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Queen Margaret's School

660 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, British Columbia, V9L 1C2

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 8 to Gr. 12 (Girls)
$6,250 to 55,200/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 254 (Gr. PS - 12), Boarding: 94 (Gr. 6 - 12)

School Address
660 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, British Columbia, V9L 1C2

About this school:


QMS is a trailblazing university preparatory school that transforms how day and boarding students learn and develop. Our unique educational model combines experiential learning, sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship, and equine facilitated leadership. Set in Cowichan’s ‘warm land’ on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, QMS' beautiful 27 acre campus is home to Canada's only on-campus equestrian facility and academic riding program.

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User-submitted reviews   

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" ... outstanding on all levels ... "
Mary Furneaux - Parent   (Feb 05, 2018)
At Queen Margret's my child has grown to appreciate the diversity of the students. Being a preschool...

Our Take: Queen Margaret's School

our takeVancouver Island has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beautiful, excellent schools, and certainly Queen Margaret’s is one of them. It was founded in 1921 by Norah Creina Denny and Dorothy Rachel Geoghegan, who dedicated themselves to providing what was, for the time, something unique: a robust educational experience for all, including women “capable of realizing ourselves as complete individuals.” Certainly, that’s what they did, and it’s a tradition that the school maintains today. The riding program is distinguishing, as is the strength of the academic programs. A strategic plan begun in 2014, to complete at the school’s centenary, will reaffirm the commitment of the founders to excellence as well as their commitment to adapting to the changing needs of students.

School busing:

QMS offers bus transferring. Service options offered are regular rider. The regions it offers busing from are Nanaimo, Mill Bay, Cowichan Bay, Ladysmith, Cedar, Crofton, Vesuvius, Chemainus, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Koksilah, Cinnabar Valley.
Additional notes: 5 Day Boarder Home for the Weekend Bus Route to Nanaimo Ferry Terminal at Duke Point and Departure Bay

Upcoming Events Next event: June 09, 2018

upcoming events
  • June 09, 2018Richard Keller Hunter/Jumper Clinic
    Queen Margaret's School, 660 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, British Columbia
    Join us Saturday, June 09 from 08:00 am - 04:00 pm

    June 9-10, 2018

    Open to the Public

    $330 (Early Bird Fee $300, Register by May 11, 2018)

    For the past 40 years, Richard has judged and designed courses for prestigious events on both the East and West Coasts of the United States. He is considered one of the premier judges of Hunters, Jumpers and Hunt Seat Equitation throughout North America. He is nationally recognized for the development of many Grand Prix horse and rider combinations; producing numerous medal final contenders (USET, USEF and ASPCA Equitation), World Cup Finals jumper riders and many year-end hunter riders (Young Riders Championships).

    EC Rider Levels 6 through 10, EC Rider Levels 4 & 5 available as space permits

    Register: [email protected] or call 250-746-4185 ext. 117

Principal's Message


Mrs. Wilma Jamieson, Head of School

By building on the vision and ideals of our founders, Miss Denny and Miss Geoghegan, for the past ninety years, our tradition of girls’ education has led to student accomplishments which are recognized both nationally and internationally. We have a commitment to a culturally diverse environment that has contributed to our graduates being accepted at leading universities in Canada, the United States and abroad. Our teachers at QMS are passionate about their work. As a university-preparatory school, our expectations for students are high and our curriculum challenging. Through such challenges, along with the expectation for full and active participation in the life of this school community – in the classroom where it all begins, through co-curricular and outdoor education experiences, and beyond – in athletics, the arts, and service to our community, students grow in confidence and develop an awareness and curiosity in a wide array of venues. We are held together by our core values. These are the values that define us and provide the framework for the engaging experience that is Queen Margaret’s School. QMS is a school where relationships matter. Positive, supportive relationships between students, teachers and students, and between the family and school are important to us. We invite our parents to be active members of our school community. We host many events throughout the school year to showcase our students’ work, enjoy seasonal events and create a positive social environment. Please join us for these events, come visit our school often, and see for yourself what distinguishes QMS and our extraordinary community. I feel confident that together with the participation of outstanding faculty, staff, students and parents, we will continue to grow the strong foundation and legacy with which we have been entrusted. On behalf of the faculty, staff and the Board of Governors of Queen Margaret’s School, we extend a collective welcome to you and offer our best wishes for a successful and rewarding year.


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

What QMS says: Students flourish in small classes where everyone has the opportunity to share ideas. QMS is the ideal size to reflect Canada’s many cultures while remaining an intimate community. We are large enough to offer an extensive educational program, yet small enough to ensure that each student is known and respected as an individual. As a university-preparatory school, academic rigor and personal excellence are our aims. Innovative and unique programs are offered to all students and support is provided to those students who need extra time to help build their confidence, self-esteem, knowledge and skills. We have developed a school culture where students can feel proud of their successes.

