12 May 2020

A letter from the Head, 12 May 2020

Alex Hems, Head of St George's School for GirlsDear Parents and Guardians

I hope you and your families are all remaining well. I am writing to keep you up to date with life at school at the moment. We are aiming to fulfil as many of the events that were in the summer term calendar as possible, albeit in a different format, and in some cases the current situation has generated new, creative solutions which we will consider taking forward into future years.

Parent/ teacher meetings went ahead in the Junior School last week and are running in Primary 6 this week. This is the term when we focus on supporting a smooth transition from one section of the school to the next, and we are aware that this will be all the more important this year. Events for our new Primary 1 girls, for those moving from Primary 5 into Lower school, for Removes thinking about starting their Secondary education, and for the Lower 4 moving into Upper School will all take place over the next few weeks. On the last day before half term begins, on Friday 22nd May, there will be a House event in Junior and Lower School, maintaining the all-important sense of community and bringing some welcome light relief for the girls.

Next Wednesday evening, 20th May, we look forward to speaking to the Lower 5 parents about what lies ahead for their daughters when they enter the Sixth Form at St George’s: the leadership and co-curricular opportunities available, university preparation; the very different style of learning expected of girls in their final years at school, and the support offered to them by their tutors and the Sixth Form Team.

Lower 6 girls started their new courses yesterday, and Upper 5 will resume next week, maintaining momentum in their learning at this crucial time in their education. For Upper 6 we have launched our new on-line programme of advice and preparation for the increasingly demanding and competitive graduate recruitment processes that they will encounter in the future. Mrs Åsa Norrie, Head of Global Strategic Alliances with Aberdeen Standard Investments, St George’s parent and member of School Council, was our opening speaker on Monday. In an hour-long live presentation and Q&A session, she and one of her recent graduate recruits covered topics such as how to prepare for gruelling Assessment Centre interviews, the value of languages or of a year in industry. Over forty of our Upper 6 joined the session, and asked some excellent questions. Over coming weeks we will be hosting similar events featuring the law, manufacturing, technology and media. We are most grateful to our parents and alumnae who are volunteering their time and expertise to support this programme.

We are continuing to plan for a number of possible scenarios for returning to school, with safety and continuity of education being our priorities. Of course we can only act in accordance with government guidelines. We will let you know by SchoolPost as soon as we have any further information to share.

With my best wishes to you all,

Mrs Alex Hems MA Oxon
Head, St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh

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