Courses & Curriculum

St. Margaret's meets the needs of each student by offering a college prep curriculum that allows for flexibility based on a girl's maturity, ability, and interests. Placement tests determine which courses a student takes in the areas of English, history, math, science, and foreign languages during her first year. All students receive support to become active participants in their education and achievement. Each year, the Academic Dean meets with students individually to monitor their progress, select their academic courses, and ensure that graduation requirements are met. Outstanding students are presented with opportunities, such as Advanced Placement/Honors courses in all disciplines, online courses and dual enrollment in community college. Students have the opportunity to participate in Minimester to explore areas of interest, and conduct independent study.

List of 9 items.

  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum

    St. Margaret’s English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program serves the ESOL student by offering intensive courses covering writing, grammar, reading, conversation, computer skills, ESOL U.S. History, and ESOL Science. All new students are required to take ESOL U.S. Culture, unless they are enrolled in Study Skills. Advanced students enroll in mainstream classes and use the Advanced ESOL course for additional support. Students take a placement test to determine which ESOL level is appropriate, if any. Graduation requirements include having to take English and Math every year, and a combination of Science and History courses (U.S. History is required).

    ESOL Reading, Writing, and Literary Research I
    ESOL Reading, Writing, and Literary Research II
    ESOL Listening, Speaking, and Grammar I
    ESOL Listening, Speaking, and Grammar II
    Advanced ESOL
    ESOL Physical Science
    ESOL U.S. Culture
    ESOL U.S. History
  • Fine Arts Curriculum

    At St. Margaret’s, we require every student to take art classes because we believe the arts play a critical role in both education and contemporary society. The arts integrate and solidify an individual’s personality, stimulate creative thinking processes that can be transferred to other areas of inquiry, and provide a healthy forum for personal expression. Our students present art shows and concerts throughout the school year. Graduations requirements are one trimester of studio or performing arts, and one trimester of Art History, Musica History or Drama History.

    Full-Year Courses: Advanced Art, Senior Portfolio, Ensemble

    1st Trimester
    Treble Choir
    Drama History
    Art History
    Drawing I, II, III
    Painting I, II, III
    Ceramics I, II, III

    2nd Trimester
    Treble Choir
    Technical Theater
    Drawing I, II, III
    Painting I, II, III
    Mixed Media I, II, III
    Digital Photography I, II, III

    3rd Trimester
    Treble Choir
    Music History
    Drawing I, II, III
    Painting I, II, III
    Watercolors I, II, III
    Digital Photography I, II, III
  • History Curriculum

    The St. Margaret’s history curriculum challenges students to learn from the past and apply those lessons to the future as active participants in our democratic society. Each student develops a solid background in U.S. History and Government, a broad understanding of world history, and an appreciation for diverse cultures. By giving our students content and context for world events, we help them become clearer, more critical thinkers. Students take three courses in grades 9 through 12; one year of World History and US History and Government are required.

    History 8
    World History I
    World History II
    U.S. History ♦
    Advanced Placement U.S. History (every other year) ♦ ∗
    Advanced Placement European History (every other year) ♦ ∗

    Current Events (1st trimester)
    Great Books (2nd trimester)
    20th Century (3rd trimester; every other year)
    Foreign Policy (3rd trimester; every other year)

    ♦ indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
    ∗ indicates a weighted/honors course
  • Mathematics Curriculum

    St. Margaret’s students do math with confidence. Small classes, personal attention and a collaborative approach to learning ensure that every student masters fundamental concepts before moving on to the next level. Each year, our math teams perform well at—and often win—the regional competitions sponsored by a local college. Algebra I, II, and Geometry are required for graduation. Seniors must take a full year of mathematics.