  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages Communicative

      The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   10
    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Japanese • ESL

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What QMS says: Queen Margaret’s School offers exemplary curricular and co-curricular athletic and club programs that provide students with the opportunity for physical as well as academic development. The athletic program in the Junior School includes every student. There are many opportunities for involvement in sports. Building a strong athletic program, developing physically fit and motivated students and building team pride is a process that takes many years. Specific skill development must be sequential and must begin early. Therefore, we expect Intermediate students to participate on a team or in a sport at least twice each year. We also offer structured and unstructured opportunities for our primary students to get involved in athletics and team sports. In Senior School, physical education classes for all students combined with an integrated Outdoor Education program develop physical fitness and skills while enhancing sportsmanship and strengthening student self-esteem.

    Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Physics 1
    • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
    • AP Studio Art: Drawing
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP English Literature and Composition
    • AP Government and Politics: United States
    • AP Japanese Language and Culture
    • AP Macroeconomics
    • AP Microeconomics

    Sex and Health Education British Columbia curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What QMS says: Queen Margaret\'s School recognizes that families have diverse values related to sexual education. Our school provides information about \"Body Science.\"

    Preschool/K Curriculum Play-based

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What QMS says: Queen Margaret’s Early Childhood Education programs are designed for three and four year-old boys and girls. We offer nurturing and play-based programs enriched with a wide variety of age appropriate activities that promote social, physical, intellectual, creative, and emotional development.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What QMS says about flexible pacing: Differentiated instruction based on student learning needs.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    What QMS says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    QMS offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    QMS does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Queen Margaret's School students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    QMS 0 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins90 mins90 mins
    Site Average2 mins6 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades4 to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackK to 12
    Academic achievement reportingK to 3
    Habits and behaviour reportingK to 3
    Parent-teacher meetingsK to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What QMS says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Field Hockey
      Ice Skating
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Environmental Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Math Club
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Poetry/Literature club
      Robotics club
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Day (Domestic: in province) Boarding (Domestic) Boarding (Domestic: in province) Boarding (International)
    Day (Domestic: in province)$12,665$13,335$14,265$16,760
    Boarding (Domestic)$46,700
    Boarding (Domestic: in province)$42,100
    Boarding (International)$55,200


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Early paymentall students2%
    2nd child (sibling)all students20%
    3rd child (sibling)all students30%
    4th child (sibling)all students50%

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: K to 12
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid34%
    Average aid package size$3,000
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid34%
    Total aid available$300,000

    Application Deadline:
    Rolling deadline

    More information:

    Application Details:

    Applying for bursaries requires family's to complete a confidential full disclosure form of their family financial information, based on the previous tax year.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Queen Margaret's School
    Amount: $10,000
    Deadline: Rolling
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 8 to 12—QMS Scholarships are offered to students in Grades 8-12 and are based on academic merit, community service and positive personality. Awards range from $500 to $10,000 and are renewable annually based on the student maintaining honours standing.
    Application Details: Parents are encouraged to apply before the start of the school year.
    For more details, visit: www.qms.bc.ca/pages/admissions/process/
    Queen Margaret's School
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: Rolling
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 4 to 12—

    Queen Margaret’s School wishes to recognize Pony Club members for their commitment, skills, and community-minded attitude fostered under the Pony Club’s motto of “Loyalty – Character – Sportsmanship.” Pony Club membership provides an advantage to new students entering into educational and riding life at Queen Margaret’s School. To acknowledge this investment in character and skill development, Queen Margaret’s School is offering an entrance scholarship to eligible Pony Club members. Scholarship Criteria: 1. Candidates must be a Pony Club member in good standing and provide documentation showing at least one full year of Pony Club membership. 2. Candidates must have successfully passed their D2 level or higher. 3. Candidates must provide a letter of recommendation from their branch leader or instructor. This letter must reference: a. The candidate’s level of commitment to riding and care of their equine partner; and b. The candidate’s attitude in the stables and with their fellow Pony Club members. 4. Candidates must submit a written essay to the QMS Admissions Office of approximately 500-1000 words explaining why they believe Queen Margaret’s School can help the candidate continue with their goals and skills they have developed in Pony Club (in their own words please). 5. Qualifying candidates will receive a Pony Club entrance scholarship to help ease first year entry costs. The amount of this award will be determined by the program in which the student is registered (day or boarding). 6. This entrance scholarship acknowledges preparation for enrolment. Successful candidates will not be eligible to apply for this award in subsequent years of enrolment at QMS. Scholarship Value: New Boarding Students $1,000 New Day Students $500 (Awarded as a reduction of first year fees)

