In July 2019, I stood in front of the final resting place of Maria Dyer in George Town’s Northam Road Protestant Cemetery. I was humbled and awed at the enduring nature of her work which started in 1842. Maria Dyer, a missionary of the London Missionary Society was committed to house homeless girls, provide them with an elementary education in English as well as share with them her Christian faith. Today, our school stands as the oldest girls’ school in Singapore and the Far East, honouring the conviction and sense of mission to nurture confident, creative and caring young ladies who will serve God, the Country and the Community. St. Margaret’s School (Secondary and Primary) continues to celebrate our Founder’s Day on 16 November of each year to commemorate and renew our commitment to continue the legacy and good work as lived out by our founder.
Learn to Learn, to Grow and to Glow
Today, the school is in the midst of a phase of growth focusing on being “Champions of Change, Leading with Heart, Touching Lives” to achieve the vision of a Community of Learners Growing and Glowing for God. The focus is on learning not simply to grow our skills, knowledge and attitudes but to develop care for others. This vision has thus holistically engendered iterations of the ‘Learn-Grow-Glow’ frameworks which guide our curriculum and key programmes such as the Development of Talents to Serve (DOTS) and the Salt and Light Programme (SLP).
Our school strives to anchor our students’ school experiences in our school values of Upholding Integrity, Learning Continuously, Taking Pride, Showing Care and Being Resilient. We are hence committed to nurture and develop the potential of every student in St. Margaret’s so that each is excellence-driven, a passionate inquirer, a critical thinker, an others-centred contributor and a leader with moral courage. My colleagues and I consider it a joy and a privilege to learn and grow too as we endeavor to make a difference in the lives of the students who have been entrusted to us.
The second verse of our School Song resonates with our vision:
“We learn to serve our God, our State, our School
In service free for neighbor, home and friend
So may we keep the all-embracing rule
In care for all our lives to spend”
It is my goal to harness our partnership with our community to nurture and support our young ladies to be independent and self-directed learners who are also competent in working collaboratively with others in service to God, the country and the school. We believe that each of our young ladies has the potential to realise her talents, strengths and do her personal best in all that she sets her heart to do. The school community shall continue to be guided by the maxim of my predecessor, Mdm Lee Lin Yee, “It is not just to do well, but to do good.”
Leaving a Legacy
The legacy that we have inherited, espoused in the school motto: Charity, Patience and Devotion, is a worthy one that we seek to live out. In so doing, we aspire to be people who will Learn without ceasing, Grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2: 52); and Glow as we shine for God (Matt 5:14).
St. Margaret’s Secondary School