The Foundation Years at SMS provides education from our Early Learning Program through to Grade 4.
Our elementary school program is a small, family-like community where teachers develop strong relationships with their students and their families. Classroom activities are designed to extend students’ natural curiosity and actively engage them in the learning process. Our students learn to be curious, to work together and to love learning. They develop a solid foundation for successful academic achievement, positive peer relationships and a growing sense of responsibility for their own learning.
We provide a safe, supportive and nurturing environment where the youngest members of our school community can take risks, try new things and explore the world around them. Our learning environment respects and values diversity in children – each girl is encouraged to appreciate their own abilities and what makes her unique. Students also discover that they are a part of a whole and, together, develop their ability to learn and work cooperatively to create a friendly, engaging classroom.
Classroom activities foster good work habits, independent thinking, the development of decision-making skills and experiences with the planning process. Students are encouraged to reflect and self-assess their work; they learn to take pride in their work, set goals, and recognize the importance of effort and attitude.
We recognize that learning occurs at different times and in different ways. Our small-scale learning environment provides teachers with the flexibility to personalize learning for each girl. Classrooms here are not static environments where students come to listen and consume information; our teachers are facilitators who design projects and activities that require students to play an active role in their own learning and discovery. Our goal is to inspire a love of learning in all our students.
Foundation Years students build leadership skills through a variety of school and community-based initiatives. They participate in Junior Council and Student Government, organize fundraisers, lead weekly assemblies and have opportunities to mentor their younger cohorts in a variety of cross-grade activities. Starting in Grade 3, students also have the opportunity to be involved in a full range of extracurricular clubs and activities.
Our academic program is supported by a wide variety of experiential programs that ensure learning is integrated and engaging, and help our students develop a desire and a passion for making a difference. These experiences provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, take on positions of responsibility and leadership, and develop skills and attitudes that could never be learned in a classroom.
As students prepare to leave the Foundation Years, the next school year brings with it both excitement and, often, a little apprehension. Students in Grades 7 and 8 are part of a dynamic program designed to ease them into this new environment, provide them with new opportunities to explore their interests, and help them develop a solid foundation of study and life skills that will prepare them for the rest of the Middle Years at St. Margaret's School, and life beyond.