St George’s is renowned for its excellence in pastoral care and being happy and feeling safe and secure with opportunities to flourish is of paramount importance to any pupil. We are fortunate here at St George’s in that we have a highly qualified, caring team of staff who are trained in supporting young people to talk through their concerns and seek advice and who are excellent at advising the girls and providing sensible, proactive solutions. We have very clear internal processes in place if our girls need support and our staff attend a rolling programme of Safeguarding updates and training on a regular basis.
We structure our pastoral care here at St George’s by Year Group. The Heads of Year have overall responsibility for the academic progress and pastoral care of the girls in their Year Group, implement discipline procedures when required, as well as arranging Year Group integration activities and events. The Heads of Year are supported by Year Group Tutors whose role is to know the girls in their care extremely well - their interests, what they enjoy doing, their aspirations and where they struggle.
Every girl in the school has her own tutor, who is their first point of contact for any support issues. Sixth Form students are encouraged to choose their own tutor, with whom they may have a special bond or interests in common. Both the girls, and indeed their parents, are encouraged to contact the tutors at any time to discuss any problems or issues, to discuss academic progress, for help with extra-curricular activities, or for specific questions which could range from time management, to making positive relationships or homework.
All girls who board have, in addition, a Housemistress who is in charge of their ‘home’ lives and who liaises closely with the Heads of Year, tutors and medical staff. The Housemistresses are supported by a team of boarding staff who also have a pastoral role and know the girls very well individually. More about boarding can be found in the boarding section by clicking here.
There is a full medical centre on site at St George’s staffed by a nurse and support staff. Sister Tomsett cares for the girls when they are sick, dispenses medicines advised by the school doctor (who visits twice a week) and is supported by a school counsellor, who is deliberately not part of the regular school staff so that if a girl has a particular emotional issue she can be sure of an independent ear and advice. Our School Chaplain is also available for pastoral support.
In addition, several of the Sixth Form girls have volunteered as counsellors, offering counselling services to girls from across the school. The girls were trained by both the school counsellor and the Deputy Head Pastoral on topics such as boundaries, confidentiality and abuse, barriers to listening, listening skills and review and assessment.