St. Margaret's School, the only all-girls school on Vancouver Island and Canada's first all-girls STEM school. Ours is a community that cares deeply about girls. We have been dedicated to their education, development, and wellbeing for over a century. Together, we help girls become powerful learners with the knowledge, attitudes, and courage to thrive – in their studies and careers, and life. Our small-scale learning environment provides teachers with the flexibility to personalize learning for each student – building upon individual passions and challenging each girl to improve her performance, exceed her expectations, and realize her potential.
The mission is Empowering her to set her course & shape her dreams. St Margaret's School values diversity and inspires excellence of mind and strength of spirit. Students here are challenged to take responsibility for their own learning experience, develop individual worth, academic excellence, personal wellness, connection with nature, and service to their local and global communities.
This is a school where girls who want to change the world become women who do. Our committed staff, a beautiful campus, and an innovative curriculum create a nurturing environment that challenges students to achieve their leadership potential.
Our Strategic Plan was developed by collaborating with the entire SMS community, including the Board, staff, parents, students, and school partners. We would like to thank all those who participated over the last two years and took the time to attend sessions, fill out surveys, and offer insights.
The plan is envisioned to operate over a ten-year horizon. It is sufficiently broad to allow flexibility in yearly implementation while clearly articulating the key markers that define us. It is a reflection of our shared desires and collective intent.
You will notice that our Mission, Vision, Values, and Principles are described from a girl's perspective. Our students are our future, and we have placed them clearly at the center of this Strategic Plan and the process to make it come alive. Unveiled in the Fall of 2012, the Strategic Plan sets a clear intention for the school over the next ten years.
St. Margaret's School was founded in 1908 by two English sisters, Edith and Isabel Fenwick, who were soon joined by their friend Margaret Barton. The school started in a small house at 810 Cook Street. It moved across the street to a larger house at 813 Cook Street and soon acquired the neighboring house at 819 Cook Street for additional classroom space. By the spring of 1911, plans were underway for a new school and boarding house to accommodate the school's growing population.
Tragedy struck on April 10, 1911, when the Fenwick sisters were drowned in the capsizing of the SS Iroquois as it left Sidney en route to Salt Spring Island. Margaret Barton, who was accompanying them, was found unconscious with one hand bound to a capsized lifeboat's gunwale. Students, years later, would recall Margaret Barton's scarred hands from steam pipe burns.
A second home to local girls and students worldwide, SMS has an international reputation as a center for inquiry-based learning, academic excellence, and girls' leadership development. We provide empowering education for girls at all levels: starting with the foundational skills built by our pioneering early learning program and elementary grades, our students are given the support and challenges they need to grow and excel straight through middle school and succeed in graduation in Grade 12. Our boarding school program for Grades 7–12 attracts girls worldwide and enriches learning experiences for all students.
Our elementary school program is a small, family-like community where teachers develop strong relationships with their students and their families. Classroom activities are designed to extend students' natural curiosity and actively engage them in the learning process. Our students learn to be curious, to work together, and to love learning. They develop a solid foundation for successful academic achievement, positive peer relationships, and a growing sense of responsibility for their learning.
The Middle Years Program at St. Margaret's School (SMS) engages students in Grades 5 – 8 in a unique set of opportunities to address the development and learning needs of girls at this critical stage of growth. We provide our girls with the foundations for success: challenges to excel, experiences that inspire, and future preparation.
Our Senior Years Program (Grades 9-12) focuses on preparing our students for life after SMS. Our hope is that time spent here will provide each girl with noble ambitions and huge dreams, and our goal is to help her leave with a plan to achieve them. We recognize that learning occurs at different times and in different ways; our learning environment respects the diversity that exists amongst our students and supports each girl's development.