    Application Details:

    To Apply contact the Queen Margaret’s School Admissions Office at: [email protected]

    For more details, visit: www.qms.bc.ca
    Pony Club/4H Entrance Scholarship
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: Rolling
    Eligibility Details: Students grade K to 12—

    Queen Margaret’s School wishes to recognize Pony Club and 4H members for their commitment, skills, and community-minded attitude. Pony Club and 4H membership prepares new students to enter into educational and riding life at Queen Margaret’s School. To acknowledge this investment in character and skill development, Queen Margaret’s School is offering an entrance scholarship to eligible Pony Club and 4H members.

    Application Details:

    Candidates must be a Pony Club or 4H member in good standing and provide documentation showing at least one full year of membership. 2. Pony Club candidates must have successfully passed their D2 level or higher. 3. All candidates must provide a letter of recommendation from their branch leader or instructor. This letter must reference: a. The candidate’s level of commitment to their club’s activities and values; and b. The candidate’s attitude and contribution to their club. 4. Candidates must submit a written essay to the QMS Admissions Office of approximately 500- 1000 words explaining why they believe Queen Margaret’s School can help them continue with the goals and skills they have developed in their club (in their own words please). 5. Qualifying candidates will receive an entrance scholarship to help ease first year entry costs. The amount of this award will be determined by the program in which the student is registered (day or boarding). 6. This entrance scholarship acknowledges preparation for enrolment. Successful candidates will not be eligible to apply for this award in subsequent years of enrolment at QMS. 

    For more details, visit: www.qms.bc.ca/admissions/scholarships--bursaries/


    Total enrollment 348
    Average enrollment per grade22
    Average class size18
    Gender (grades)Gr. 8 to Gr. 12 (Girls)
    Boarding offered Gr. 6 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)27%
    % in boarding (grade-eligible)48%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment231016191920202121111410187
    Boarding Enrollment14716311917



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewPS - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    Boarding students:

    What QMS says:

    Please visit our Admissions page at http://www.qms.bc.ca/admissions/ for our current admissions criteria.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Queen Margaret's School is looking for: Our admissions process is very personalized. Members of our team look forward to meeting prospective families to determine if QMS is suited to them. We are looking for students who would benefit from our rigorous academic program, small enriched classes and specialist teachers. Student applications are assessed individually, taking into consideration past performance, teacher recommendations and students’ extra curricular interests.

    Day Boarding Homestay

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Homestay Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size26
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements13
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    What Queen Margaret's School says:

  • St. Andrew's University (Scotland)
  • Mount Allison University (Canada)
  • University of Guelph (Canada)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (USA)
  • Pratt Institute (USA)
  • University of Miami (USA)
  • Edinburgh University (Scotland)
  • Hokkaido University (Japan)
  • King's College London (UK)
  • Hong Kong University (Hong Kong)
  • London College of Fashion (UK)
  • Acadia University (Canada)
  • Carleton University (Canada)
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA)
  • McMaster University (Canada)
  • University of Victoria (Canada)
  • University of Calgary (Canada)
  • University of Saskatchewan (Canada)
  • University of Waterloo (Canada)
  • Drexel University (USA)
  • Fashion Institute of Technology (USA)
  • University of Toronto (Canada)
  • Northeastern University (USA)
  • Queen's University (Canada)
  • University of Alberta (Canada)
  • University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • Western University (Canada)
  • Instituto Marangoni (UK)
  • University of Ottawa (Canada)
  • Centro University (Mexico)
  • University of King's College (UK)
  • Dalhousie University (Canada)
  • Simon Fraser University (Canada)
  • Vancouver Island University (Canada)
  • University of Nottingham (UK)
  • University of Manchester (UK)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • University of Melbourne (Australia)
  • York University (Canada)
  • University of Bristol (UK)
  • MacEwan University (Canada)
  • Durham University (UK)
  • Mount Royal University (Canada)
  • Universidad Anahuac Mexico Norte (Mexico)

  • Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Eve  Savory 1965 Legislative reporter CHQM Vancouver 1973-74; CBC Radio Ottawa 1975-76; regional parliamentary reporter CBOT Ottawa 1976-79; national TV reporter CBC-TV Saskatchewan/Alberta 1979-83; medicine/ science/technology reporter The National CBC Toronto/Vancouver 1983-abt.2000.
    Suzanne Anton 1974 Suzanne Anton, Q.C. (born 1952 or 1953) is a Canadian politician and the current Minister of Justice and Attorney General of British Columbia.
    Charles  Hoey 1925 A Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
    Rona Jean Murray 1941 A Canadian poet.
    Susanna Blunt 1958 A Canadian portrait artist who designed the most recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the current Canadian coinage, which began in 2003.
    Clio Smeeton 1959 Clio Smeeton is president of the Cochrane Ecological Institute (CEI). CEI is best known for initiating and implementing swift fox reintroduction in North America.
    Barbara Cole Walton 2005 Canadian soprano who was a recipient of numerous awards including the Governors’ Recital Prize in Singing (RCS). She is a professional & performs around the world.

