Years I-IV take part in curriculum Athletics lessons where students cover a number of events in the summer term. Students actively work towards securing ESAA Gold, Silver or Bronze Awards for each event which results in a certificate of achievement. Through practice in all athletic events, students are well prepared for Sports Day, an inter-house competition held at the end of the summer term. In addition, girls have the opportunity to be selected to compete in the Track and Field cup and the York City Championships along with cross country events including the Cross Country Cup and York Schools Cross Country.
Backstage Arts Club
Backstage Arts refers to our behind-the-scenes activities in theatre, dance, music, and other performance arts. These arts play a crucial role in enhancing creativity and expression; for our club, this involves the lighting, audio, and stage management of stage productions at QM.
The club provides an outlet for our pupils to showcase their talents and express their ideas, which can be both therapeutic and empowering. Additionally, participating in Backstage Arts helps develop a range of skills including teamwork, communication, time management, and problem-solving.
The process of putting together a performance requires coordination and collaboration between pupils, teaching staff and technicians, which fosters a real sense of community and helps strengthen social bonds within the school.
Badminton Club is open to all ages and is an opportunity for girls to come along and have a go, whether it be competitively or socially.
Badminton Club is also an opportunity for those who wish to refine their skills to get some extra coaching in order to improve their own individual game. There is opportunity during sessions to play against many different girls, all are welcome.
An advocacy club for students and staff, where we promote inclusion and diversity.
We follow a two-week rotation: on Week Q we have a formal discussion topic and discuss its relevance to us within QM and the wider community. On week M we offer an informal meeting, a safe space for students to come and talk and share experiences and thought processes.
The overall aim of the club is to promote a more inclusive community at Queen Margarets.
In Book Club, girls have the opportunity to meet once a week to discuss our chosen book.
We usually cover one book every half term, setting ourselves targets of how much to read so that everyone can join in the discussion, and so that we all have the time to read and to reflect on our reading while still meeting the challenges of our busy academic and extra-curricular lives (and reading more books of our own choosing).
In terms of selecting what to read, we respond to the tastes and enthusiasms of the group, while trying to keep our reading diet as varied as possible. We have read a range of texts - all novels so far - from classics of psychological realism to fantasy, thrillers and dystopian fiction. Discussion is friendly and informal, and helps to develop our passion for reading, experiencing new things, and expanding our cultural awareness.
Cantiamo (Junior Choir)
Cantiamo is our all-inclusive choir for Year I and II, embedded for all girls within the curriculum. It aims to unite girls by encouraging them to enjoy singing and grow in confidence through performance.
Our girls are given a practical foundation in vocal technique, score reading, and a wide experience of repertoire and vocal harmonisation. It serves as an excellent foundation for girls aspiring to join QM’s Chamber Choir.
Above all, Cantiamo aims to inspire a love of singing.
Queen Margaret's Chamber Choir is our flagship ensemble and sits at the heart of the QM community. This ensemble helps drive the school's rich choral tradition forward.
The choir leads multiple chapel services a week, including a weekly SSA anthem and regular Evensong services, both at school and beyond with past performances at York Minster and Durham Cathedral.
The girls rehearse three times a week, and the result is a dedicated and close-knit group of young singers, tackling repertoire at a high and wholly enriching standard.
Chamber Ensembles and Groups
The Music Department at QM has a vibrant array of smaller chamber ensembles and student led groups. These include string quartets, cello groups, wind trios and our brass group. Our musicians are at the heart of what we do, and it is to their credit that we also enjoy student led groups including rock groups and our current sixth form female barbershop - the Tone Commandments!
Led by the Charity Prefect, the council organises charity fundraising events and activities across the School.
Dance Lesson Tuition
Students are given the opportunity to develop their love of Dance in a safe environment and classes are tailored to individual needs. Grade and vocational examination classes can be taken and there are a range of different dance styles available - Ballet, Modern Theatre Dance, Contemporary/Lyrical, Tap, Street Dance and Hip Hop. These can be taken in small groups, as a pair, or individually as an extra subject.
There are also regular opportunities to take part in dance performances in School and at external events. In the classroom, girls work towards professional and internationally accepted qualifications, and creativity is encouraged through choreographic workshops. Performance is an integral part of dancing and all opportunities to perform are encouraged.
