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St. Margaret's School:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Victoria, BC (Map)



Curriculum Traditional, International Baccalaureate

[Show definition of Curriculum]

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

Curriculum approach at St. Margaret's School: Traditional, International Baccalaureate

St. Margaret's School has a Traditional, International Baccalaureate approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).

[Show: About Traditional, International Baccalaureate?]

Our Kids definition: Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments - which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.

Compare St. Margaret's School's Curriculum with other schools on
  Traditional - 39%
  Liberal arts - 14%
  Progressive - 34%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 1%
  Waldorf - 1%

St. Margaret's School has a International Baccalaureate approach to supplementary curriculum.

Some private schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programming. The "Diploma Programme" is offered to students in the final two years of high school, while the "Primary Years Programme" (ages 3 to 12) and "Middle Years Programme" (ages 11 to 16) serve as preparation for the diploma program.

International curriculum & programs at St. Margaret's School: Duke of Edinburgh's Award

What St. Margaret's School says about their overall curriculum and approach:

At St. Margaret’s School, we empower every girl to set her own course and shape her own future. We offer a rigorous STEM-focused curriculum: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and represents an inquiry-based method of teaching and learning. Traditional separations between subject areas are bridged to forge deeper exploration and understanding of broad topics. In this inquiry-based model, valuable attributes of creativity and critical thinking are emphasized. As an international centre for girls’ learning and leadership, we offer rich resources and challenges to support each student's development as an individual, and a global-minded citizen. Academics at SMS are amplified by extensive experiential learning offerings spanning leadership, service, and wellness/athletics to build up confidence, perspective, and life skills. A spirit of life-long learning is shared between students, families, and faculty: our annual professional development and family workshop series shares the latest scholarship in brain development, teaching methods, and educational trends. Through this innovative approach our curriculum evolves and continues to be relevant as we engage our entire community in issues affecting girls today.

International Baccalaureate program(s) offered

Primary Years
Middle Years
Diploma program
Career-related program



Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Equal Balance

    Mathematics approach at St. Margaret's School: Equal Balance

    St. Margaret's School has an Equal Balance approach to Mathematics (as opposed to Traditional Math, Discovery Math approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Mathematics with other schools on
      Equal balance - 70%
      Traditional math - 25%
      Discovery math - 5%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    SMS strives to infuse students with confidence, enthusiasm, and a passion for mathematics. Through a rigorous program, students are provided a spectrum of opportunities to reach their full potential regardless of whether or not their career goals require high-level math for entry to university.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    This information is not currently available.

    Calculator policy:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Early Reading

    Balanced Literacy

    Early Reading approach at St. Margaret's School: Balanced Literacy

    St. Margaret's School has a Balanced Literacy approach to Early Reading (as opposed to Phonics-intensive, Whole Language approach).

    [Show: About Balanced Literacy?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Early Reading with other schools on
      Balanced literacy - 54%
      Phonics-intensive - 44%
      Whole language - 2%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    This information is not currently available.

    DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Writing

    Equal balance

    Writing approach at St. Margaret's School: Equal balance

    St. Margaret's School has an Equal balance approach to Writing (as opposed to Systematic approach, Process approach approach).

    [Show: About Equal balance?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Writing with other schools on
      Equal balance - 79%
      Systematic approach - 9%
      Process approach - 12%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Science

    Equal Balance

    Science approach at St. Margaret's School: Equal Balance

    St. Margaret's School has an Equal Balance approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Inquiry approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Science with other schools on
      Equal balance - 68%
      Expository - 5%
      Inquiry - 27%

    Teaching approach:

    We are the only girls STEM-X school in Canada.

    Treatment of evolution:

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

    Topics covered in curriculum:

  • Literature

    Equal Balance

    Literature approach at St. Margaret's School: Equal Balance

    St. Margaret's School has an Equal Balance approach to Literature (as opposed to Traditional, Social Justice approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Literature with other schools on
      Equal balance - 76%
      Traditional - 21%
      Social justice - 3%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    This information is not currently available.