    Stories & Testimonials


    Royals Complete Season on Top

    The Queen Margaret’s School Royals Equestrian Team wrapped up their school year season in Langley, BC at the scenic Thunderbird Show Park, securing championships and earning top placings.


    The Thunderbird Classic and BC Open are the final two shows the QMS Royals compete in each school year. With other academic commitments and end of year pressures, taking a complete team to the shows is always a challenge. “This has been one of our busiest competition years to date,” says Cheryl Keith, QMS Head Coach. “Our riders have been riding hard all year and are tired, so it’s incredible to watch them dig deep and achieve success.” For some riders though, their riding doesn’t end in June.


    For graduating rider Kassidy Keith, her achievements at Thunderbird have only flamed the passion for her sport and assisted in deciding her direction after QMS. “I’m really excited about my future,” says Keith. “Immediately after my graduation banquet I’m going to Washington State to ride with Shelley Kerron at Legacy Hunters & Jumpers Stables in Woodinville. This is an exciting opportunity for me to develop my riding skills.” Keith is hopeful that her wins at Thunderbird will help her to be considered for a place on the U18 North American Riders Team.


    With the season now complete, the QMS Equestrian Program will turn its attention to preparing for several summer camps which focus on building riding skills, Equine Canada riding levels, horse psychology and pre-veterinary studies. To learn more, visit www.qms.bc.ca.


    Thunderbird Classic & BC Open Results

    Kassidy Keith on Crackerjack

    • Reserve Champion Junior Amateur 1.3m
    • 4th Place 1.35m Open Jumper Classic

                on Press to Play

    • Champion Hunter 3’3”

                on Dreams Come True

    • Champion Training Pony Hunter

                on Maplebrook’s Heaven                 

    • Champion Junior Hunter
    • Champion Junior Hunter
    • Reserve Champion Junior A Equitation

    Emily Cake on Will I Am

    • 2nd Place Training Jumper
    • Reserve Champion Showpark Hunter

    Tianna Jerome on Rosewood

    • 2nd Place Low Hunter

    Kyra Westman on LL Bean

    • 2nd Place 1.0m Jumpers

                            on Storm Warning

    • 3rd Place Training & Children’s Jumper
    • 4th Place CET Medal

    Hannah Anderson on Rosewood

    • Champion Pre Child Equitation
    • Champion Short Stirrup Hunter
    • Reserve Champion Pre Child Hunter

    Students Collaborate with Artists on Mural

    A team of 45 young artists from Queen Margaret’s School and 13 adult artists from Duncan combined forces to create a public mural which promotes the understanding of local ecosystems from a First Nations perspective while beautifying a main corridor in the City of Duncan.


    The 64’ x 4’ mural includes renderings of salmon styled after traditional Pacific Northwest Coast art and will be situated across from Joe’s Tire Hospital in Duncan. “Children’s motivation to learn and communicate their passion for our natural environment is supported when they have the opportunity to make a visible contribution in their community,” explains Angela Andersen, Department Head of Fine Arts at QMS. “The building owner, the Duncan Business Improvement Association (DBIA) and the City Council of Duncan gave the students of QMS a goal to work for, something to be accountable for. Not surprisingly, they joyfully rose to the challenge.”


    In collaboration with Angela Andersen, Grade 12 QMS student Emily Zhang studied form line style and consulted with local carver, Lambert Goldsmith to establish the overall composition of the mural concept. Her scaled drawings were pitched to the building owner, the DBIA and an art review panel who suggested and facilitated the inclusion of local artists before the project was sent to City Council for approval. Funding was provided by Art Starts and the DBIA, while labour and artistic assistance were provided by the City of Duncan Public Works Department and the Cowichan Valley Arts Council.


    QMS Grade 5 students joined the Grade 10-12 art class in gathering research for the project. Students learned details about First Nations art through visits from artist Lambert Goldsmith and explored the historical use of native plant species on field trips to the Cowichan River, engaging with First Nations ethno-botanist Ken Elliott. “In their role as peer educators, QMS students were passionate about learning the importance of respecting riparian land and waterways,” continues Andersen. “Our youth aspire to make a difference in the world and art is a natural way to learn about, celebrate and share a commitment to protecting biodiversity along the Cowichan River.” After finishing their research and sketching the mural outline, local artists joined the QMS team to add their talent and complete the community circle.