Outside the classroom, students can attend workshops and audition for dance events. Phoenix Dance and Northern Ballet are both local companies with outreach programmes and workshop opportunities. Girls have also attended events in London and further afield. Girls are encouraged to choreograph and explore their emotions through dance.
The Dance Department at QM has two dedicated dance studios which are equipped with full length mirrors, ballet bars and the provision of IT to facilitate teaching and learning. Students also have regular access to the Chapman Theatre.
The School recently welcomed Biddick Academy, who were studying Blue Stockings for their Drama GCSE. The students watched our performance and were encouraged to explore the set and themes in greater depth by trying on the costumes and performing on our stage. Our QM girls really enjoyed getting to work with Biddick Academy's pupils - sharing ideas about the production further supported their studies.
The Drama Teachers’ Working Party is a termly meeting for Drama Teachers from schools across Yorkshire. The group meet to discuss examination specifications, lead workshop ideas, develop resources, and share good practice. This ensures that the Drama Department at Queen Margaret's is always at the forefront of educational excellence.
Continually developing a strong relationship with primary schools across North Yorkshire, students are regularly invited to attend matinee performances of QM’s stage shows and take part in workshops with our pupils. This is a good opportunity to see the calibre of our students and the professionalism of the productions staged at QM. It also gives our students the opportunity to learn leadership skills when teaching younger students about Drama.
We hope to be able to open our doors again soon to a range of Outreach opportunities for our students and Drama team.
Taking an active role within the department, Drama Scholars develop skills in performance, teamwork, creativity and independence whilst gaining a greater understanding of artistic practices and theatre management. Regular theatre trips and workshops help to stretch and challenge our Scholars further, so they feel supported in progressing in this artform.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award
All students in Year IV are eligible to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, which takes a minimum of six months to complete.
From September to June, girls attend a weekly expedition training session lasting 45 minutes. This will be followed by a practice and qualifying overnight camping expedition. Girls will also be required to regularly participate in a sport, actively learn a skill, and undertake voluntary work during their free time.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award
All students in LVI are eligible to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, which takes a minimum of 18 months to complete.
This is a major challenge which will only be fulfilled with a great deal of perseverance and commitment. Participants will be required to attend a weekly expedition training session lasting 30 minutes throughout the year. These sessions culminate in a two-day practice camping expedition and a four-day qualifying walking expedition in the Easter Term.
Girls will also be required to regularly participate in a sport, actively learn a skill, and undertake voluntary work during their free time. In addition, all participants will select and take part in a residential activity for a minimum of five days.
Educational Trips and Study Tours
QM’s extensive programme of trips and expeditions opens up opportunities for girls to learn new skills, experience different cultures, enhance their learning and cement lifelong friendships. Our QM School Trips Coordinator gathers suggestions from the QM Family before planning a schedule each year. Trips from study tours to Skiing, walking challenges to competition finals take place throughout the School year including some School holidays.
As part of the Environmental Council, students from all year groups meet every month to identify ways in which we can live a greener life here at QM.
Last year's Clothes Swap events were a huge success and helped highlight the impact of fast fashion. Elsewhere, every student is now encouraged to carry a reusable water bottle to cut down our plastic waste on campus.
Plans for this year include applying to become an Eco School, which aims to improve our awareness of waste within school and damage to marine life.
Exchanges and Cultural Programmes
QM is part of the worldwide organisation of schools whose patron is Queen Margaret of Scotland. The member schools span five continents, yet share common goals and ideals. The overall aim is to promote cultural programmes with as many of the member schools as possible.
We hope to re-establish cultural exchanges with QM’s sister schools, as well as future tours and trips. This gives students the opportunity to make lifelong friends, learn about other's cultures, and develop new skills which better prepare them to take their place and succeed in an ever-changing world.
Funk and Soul Band
QM's Funk and Soul Band - who perform under the name The Lost Sock - provides students with an opportunity to experience being part of an exciting function-style ensemble.
Their repertoire spans jazz standards, soul classics, and more up-to-date pop numbers. Students who take part have the chance to learn how to read chord charts and hone their improvisation skills, as well as playing an active part in choosing their own repertoire and directing rehearsals.
