St. Margaret's School
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St Margaret’s All Girls Boarding School Nurtures Young Women for Lifelong Success

Girls’ boarding schools can provide a unique and beneficial experience for young women looking to excel academically and personally. They offer an environment that is solely focused on the needs and development of young women, allowing them to grow and thrive without the distractions and pressures of co-education. In their safe and secure spaces, young women can focus on their studies and growth. With 24-hour supervision and support from dedicated staff, parents can feel confident that their daughters are in a caring and nurturing environment that puts their well-being first.

With over 100 years of experience, St. Margaret’s School gives students personalised support, respecting each person’s distinctive qualities and views.  Located on the Rappahannock River in Virginia, it is one of the few remaining all-girls boarding schools in the US. “St. Margaret’s welcomes girls from around the world,” says Colley W. Bell III, head of school. “Our International Programme has been running for many decades and we have alumni from 45 different countries. St. Margaret’s international students are valued in our community. We learn from one another and build strong bonds as a global sisterhood.”

Class of 2021 graduate Gabrielle V. found these bonds of community an integral part of her schooling. “Over the years here at St. Margaret’s, I began to open up,” she says. “Instead of hiding in my textbooks, I found a group of friends and sisters that I could rely on to help me get through the rough waters. Instead of drowning in my failures, I began to ask for help from my teachers. This would not have been possible if my teachers’ had not created an environment where I felt my voice was being heard, and that they were there to help me improve myself, not just the letter grade on my transcript.”

St. Margaret's School

St. Margaret’s is a great example of the many benefits girls gain from attending an all-girls boarding school. Source: St. Margaret’s School

One of the biggest advantages of all-girls boarding schools is the opportunity for young women to form strong bonds and friendships with their peers. Living in close proximity and sharing common experiences can foster lifelong relationships and forge a sense of sisterhood that can be invaluable throughout life. Forbes notes that: “boarding school students succeed at significantly higher rates than private day and public school students, especially in college and adult life.” Generations of St. Margaret’s are still connected, with many now at the forefront of their fields. Some even contribute to the schools’ yearly magazine, Thistle.

This sense of community not only helps students develop leadership skills but also trains them to support and collaborate with people from all walks of life. At St. Margaret’s, such know-how is nurtured in the classroom and enhanced with additional activities and programmes. The school offers 13 different varsity and club-level sports including crew, basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and equestrian. By participating in team athletics, students develop physically, emotionally, and socially. It adds to the wholesome approach, giving the girls a physical outlet that pairs well with their rigorous academic programmes.

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St. Margaret’s S.T.R.E.A.M programme uses the school’s surrounding nature to teach the girls valuable lessons. Source: St. Margaret’s School

What makes St. Margaret’s stand out further is its S.T.R.E.A.M programme which stands for scientific studies, technology, river, engineering, art and maths. Its natural confluence of water — where the salt meets freshwater in the river — creates an exceptional educational experience. From exploring its history and scientific significance to making the most of its recreational opportunities, the girls reap a whole range of benefits as they go on adventures in the great outdoors. The S.T.R.E.A.M programme includes competitions, team building activities, boat building (and testing them on the water), as well as engineering applications. Last year, two students even made a solar-powered boat.

The academics and fun additional programmes bring a sense of balance to St. Margaret’s curriculum, but the Head of School has placed emphasis on mental health as well. “At the centre of our thinking is the role of The Wheat Centre for Innovative Learning and Well-Being Services,” says Bell III. “At St. Margaret’s, innovative learning and teaching will be more dovetailed with the student’s well-being.”

The school is ever conscious of the needs of this generation of young women. With climbing rates of self-harm and high rates of sadness among adolescent girls, St Margaret’s has a full-time director for its Wheat Center for Innovative Learning and Well-Being Services, along with a full-time school counsellor who works with students to develop valuable strategies for emotional and academic success.

Give your daughter the best head start in life by sending her to St. Margaret’s School, click here to apply now.

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