12 Mar 2021

A Message from the Head, 12 March

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

It is so good to be writing to you today, knowing that on Monday morning we will once again see many more of our girls back in school. I know how much they and their teachers are looking forward to their return. Mrs Hay and Miss Benson have been in contact already, with information about specific arrangements in Lower School and Junior School. All the safety protocols that we had in place last term remain: one way systems; hand sanitizing; bubbles; 2m distancing between staff and girls wherever possible. Please could I ask that you remind your daughters about these expectations ahead of Monday morning; we do not wish to blunt their excitement, but of course are keen to ensure that this return goes as smoothly as possible for everyone.

We are delighted too that some of our boarders are beginning to return to Houldsworth. The Houldsworth team are very excited to be welcoming them back gradually over the next few weeks. We are very aware that some of our boarders have not seen their families for many months now, and I would like to commend the resilience that they have shown throughout this period.

I hope that you and your daughters enjoyed the Bake Off on Wednesday; I was impressed by the inventiveness and expertise on display in all the pictures that I have seen. I hope that your kitchens have fully recovered from being taken over by so many eager young chefs. This was of course a part of the #BeYou project, which has been led so enthusiastically by our House Captains this term. As a school community we are now well into the 100,000s of minutes dedicated to offline activities that the girls enjoy. Lindsay are currently in the top spot, with Douglas and Argyll still very strong contenders. There is still time, however, for all the Houses to put in a further push, and I hope that the girls will continue to be motivated by the fun that they have had and the profile that this project has given to their off-screen activities. Splashes of green and bubble wrap queens were seen today across Junior classes, in the Hub and in the P4 and 5 virtual classrooms for Eco Day. The girls particularly enjoyed making static electricity butterflies, taking part in a camouflage scavenger hunt and making a large dolphin frieze from plastic bottle tops. Thanks to Miss Mitchell and the Eco girls for organising such an exciting day for us all, at home and at school.

Finally today I want to let you know that, after many years of service to St George’s, our Chair, Mr Paul Brewer, will retire from School Council on Tuesday. Mr Brewer joined Council in February 2009, became Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee a year later, and has served as Chair of School Council since March 2015. We have been very grateful to him for his calm, measured Chairing and his dedication to St George’s throughout this time. He has steered the school with wisdom, insight and a deep-seated commitment to our distinctive ethos. I hope that we will have a chance to say a proper farewell to him later this year. He will be succeeded by Mr Roderick Wylie, who has been a member of School Council since 2013. I know that Mr Wylie will be writing next week to introduce himself to you.

With my best wishes to you all,

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


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