Pastoral Care

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 criteria 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 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. As part of the Life Orientation programme they work with the psychologists of the Open Door department to run courses with the girls, which deal with various topics that are relevant to their ages. 


The Senior School uses the house system to nurture and care for the girls. 

Senior School teachers are house mentors and are responsible for mentoring and caring for 12 to 15 girls within their house. These groups are composed 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 register each morning and covers the administrative tasks that form part of school life. He/she tracks academic progress and takes interest in the welfare and day-to-day activities of each girl in her care. 

The head of each house is ultimately responsible for all the girls and activities associated with her house. They are 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
  • Counselling
  • Discipline
  • Communication between staff and girls
  • Advice
  • Mentorship


The school chaplain
The school chaplain forms an integral part of the St Mary’s support programme. Not only does the chaplain  fulfil the role of spiritual advisor but is also available for 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 on the property in the health centre.

Peer counsellors
St Mary's has a peer counselling system. The peer counsellors are Form IV and V girls who have completed training and are available for basic counselling and support. 

The peer cousellors also run a buddy system between the Form Is and Form Vs and take regular assemblies targeting pertinent social and personal issues.

The school nurses
St Mary’s has a well-equipped health centre with two experienced, qualified school nurses. The health centre is open daily from 07h30 to 17h30 during school term. 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 promote healthy living and good eating campaigns in both the Junior and Senior Schools.