When can my daughter join St Margaret’s?
As well as welcoming new girls to the school at any point during the school year and in most year groups, we have five popular entry points at which girls can join St Margaret’s: Nursery, 1, 6 and 7 Junior and I Senior. We are an all-through school, which enables us to ensure a smooth transition and progression from junior through to senior stages.
Transition from the Nursery to the Junior School involves simply stepping along the corridor to the junior classrooms. 7 Junior girls have some lessons in the senior area of the school, and both 6 and 7 Junior girls will have already benefitted from the teaching of specialist staff in music, PE, drama, French, food technology, art, Latin and science.
New girls entering at specific entry points find that the process is facilitated by an induction day during the third term in the school year. For 6 and 7 Junior and I Senior entry, new girls meet with girls already in school, and establish friendships so that they already feel part of the whole school community by the time they begin their secondary school career. New girls who join us feel very much a valued part of the St Margaret’s community within a short period of time, regardless of when and in which year group they join.
Girls who join us in other year groups and throughout the school year are supported fully by staff and fellow pupils alike; our ethos is a caring one: girls actively support one another and have teachers and staff who will always do their best for them. We welcome girls of all nationalities, all faiths and from a wide range of backgrounds.
Boys can join our Nursery for their ante and pre-school years, providing them with the best possible start in developing their independence, sense of responsibility, knowledge and skills, and develop their enthusiasm through active learning. The Nursery at St Margaret’s follows the Curriculum for Excellence which focuses on literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing. Our Nursery children benefit from specialist teachers for music, gym and dancing.
Do you run a school bus?
We operate morning bus services from Inverurie and Banchory, with frequent stops along the routes to school with pick-up points in the popular residential areas of Kintore, Blackburn, Kingswells, Drumoak, Peterculter, Milltimber, Bieldside and Cults. Both buses arrive in time for school starting, usually around 8:30am.
Although we do not operate a bus service after school, many of our girls use public transport and often travel together. Our location in the city centre of Aberdeen means public transport is easily accessible, with many bus routes stopping directly opposite the school on Albyn Place. We are just a 15 minute walk from Aberdeen train station and some of our pupils do travel to and from school by train.
What do your sixth year girls go on to study and where?
We have high expectations of our girls, socially and academically. By the time our girls leave, they are confident individuals who know their strengths and the contributions they can make to the wider world. Each girl is encouraged to be the best she can be, whatever she chooses to go on to. The academic focus at St Margaret’s means that almost all of our sixth year girls go on to university, studying a wide range of subjects both at national and international institutions. We are delighted that all of our VI Senior girls secured places in their first choice of university.
Do you provide morning care and after school care?
Yes, both morning and after school care. For nursery children, morning care runs from 8:00am to 8:30pm in the familiar environment of the nursery, and children help set up the nursery for the day, choose and take part in activities such as role play, music, computers, water, sand, and construction. Using the same resources and taking part in the usual activities that take place throughout the nursery day enables the children to ease gently into their learning.
Morning care is available for Junior girls from 8:00am to 8:30am. Girls are supervised by staff in the junior department, and have the opportunity to read, draw, chat with friends, or take part in other activities. When weather permits, morning club takes place outside in the playground.
For after school, two sessions are available for nursery and 1 to 6 Junior: a short session from 3:00pm to 4:15pm, and a long session from 3:00pm to 5:30pm. Children in the nursery and 1 Junior enjoy sessions in the nursery room, and the 2 to 7 Junior girls are taken from their classrooms to the dining room. Children can take part in a variety of activities such as crafts, baking, ICT, role-play, board games and puzzles.
The girls in 2 to 6 Junior can be part of the After School Care Pupil Council, and all the children participate in planning what happens at After School Care. Every year, After School Care hold a charity event and a Pupil Conference. Healthy snacks are provided (fruit or vegetables along with items such as toast, bagels, cereal and soup).
For girls in 7 Junior to II Senior we offer Homework Club which is held in the library and runs from 3:40pm to 5:30pm Monday to Thursday, and from 3:00pm to 5:30pm on a Friday. Girls are supervised and encouraged to use their time at the Club to complete work and homework tasks, or to read quietly. As well as the many books available to girls in the library, laptops are also available for use during Homework Club.
What do girls do for lunch?
Entier Catering provide our school lunches, and they recently won a healthy eating award for the nourishing, tasty and diverse meals they produce. School lunches are available for all our pupils, from Nursery to VI Senior. Entier provide hot and cold lunch options on a daily basis including a vegetarian dish, a pasta dish and a salad bar, with options for pupils who suffer from allergies such as dairy, shellfish, gluten and nut.
If girls prefer they can bring a packed lunch; we operate a healthy eating policy at St Margaret’s and would encourage girls not to bring fizzy drinks or sweets as part of their packed lunch. Nursery and Junior girls eat their packed lunches in the dining room, and Senior girls can (with parental permission) eat packed lunches in their form room. Girls in III Senior are given the option to leave school at lunchtime to purchase food and then return to school to eat it.
Staff and prefects supervise and assist in the dining room at lunchtimes, and are on hand to help pupils with choices (particularly our younger pupils), and to ensure that everyone enjoys a nourishing and pleasant lunch-break.
Ms Karen Schmitz, Admissions Officer