Queen Margaret’s School: Building lasting life skills

Education - November 13th, 2013
QMS Science Photo

Schooling young women to be individuals and to be independent is what Queen Margaret’s School (QMS) is about.

In a world that has been closely connected through multiple channels, learning in an environment that allows students to embrace their individuality while appreciating many cultures is essential.

QMS, located in the quiet countryside of Vancouver Island in Canada, hosts an all-girls high school which is devoted to high-level education and activities intended to strengthen practical life skills. QMS allows young women to learn and thrive in a secure setting, offering them the opportunity to follow their dreams in a variety of fields and interests. Yet it is not just the intensive academic programs or the wide range of extracurricular activities that make this university-preparatory program special. It is about learning in an environment that is open-minded, multicultural, and forward-looking; it is about a school that is a part of an interconnected, global society.

“The world has become a lot closer to me,” Yumina Nagahata, a QMS alumna, says as she reflects on her high school experience and friends from around the world. “Simply, I learned a lot of things about other countries. It inspired me to study more about international relations.”

A cultural assembly is one of the many events the students participate in. Students from each country are asked to put together a presentation for the whole school to introduce their culture and history. Nagahata reminisces on her representation of Japan, in which she and fellow Japanese classmates danced and performed a small play showcasing Japanese culture. “It was really fun, and nice to see other countries’ presentations. There are many nationalities at QMS.”

Most of the students at QMS are from Canada, but a recognition of—and openness to—other countries and cultures is a defining aspect of the curriculum, because it is vital to success in the careers of the future. In contrast to many school systems, where getting answers right on an exam is the focal point of education, QMS helps to nurture practical business skills that are essential to excelling in university and the real, working world.

QMS also provides an Academic Advising Department for students in Grades 11 and 12, working closely to help girls examine their goals and the best course of action for both their short and long-term future. Many former students keep in touch with their advisors long after graduation as the relationships they build are deep-rooted and long standing.

qmsadvisingThe QMS system is widespread and comprehensive, and ranges from developing lifelong skills such as multitasking and time management to practical business skills in such as public speaking and crafting resumes. Students from Japan who have recently graduated from QMS have been accepted to top universities, including the International Christian University (ICU), Sophia University, Keio University and Rikkyo University. Graduates have also been accepted into challenging programs at universities around the world such as Princeton University, Brown University, Harvard, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Edinburgh, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, to name a few.

Queen Margaret’s School is not only committed to the education of its students, but more importantly to the development of life skills and exposure to the multicultural world we live in today.