We want our girls to be happy and to flourish at our school. This is the focus of staff and the leadership body.
St Mary’s has a comprehensive pastoral care system, ensuring that this criterion is met.
The Junior School has a buddy group system from Grades 4 to 7, which allows the girls both social and spiritual interaction. Class (Grades 0 to 5) and mentor (Grades 6 and 7) teachers meet on a regular basis with the head, deputy heads, therapists and specialist teachers to discuss and design strategies for children who need support in different areas. The girls have weekly Divinity and Life Orientation lessons.
The Senior School uses the house system to nurture and care for the girls.
Senior School teachers are house mentors, and are each responsible for mentoring and caring for 12 to 15 girls from their houses. These groups are made up of two or three girls from each form. The house mentor remains with the same group of girls throughout their Senior School experience. The house mentor takes the register each morning and covers the administrative tasks that form part of school life. He/she tracks academic progress, and takes an interest in the welfare and day-to-day activities of each girl in her/his care.
The head of each house is ultimately responsible for all the girls and activities associated with his/her house. She/he is assisted by the house tutor who, in turn, is responsible for managing the house mentors.
The role of the house tutor is to provide pastoral care to those girls who require it. The house tutor is available for:
- Academic guidance
- Communication between staff and girls
Junior and Senior Schools
The school chaplain
The school chaplain is integral to the St Mary’s support programme. The chaplain fulfils the role of spiritual adviser, and is available to give support and counselling.
The Open Door department
The Open Door department offers a counselling service during school hours to those who need it. Girls can make an appointment for assistance with:
- Personal or friendship issues
- Academic concerns
- Career guidance
- Someone to listen
St Mary’s has two resident psychologists and a resident careers counsellor. All are housed in the health centre on the property.
St Mary's has a peer counselling system. The peer counsellors are Forms IV and V girls who have completed training, and are available for basic counselling and support.
The peer counsellors run a buddy system between the Form Is and Form Vs, and take assemblies regularly, when they target pertinent social and personal issues.
The school nurses
St Mary’s has a well-equipped health centre with two experienced, qualified school nurses. The nurses provide superb care for girls who are ill or injured. They also inform parents and girls about seasonal viruses and other contagious diseases. Their focus is not only on healing – they also promote healthy living and good eating campaigns in both the Junior and Senior Schools.