Whether you are already a green-fingered goddess or just curious about growing your own plants, get involved with Gardening Club for the chance to sow, tend and harvest your very own fruit and vegetables!
We are big into nature, and have great plans for our little garden and wildlife area, so come along and see what you can grow.
Hockey is taught to Years I-IV in the curriculum throughout both the Autumn and Spring terms. Fixtures take place throughout the week and on Saturdays. Girls in Years V - UVI are encouraged to play in our Senior 1st XI team and 2nd XI team, representing the school in both fixtures and national competitions.
QM’s Hockey Club is an opportunity available from Year I upwards. Training sessions take place throughout the week, both at lunchtimes and in enrichment times. As ability develops, and if selected, girls have the opportunity to represent York in the Yorkshire Youth Leagues.
Girls can also attend the North Yorkshire Hockey Development Programme at an additional cost. This is a great opportunity for students to enhance their hockey skills and, if successful, to represent North Yorkshire Hockey.
QM has a rich and successful history of riding, being home to some of England's most accomplished young equestrians.
Riding lessons are available (at an additional cost) and focus on developing girls' skills in both flatwork and jumping, with optional hacking taking place over the nearby Escrick Park Estate.
Groups are small to ensure girls get plenty of individual attention, and beginners are taught individually until confident enough to join a group. Riders who chose to bring their own horses to school are actively engaged in eventing, showjumping and dressage, as well as Pony Club games and a variety of other activities. The emphasis is on fun, but lessons provide the opportunity for riders to advance their skills in whichever disciplines they chose.
QM is proud of our committed and vastly experienced team of visiting Music teachers offering individual instrumental and vocal tuition to the highest standard. Our Music staff are all highly respected performers in their own right and students are both nurtured and challenged whether working at beginner or diploma standard. Music is an important part of life at QM and most of the girls taking instrumental or singing lessons participate in one or more of the many musical ensembles and concerts on offer over the course of the academic year. We have an outstanding success rate in both ABRSM and Trinity examinations and all students have access to our accompanist and Head of Keyboard, Miss Kornas, ensuring that the music grade process is always a prepared, and therefore positive, experience. Lessons are available in the following subjects:
Piccolo Flute Oboe
Clarinet Bassoon Saxophone(s)
Recorder(s) French Horn Trumpet
Trombone Tuba Cornet
Tenor Horn Euphonium Violin
Viola Cello Double Bass
Harp Acoustic Guitar Electric Guitar
Electric Bass Guitar Piano Highland Pipes
Pipe Organ Singing
Composition Orchestral Percussion (Drum Kit)
Individual Music Theory Lessons
The International Council is made up of student representatives from each year group and from different countries, the International Prefect, a Deputy Head Girl and members of staff. The main purpose is to unite all international and British girls at QM. The Council aids integration and promotes cultural diversity and the interests and welfare of both international and British girls.
Through multicultural events and specific academic and enrichment projects, the International Council encourages cross-cultural awareness and interaction. It also provides a means of consulting and engaging with girls and advocates for their interests and needs.
This ensemble is open to all year groups and provides experience of a range of jazz from standards, latin and big band numbers with 'guest' sixth form vocalists. Here, students are given a supportive environment to hone improvisation skills, learn to read chord charts and develop ensemble and communication skills - a firm favourite in our annual concert series!
Lacrosse is taught from Year I upwards throughout the autumn and spring term, and students have the opportunity to play in various North Schools Tournaments. A ten-a-side game, Lacrosse is fast and fun to both play and watch.
The highlight of the season is the National Schools Lacrosse Tournament, held in Surrey. This is where students get to hone their skills and compete against all Lacrosse Schools in the country. Compulsory in Years I-III, Lacrosse is optional from Year IV upwards. For those who choose to be a part of this fantastic sport, students are given the chance to represent Yorkshire, depending upon their ability.
Yorkshire Lacrosse helps students who excel in the sport to prepare for the opportunity of being selected to trial for Yorkshire county teams. This is a stepping stone on an elite pathway to National Lacrosse representation. Students playing exceptionally well in the County Tournament are invited to attend North of England trials. Many girls from Queen Margaret’s regularly represent the region on the Yorkshire County team, with some going on to represent the nation at the U18 level.
