Quadra St and Mackenzie Ave. Our state of the art campus is situated on 22-acres of park-like land including direct access to Blenkinsopp Lake, swaths pristine west coast forest, and views of Mount Douglas.