What to Expect From St George’s Sixth Form
What to Expect from St George's Sixth Form. Click on the image above or the following link https://adobe.ly/3cM1SXF to see a multimedia version of the article.
Before teenagers take the final steps into adulthood, they must gain the confidence to tackle challenges in the world beyond the school gates. St George’s Sixth Form experience is characterised by flexibility and warmth, creating an environment that recognises individual needs and works tirelessly to support every single student.
In this blog, Sonia Edwards, Deputy Head Academic Support and Co-curriculum, and Deputy Head of Sixth Form and Boarding, Jill Bryce, cover the breadth of the Sixth Form experience and how they encourage our students’ development as leaders and innovators of the future.
A close-knit community
St George’s School for Girls benefits from a small and close-knit Sixth Form, with 150 pupils spread across the two-year groups. Many of our students continue from the secondary school as they value the familiarity of the school environment and their teachers. Further students join from both local and international schools. We welcome boarders at the Sixth Form and have several students who stay with us from overseas in preparation for attending Scottish universities.
The aim for every member of staff at St George’s is to be flexible and attentive, understanding each pupil’s needs and putting their experience first. We have a dedicated team based in the new Sixth Form centre, and we make ourselves available to any student who wants advice or wants to discuss any concerns.
Choice of subjects
We often say that in the Upper Sixth, no two girls take the same combination of courses. The level of free choice that our students benefit from is unique; there are few limitations to the courses that our sixth formers take. We create bespoke course combinations for every single student, making staffing decisions after we understand our girls’ interests.
The current sixth form has over 22 different higher courses with options ranging from Classics and Modern Studies to Higher Maths, Mechanics and Physics. The choice of STEM subjects is very broad, and we see excellent uptake every year – one of the benefits of a girls' school is that no one is being held back by outdated stereotypes about gender roles.
St George’s recently introduced an entrance exam for all students. This is not used as a basis to reject incoming students, but as a means of understanding where each one’s strengths and weaknesses lie. This means that we can offer our girls tailored support in any areas they struggle with.
Our Scottish higher success rate can be attributed to the study skills with which we equip each student; by understanding how they learn, we can guide them with individualised revision strategies and learning methods.
We recommend co-curricular activities for each student to enhance their strengths – if a student shows great aptitude for making clear arguments, for example, we might suggest she tries debating.
There are over 70 co-curricular activities on offer at St George’s Sixth Form each week. Most girls participate in sports, having not developed the self-consciousness that often puts girls off sports in mixed schools.
We also run several volunteering programs – last year, 36 students travelled to Nepal to work with a Nepalese school, teaching English to the students.
Some students take part in our international exchange program with families in the southern hemisphere. They spend four to five weeks in countries such as South Africa, Chile and Australia, making lasting friendships and opening their eyes to the variety of experiences lived by young people around the globe.
Post-sixth form preparation
After completing their studies, it is crucial that every student feels well prepared to take the next step to university or the workplace.
Head of Careers and senior staff meet with every pupil about their goals for the future. We also hold university preparation meetings, which encourage debate and critical discussion and allow students to hone their interview skills.
Our alumni and parents are also kind enough to give up their time every year to hold mock interviews for courses like medicine and law, to acclimatise the students with the questions they will face.
Meet Sonia Edwards and Jill Bryce
Sonia Edwards is Deputy Head of Academic Support and Co-Curricular at St George’s. She has been with St George’s for the last 15 years in various leadership roles, providing additional support to students across the school to help them make the most of the opportunities available.
“The best part of my role is the ability to get to know every single girl as an individual. On Speech Day, we get to see each girl walk across the platform in front of the school and have a moment which is entirely their own. Knowing that we have helped to put them on the best path for their future and seeing their successes makes it so special.”
Jill Bryce has worked at St George’s for 32 years and has valued the school’s atmosphere and support for as long as she’s worked there.
“I am part of the core Sixth Form team and get to know each student individually. I often have students pop by my office for a chat or to ask a question, meaning I get to know every single one of our girls. You’re always there for the students, and that makes every day different and exciting.”
Do you want to attend a Sixth Form which supports you as an individual?