Pastoral Care

'Sector Leading' approach to pastoral care - Every girl, at every stage, feels supported and valued

Children learn best when they are happy. It is a responsibility every member of staff at The Mary Erskine School takes seriously: the wellbeing of every child in our care.

Our Pastoral Care structure ensures that every girl, at every stage, feels supported and valued. All staff are advisers as well as teachers, and we encourage a relationship of mutual respect between adults and pupils.

At ESMS we have embraced the Scottish Government framework for “Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC). The welfare of girls is at the heart of everything we do. Their wellbeing – academic, emotional, physical and social – will be nurtured by our caring, professional staff in partnership with families and outside agencies. Our aim is to ensure each pupil is safe, healthy, active, nurtured, achieving, respected, responsible and included. 

Dedicated Guidance Leaders

In addition, we have dedicated guidance leaders, each with specific responsibility for a small group of pupils, so every girl knows there is someone to turn to about academic, personal or social matters. As a parent, you will always have a named and consistent point of contact should you need it.

School Counsellor

The Mary Erskine School also employs a school counsellor who can offer pupils confidential support on any matter they wish to discuss.

Senior 1: Form groups

As the academic rigour of the senior school increases, and adolescence approaches, girls can find themselves looking for guidance on academic and personal matters. Each pupil is a member of a Form group. There are about 20 pupils in each group, with their own Form Tutor. There is also a Head of S1, with specific responsibility for pastoral care of the whole year.

S2-S5: House structure

In the Upper School, Houses become the centre of all pastoral care and guidance. The Head of House and Assistant Heads of House share particular responsibility for the welfare of pupils in their house. Each of the six houses is common to The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College. This twinning structure fosters a sense of community, social interaction and mutual support and, because each girl stays in the same house throughout, it ensures continuity for pupils, parents and guidance leaders.

Careers advice

Each Senior School pupil receives advice from our Head of Careers who works closely with members of the Guidance Team to ensure pupils receive good and timely advice about subject choices and career options.

Sixth Form: tutor groups

Here, guidance is based on smaller university-style tutor groups of around five boys and five girls. The point of contact is the Personal Tutor, who guides students through the Sixth Form, getting to know them personally and helping with academic, personal and social matters as they arise.

Careers and university advice

Critical at this stage is preparing for life beyond school. The tutor plays an invaluable role in offering careers advice, helping to complete UCAS forms and writing references. The tutor is also the first point of contact for parents.