1 Junior at St Margaret's
At St Margaret’s we aim to make this landmark year in a child’s life memorable for all the right reasons, where she moves from the warm, supportive environment of her nursery and family community to what we hope will become a second home with a second family. So what makes St Margaret’s so special? To begin with – its scale. We are a small school by design. Our 1 Junior class is capped at 18. This means the class teacher and classroom assistants quickly get to know the girls, and vice versa, as they learn their new routines and settle into life here. The intimate design of our site means that girls of all ages are often in close proximity, where the youngest members of the community can be supported by both the older juniors and the senior school girls. It is not unusual to see them greet each other in the playground with cries of recognition, waves and “high fives”. The older seniors, particularly the prefects, are very protective and caring of the younger girls and think nothing of taking a hand to lead them to assembly or elsewhere in the school. More formalised contact is arranged through paired reading, where juniors team up with senior mentors; additionally the 5 Junior and 1 Junior classes link up regularly to share learning opportunities.
The small class size offers real educational benefits, with a lot of individual attention both from their regular class teacher and from their specialist subject teachers. We are firm believers in the value of single sex education and are experienced in meeting girls’ educational and developmental needs from their earliest years. Numeracy, literacy and creativity are at the heart of our curriculum. Ipads are a regular feature of our lessons from the start, as we know we are dealing with a generation which must be technology-savvy. Specialists teach drama, music and PE. We start to build up performance and presentation skills which will stand them in good stead as they progress up the school, while specialist French adds a certain je ne sais quoi. The 1 Junior classroom is bright, spacious and well-resourced and provides opportunities for many different learning styles. Easy access to the playground means girls can enjoy active learning through group work and individual challenge, both indoors and outside, which we have designed both as a learning space and as a fun, grassy, recreation area, with toys, games and apparatus. This is a safe, enclosed space, supervised by staff whenever girls are present during the day. We find that both the girls who have graduated from our Nursery and those who have joined us in 1 Junior alike, settle very quickly to their new routines. From the moment they put on their new uniforms they become part of the family.
We also think it important to look to the world beyond our granite walls. Our city centre location facilitates many local trips and visits and provides opportunities to visit local businesses, retailers, museums and historic sites. Professionals from different walks of life often come into school to give an extra dimension to learning. In the autumn term alone girls have had a visit from the local traffic warden; they have visited the fire station; had a talk by a SSPCA inspector; taken part in a drama workshop; visited the theatre in Dundee, and prepared for the whole school carol service. From the start, girls are integrated into the whole life of the school, where community life builds strength, confidence and security. We aim to ensure that our 1 Junior girls find fun and friendship as they begin on the exciting journey which is a St Margaret’s education.
If you would like to apply for a 1 Junior place for your daughter in August 2017, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.