With pillars of rigor and personal excellence, gender equity, and service, Queen Margaret’s School (QMS) prepares students in Preschool to Grade 12 to be trailblazers for an unknown future. Through hands-on learning in global sustainability, entrepreneurial thinking, and equine-facilitated leadership, boarding and day students develop a passion for discovery and a desire to make a difference in the world. Set on 27 beautiful acres on Vancouver Island, BC, QMS offers an optional integrated equestrian program.
Experiential & inquiry-based learning
Equine Facilitated Leadership Development
A rigorous education that builds confidence, character and compassion
An on-campus equestrian academic and riding program
Learning at Queen Margaret's School during COVID-19
What learning looks like now: During the COVID-19 pandemic Queen Margaret's School pivoted to create and launch a robust Remote Learning Program for students in Kindergarten-Grade 12. From weekly online fitness challenges to service activities at home, our school has endeavoured to deliver a educational program that allowed the learning continuity of our students while being sensitive to the emotional realities of life during a crisis. Throughout the 2020-2021 year full in-person instruction took place.
Vancouver 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.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at QMS: Progressive
QMS has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive?]
Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 28%   Traditional - 42%   Liberal arts - 17%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 2%
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sex and health education approach at QMS: British Columbia curriculum
QMS has a British Columbia curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).
[Show: About British Columbia curriculum?]
The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.
Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net
Follows provincial curriculum - 55%   Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 45%
Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral
QMS has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.
What QMS says: Queen Margaret\'s School recognizes that families have diverse values related to sexual education. Our school provides information about \"Body Science.\"
Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)
Preschool/K Curriculum approach at QMS: Play-based
QMS has a Play-based approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Academic approach).
[Show: About Play-based?]
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.
What QMS says: Queen Margaret’s Early Childhood Education programs are designed for three and four year-old children. 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.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at QMS: Standard-enriched
QMS has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
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.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at QMS: Rigorous
QMS has a Rigorous approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Supportive approach).
[Show: About Rigorous?]
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”.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Rigorous - 50%   Supportive - 50%
What QMS says: This information is not currently available.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
The goal is to cultivate "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.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
QMS offers No support
QMS offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.
Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.
In grade Gr. 12, QMS students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.
What QMS says about their flipped classroom policy: This information is not currently available.
While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
Competitive sports: 10 Recreational sports: 16
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
Queen Margaret's School offers 22 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
DayDay (Domestic: in province)Boarding (Domestic)Boarding (International)
Day (Domestic: in province)
What QMS says about their tuition: This information is not currently available.
2nd child (sibling)
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
SK to 12
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
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 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)
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.
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/
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Gr. 6 to Gr. 12
Preschool to Gr. 12
Average class size
16 to 22
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
PS - 12
SSAT (out of province)
Day students: Rolling Boarding students: Rolling Offer mid-year entry:
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Day Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Boarding Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Homestay Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Type of student QMS 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.
Where graduates of a school do their post-secondary studies can be an important factor in choosing a private school. Do you want your child to go to a Canadian university, an Ivy league school in the US, or some other institute? Regardless of your inclinations, take a look at a school’s university placement record, and the services they offer to support university applications and decisions.
Average graduating class size
Students accepted into post-secondary studies upon graduation
Percentage of students who attend post-secondary institutions outside of Canada
Students who attended a Ivy+ school
Number of students in the past 5 years that that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
Queen Margaret's School Graduates’ Post-Secondary Studies:
This information is not currently available.
Aggregate of All Schools’ Post-Secondary Studies:
24% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 25% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 25% - Business/Commerce 4% - Fine and Performing Arts 14% - Applied Health Sciences 2% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 6% - Other
Many private schools in Canada have numerous graduates who have gone on to great things. Learn about a school’s most influential, important, successful, and famous alumni.
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.
‘Fit’ is everything when choosing a school for your children or when selecting a place into which you want to pour your skills, character and energies. Here at QMS, we pride ourselves on a strong sense of community where everyone is an individual and meaningful relationships are the order of the day. Most people crave a sense of belonging and value connection so a school that works very hard to develop a meaningful culture can indeed be a place where strong attachments are formed.
I encourage you to explore our programmes and approaches to learning both inside and outside of the classroom. If you take that step and visit us here on campus, you will feel the sense of community for yourself. As we approach our 100th birthday, we are proud of our Founders’ vision, yet, we are excited about the future with all of the opportunities that it presents.
QMS is vibrant and ready to keep developing these “young trailblazers” who will take the lessons learned here out into the world to great effect. That’s the joy and it all just seems to be a good ‘fit’ for so many people.