St. Margaret’s School, A Place for Girls to Thrive
Founded in 1908 in Victoria, British Columbia, St. Margaret’s School (SMS) is a tight-knit community of girls with a shared passion for knowledge, leadership, and taking on challenges. With 350 day and boarding students ranging from early childhood education to grade twelve, SMS offers a supportive environment where its students are empowered to pursue their dreams.
The all-girls environment at St. Margaret’s School enables girls to take risks and build confidence. “What girls love about our programs is that they get to come here and feel completely confident being who they are without the additional social pressure,” stated Communications Coordinator Jennifer van Hardenberg.
SMS girls are able to focus on learning, developing lasting friendships, and exploring their passions – be it sports, science, or music. Ms. van Hardenberg elaborated, “The girls here are focused on their studies and their goals. They really value their time here. And studies have shown that girls from single-gender schools perform better in areas like leadership, math, and computer science than their co-ed peers.” SMS is a STEM-focused school –the first and only all-girls STEM school in Canada – and students are encouraged to explore all subjects through an inquiry-based approach.
SMS leaves a lasting impression on its students as evidenced by its list of high-achieving alumni. One former student is the CEO of a successful technology company in Seattle and has founded a girls’ conference to continue to encourage and empower girls to pursue big dreams.
The Boarding Experience
Living at SMS is a unique experience to connect with a diverse group of peers in a safe, inspiring community. With four residence houses located on 22 acres of stunning Canadian land, the SMS boarding experience is an appealing choice for international and local students alike.
Students have ample opportunities to enjoy Vancouver Island’s natural riches, including the annual Outweek, an outdoor education program that encourages the girls to push boundaries and discover new interests, as well as regular weekend excursions and local outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking.
Welcoming International Students
Parents of international students will be pleased with the comprehensive International English Language program, which begins with a week-long orientation program and continues with flexible English language tutoring and support tailored to each student’s proficiency level. Ms. van Hardenberg commented, “As a student’s English ability improves, they can move up through the program at their own pace with the support and challenges tailored to their needs.”
Diversity is an important component of the SMS experience for all students, and the school looks forward to welcoming more international students of all ages to its day and boarding programs. “All our students benefit from the inter-cultural experiences at our global school. Boarders from abroad get immersed in Canadian culture and English language, and local students gain an international perspective. These skills and ‘cultural fluency’ are a must for today’s global workplaces and will serve our graduates long into the future,” concluded Ms. van Hardenberg.