The Middle Years Program at St. Margaret’s School (SMS) engages students in Grades 5 – 8 in a unique set of opportunities to address the development and learning needs of girls at this critical stage of growth. We provide our girls with the foundations for success: challenges to excel, experiences that inspire, and preparation for the future.
Our Middle Years teachers are a dedicated group of educators who bring a wide range of expertise and interests to the group, and who thrive in guiding and mentoring students in these grades. This is a cohesive program that builds upon the foundations of early years learning and develops incrementally towards the greater independence and flexibility of choices in Grades 9 through 12. Teachers and other Middle Years staff work together daily to plan out cross curricular, leadership and service opportunities for our girls, whose needs in timetabling, course offerings, teacher contact, and social and emotional development are uniquely different from their younger and older peers.
Students have embraced the program, noting that the highlights for them include making connections between subject areas, the exposure to a diverse range of learning activities and teachers, the opportunity to work alongside students at different grade levels, and the creativity and ingenuity that they are able to demonstrate in the Innovation block*.
Innovation is a regularly scheduled block in the timetable. This period of “structured independence” allows students to pursue individual passions, practise skills for lifelong learning and focus on improvement in personal areas of challenge.
The structure of our Middle Years program reflects the goals of the strategic plan.
Global Learning; Future Focused – With a goal of equipping girls with the tools to achieve success in a changing global society, the Skills block in our middle school program provides girls with in-class opportunities to gain a wide variety of life skills.
Unique and Diverse Educational Experience for Girls – The Innovations block in the Middle Years gives each girl designated in-class time to explore a subject that captures their personal interest.
Student-Driven Learning – Students get a voice and choice in not only what subjects and courses they want to pursue, but also in shaping the future of the Middle Years Program through ongoing discussions on the future of the program.
Character Building – Providing girls at this age with a balance of independence and coaching, they have an opportunity to develop the traits that will shape them into the women they become.
Leading from Within – Girls learn to lead by having opportunities to join student government and steering committees, as well as through participation in their Leadership courses.
Personal Growth – Girls have a chance to explore a wide variety of middle school level classes and courses, which equips them the experience and tools to make better decisions in their Senior Years.