St George’s School for Girls,
Garscube Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 6BG
Tel: 0131 311 8000 Fax: 0131 311 8120
• GIRLS, 2–18 Day, 9–18 Boarding, Boys 2–5 only
• Pupils 1020, Higher year 87
• Termly fees £660–£2350 (Day), £5075 (Boarding)
• Enquiries/application to the Headmistress
What it’s like
Founded in 1888 by a committee of distinguished women who were inspired by the
new ideals for women’s education. It has an attractive 11-acre urban site with
excellent facilities, including a dining centre, sixth form reading room,
excellent library, purpose-built art block, music centre, an all-weather pitch,
a centenary sports hall and good boarding accommodation. The primary school is
on the same site. The school has a Christian foundation and is
non-denominational; Christian assemblies are held daily. Academically a
distinguished school, it has high standards of teaching and results are
consistently very good. Both the Scottish Higher and 2-year A-level course are
offered. It is very strong indeed in music, drama and art, with many successes
in these fields. An excellent record in games and sports and a large number of
county representatives each season, particularly in lacrosse and skiing. It also
has an outstanding record in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 2–18; 1020 pupils. Senior department 11–18, 595
girls (544 day, 51 boarding).
Entrance: Main entry ages 2, 3, 5, 9–11, 13 and 16. Own entrance exam
used; for sixth-form entry, 5 good S-grades or GCSEs plus school reference and
enthusiasm. School looks for academic potential to cope with the courses; no
religious requirements. State school entry, 20% of new intake to senior
department, plus 54% to sixth form.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras Scholarships awarded at 11, 12 and
into sixth form. Also a limited number of means-tested bursaries. Parents not
expected to buy textbooks; extra charges include lunch for day girls (£3.05 per
day), music tuition.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Dr Judith McClure, appointed 1994. Educated at Newlands
Grammar School, Middlesbrough, and Oxford University (history and research in
early medieval history). Previously Headmistress at The Royal School, Bath;
Assistant Head and Director of Studies at Kingswood; Head of History, School of
St Helen and St Katharine; Lecturer in Medieval Latin, Liverpool University, in
History at three Oxford colleges and Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall.
Publications: World’s Classics Edition of Bede, Ecclesiastical History; and
various articles on early medieval history.
Teaching staff: 76 full time, 39 part time. Annual turnover 1%–5%.
Average age 41.
GCSE/S-Grade: In 2003, 86 pupils in upper fifth: 100% gained at least
grade 3 in 5+ subjects.
Highers/A-levels/Advanced highers: 75 in L6 (Higher/AS-level year), 65 in
U6 (A-level/Advanced higher year). Over the two years, pupils gain an average of
6 subjects at Intermediate Higher, AS-level, A-level and/or Advanced Higher.
Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 439.
Curriculum S-grade, Intermediate (1, 2 and 4), Highers, Advanced
Highers, AS and A-levels. 31 subjects offered (including Chinese). Pupils in the
sixth form choose either the English curriculum (AS-level or a mixture of AS and
Highers followed by 3 A-levels in upper sixth) or the Scottish system (5 Highers
in L6, followed by a year in U6 taking Advanced Highers, extra Highers,
converting Highers to A-levels or taking other qualifications such as SQA
Vocational: All lower sixth have one week’s work experience. IT core
skills courses; French and German RSA business qualification.
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to S-grade, Higher and
A-level (French and German from age 11, Spanish at 13); sixth form can take
beginner’s Spanish or Italian (to S-grade), business French, German (RSA) and
Chinese (Mandarin). Regular exchanges.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1 lesson/week) and across the
curriculum. All pupils take SQA core skills and IT at intermediate 2 and Higher
levels. 350 computers for pupil use (10 hours a day), all networked and with
e-mail and internet access. Many pupils take ECDL.
Music: Over 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument or take singing
lessons; instrumental exams can be taken. Some 15 musical groups including 3
orchestras, concert band, jazz band, choirs, choral group, brass consort, wind
band, recorder groups, chamber ensembles. Girls in National Youth Orchestra of
Scotland, Edinburgh Youth Orchestra; regular entrants to specialist music
colleges and university music departments.
Drama: Drama offered at S-grade, Higher and Advanced Higher. Majority of
pupils are involved in school productions and all in house/other productions.
Recent productions of The Bartered Bride, Patience, A Winter’s Tale, Carmen, The
Beggar’s Opera. Winners of local drama competition; drama clubs every week.
Art & design: On average, 40 take S-grade, 20 Higher, 9 A-level. Design,
pottery, textiles and photography also offered. Prizewinners in regional ISCis
art exhibition. Several girls go on to study art & design at colleges and
university each year.
Sport & activities
Sport: Hockey, lacrosse, gym, dance, swimming, volleyball, basketball,
tennis, athletics, badminton compulsory. Optional: squash, orienteering,
aerobics, skating, rock climbing, lifesaving, windsurfing, judo, fencing,
netball. Sixth form only: cycling, golf, soccer. Higher PE, SQA modules, RLSS
and RYA exams may be taken. Pupils form more than half of Scottish Schools’
lacrosse team; last 12 of national lacrosse championships and only Scottish
representatives; regional and national hockey teams; Scottish athletics
champions; fencing champions; runners-up national tennis championship and
regional squash competitions; British skiing champions.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. One of largest D of E Award centres in Scotland. Up to 30 clubs, eg
European, history, debating (2), Amnesty International, chess, drama, art, maths,
Scrabble, computing, photography, Young Enterprise, archaeology, law.
Uniform: School uniform worn except in sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head girl, heads of
houses – elected by the sixth form and staff.
Religion: Christian community assembly each morning (not compulsory, but
no one asks to withdraw).
Social: Balls, Scottish reel evenings, Burns suppers, discos, musical and
dramatic productions with other local independent schools. Skiing trips, visits
to eg Italy, Germany, Spain and Russia, language exchanges and with Germantown
Friends’ School (Philadelphia), Durban Girls’ College (South Africa), St
Mildred’s, Lightbourn School (Ontario). Pupils allowed to bring own car/bike to
school. Meals formal in boarding houses, self-service in school. No tobacco or
Discipline School has extensive documents on rights and
responsibilities, compiled by staff and pupils. Pupils failing to produce
homework would be asked to do it in a focus session; misuse of drugs and their
illegal supply is not tolerated.
Boarding 25% have own study bedroom, 20% share with another, 55% are
in rooms of 3–5. Accommodation, divided by age. Weekends home by arrangement
with Housemistress. Visits to Edinburgh allowed. Flexible boarding and after
school care offered.
Alumnae association is run by the President, Mrs E M Jeffrey, Halls,
Dunbar, East Lothian EH42 1RN.