Find out more at the England Lacrosse website.
Private LAMDA speech and Drama lessons are available at an additional charge. The sessions lead to examinations set by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Encouraging students who want to stretch themselves further, these lessons build confidence, hone elocution, and develop physical creativity. LAMDA students meet weekly to develop their communication skills and prepare for an eventual examination in their chosen area.
Lessons are tailored to the student’s individual needs, focussing on supporting and strengthening communication skills and confidence. Succeeding in a LAMDA examination demonstrates that, not only have students met rigorous assessment criteria in a particular discipline, but also that they have grown as individuals through participating in a worthwhile activity that is respected internationally.
LAMDA examinations taken at Bronze, Silver and Gold level also carry UCAS Points, which will help students achieve a place at university.
LVI students studying A Level Art subjects are encouraged to take part in Life Drawing, providing them with the skill to observe and record the human body as a three-dimensional form.
This is a fundamental experience in every young artist's training, and it is a wonderful opportunity to explore this skill at Queen Margaret's alongside A Level projects. For those considering any creative pathway in the future, the Life Drawing is a highly encouraged and favoured component of the portfolio.
LVI Advanced Cookery Skills
This enrichment activity gives girls the opportunity to improve their meal planning and cooking skills. It is the perfect opportunity for them to become more confident in understanding recipes, time management, menu planning, food presentation, and food safety and hygiene, and it encourages independence so they can prepare their own healthy meals.
National Council of Young Women
National Council of Young Women is the junior section of the National Council of Women GB - an organisation that highlights women's issues, researches how to improve them, and lobbies government to implement positive change.
Conferences and seminars are attended with the opportunity to speak on issues that focus on young women. Connect - Challenge- Change.
Netball is taught from Year I upwards in both the autumn and spring term. Each year group is represented by teams allowing plenty of opportunities for players to compete against other schools, colleges, and universities, with matches taking place during the week and on Saturday afternoons. To further improve Netball skills, a lunchtime and afterschool club is offered to refine skills and practice.
The QM Mavericks Netball Club allows students to experience Netball outside of School. Available from Year V through to UVI, this is a great opportunity to play club netball within the York & District area. Talented Year IV girls may also be invited to become a member. The club has two teams and play on a weekly basis from September to April. Keep up to date with the latest results here at Netball North Yorkshire - Results.
Open to all year groups, Painting Club encourages students to work on their own personally motivated pieces. With the guidance of painting expert Mrs Colman, students are given the opportunity to hone skills and techniques in a range of paint media, from watercolour and acrylic to oil paint.
Fun warm-up activities get the creative juices flowing before embarking on more developed works. No prior experience or perceived skill needed - this is a chance to explore the wonderful medium of paint!
Teacher of Percussion, Mr Dave Boston provides this lively and energetic concert favourite. The group is open to all and focuses on short-term projects in a variety of different styles including junkyard percussion, samba drumming and African djembes. A fantastic way to get involved regardless of previous experience!
Personal Training is available to all girls at QM from Year III. The sessions, which are available at an additional charge, provide holistic health and fitness strategies that are tailored to individual needs.
The philosophy behind Personal Training at QM is to motivate and inspire the girls to take the necessary steps and accountability towards a healthier lifestyle. This is achieved through the delivery of supervised fitness programmes, ensuring that every girl has the opportunity to achieve her own personal health and fitness goals.
The School has a specially designed Personal Training studio, from which the girls are offered professional coaching and guidance in many key areas of health related fitness including sports performance conditioning, nutrition and weight management strategies, strength development, movement stabilisation and metabolic conditioning.
Students can have individual, pair or small group Personal Training sessions delivered throughout the year that are designed to fit with and complement their academic life. They do not need to be sporty to participate, but instead simply want to commit to the development of their personal health and fitness.
You don't just take a photograph, you MAKE it. Come to Photography Club to build your skills for making great images.
From technical details to creative thinking, we will explore all the opportunities you have to use your camera - and your phone!
Photography is one of the four A Level Art subjects you can study at Queen Margaret's, so this club offers students a chance to build skills and enjoy the subject and consider if it is a good one for you at A Level.
