Senior School

Our Senior School offers Year 11-13 students a solid foundation for academic success through the choice of National Certificate of Educational Achievement or International Baccalaureate.

A day in the life of a Senior School student

Amy is studying our Foundation Diploma and delights in the SMC House spirit.

Our programme

St Margaret’s College is the only girls’ school in New Zealand’s South Island to offer the dual academic pathway of NCEA or IB, and our exceptional academic record provides our students with limitless opportunities beyond our College gates. We are proud that our students achieve some of the most outstanding academic results in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand.

Students study in specific areas of interest offered within SMC, with a number of students following multi-level, blended curriculums with outside providers in order to provide the best learning opportunities for their individual needs.

Our House tutor system ensures that students are well supported, both academically and pastorally. Small groups of students from across the Senior School meet with their tutor each day, who has an overview of their wellbeing, academic progress and involvement in co-curricular activities.

Senior School Foundation Diploma

In Year 11, our students follow a contemporary curriculum, the St Margaret’s College Senior School Foundation Diploma. This has been created by SMC and is designed to ensure our girls maintain the strong pathway for achieving their full potential in Year 12-13 and beyond.

Following the positioning of NCEA Level 1 partly as a high school exit qualification, and with this, the loss of specialist subjects in science and humanities, our Foundation Diploma ensures we continue to meet the needs of our girls, all of whom continue their studies into Year 12, and who have a strong desire to study a range of specialist subjects.

The Foundation Diploma provides for increased teaching and learning time, specialist subject options, and a tailored and rigorous assessment model that lays the groundwork for success in NCEA Levels 2-3 and IB. It is based on SMC’s commitment to provide opportunities for holistic growth and wellbeing, with modules designed to strengthen character, service and leadership.

International Baccalaureate

In offering the IB, we give our students the opportunity to follow a philosophy of education and an internationally recognised qualification in Year 12-13.

Our IB students develop an attitude to learning that prepares them for university education, through a programme that develops the whole student – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. Students are required to select one subject from each of the following subject groups – language acquisition, studies in language and literature, individuals and societies, mathematics, the arts, and sciences – as part of a programme that balances subject breadth and depth. Students also participate in the Diploma Programme (DP) core – Theory of Knowledge, Extended essay and Creativity, activity and service, which aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The IB’s mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect.

Our students consistently outperform IB students globally, and have gone on to attend leading universities in New Zealand and around the world, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge.

NCEA Level 2 & 3

This is the New Zealand qualification framework that students in Year 12-13 can opt to study. Assessment for the qualification is both internal with inter-school moderation and external through public examination for each subject.

A Curriculum Handbook, published annually, provides up-to-date information on each course, entry requirements and assessment procedures. Students are supported in selecting combinations of subjects that meet their individual needs.

We are proud of the academic results of our students.

"My daughter has enjoyed the College so much and appreciated the attention the teachers paid to the academic needs of each and every student. On top of this academic advantage the College offers, we are so pleased to see how it encourages the girls to be more socially responsible and well-rounded so that they become global citizens for a better world.”

Ju Oh, parent

Gifted and talented education and learning support is provided through our Leck Centre for Learning Enhancement. Individual students’ learning needs are closely incorporated into a tailored learning programme, and follow on from programmes offered in our Junior and Middle School.

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