    The large-scale project required the support and involvement of numerous community groups, all of whom the staff and students at Queen Margaret’s School are grateful. The hope is that the mural will serve as a visual reminder to respect and honour our relationship with nature and each other. “Public art projects such as this are a perfect vehicle to communicate values, exchange knowledge and bring a diverse group of people together in a shared purpose,” says Andersen. “Like the salmon depicted in the mural, heading downstream to the ocean, the teachings, relationships formed and experiences gained here will spread around the globe in the minds and hearts of our young people.”


    QMS Student Top in BC

    Grace Lavigne of Queen Margaret’s School has won first place in British Columbia for the Canadian Scholastic Achievement League (CSAL) Scholastic Challenge. The award makes her the fourth QMS student in six years to place first in the province for this scholastic test.


    CSAL’s Scholastic Challenge is an academic competition for Grade 6 students from across Canada. The contest is one hour in length and tests students with 100 questions in six categories: general knowledge, language and literature, social studies, science and mathematics. “Our students always enjoy taking part in this scholastic challenge,” explains Ms. Fiona Morrison, Grade 6 teacher at QMS. “They cannot study for the exam, so they genuinely have fun completing the online challenge.” It was even more of a shock to Ms. Morrison when another one of her students took top prize in BC… again.  


    “I was really surprised when I found out,” says QMS student Grace Lavigne. “Some questions on the test were hard, while others were easy but I had no idea that I would win first place.” The Grade 6 class at Queen Margaret’s School had results which placed three quarters of the class participants above the national average. Lavigne received a trophy for her efforts, along with recognition from her class.


    “This academic opportunity enabled Grace to show her breadth of knowledge,” adds Susan Cruikshank, QMS Junior School Principal. “She’s an avid reader and wonderful all-around student. It was lovely for her to receive this award and be honoured by her classmates. We are very proud.”



    Keith Earns National Recognition

    One of Canada’s most prestigious equestrian awards has been bestowed on a rider from the Queen Margaret’s School Equestrian Team. Graduating rider, Kassidy Keith, has been named Equine Canada’s Junior Equestrian of the Year.


    Founded in 1993, the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award – The Gillian Wilson Trophy – is awarded in honour of Gillian Wilson, who served as technical director of the Canadian Equestrian Federation for more than 15 years. The award is given to a junior equestrian athlete who has excelled in equestrian competition in the current award year while demonstrating exceptional talent, horsemanship, sportsmanship, and dedication to equestrian sport, as well as the vision and mission of Equine Canada.


    “I was really surprised when they called and invited me to receive the award in Montreal,” explains a humble Kassidy Keith. “Some past winners of this award have gone on to ride at the Grand Prix level, so I am very honoured.” Kassidy and her father were flown to Quebec, courtesy of Equine Canada (EC), to take part in the 2016 EC Awards Gala on April 22.


    Queen Margaret’s School Equestrian Program Director Jodine Buydens explains that this particular equestrian award is not something athletes can actually strive for as winners are nominated by Equine Canada community members and voted on by the board. Thus, being selected is very poignant for equestrians across the country. “I’ve known Kassidy my whole life, and I know what kind of dedication it has taken to get her to where she is today,” notes Buydens. “She got to where she is because of who she is. Her opportunities have not been handed to her or come easily. I love the story of her success.”


    Keith made it clear she shares this award with everyone who has supported and influenced her riding career, such as her family, the QMS community, the equestrian community, Ellen and Mark Brown, Jolene Benham, and John Turner.


    What is next for Kassidy? The talented young rider is already training to earn a place on the U18 Junior National Team and make her debut at The Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Colorado this July.


    Royals Red Hot in the Desert

    Following six grueling weeks in the desert, riders from the Queen Margaret’s School Equestrian Team are finally home, still buzzing from their experience.


    QMS took their Head Coach, Cheryl Keith, QMS Equestrian Program Director, Jodine Buydens, and eight riders south to compete in the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California, over a period of six weeks. Grade 12 rider Kassidy Keith departed in mid-February, ahead of the main team. She worked with four different horses during her six week stay and earned a long list of accolades during her competition.