    Program covers:

    Canadian lit
    American lit
    European (continental) lit
    World (non-Western) lit
    English lit
    Ancient lit
  • Social Studies

    Expanding Communities

    Social Studies approach at St. Margaret's School: Expanding Communities

    St. Margaret's School has an Expanding Communities approach to Social Studies (as opposed to Core Knowledge, Thematic approach).

    [Show: About Expanding Communities?]

    Our Kids definition: 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.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Social Studies with other schools on
      Expanding communities - 29%
      Core knowledge - 38%
      Thematic - 33%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Humanities and Social Sciences

    Equal Balance

    Humanities and Social Sciences approach at St. Margaret's School: Equal Balance

    St. Margaret's School has an Equal Balance approach to Humanities and Social Sciences (as opposed to Perennialism, Pragmatism approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on
      Equal balance - 83%
      Perennialism - 7%
      Pragmatism - 10%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    We believe in developing the whole student / whole girl and therefore offer an equal balance of perennialism and pragmatism in our humanities and social science program. We focus on teaching big ideas through critical thinking, and logic to support the inquiry-based learning approach here at SMS. We also provide hands-on, real-world learning opportunities through simulations, field trips, and expert guest speakers. In this way students can apply, create true meaning from, and connect more deeply to the content, with the goal of creating informed, curious, and active citizens.

  • Foreign Languages

    Equal Balance

    Foreign Languages approach at St. Margaret's School: Equal Balance

    St. Margaret's School has an Equal Balance approach to Foreign Languages (as opposed to Audio-Lingual, Communicative approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Foreign Languages with other schools on
      Equal balance - 65%
      Audio-lingual - 2%
      Communicative - 33%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    Our International English Language (IEL) program prepares students to graduate confident in the English language and to achieve success at universities and colleges in Canada, the US, and other parts of the world. Depending on their English ability, international students may begin the program in dedicated IEL classes or enter regular classes with additional support. Progress through the IEL Program is flexible and dependent on student achievement. Each student is provided with a level of support matching her individual needs and abilities, and each student advances through the program at her own pace. Classes are taught by experienced English Language teachers who teach every subject from an IEL perspective. This means the challenge of learning English does not impede success in other subjects. IEL classes are designed to help students adapt to a Canadian classroom and develop learning strategies that prepare them to succeed in the regular classroom.

    Language instruction offered in:

  • Fine Arts


    Fine Arts approach at St. Margaret's School: Creative

    St. Margaret's School has a Creative approach to Fine Arts (as opposed to Receptive, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Creative?]

    Our Kids definition: Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Fine Arts with other schools on
      Creative - 33%
      Receptive - 2%
      Equal balance - 65%

    Program offers:

    Graphic Design
    Visual Arts

    Visual studio philosophy:


    What St. Margaret's School says:

    Starting from our youngest girls in Early Learning, arts education is a priority at all levels of the school, developing appreciation, skill, and creativity. The Arts Program at SMS offers outlets for self-expression and the development of creative interests. It also encourages appreciation for art and builds awareness of art in everyday life. There is an intimacy of knowledge that comes through the study of art; students learn how to observe, listen, and become more thoughtful and reflective. There are a variety of opportunities for performance throughout the year, both within the school and in the community including adjudicated festivals. Each year in the month of May, we celebrate the arts with Fine Arts Week, which involves days of back-to-back events including dramatic productions, an art show, and performances by the choir and band.

  • Computers and Technology

    Medium integration

    Computers and Technology approach at St. Margaret's School: Medium integration

    St. Margaret's School has a Medium integration approach to Computers and Technology (as opposed to Light integration, Heavy integration approach).

    [Show: About Medium integration?]

    Our Kids definition: Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.

    Compare St. Margaret's School's Computers and Technology with other schools on
      Medium integration - 52%
      Light integration - 18%
      Heavy integration - 30%

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    SMS students are welcomed to on campus maker labs and coding camps as well as encouraged to participate in advanced competitions where they develop technology based solutions for real world problems.

