Pastoral care lies at the heart of all that we do at St Mary's. Our philosophy is that each girl is known and nurtured as an individual. The school's pastoral care team strives to ensure that your daughter feels secure and is a valued member of our community.
Maintaining a positive self-image is paramount, as a student's emotional well-being has a direct influence on personal happiness, academic achievement and contribution to school and family life. The Christian principles of trust, co-operation and concern for others are encouraged amongst our girls and are central to chapel services and the Religious Studies programme.
The Dean of Students is responsible for overseeing pastoral care in the Senior School. This includes maintaining close contact with home, helping new students settle in and monitoring students' welfare by liaising with teachers and the school psychologists.
When a student enters the Senior School in Year 7, she remains in her Year 7 class, with her class teacher as her primary pastoral carer. From Year 8, girls are placed in a small pastoral care group, known as her Link, in the care of a Link teacher. These groups consist of girls from Years 8 to 12, so students remain in the same group, in the care of the same teacher, for the remainder of their time at St Mary's. Link teachers meet with their groups every day. This regular contact helps the teacher get to know the members of their group quickly. It also brings an increased awareness of the students' progress and involvement in school life, and more immediate recognition of possible problems and causes for concern. The name Link was chosen because of all that it represents in terms of bringing people together. Links, or bonds, between individuals of the same and different year groups, are established through close communication, and help to satisfy our need for security and a sense of belonging, in this case, within the community of St Mary's.