St. Margaret’s School (SMS) is an all-girls, independent day and boarding school located in the city of Victoria, on the scenic west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1908, SMS is an international centre for girls’ learning and leadership development, providing empowering education for girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (Boarding: Grades 7–12).
SMS values diversity and inspires excellence of mind and strength of spirit. Students here are challenged to take responsibility for their own learning experience; to develop individual worth, academic excellence, personal wellness, and a connection with nature; and to provide service to their local and global community.
We specialize in the education of girls. Our teachers know how girls learn best and use classroom techniques that draw on their strengths.
The result is a learning environment where girls are engaged, take risks and gain confidence and where every student has the opportunity to take on new challenges and leadership roles in all areas of school life.
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Our four residence houses are home to a vibrant community of girls from all over the world. Boarding students share a room and private washroom with one other girl. Each residence house also has a common area, equipped with a television, DVD player, fridge, microwave, and other small appliances. Activities organized throughout the week and weekend trips offer something for everyone and plenty of opportunities to try something new. Our boarding students go to concerts, plays, movies and hockey games; they go kayaking, hiking, horseback riding and whale watching; they go on surf trips to the West Coast, Ski/Snowboard trips to Whistler and visit nearby cities like Vancouver, Seattle, Banff and Edmonton.
Girls’ sports do not take a back seat here. Girls are our star athletes and our most valuable players. They captain every team, they get the best equipment, they win all the trophies, and they get all the glory.
We believe the independent pursuit and involvement in sport outside of class is key to developing girls who will be active for life. It is important for students to learn to choose to be physically active rather than participating only in mandatory physical activity, and they are far more likely to make this choice if their experience is a positive one. If they enjoy playing, they will stay in the game longer. Extracurricular sports are held during after school hours and are grouped according to age and ability. The divisions are Elementary (Grades 3-5), Middle School (Grades 6-8) and Junior/Senior (Grades 9-12).
SMS competes in the Victoria Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA), the Independent Schools Association (ISA), the Lower Island Middle School Athletic Association (LIMSSA), the Lower Vancouver Island School Sport Association (LVISSA), Independent Schools Elementary Association (ISEA) and BC School Sports (BCSS). Students in Grades 8-12 compete at Island and BC level competitions.
The benefits of an active lifestyle:
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. These programs offer meaningful, hands-on experiences that allow for trial and error and empower students to tackle new challenges. Through these experiences, our students gain awareness of other cultures; develop leadership and teamwork skills; learn to care for others, their community and their environment; and become open to new experiences.
Loving where you learn isn’t all about academics; it also involves loving what you do outside of classes. Extracurricular clubs and activities offer opportunities to pursue an interest you already have or try something new. 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.
Technology is increasingly integrated into our classrooms, projects and activities to enhance both teaching and learning. SMS has a modern computer network that includes approximately 120 computers and four enterprise servers. The school and residences provide high-speed wireless access for all users. There are three, mixed operating system (Windows and Mac technology) teaching labs, a language development lab, a mobile laptop cart, and iPad cart, and a Multimedia lab for Media Arts courses.
Our student population includes girls who join us from all over the world and their cultures and experiences enrich our learning environment. As well, SMS students also have opportunities to explore other countries and learn about their cultures and people first-hand. for many of our boarding students, their everyday experience at SMS is already an experience abroad and we are only too happy to show them around our own backyard and some of BC’s most spectacular destinations.