Queen Margaret's Prince's Trust (QMPT)
Are you competitive, interested in enterprise and keen to further improve your skills in teamwork, communication, negotiation and financial management? If so, then the Queen Margaret's Prince’s Trust Challenge (QMPT) is for you.
Available to all girls in LVI, the challenge is to raise at least £2000 over a ten-week project. The process is competitive, with girls applying for posts and then selections made for various roles within the team. This business model provides an ideal vehicle to ‘learn by doing’.
The QMPT group meets each week during the autumn and spring terms, and much activity occurs outside of the meeting period as the team strives to do as well as it possibly can.
The Queen’s Society is made up of the School’s Academic Scholars. The group meets four times each term for a variety of different activities. Sometimes members will give a presentation to the rest of the Society on a subject which interests them; sometimes they discuss an issue or an idea which has recently been in the news; sometimes they simply play a mind-stretching game.
Members of the Queen’s Society also take a lead in the fortnightly Scholars’ Talks. For these, girls research a topic of their choice, and deliver an online presentation for the rest of the School community to watch. There is then an opportunity for questions and answers, and for wider debate and discussion. The talks are recorded, and saved on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) so that they can be watched again. Talks this year have included an investigation of the role of women in the French resistance, a presentation on the Greek poet Sappho, and a discussion of What is Music? Although they are called Scholars’ Talks, these talks are very much for the whole School, and you do not have to be a Scholar to give one.
The Queen’s Society also hosts guest speakers as part of an ongoing program of lectures. Once again, everyone is welcome to attend, and it is always a pleasure to see girls attending for the sheer love of learning.
Led by the Head Girl, the Council meets every half term to discuss academic, pastoral and enrichment issues and put together ideas for the future of the School.
Musicians of Grade 4+ standard join to form our Senior Orchestra. Our students learn the discipline and teamwork necessary for orchestral musicianship through fun and supportive rehearsals working towards annual concerts performances throughout the year. Past recent repertoire includes Copland's Hoedown and Beethoven's 5th Symphony Finale alongside providing concerto opportunities for our music scholars.
QM’s Swimming Club runs twice a week, including Saturday morning. Lanes are allocated and there are a mix of abilities, ranging from those training for maximum performance in competitive events to those wishing to make use of the pool as part of an overall fitness programme. Girls from all year groups swim together during the club, making it an excellent opportunity for integration of all ages.
Tennis Coaching allows girls to have individual, pair or small group tennis lessons throughout the year, at an additional charge. Our Tennis Coach Karen Mitchell has the highest level of coaching qualification (LTA Level 5), and she has huge levels of experience in both playing and coaching. Mrs Mitchell was also recently awarded a Meritorious Service Award by the LTA in recognition of her outstanding services to playing, coaching, developing coaches and players, and managing the Yorkshire County Performance Programme.
Designed to fit around a student’s academic lessons, coaching ensures an all-year Tennis programme at the School. The aim being to improve girls in every aspect of the game, not only in skills but also in the discipline and etiquette of Tennis. The development of skills provides students with the opportunity to enjoy the game throughout their lives, for both competitive and social aspects of the game.
Voluntary Communion Service
Held weekly with the Chaplain, leading up to a service of Baptism and Confirmation within a celebration of Holy Communion.
When the Candidates were baptised, vows were made on their behalf the the parents and godparents. At their confirmation, these vows are taken again by the girls themselves.
A firm student favourite, QM's Wind Band provides a chance for our woodwind and brass players to enjoy lighter concert repertoire including Michael Buble, film music and well loved classics. Alongside a busy concert schedule, the Wind Band's highlight of the year continues to be their annual marquee performance at Speech Day.
A wholly inclusive and welcoming weekly concert series open to all. Students and staff alike gather to share performances, works-in-progress and all things musical in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere. The result is an eclectic and vibrant weekly display of repertoire ranging from our Y1s at the beginning of their musical journey through to our more advanced students airing their diploma preparations.
Our Riding School is British Horse Society approved and, whilst independent of the School, is located on campus near Red House. Stables accommodate 25 horses and ponies, providing lessons ranging from beginners to Pony Club B test level.Horse Riding
Every girl at QM is allocated one of six Houses - School, QM Hall, Pitlochry, Garry, St Aidan's or Duncan - enabling different year groups to mix and get to know one another.School Houses