A typical day in Senior School at St Margaret’s

In our vibrant and dynamic senior school, it often seems that no two days are ever the same with so many different activities and experiences going on both within and outwith the classroom. However, the following outline of a largely typical day in the senior school gives some insight into our provision for girls aged 12 to 18.

Registration and assembly

Girls have access to their form classrooms from 8.00 a.m; here, they have the opportunity to enjoy time socialising with friends until the formal start of the school day, registration at 8.40 a.m. Several times a week, this is followed by an assembly at 8.45 a.m; these are generally broad in theme, and provide the opportunity for recognising achievement and celebrating success. Our assemblies are also occasions when girls in different year groups may come together, emphasising the all-through nature of our school. On days when there is not an assembly, girls will spend the time with their form teacher, planning their own class assembly or charity event, or perhaps discussing points to be raised in the fortnightly Pupil Council meeting.

Structure of the school day

Lessons begin at 9.00 a.m and each period lasts 40 minutes, with subjects often being taught in double periods. There is a morning break of 20 minutes at 11.00 a.m and a lunchbreak of one hour at 12.40 p.m. The school day ends at 3.40 p.m.

Lunchtime arrangements

Girls in the senior school may opt for school lunches or bring their own packed lunch. The privilege of signing out of school premises to buy lunch in town is extended to girls in III-VI Senior only, with parental permission. However, girls are not allowed to eat in cafes in town, and must bring any food purchased back to school. All girls in I and II Senior eat lunch in the dining room, whether school lunch or packed lunch; we recognise that this is an important social occasion for them to be together as a year group. Girls from III-V Senior eat school lunch in the dining room but may eat packed lunches in their form classroom. Those in VI Senior may remain in their common room. After eating lunch, girls are free to socialise in their form classroom, in the playground (weather permitting) or at an extra-curricular lunchtime club.

In the classroom

In I and II Senior, girls are studying around 15 different subjects, with five lessons per week devoted to English and maths, four lessons of French, and either one or two periods each for the other subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, geography, history, Latin, art, drama, music, ICT, food technology, PE, RME and PSHE. Modern studies and a choice of German or Spanish are introduced in II Senior.

In III and IV Senior, girls choose eight subjects for their National 5 courses; these are studied over two years, and have four or five (English and maths) lessons each per week.

In V Senior most pupils choose five subjects at Higher level which are studied over one year and to which seven periods each are devoted each week. In VI Senior girls may take three or occasionally four subjects, either all at Advanced Higher level, or a combination of Advanced Highers and new Higher subjects, or additional Highers only. In this final year, each subject also has seven taught lessons and girls use their remaining study periods for independent research, dissertation or project work.

All year groups have a full games afternoon and compulsory RME and PSHE are continued at all stages.

Outwith the classroom

Beyond the academic curriculum, there are countless opportunities for extra-curricular enrichment both in the lunchbreak and after school. Girls may participate in activities ranging from all manner of sports clubs and music ensembles, to debating, Model United Nations, Creative Writing club and Movie Club, to name but a few. All girls are encouraged to pursue at least one extra-curricular interest in school as a means of developing confidence and self-assurance, learning new skills, meeting new friends and honing whatever particular talents and abilities they may have.

The end of the school day

After lessons end at 3.40 p.m, if not going straight home, girls may either participate in one of the after-school extra-curricular activities or continue with some work in our supervised Homework Club. This facility runs from 3.40 – 5.30 p.m and pupils can study or read quietly until they are collected by parents. Girls in VI Senior may work in their common room rather than in Homework Club if they prefer.

Register now for the 6 Junior, 7 Junior and I Senior assessment day on Thursday 23rd January 2020

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