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Review of: St. Margaret's School


"more of a home than simply a school"

Victoria Lee - Student    (Jan 23, 2018)
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Student Experience

St. Margaret’s School is more of a home than simply a school. With small class sizes teachers are able to offer different teaching styles for the wide variety of learners. Teachers are readily available both before and after the school day, which is greatly appreciated by all students. There are numerous opportunities available at SMS and its safe environment allows for students to expand their boundaries without fearing failure. The Library at SMS is a comfortable study space for students to use throughout the school day. Having this space available for a longer period of time after class hours would be greatly appreciated. Its resources and creative environment fosters focused working habits, so having access to it for longer after school would be wonderful! Prior to attending SMS, I wish I had known how much I would grow and develop. Through its inclusive and supportive environment my confidence in offering my views and opinions whenever possible has flourished since becoming a member of the SMS family. Through the schools motto of “Servite in Caritate” or "Service with Love” I have realized my love and passion for volunteering in the community, something which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. 


School Leadership

The school teachers at SMS are incredibly supportive and welcoming. They know almost every student on a much deeper level, like what we enjoy doing and who we are, which is rare in a larger school. Being a relatively small school of 350, with class sizes less than 20, students are able to freely offer opinions and views without hesitation. Teachers being available both before and after class hours for extra help is greatly appreciated by students and due to the advice, guidance and encouragement from all staff figures, SMS leaders are respected and most of all valued. The majority of school leaders are students, from Student Council to Co-Chairs of clubs, SMS has numerous leadership positions where both the staff and student representatives can freely communicate.


Teaching

At St. Margaret’s School the teachers are incredible. They do have high standards, but it only pushes students to strive for and achieve their true potential throughout all class and extra curricular activities. Sometimes the homework can feel like a lot, but its only the pressure that comes with us wanting to do our best, which is of course encouraged by teachers. They are incredibly supportive of all students and believe in us, even when we don’t believe in ourselves. Success looks different for every person, and each teacher offers a varied meaning on what success is to them. The image of success for us students is being happy. If you have reached your goal and achieved what you set out to do, success follows. Being confident and happy in what you have achieved, means that then, you have truly succeeded in life.


Academics

At St. Margaret’s School the work is challenging but not necessarily too hard. The amount and level of homework is good but with frequent extracurricular involvement, learning how to organize and balance your time is crucial. Through different classes, these skills like communication and time management are developed and will definitely be useful later in life. Learning to cook and understand personal finances are also just a few of the many life skills that are fostered at St. Margaret’s.


Extracurriculars

St. Margaret’s has a variety of extracurricular opportunities from students. From clubs, committees and sports teams, SMS truly has something for everyone. Personally, I have been a member of Green Club, Outreach Committee, Multicultural Committee, volleyball team and field hockey team throughout my years at SMS. Around St. Margaret’s most students have enough to do and take part in many activities. If students want to initiate their own club that SMS does not currently have, they are more than welcome to. This was actually how our Model UN Team was introduced. Through this, SMS has something for everyone!


Students

SMS does not feel like a city or town, but a family, and a home. When walking down the halls, you can practically name every person and the teachers really know their students. Being a smaller school, we are able to create meaningful connections between staff members and each other. The students at St. Margaret’s School have such a drive for academic excellence and poses strong work ethics. Getting involved in all areas of the school like clubs, committees, and sports teams helps students flourish in their studies. Within the school community there are countless extra-curricular activities for students to join for a variety of interests, including a Model UN Club, Outreach Committee, and numerous sports teams. In order to truly thrive students must be motivated, and SMS creates an encouraging environment for all to succeed.


School Life

At St. Margaret’s School, students have the option of becoming Student Ambassadors. This means when potential new students and their families, like you, come visit, students as oppose to teachers, are able to give tours throughout campus and offer their own opinions and thoughts on school life. When touring, I would most likely show the wellness center which was just recently built. With a wide variety of equipment and an inspirational quote on the back wall, the weight room is motivating and has a positive energy to it.


Community

I have attended St. Margaret’s since my Junior Kindergarten year and as I now near the end of high school, SMS has been a part of who I have grown to become. St. Margaret’s is more of a home than a school, each student and staff member is an indispensable part of this inclusive and welcoming family. Being an international school, SMS has students attending from all of the world! Whether you are living on campus or a day student, SMS has a diverse range of cultures which contributes to the all-inclusive SMS community.


School Location

At St. Margaret’s School, younger girls tend to go off campus more frequently when compared to the senior students. In the Foundation Years (Kindergarten to Grade 4), places like the Swan Lake Nature House, pumpkin patch, and Beckwith Park are visited. The Middle Years (Grade 5 to Grade 8) typically go to the Royal BC Museum and IMAX and will watch a documentary or movie related to a unit studied. In the Senior Years (Grade 9 to Grade 12) more trips off campus are done through clubs. For example, Outreach Committee gives members the opportunity to go to WE Day in Vancouver, and Green Club may visit the landfill to learn about managing recycling stations and understanding the toll garbage has on the world. In a typical school day, students do normally stay on campus.


Admissions

When I first attended SMS I was extremely young at the time, approximately four years old. I do not have any recollection of the application process, but little did I know that my first day of Junior Kindergarten would be the beginning of my journey, on developing into the confident young girl, I had always aspired to be. Back when my parents were considering enrolling me at St. Margaret’s School, they had a Student Ambassador tour them around, both were impressed and from their perspective the application process was rather straightforward.


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