Queen Margaret College first opened its doors on 19 February 1919 with 53 pupils. Our Scottish Presbyterian founders, The Hon. John Aitken and The Very Rev. Dr James Gibb, had a resolute belief in girls’ education. The College’s original purpose, as stated in its first prospectus, was ‘to provide for girls a sound intellectual and moral education and to build up strong Christian character on a broad religious basis and thus to produce the best type of girlhood and womanhood’.
The heritage building in which the College currently occupies was designed and erected by T.C.Williams and his wife Anne Beetham as a family homestead in Hobson Street, Thorndon. Scots College was housed in the building from 1916 till 1918 when they moved to Miramar and Queen Margaret College was established.
Students were organised into Houses (Berwick, Braemar, Glamis, Lochleven) in 1927 with an additional House (Stirling) added in 1929. Today, our traditional values are further enhanced by the House system which fosters involvement, camaraderie and lively competition. As part of a smaller community, students develop friendly relationships between different age levels through shared activities and identity.
As an independent Presbyterian girls’ school, our special character is nurtured by a religious education programme, assemblies and services where respect for spirituality and different beliefs is encouraged. The school’s namesake is Queen Margaret of Scotland, a female figure in history known for her strength and convictions.
The College’s outstanding academic results and ongoing sporting and cultural success is testament to the soundness of our Founder’s original vision. Today, the College continues to deliver a rich holistic education. Emphasis is placed on participation in community service in order to raise the awareness of the needs of others. Through extensive exchange programmes and the global perspective of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, students develop an outlook extending beyond New Zealand’s geographic and cultural borders.
Special assemblies such as Founders’ Day, Queen Margaret Day, Prefect Commissioning and House Banners keep the history and traditions of the College alive and expressed in our everyday life.