Culture, community and connection are key to St Margaret's Anglican Girls School boarding program.

Culture, community and connection are key to St Margaret's Anglican Girls School boarding program.

St Margaret's named nation's top boarding school

St Margaret's named nation's top boarding school

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In 2020, for the second consecutive year, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School in Ascot, Brisbane, was named the Australian Education Awards Boarding School of the Year.

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This is sponsored content for St Margaret's Anglican Girls School

In 2020, for the second consecutive year, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School in Ascot, Brisbane, was named the Australian Education Awards Boarding School of the Year. The 2020 award came on the back of Head of Boarding Lesa Fowler winning the 2020 Australian Boarding School's Association's Premier Leadership Award.

When asked what it meant to win Boarding School of the Year for a second year, Ms Fowler said she believed it demonstrated how integral boarding was to the entire school community.

"That is probably what we can be most proud of; that the boarding house and the boarders are so much a part of everything we do here at St Margaret's," she said.

Ensuring that integration has been one of the school's key priorities.

"We want the teaching staff to know as much about the boarders as the boarding staff.

"Having teachers come in to supervise prep, boarding staff meeting with the heads of year, and the classroom teachers feeling free to email the housemothers in charge of each year level all say a lot about building that connection between the day school and the boarding house.

"As I also teach, I'm connected with the teaching staff because I'm in a faculty and taking classes on a daily basis."

St Margaret's boarding house has been operating at or near capacity for the past several years, against an Australia-wide declining trend.

St Margaret's boarding house has been operating at or near capacity for the past several years, against an Australia-wide declining trend.

St Margaret's boarding house has been operating at or near capacity for the past several years, against an Australia-wide declining trend.

"I would put this down to three things," Ms Fowler said. "Culture, community and connection."

"It is a very inclusive community, where we work in close partnership with the parents who are our most passionate advocates.

"They are the ones talking to people in their districts and parents will always ask other parents about their experiences of the school.

"Parents will also observe our Old Girls and conclude that everything about them is who they would want their daughters to become."

Ms Fowler said building strong, consistent and meaningful connections between boarding house staff and parents was crucial.

"We connect using all mediums. Digitally, a closed Facebook group with daily posts and a fortnightly newsletter keep parents up to date.

"There is also a formal process whereby housemothers call and speak at length with parents at least twice a term, in addition to the more frequent, informal interactions."

A boarders' support group also meets regularly in person, with every second meeting now having an online option as well, a positive development to emerge from times of lockdown.

"This connectedness across all our stakeholders really drives community and that is at the heart of the St Margaret's boarding house," Ms Fowler said.

Head of Boarding Ms Fowler and other senior members of staff regularly visit current and prospective families throughout Queensland, Northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory. For a full list of destinations planned for 2021, please view the regional tours schedule on the website

For all boarding enquiries, contact Judy Robinson admissions@stmargarets.qld.edu.au or call (07) 3862 0762.

This is sponsored content for St Margaret's Anglican Girls School

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