    Kassidy Keith on La Reserve 

    • Second Half Circuit Champion Modified Junior Amateur Hunter
    • Reserve Grand Circuit Champion Modified Junior Amateur Hunter
    • Second Half Circuit Champion 1.3m Junior Jumpers
    • Reserve Grand Circuit Champion 1.3m Junior Jumpers

    Kassidy Keith on Chicago

    • Winner USEF Pessoa Medal (Week 3)

    Kassidy Keith on Crackerjack

    • Champion Mid Circuit 1.3m Junior Jumper
    • Reserve Champion Grand Circuit 1.3m Junior Jumper
    • Top 5 Junior Amateur 1.35m Classic

    Kassidy Keith on Rigoletto

    • Second Place Maclay Medal
    • Winner Large Junior Hunter Stake (Week 5)
    • 4th Place Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship


    The balance of the QMS Equestrian Team arrived in southern California with their horses in March. “Taking a team of this size to an international competition is a large undertaking,” explains QMS Equestrian Program Director, Jodine Buydens. “Coordinating the transportation of our students, their horses, equipment, and accommodation was time consuming. Yet the passion these athletes display for the equestrian sport makes the effort absolutely worth it.”


    Head Coach Cheryl Keith was on the ground coaching QMS riders throughout their time in the desert. “These riders understand that it is their effort, on and off the saddle, that is going to result in building skills and hopefully win ribbons.” This year’s team was a mix of senior riders with a single junior rider.


    Lillian Jiang on Rising Tide 

    • Reserve Champion Short Stirrup Equitation (Week 6)

    Kyra Westman on LL Bean & Will I Am

    • Top 3 Placings in Low Children’s Jumper (Week 5 & 6)

    Lily Li on Providence

    • Reserve Champion Pre Children’s Hunter

    Christine Coels on TeAmo

    • Consistent Ribbons in Low Children’s Jumpers (Weeks5-7)

    Miranda Lebeuf on Carivero

    • Consistent Ribbons in Modified Child Adult

    Tianna Jerome on Capo E

    • Impressive rounds in the 1.0m Jumpers

    The youngest member of the QMS team was Grade 5 student Hannah Anderson, who was excited to take part in the Thermal show for the first time. “It was really hot in Thermal, but it was really fun to ride in such a big show,” says Anderson. “I was so happy to compete for the month. My Thermal results have given me confidence to compete in more shows locally, and I want to go back to HITS next year.” Anderson’s work in the saddle earned her some impressive titles.


    Hannah Anderson on Rosewood

    • Second Half Circuit Champion Pre Child Hunter
    • Reserve Grand Circuit Champion Pre Child Hunter
    • Second Half Circuit Reserve Champion Short Stirrup Equitation
    • Second Half Circuit Reserve Champion Short Stirrup Hunter


    The equestrian team members are now preparing for two shows in Saanich in April and May, as well as their final on-campus QMS Spring Hunter/Jumper Show May 7-8.


    QMS Students Honour Veterans

    For students in Grade 7 at Queen Margaret’s School, Remembrance Day last fall was very special due to a class project that honoured local veterans. The students’ efforts earned them top honours in the Historica Canada Grant McRae Commemorative Contest for The Memory Project.


    “My initial concept for our Remembrance Day project last fall was aimed at creating a sense of empathy and deeper understanding of what a local veteran experienced in the wars,” explains QMS Grade 7 teacher Elisabeth Ruiter. “I walked through our local Mountain View Cemetery’s Legion section, chose names and assigned them to my students.” Members of Ruiter’s class were asked to research the soldier, their military experiences and hand write a personal letter of appreciation. These letters were then delivered to the solders’ graves in a special ceremony. It was only after this event that Ruiter became aware of the Memory Project’s contest.


    The Grant McRae Commemorative Contest asked young Canadians to thank a veteran in a creative way and play an active role in Remembrance. “These letters are authentic and straight from the heart,” shares Ruiter. “I was proud of them before the contest, yet I’m thrilled that their efforts are being rewarded at a national level.” The QMS Grade 7 class earned first place in the Junior Group Category winning an iPad. Dylan Kruger won first place in the Individual Junior Category, also earning him a personal iPad, while his classmate Sharai Cooper placed second in Canada.


    For Sharai Cooper, the process had profound meaning. “My father was in the navy and is still very involved. To share my soldier’s story with my father and discover similar life experiences connected us in new ways.” Dylan Kruger was surprised that his veteran had a connection to his family on the other side of the globe. “I discovered my Canadian soldier’s battalion fought in the same war as my great-grandparents, who were in the South African army. This project turned facts and dates into real people I could visualize in my mind.”


    To learn more about The Memory Project by Historica Canada, visit http://www.thememoryproject.com/.  


