Q&A fact file: St George’s Ascot



What happens if they are struggling academically?

We have very hardworking and dedicated teaching staff at St George’s. As a small school, any pupil struggling academically is quickly identified. Communication between parents and staff is strong and for those with additional educational needs, a regular cycle of testing, assessment, planning and review enables us to identify areas for development and support as soon as possible. Learning Support Pupil Profile’s form the basis both of the Learning Support lessons and of the progress of our pupils in the wider school. They are regularly reviewed and parents are informed and arrangements for lessons are made directly between parents and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, with whom we work in partnership. The concept of ‘special needs’ is not just related to children with learning difficulties but to all children with special needs, including those who are intellectually able or with exceptional talents in other fields. Pupils with specific learning difficulties can also be educationally gifted and our staff are alert to each pupil in the school and understand their strengths and their weaknesses. Subject-specific support clinics also run throughout the school week and girls can drop-in for additional support as and when they need this.

Who would be the first point of contact if I have a concern about my child?

The girls are in small tutor groups of between 10-16 girls. The tutor is the girls first port of call to express any concerns or share good news. The girls see their tutor each morning and afternoon as well as for lengthy tutor periods during the week. The second layer of pastoral care is the Head of Year who oversees the team of Tutors in their year and their girls. We have a Health Centre that supports wellbeing along with the school counsellors. As a small school we see pastoral care as everyone’s responsibility; all staff show interest and care for the girls and the relationships between girls and staff are strong. Girls will often seek out older girls for support too and we have an effective Peer Mentoring Programme for Sixth Form girls run by the School Counsellor. Boarders are also under the care of their Housemistress and resident boarding staff who have close relationships with boarding parents and guardians.

My child is very keen on Music and Drama and not so much sport, how will you support them?

There are widespread opportunities for participation in Music and Drama at St George's; House Music and House Drama competitions encourage girls to work across year groups, there are excellent GCSE and A Level devised productions, regular whole school productions and the entire First Year (Year 7) puts on a Christmas pantomime. Girls also have the opportunity to take leading roles in Eton College plays. Whether girls take centre stage in the whole school musical or act as a director, members of the technical team responsible for stage management, make-up, lighting, sound and set designers, every girl who wants to be involved has opportunities in abundance. Girls also have the chance to visit some of the best theatres, concert halls, galleries and venues in the world to experience plays, musicals, ballets, operas and exhibitions. Approximately half the school learns an instrument and there are over 200 peripatetic music lessons scheduled every week. The Music Department also puts on around 20 concerts annually with choirs, orchestra, instrumental groups and the jazz band. The St George’s Chapel Choir recently toured Rome, and sang at St Peter’s Basilica amongst some of the other of the region’s most prestigious churches and cathedrals. The Chapel Choir stands in for the Choir at St Paul’s Cathedral for evensong every year and many Georgians comment that the opportunity to perform at one of the country’s most prestigious venues is such a privilege with acoustics and architecture to match any music. Music, Drama and Performing Arts scholarships are awarded to girls who show excellent ability and promise in these areas, as well as in Dance, and in addition to the, as well as departmental scholars’ programmes, girls are invited to have lunch with relevant heads of co-curricular department once per term at which they discuss current affairs and news in the Arts. This said, Sport is an integral part of school life and we encourage both participation for all and a performance programme for team players and gifted athletes. We aim to give the girls the opportunity to experience a wide range of team and individual sports which will inspire them to perform to the best of their ability and be physically active for the rest of their lives.

Do you offer transport from the airport?

We are in the fortunate position of being located about 8 miles/25 minutes from Heathrow Airport and such travel is inexpensive and easy to arrange. We work with a trusted local taxi firm who can assist with ‘meeting and greeting’ our pupils to and from the airport.

How often can my child contact me?

Girls are able to contact parents as often as they wish to so long as it isn’t during the academic day or when she has other school commitments. Parents are warmly invited to attend many school events such as sports fixtures, drama and music performances, House parties and much more.

What makes your school special?

Being an all-girls school means that the girls are not inhibited or stereotyped, can stay ‘younger, longer’ and really be themselves. At St George’s, our deliberately small size means that we know every girl and that boarder and day girl integration is excellent particularly as all day girls stay every evening to do prep and activities. The small class sizes also contribute to our excellent examination results. The food at St George’s is truly worthy of a Michelin star! Parents regularly comment how their fussy eaters tuck in with gusto! Essentially though, it is the people who really make St George’s special.

Questions answered by Kerry Bertram, Director of Admissions and Marketing