20 May 2020

A Message from the Head, 20 May 2020

Alex HemsDear Parents and Guardians

I hope that you and your families are all remaining well. I am sure that your daughters are looking forward to a short break over half term; we have been so impressed with their commitment and motivation, but I know that however varied and creative the programme of supported home-learning, working from home for them is more tiring in some ways than it is in school.

In Upper School this week the Upper 5 students have made a start on their new courses, taking the opportunity to get ahead with their Highers much earlier than we usually would. After half term Lower 6 will turn their thoughts to UCAS and to taking on leadership roles in school, as well as pressing ahead with their final year courses. Lower 5 coped very sensibly with their examinations; I am looking forward to my individual calls with them after half term. This is something that I do every summer and see no reason for that to change; it is always a really enjoyable time for me, which allows me to get to know the girls better and discuss their thinking about what lies ahead for them.

This week girls from Primary 6 to Upper 4 are studying the NHS and learning about aspects of the history of medicine, giving them the opportunity to learn more about an institution that has never been more important in our national life. We are delighted that members of the Upper 6 are joining staff in supporting girls as they work on this project. On Friday there will be House events across the school and in Junior School I know that preparations are underway for another interactive live assembly to bring this very busy half of term to an end.

The Senior Leadership Team and I continue to plan for the return to school. Although we do not have definitive information about the timing or the form that this may take, there is plenty of preparation that we can do to ensure that we have the resources in place to support a safe and well managed return. We will be guided by Health Protection Scotland, the Scottish Council for Independent Schools and the Boarding Schools Association as we put our plans together. We anticipate receiving some further guidance from the Scottish government early next week. As soon as we are able to do so, we will let you know what the arrangements will be.

The half term break runs from Monday to Wednesday inclusive. Our service to support children of key workers will run on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday is a training day for staff and, in order to bring the whole staff community together, albeit remotely, we will suspend the service for one day.

With my best wishes to you all,

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


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