    QMS Equestrian Coach Tops in BC

    The 2015 equestrian show season was filled with success for riders and coaches at Queen Margaret’s School. The British Columbia Hunter Jumper Association (BCHJA) agreed and presented several awards to students and the school’s head coach at their recent Awards Gala in Burnaby, BC.


    After an incredible show season which saw Grade 12 rider Kassidy Keith win double national medals in Toronto, it came as little surprise when she was recognized in multiple categories in Burnaby. Kassidy was presented with the Carol McGill Sportsmanship Award, given to a junior rider who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and compassion to their equine partner, the Maple Meadows Year End Junior Equitation Award, won for earning the highest standing in the 3’6”–3’9” equitation divisions over the season, and the Championship for the Junior A Equitation Division. “This year was one of the best years of my life,” exclaims Keith. “I am so thankful to everyone who helped me get to this point and who supported me.”


    Grade 10 rider Emily Cake also walked away with two awards at the BCHJA Gala, including Reserve Champion in the 1.10m Junior Jumper Division and fourth in the 1m Junior Jumper. “Emily really stepped up and displayed adaptability this season, showing her skill set on a variety of different horses,” shares Jodine Buydens, QMS Equestrian Director. “We are very proud of the tremendous work put in by all of our athletes throughout the 2015 season.”


    It was also an exciting evening for QMS Head Coach Cheryl Keith, who was recognized with the BCHJA Coach of the Year Award. “It was a huge surprise when they announced my name,” says Keith. “I’ve been coaching for over 20 years and this is definitely one of the pinnacles of my career. It was really memorable to stand on stage with my daughter, Kassidy, and my student Emily. I am very honoured.”


    An equine member of the QMS Royals also earned an award after a phenomenal year. Wallabee, who partnered with Kassidy Keith on her national titles, earned 2015 Horse of the Year from the BC Horse Council of BC. “I love that he was recognized for his hard work too,” says Buydens. “Wallabee was key to Kassidy’s success and we will always be grateful to QMS Alumni Jolene Benham for sharing him with us.”


    Follow Alice Into Wonderland

    With memorable characters and a large cast, Queen Margaret’s School is taking a voyage into the fantastic world of Wonderland. Karen Hartman’s Alice: Tales of a Curious Girl brings the audience on an inspiring journey of a young girl’s transition out of childhood as she takes control of her own future.


    “The play is based on a compilation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass,” explains QMS drama teacher, Martina Blake. “It’s more of a feminist approach to the traditional story, which we think our audience will find appealing.” After the success of last year’s school production of Fame, Blake felt it would be fun to move the students from realism into the zany world of Alice’s mind.


    “Alice is really trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs in the world,” outlines Blake. “Our students are excited about the topic, but certainly the content can be a little confusing at times. It has been a journey of exploration for them as well. Making those deeper meanings has given them a sense of ownership over the play material.” With playful dialogue, colourful characters and dynamic choreography, audience members will be treated to a visually stimulating drama performance.


    Alice is portrayed by Grade 12 student Alyssa Andress, with lead support by Maiya Modeste as the Cheshire Cat, Sydney McCrea as the Queen of Hearts and Allie Johnston as the White Rabbit. All of Lewis Carroll’s famous characters will be there too, such as the Jabberwocky, Humpty Dumpty and the Door Mouse. Forty-seven students in Grades 5-12 are involved as actors, set designers, producers, light technicians and choreographers for the production. “I may be the lead director, but our drama students have made this performance entirely their own,” explains a proud Blake. 


    QMS Royals Capture Titles Across Canada

    After a grueling month-long schedule of competitions across North America, Queen Margaret’s School equestrian athletes are finally arriving home following an incredibly successful show season.


    First stop on their tour was Calgary for the Royal West Horse Show. Four QMS riders transported their equine partners for the annual competition: Kassidy Keith (Grade 12), Christine Coels (Grade 12), Kyra Westman (Grade 12) and Tianna Jerome (Grade 11). “We were really excited that four members of our team were able to show at the Royal West,” explains Jodine Buydens, QMS Equestrian Programs Director. “It is expensive for riders to travel from Duncan to Calgary with their horses and gear. When they arrived, each one of these girls put everything they had into their performances. I couldn’t be more proud.”


    Tianna Jerome, the newest member of the Royals, posted some of the top speeds during her time in Calgary on her new ride Piccadilly and earned 2nd in one of the 1.00m Junior Amateur Jumper. Teammate Kyra Westman and L.L. Bean completed the show winning Reserve Champion in the 1.00m Junior Amateur Jumpers. After placing consistently, Christine Coels and her partner Te Amo earned the Championship in the .9m Junior Amateur Jumpers. They also had good placings in the hunters and Junior Amateur derbies. “I felt well prepared and happy with Te Amo,” says Coels. “We had a really exciting experience and I enjoyed cheering on my teammates. Everyone worked so hard.”


