The Proud History of Our Edinburgh Girls School
Founded in 1888 by a group of Victorian women led by Dame Sarah Mair, St George's High School for Girls aimed to provide education to women who had been previously denied. Inspired by Friedrich Froebel, the founders sought to create a non-competitive environment where girls could develop their talents without a sense of failure. They established "St George's Hall Classes" in 1876 to offer education up to university level.
Our heritage: A legendary legacy of girls’ education
At St George’s, we’re immensely proud of our long history and our ability to balance tradition with innovation.
After all, we took the lead at every advance of the women’s educational movement in late 19th Century Scotland. Our female founders were prominent campaigners for the admission of women to Edinburgh University, founding special classes to degree standard, taught by sympathetic lecturers.
They founded St George’s Training College in 1886 to train women as teachers, the first of its kind in Scotland. Then, in 1888, they founded our school, at that time based in Melville Street, offering a full liberal academic education to the 50 girls registered for its opening day.
The courage of these remarkable trailblazing women resonates throughout the long history of the school and offers inspiration and values still relevant today.
St George’s values and ethos
Our Chaucerian motto, conceived in our 19th Century Melville Street building, is as relevant as it has ever been, and it continues to inform our values and school ethos:
Trouthe & Honour, Fredom & Curteisye
Truth: Seeking ‘truth’ is at the heart of our education programme at St George’s. Not only do we encourage our girls to be true to themselves, but we also prize creativity, innovation and a problem-solving mindset amongst our students.
Honour: We encourage every member of our community to be respectful towards one another and to behave with honour within and beyond school. Our mantra is that we welcome and value everyone, every day.
Freedom: Our girls have the freedom to be themselves at St George’s. We individualise each girl’s pathway through school and empower them to find their voice and believe in their own abilities.
Courtesy: The natural courtesy our girls extend to
one another, their open-mindedness and willingness to reach out, is
exemplified in how we reach out to each other, to the local Edinburgh
community and to the world beyond our campus.