    Program covers:

    Computer science
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What St. Margaret's School says:

    The benefits of an active and balanced lifestyle are well documented: students who are active on a daily basis are healthier and perform better academically than their inactive peers. Physical activity is essential to the overall health and wellness of our students and an integral part of each student’s learning experience. There is truly something for everyone and every level of ability: opportunities to compete, play on a team for fun or participate in recreational activities. SMS provides opportunities for daily physical activity through physical education, athletics teams, club sports, intramurals, house challenges and outdoor recreation.

  • IB Diploma courses

    Group 1 (Language A)

      This information is not currently available.

      Group 2 (Language B)

        This information is not currently available.

        Group 3 (Individuals and Societies)

          This information is not currently available.

          Group 4 (Experimental Sciences)

            This information is not currently available.

            Group 5 (Mathematics)

              This information is not currently available.

              Group 6 (The Arts)

                This information is not currently available.
              • Advanced Placement courses

                4 courses
                • AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
                • AP Calculus AB
                • AP English Literature and Composition
                • AP Human Geography
              • Sex and health education

                British Columbia curriculum

                Sex and health education approach at St. Margaret's School: British Columbia curriculum

                St. Margaret's School has a British Columbia curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).

                [Show: About British Columbia curriculum?]

                Our Kids definition: The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.

                Compare St. Margaret's School's Sex and health education with other schools on
                  Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
                  Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%

                Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral

                St. Margaret's School has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
                [Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]

                Our Kids definition: 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 St. Margaret's School says:

                Students need the knowledge and skills to make informed choices about their health and well-being. Sexual health is an important component of healthy, active living, and sex-ed requires a broader framework that expands beyond an understanding of physiology and reproduction alone. Our comprehensive approach to sexual health education incorporates aspects such as the development of positive self-image and the development of rewarding and equitable interpersonal relationships.

              Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

              [Show definition of Preschool/K Curriculum]

              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 St. Margaret's School: Academic

              St. Margaret's School has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).

              [Show: About Academic?]

              Our Kids definition: Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

              Compare St. Margaret's School's Preschool/K Curriculum with other schools on
                Academic - 41%
                Play-based - 24%
                Montessori - 26%
                Waldorf - 2%
                Reggio emilia - 7%

              What St. Margaret's School says about their preschool/K curriculum approach:

              A recognized leader in early childhood education (ECE), our unique pre-school curriculum focuses on STEM learning through outdoor exploration, play, and the leading methods from a variety of ECE philosophies. We focus on nurturing a love of learning through positive experiences, developing social skills, and building up each girl’s self-confidence. All these experiences come to together to provide a solid foundation for elementary school. Developed by a winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education, our program is led by experts holding advanced degrees in education and ECE. Youngsters enjoy a place where they are encouraged to learn and grow, often benefiting from relationships built with students from other grades.

              Language English

              Learn about St. Margaret's School's languages of instruction and enrolment.

              St. Margaret's School offers English as the primary language of instruction.

              Language of enrolment include: English

              Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

              [Show definition of Curriculum Pace]

              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 St. Margaret's School: Standard-enriched

              St. Margaret's School has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).

              [Show: About Standard-enriched?]

              Our Kids definition: 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.

              Compare St. Margaret's School's Curriculum Pace with other schools on
                Standard-enriched - 56%
                Accelerated - 18%
                Student-paced - 26%

              What St. Margaret's School says about their curriculum pace:

              The benefits of a small school include our ability to customize instruction approaches to ensure each girl receives challenges and support she needs to excel while maintaining a high academic standard in the classroom, enriched by projects and partnerships in the broader community.

              Flexible pacing style

              Type 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 St. Margaret's School says about their flexible pacing:

              Multi-age classrooms in our International Language program allow students to advance at their own pace to ensure student success in both English language and subject courses. Independent study is promoted through our Program of Distinction and dedicated time the weekly timetable to pursue inquiry-based projects and areas of passion.

