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Forward Focus at St Margaret’s College

St Margaret’s College, one of Christchurch’s oldest boarding and day schools for girls, also has a reputation as one of the most forward-thinking.

Executive principal Diana Patchett says small class sizes, emphasis on pastoral care, leadership, compassion and internationally focused education ensure students have the best start in life.

“The high ratio of adults to students and close partnerships with parents provide the backbone of St Margaret’s wellbeing programme and academic success. We put more of our budget into wellbeing than many schools do, or are able to, because that is what we believe is number one. After all, if you are not happy you cannot learn. It’s all about supporting students to thrive and be the best they can be.”

The College caters for over 800 girls from Years 0 to 13 across its Junior, Middle and Senior Schools.

“This includes 150 boarders starting from Year 7, with a growing number from the Southern Lakes region, attracted by our reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading girls’ schools with its academic, sporting and cultural excellence,” says Diana.

“The students make friends for life and the school has friendships with families in the regions that go back for generations. We appreciate that choosing St Margaret’s is a huge commitment for families, but believe this investment is one that can help give your daughter her best shot in the world.”

St Margaret’s College is the only girls’ school in the South Island offering a dual pathway to tertiary education by providing both the International Baccalaureate Diploma and NCEA.

“Each year our students achieve between 95% and 100% pass rates across all three NCEA levels and 100% of the IB Diploma students achieve their university goals,” says Diana.

The St Margaret’s College boarding houses are a home away from home.

“The three houses are split into age groups to ensure inclusiveness,” says director of boarding Nicky Langley. “While the younger girls have dormitory style accommodation to develop friendships and learn tolerance and inclusivity, the older girls live in motel-styled units which give them the independence and confidence to work towards life as a tertiary student or a flatting situation. All meals are provided in the school café and All Blacks nutritionist Katrina Darry has worked alongside the College catering team to design a nutrient dense, healthy menu with food teenagers like to eat – and it is delicious.”

In the words of a Year 10 student in her second year of boarding – “St Margaret’s is so much fun, it’s crazy how many facilities and new technologies they have to help you grow. You get to have a great education and in boarding you make friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life.”

St Margaret’s College Open Day is on Monday March 22 2021 with the SMC Sleepover taking place on Sunday March 21 for girls keen to sample a taste of boarding life at St Margaret’s.

For further information: www.stmargarets.school.nz