St Margaret’s Pre-school 1st Anniversary

Today St Margaret’s Pre-School marked an important milestone.  It is one year since the Pre-school for boys and girls re-opened its doors, having closed the original pre-school 65 years ago.

The celebrations were attended by Tom Tothill, one of the pupils from the original St Margaret’s Pre-school, attending from 1938.

St Margaret’s Director of Pre-school Sue Gleeson says that “over the past year the Pre-school has flourished and is almost at capacity with a growing waiting list”.

Original Pre-school

The Kilburn sisters who founded St Margaret’s College in 1910, welcomed younger children so they could fill the upper school with girls who had grown up with them.   At first, there were only two children who were accommodated in the old stable at Armagh St where St Margaret’s started.  By 1916, the kindergarten had 11 girls and three boys with boys attending at St Margaret’s kindergarten from 1914 until 1941

In 1941, three open-air classrooms were built at the Papanui Road site where the boarders were housed.  The kindergarten and Junior School moved there shortly afterwards and the grassy area in the front is where they had their afternoon nap.  In 1951, there was no longer a kindergarten class at St Margaret’s College.

Current Pre-school

“Being in a new purpose built facility within the school campus, we have the opportunity of using all the school facilities” Ms Gleeson said.  

“Our vision is to encourage children to be curious about their world and develop inquiring minds as they become creative, confident communicators and responsible citizens with a love of learning. We offer a nurturing environment where all children thrive socially, emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually.

We are active participants in the life of the school and regularly join in whole school activities.  We have an inquiry based programme supported by a rich programme of specialist classes including technology, languages, PE, yoga and music & movement.  Our exceptional transition to school programme is developed by the Pre-school’s Primary trained teachers, and utilises our special relationship with St Margaret’s and Medbury Junior Schools”  

The Pre-school is open 7:30am to 5:30pm and the staff welcome your visit. For enquiries, please contact Sue Gleeson, Director of Pre-school on 03 963 2644 or



12 Winchester Street
Merivale, Christchurch 8014

PO Box 25094
Christchurch 8144
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 379 2000
business office: