Our co-curricular enrichment offer encourages you to broaden your perspective, have a go at all the opportunities a QM education presents and enjoy a rewarding, full and enriching day, seven days a week.
At QM Amnesty International focuses on addressing various human rights violations across the world. In the past, issues such as women’s rights, poverty and prisoners have been studied. Amnesty International never takes sides but always campaigns for human rights to be protected.
Previous campaigns to raise awareness comprise a variety of initiatives including thought-provoking assemblies and bringing in a car to highlight discriminating laws preventing women from driving in Saudi Arabia. Cloaks Corridor has, in the past, been transformed into a modern slum to raise awareness of how extreme poverty affects many people today and leads to horrific transgressions of basic human rights. Students decide which campaigns they wish to participate in and the way in which those campaigns are promoted. Involvement in Amnesty International counts towards completion of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. This group is open to all girls in Years V-UVI.
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.
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.
Queen Margaret's Chamber Choir is the flagship ensemble driving the school's rich choral tradition forward. The choir is at the heart of the QM community leading multiple chapel services a week including a weekly SSA anthem and regular Evensong services both at school and beyond including 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.
All welcome from beginners to Grandmasters.
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 tThere 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.
Drama Lesson Tuition
Delivered by qualified LAMDA teachers, students take part in ten lessons each term. This culminates with girls completing a performance examination to an external examiner. Lessons are available on an individual or group basis at an additional charge.
The School recently welcomed the Biddick Academy who were studying Blue Stockings for their GCSE. The students watched the show and were encouraged to explore the set and themes in greater depth by trying on the costumes and performing on the stage.
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.
Continually developing a strong relationship with Primary Schools across North Yorkshire, students are regularly invited to attend matinee performances of QM’s stage shows. This is a good opportunity to see the calibre of students and the professionalism of the productions staged at QM.
Encouraging students who want to stretch themselves further, these lessons build confidence, perfect elocution and stretches their 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, not only that students have 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.
Taking up such an active role within the department, Scholars develop skills in performance, teamwork, creativity and independence whilst gaining a greater understanding of artistic practices and theatre management.
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 to highlight the impact of fast fashion, and every student is now encouraged to carry a reusable water bottle to cut down our plastic waste on campus.
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 and the overall aim is to promote cultural programmes with as many of the member schools as possible. Through cultural exchanges with QM’s sister schools and future tours and trips students make lifelong friends, learn about other cultures and develop new skills which better prepare them to take their place and succeed in an ever-changing world.
Whether you are already a green-fingered goddess or just curious about growing your own plants, get involved with Gardening Club and have a chance to sow, tend and harvest your very own fruit and vegetables!
QM’s Hockey Club is an opportunity available from Year I upwards. Training sessions, which take place around the York area, also include one evening at the School. 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 being home to some of England’s most accomplished young equestrians. Riding lessons are available (at an additional cost) and focus on Dressage, Show Jumping, Cross Country and Gymkhana skills, with Hacking taking place at the nearby Escrick Park Estate. Groups are small and beginners can be taught individually until confident enough to join a group. Riders are actively engaged in the Eventing circuit, attending competitions throughout the country. Competitions are held during the year and ponies are available for the girls who ride at School. The emphasis is on sportsmanship and fun, but they provide an opportunity to practise skills learnt in lessons and to become familiar with the relevant rules and traditions.
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!
Junior Science Club
Encouraging inquisitive young scientists to explore the world around them, the Junior Science Club welcomes outside speakers, each experts in their own field to present relevant topics of interest.
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, which is 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. For further information click here. https://www.englandlacrosse.co.uk/
Private LAMDA speech and Drama lessons are available at an additional charge and these 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, perfects elocution and stretches their 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, not only that students have 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.
LVI students studying A Level Art can take part in Life Drawing. Providing the opportunity to observe the human body in a three-dimensional form, life drawing helps students to understand the human body and observe the body’s movements.
For those with a passion for writing, photography, design and website management, Magpie is the QM girls’ blog. Written by QM girls for QM girls the Magpie blog is a guide to everything both inside and outside School.
Open to anyone that would like to try meditation, these sessions may be of particular interest to those girls who have already completed the .b Mindfulness course within PSHE.
National Council of Young Women
QM is an official link school to the National Council of Young Women. Girls in Year IV and above meet a couple of times a term and organise a conference in the Autumn Term. There is also the opportunity to attend other conferences across the UK.
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 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. https://www.netballnorthyorkshire.co.uk/york-district-netball.htm
Teacher of Percussion, Mr Andy Jennings 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.
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.
Senior Science Society
For more established scientists, the Senior Science Society encourages an even greater depth of learning, with regular external speakers presenting thought-provoking, relevant and topical subjects.
QM’s Swimming Club runs approximately five times a week in the evenings and on a 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 between the year groups for those attending.
Tennis Coaching allows girls to have individual, pair or small group tennis lessons throughout the year, at an additional charge. The team of Tennis Coaches at QM are highly qualified (LTA levels 3-5), enthusiastic and talented with experience in both playing and coaching.
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.
The Dance Leadership Award
Designed to develop generic leadership skills this is a practical qualification which equip you with the skills and abilities required to be a leader. This opportunity enables students to take control of planning a program of dance classes, fine tune their leadership skills and is a certified course run by The Sports Leaders organisation.
The 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. Girls attend a weekly expedition training session lasting 45 minutes from September to June. 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.
The 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. There is a requirement for attendance at a weekly expedition training session lasting 30 minutes throughout the year. These 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.
A small and nurturing ensemble designed to provide our Grade 0-3 musicians with their first experience of ensemble playing. The ensemble line up remains flexible and is designed to cater to the needs of our students with bespoke arrangements. Students learn to follow a conductor and create music as part of a team working towards regular performances for concerts and assemblies.
Voluntary Communion Service
Held weekly with the Chaplain.
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.
Pupils achieve a high level in the wide range of competitions, activities and creative and physical pursuits that are open to them outside the classroom, because both participation and excellence are encouraged by school leaders.