    For Kassidy Keith and her partner Wallabee (owned by QMS Alum, Dr. Jolene Benham), Calgary was the first stop on their North American tour. The duo had top placings in the Junior Hunters and they won the Greenhawk Junior Amateur Hunter Classic. They capped off their time in Alberta by winning Reserve Champion in the Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Medal. “It was a busy time for the team in Calgary,” says QMS Head Coach Cheryl Keith. “The perseverance of our riders shows in their results. I’m thrilled.”


    While the balance of the QMS team either remained in Calgary or travelled back to BC, Kassidy and her support entourage departed for a long drive through three provinces and seven states to arrive in Lexington, KY, USA for the ASPCA Maclay National Finals. Keith was one of only three Canadians who attended this prestigious event, and one of 153 riders vying for the national title. Kassidy and Wallabee rode a flawless course to make the first cut, but ultimately finished just outside the top 30 after the final cuts. “The competition at Lexington was like nothing I’ve experienced before,” says Keith. “I learned so much and took that with me to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.” QMS Head Coach and mom, Cheryl Keith, flew to Ontario to meet Kassidy and continue coaching her throughout their final national competition for the year.


    The Royal Winter Fair is one of the top equestrian events in Canada and has been a dream of Kassidy’s since her childhood. “Competing in the same arena as some of my idols was unreal,” she says. “I tried to keep calm and remain focused.” Her efforts clearly worked as she won the Junior Hunter Stake, earned Reserve Champion in the Junior Working Hunters and became the only junior rider to compete in the Hunter Derby Finals. The pair rode to finish 9th and 10th among a field of professional riders, an impressive feat for a 17-year-old junior amateur rider.


    The last two events were of the highest priority. Kassidy and Wallabee had worked hard to qualify for the Jump Canada Medal and the CET National Medal Final this year, where they would be competing against 19 other top riders from across the country. Keith expertly handled the tricky Jump Medal Canada course and was sitting third when she returned to the Flat Phase. After a strong showing of flat work, Keith moved up to first place for the Top Four ride off. She completed the test in top spot, earning her the national title as well as the Leslie P. Usherwood Memorial Trophy. “I’ve come so far from last year. To win felt amazing,” says Keith. “It pumped me up for my performance in the CET Final the next day.”


    The CET National Medal Final is a two-day competition where 15 top equitation riders from Atlantic Canada, Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia earn points over three phases (Flat/Gymnastic, Jumping and Final Four Test). The highest cumulative score wins. Keith was in second place following the Flat and Gymnastic Phase, returning to the arena the next day for the Jumping phase. She achieved a score of 89, the highest of the night, for her concise trip around a course that demanded efficiency to meet the tight time allowed. Earning a two-phase score of 174 clinched Keith’s place in the Final Four Test and ultimately, the national title. “The courses were tough, but I really enjoyed them,” says Kassidy. “I’m thrilled beyond words to win the CET Medal, but it wouldn’t have been possible at all without the support I received each and every day. I’m proud of my outstanding partner Wallabee, and we share the win with my mom and our incredible support team.”


    Keith’s gratitude is understandable in light of the resources needed at this level of competition. “Few people outside of the equestrian community understand that Kassidy’s journey was only made possible because of tremendous financial, emotional, physical and technical support from a large volunteer group,” explains Jodine Buydens. “Head Coach Cheryl Keith and John Turner of Thumbs Up Farm worked tirelessly with Kassidy throughout the season to prepare for these finals. Family friend Kate Heikkla was pivotal in helping Kassidy remain organized and strong while on the road for over a month, and Dr. Jolene Benham entrusted Kassidy with her best friend, Wallabee. The Queen Margaret’s School and BC horse show communities, went above and beyond in their fundraising efforts. We are truly, truly grateful to everyone for championing Kassidy and helping her achieve such amazing results.”


    For the Grade 12 student who attends Queen Margaret’s School with its unique nationally recognized on-campus equestrian program, this success marks the pinnacle of her high school riding career. She is looking forward to graduating in June and exploring the exciting opportunities that await her. “Being at QMS, where I can ride every day and balance my school work with my training, has helped make my competitive dreams a reality,” finishes Keith.


    In the News


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    Boys will be allowed in Grades 8-12 program for first time in September 2019 ...

    August 2, 2017 - QMS Scholar First in BC

    Fifth Time in Seven Years QMS Student Claims Top Spot ...

    August 2, 2017 - Creating a Mixed Medium Dream

    QMS Grad Takes First Steps in Artistic Career ...


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