    Algebra I
    Algebra IB
    Advanced Algebra
    Introduction to Probability and Statistics
    Calculus ∗
    Advanced Placement Calculus (AB) ∗
    Advanced Placement Calculus (BC)♦ ∗

    Finance/Economics (3rd trimester)

    ♦ indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
    ∗ indicates a weighted/honors course
  • Religious Studies Curriculum

    St. Margaret’s religion classes foster the spiritual and intellectual development of our students as they contemplate life’s larger questions. Courses examine biblical themes of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which play a significant role in Western history, literature and the arts. Students also study the world’s major religions, which are essential to understanding the geopolitical forces shaping current events.
    Girls find the process of examining what they and others believe helps them strengthen values and develop a moral compass. Graduation requirements are three trimesters of religion courses.

    Introduction to Old Testament
    Introduction to New Testament
    Moral Ethics
    World Religion 
  • Science Curriculum

    Studies show that students at girls’ schools are more likely to pursue careers in science and technology than their counterparts at coed schools. That’s because schools like St. Margaret’s prepare young women for success in college-level science courses by emphasizing problem-solving and research skills in the classroom, laboratory, and field (where we take full advantage of our riverfront location). Our Science Curriculum follows the “Physics First” model, which provides students with a unifying foundation of science as a base for subsequent study. All students are required to take three lab courses in grades 9 through 12; Biology, Chemistry or Chemistry in the Community, and an additional year of lab science.

    Physical Science
    Conceptual Physics
    Chemistry in the Community
    Advanced Placement Biology ∗
    Honors Physics ♦ ∗
    Human Anatomy (1st and 2nd trimesters)
    Comparative Anatomy (all trimesters)
    Environmental Issues (3rd trimester)
    Independent Science Research (1st and/or 2nd trimester)
    Marine Anatomy (3rd trimester)
    Computer Science (3rd trimester)
    Robotics (2nd trimester)
    Women’s Health (all trimesters)

    ♦ indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
    ∗ indicates a weighted/honors course
  • English Curriculum

    St. Margaret’s English curriculum gives students a deeper appreciation and greater command of the written and spoken word—which are absolutely critical for success in college and career. Our course of study allows students to gain a solid foundation in reading, writing, critical thinking, and oral expression. Studying literature in a variety of genres by both traditional and contemporary writers invites students to explore universal themes. At each level, the curriculum also incorporates a formal study of grammar and correct usage. All of our English courses encourage interdisciplinary learning by making connections with other subjects, including history, art, science, library research, SAT vocabulary review and timed SAT essay writing, and the use of technology to ensure students are well prepared for college. English must be taken every year. The minimum graduation requirement is American Literature or Reading and Writing for College.

    English 8
    Introduction to Literature and Composition
    World Literature and Composition
    Reading and Writing for College
    American Literature & Composition
    British Literature and Composition ♦
    Language and Composition (AP)
    Advanced Placement English Literature ∗ ♦

    a weighed/honors course
    indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
  • Foreign Language Curriculum

    Understanding other languages and cultures gives students an edge in our increasingly global society. St. Margaret’s foreign language courses offer students the opportunity to study literature, explore the past, and write and speak the language of another time or place. To complement their studies, students may participate in one of the school’s educational trips abroad or take part in one of our international exchange programs. All students complete three years of one language or two years of two languages.

    Latin I
    Latin II
    Latin III ♦
    Latin IV ♦ ∗
    Latin V ♦ ∗
    Spanish I
    Spanish II
    Spanish III
    Spanish IV ∗
    Spanish V ∗

    indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
    indicates a weighted/honors course
  • Leadership Curriculum

    St. Margaret’s trains and supports current and potential student leaders with courses that combine theory and practice. The Introduction to Leadership class, open to students in grades 9-11, focuses on life skills topics and leadership development. The Women in Leadership course is open to seniors in leadership positions. These students serve as role models for others, direct the peer leader program for 8th and 9th graders and guide community programs, such as Peer Lunches and service projects.

    Introduction to Leadership (3rd trimester)
    Women in Leadership* (1st and 2nd trimester)

    * required for seniors selected for leadership positions
St. Margaret's School
P.O. Box 158
Tappahannock, VA 22560
T: 804-443-3357
Episcopal girls' school for boarding and day, grades 8-PG, on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Virginia.