26 Nov 2021

A Message from the Head, 26 November

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

I hope that you will enjoy reading today’s e-news, which tells in pictures and the words of the students themselves, what a busy time these last few weeks have been.  On 11th November our Act of Remembrance and wreath-laying ceremony were led by the senior cadets of our CCF contingent for the first time, in a moving outdoor event, which was attended by the students and staff from across the school, from Upper 6 to Nursery. Last week saw Lower and Upper School donning a touch of sparkle and glamour to support the BBC’s Children in Need Appeal, for which the school raised £772.  Next week the Charities Prefects will be selling red ribbons in Upper School for World Aids Day, and on Friday 10th December we will join in the national Festive Jumper Day; proceeds will be split between Save the Children and the Craigmillar Venchie Project which we have supported for many years.

Congratulations to our musicians who this week have received an outstanding set of ABRSM and Trinity examination results, gaining 10 Distinctions and 18 Merits between them. On Tuesday the Young Musician of St George’s competition was recorded, and next Wednesday the same will happen for the Young Singer of St George’s.  Both of these competitions are assessed by external judges. We are very grateful to them for their time, and wish all those involved a positive experience from taking part. Putting oneself forward as a soloist at this level demands courage, but is such an important part of the girls’ personal growth. This week the Upper School have enjoyed the uplifting exuberance of Sister Act. My congratulations to all of the cast, musicians and crew who have worked so hard to bring this production together. We had all hoped that Covid guidelines would have relaxed enough to enable us to open up to a wider audience, both for this and for our other end of term events and performances. This has not happened, however. Copyright prevented us from streaming or recording Sister Act, but we will be recording the Senior Concert over the next few weeks and look forward to being able to share that with you all. I know that Miss Benson and Mrs Nettleton have already been in touch about the programme for the end of term in Lower and Junior Schools respectively. We are all very conscious that, more than ever this year, families will be making their plans for the holidays. In the Upper School we are seeking to protect teaching time in school for as long as possible. As we have not been able to allow the traditional House Glee event this year, our House Captains have developed some exciting plans which we hope will allow the students to mark the end of term with some festivities that they have designed themselves. These will all take place within year groups to limit mixing at that late stage in the term, and will be held outdoors wherever possible.

Can I draw your attention to the Reporting Consultation that we are currently undertaking, for Remove to Upper 6. This follows a very constructive consultation process that took place in the Junior School in 2019-20. Mrs Edwards sent a school post inviting you to take part on Monday. Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far; the survey remains open until Tuesday 30th November. Thank you too for your responses to the Scottish Government’ School Travel Plan Review. This remains open until 29th November for students in Remove to Upper 6, so please do remind your daughters to take part if they have not done so already.

Tomorrow our UK Space Design team, supported by Dr Warren and Mr Roache, will be taking part remotely in the first round of this annual competition, in which over the past two years we have reached the national finals. We wish them every success in what I know will be a long and busy Saturday.

I know that the weather has brought the week to a premature end for some students and staff. I hope that you all have a safe journey home and a good weekend.

With best wishes,

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

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