Anne Everest - Head's Message 08-10
Open Mornings: every school has them, and how difficult it must be for parents to distinguish between the hype and the reality, the mundane and the sometimes extraordinary claims that heads can make on behalf of their schools. And yet such events are great opportunities for schools to reveal more of themselves to current parents as well as to those of the future. We are all proud of our schools, and wish to show them off to advantage; we also want families to be able to grasp, in the space of a couple of hours, what makes us distinct from the next independent school on the list.
If I had to limit myself to key messages about our school, the following would be the ones that I think matter to us most.
We are an all-through school with a coherent curriculum that develops smoothly from Nursery to Sixth Form; we manage the transitions from Nursery to Junior School and from primary to secondary education seamlessly and in an unusual way. The Lower School provides a central role here: it is where little girls complete their primary education and embark on their secondary education, a year early – in Primary 7 (Remove). With its own grounds and specialist classrooms, but with access to the main sports and art facilities of Upper School, Lower School is a wonderful place for girls to grow up and feel free to express themselves while being supported in their first steps towards becoming independent women.
Freedom of expression, within reason, is more of a reality for our students because we are a girls’ school. We put girls first, deliberately, and we make no apology for specialising in girls’ education. Being an all-through girls’ school makes us unique in Edinburgh: we stand out from the crowd because of our academic results and in our extra-curricular and sporting participation too.
We are a Scottish school and we prize diversity. Our curriculum follows everything that is best in Scottish education, but we are not afraid to access what is best from elsewhere too (including GCSE courses in S3 and 4). Perhaps that is partly the reason for our success: we do not intend to “hot house” children, nor do we set a rigorous entrance requirement for our applicants. Yet, through determined, continuous and thorough support, which is embedded firmly in our whole-school ethos of respect for one another, we try to give our girls the wings to fly in a competitive world to the destination of their choice.
We are proud of our students’ academic achievements and of the inspection report we received this year from Education Scotland. We are prouder of the fact that we have girls who leave us each year ready to develop further the happy, independent lives they have built at St George’s.
Visitors to the school and current parents do not have to wait until our next Open Morning. We are happy to meet prospective students and their parents any day of the week by appointment with our admissions office (0131 311 8008; email@example.com)
Anne C Everest
Head, St George's School for Girls