              Academic Culture Rigorous

              [Show definition of Academic Culture]

              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 St. Margaret's School: Rigorous

              St. Margaret's School has a Rigorous approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Supportive approach).

              [Show: About Rigorous?]

              Our Kids definition: 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”.

              Compare St. Margaret's School's Academic Culture with other schools on
                Rigorous - 50%
                Supportive - 50%

              What St. Margaret's School says about their academic culture:

              For over 100 years, SMS has built an international reputation of high academic achievement, but that is only part of our story. Our extensive learning support program, guidance, experiential programs, and ability to tailor to individual learning needs helps each girl reaches her potential. Successful graduation and admission to university is actually a very short term goal for our students. By embedding in our students a an appetite for life-long learning, a love of service, philanthropy, healthy habits, and strong values we ensure each girl has the skills to succeed in her studies, career, and in life.

              Developmental priorities Balanced

              [Show definition of Developmental priorities]

              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 St. Margaret's School says about their developmental priorities:

              When we talk to parents there’s a common thread to their hopes and dreams for their daughter: more important than marks, they want their daughters to be happy and confident in being themselves. A balanced approach is the only way to build strong girls: head, heart, spirit, and body. Our students are academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers; emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others; socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change their community for the better; strong and active individuals, in tune with the joys of movement, sport, and wellness.

              Special needs support

              [Show definition of Special needs support]

              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.

              What St. Margaret's School says about their special need support:

              Our Learning Support team engages learners at the extremes of the learning spectrum, providing additional help in a skill or subject where a student is struggling, or creating enriched opportunities for exceptional students. The goal is to provide the support and challenges needed by each student individually so that they may experience success at their own level.

              A - Forms of Support
              B - Environments
              Indirect Support:
              Resource Assistance:
              Withdrawal Assistance:
              Partial Integration:
              Full-Time Class:

              Special NeedNeed
              Forms of SupportA
              • Learning disabilities
                Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
                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.
              • Developmental
                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).
                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.
                Down syndrome
                his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
                Intellectual disability
                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).
                Williams syndrome
                This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
                Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
                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.
              • Behavioral and Emotional
                Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
                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.
                Clinical Depression
                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.
                Clinical anxiety
                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.
                Suicidal thoughts
                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.
              • Physical
                Multiple sclerosis
                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.
                Cerebral palsy
                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
                Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
                Spina Bifida
                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
                Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
                Multiple physical
                Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.

              Read our guide to special needs schools and special education

              Academic support

              Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
              Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

              Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

              Extra support

              What St. Margaret's School says:

              Our Learning Support team is dedicated to providing the necessary support and challenges needed by each SMS student. We work closely with all prospective families during the admissions process to ensure they are choosing a school or program able to provide the right support for their child's learning needs, including students with learning disabilities.

              Additional support

              Social skills programs
              Occupational therapy
              Speech-language therapy

              Gifted learner support In-class adaptations

              [Show definition of Gifted learner support]

              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.

              Curriculum Delivery: Enrichment

              The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.

              Class structure

              Program Offered
              Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
              Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

              In-class adaptations

              Program Offered
              Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
              Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
              Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
              Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
              Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
              Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
              Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
              Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
              Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

              What St. Margaret's School says about their gifted learner support:

              Our Learning Support team engages learners at the extremes of the learning spectrum, providing additional help in a skill or subject where a student is struggling, or creating enriched opportunities and mentoring for exceptionally students. The goal is to provide the support and challenges needed by each student individually so that they may experience success at their own level.

              Homework Policy

              [Show definition of Homework Policy]

              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.

              Nightly homework

              In grade Gr. 12, St. Margaret's School students perform an average of >2 hours of homework per night.

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              Site Average6 mins7 mins15 mins18 mins24 mins30 mins35 mins42 mins54 mins59 mins76 mins88 mins104 mins112 mins

              What St. Margaret's School says about their flipped classroom policy:

              This information is not currently available.

              Report Card Policy

              [Show definition of Report Card Policy]

              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.

              How assessments are delivered across the grades

              Lettered or numbered gradesGr. 4 to Gr. 12
              Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to Gr. 12
              Academic achievement reportingK to Gr. 3
              Habits and behaviour reportingK to Gr. 3
              Parent-teacher meetingsJK to Gr. 12

              Extracurricular Activities

              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.

              Sports offered

              St. Margaret's School offers 10 competitive sports and 1 recreational sports.

                Competitive offered          Recreational offered
              all sports]
              • Archery
              • Curling
              • Ultimate
              • Badminton
              • Baseball
              • Basketball
              • Canoeing/Kayaking
              • Cricket
              • Cross-country skiing
              • Cycling
              • Downhill skiing
              • Equestrian
              • Fencing
              • Field Hockey
              • Figure Skating
              • Football
              • Golf
              • Gymnastics
              • Ice Hockey
              • Ice Skating
              • Lacrosse
              • Martial Arts
              • Mountain biking
              • Racquet Ball
              • Rowing
              • Rugby
              • Running
              • Sailing
              • Skateboarding
              • Snowboarding
              • Soccer
              • Softball
              • Squash
              • Swimming
              • Tennis
              • Track & Field
              • Volleyball
              • Weightlifting
              • Wrestling

              Clubs offered

              St. Margaret's School offers 12 clubs and extracurricular programs.

                Clubs offered           Clubs not offered
              all clubs and programs]
                Foreign Language Club
                Habitat for Humanity
                Jazz Ensemble
                Math Club
                Musical theatre/Opera
                Ballet and Classical Ballet
                Online Magazine
                Outdoor Club
                Outdoor Education
                Poetry/Literature club
                Radio club
                Robotics club
                Round Square
                School newspaper
                Science Club
                Student Council
                Art Club
                Astronomy Club
                Audiovisual Club
                Chess Club
                Community Service
                Computer Club
                Dance Club
                Debate Club
                Drama Club
                Environmental Club

              What St. Margaret's School says about their extracurricular activities:

              • Boarding students are required to fulfill minimums of extracurricular involvement to reap the benefits of a broad set of experiences, build a sense of community connection in their "home away from home," and, for our international students, to continue improving their English language skills.
              • Student Council is the heart of our school here. Elected by their peers, these girls play a pivotal role in defining and perpetuating a welcoming and inclusive culture at our school and work cooperatively to run both social and fundraising events for the entire school community, and are in charge of planning and leading our regular assemblies.
              • Our Outreach Committee is very active in engaging in important causes affecting girls and women around the world. Student-run and teacher-mentored, the Committee works to engage their peers by leading homeroom discussions on important issues, and has cultivated partnerships with Free the Children (we're a WE school), and the African Health and Community Project, among other social justice initiatives.
              • As a centre for STEM learning we are proud to be the Vancouver Island home of the First Lego League and host regular robotics meetups and competitions, and are also the Victoria home for Girls Learning Code, the youth arm of the national organization Ladies Learning Code with whom we co-host coding and technology workshops for our own students and the public.
              • Our own 22-acre campus paired with the natural riches and temperate climate of our West Coast location pose tremendous advantages for outdoor education and a great variety of recreational activities all year long.
              • Girls rock! And so does our Rockband, a perennial favourite club that plays at many of our schoolwide events.
              • Our Rainbow Club helps promote an inclusive and supportive community in the hopes of fostering greater equality for one and all.
              • Fostering healthy habits, finding enjoyment in physical activity, and experiencing the joy in belonging to a team are not experiences we feel should be reserved for star athletes. Our Athletics program has enviable participation rates - nearly 95% of elementary school students, and around 70% of our middle and senior students belong to one or more team. That doesn't mean we don't bring home titles: our senior volleyball team recently brought home ISA Gold, our sailing team beat the competition from larger schools, and our school is home to elite athletes competing at high levels in synchro, triathlon, swimming and more.

              THE OUR KIDS REPORT: St. Margaret's School

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