We are committed to supporting our pupils throughout their time with us. Part of this commitment is to provide guidance on the many and varied issues that will confront our pupils as they progress through their Senior School studies and, with that, their adolescent years.
An extensive guidance structure ensures a high level of individual care and attention is maintained throughout Watson’s by a team of dedicated staff.
Pupil Support provides an accessible drop-in point for all our pupils in the Senior School.
When a pupil moves to S1 they join a form class, which they stay with for the first two years. They meet their Form Tutor at the Taster Day in June before they arrive. In September the form class and their Form Tutor go to Aviemore for a two night stay where they get to know each other much better.
Two Year Heads are appointed to each new S1 year group and they move up the School with their year group, providing pupils with continuity and the basis for evolving relationships based on trust. From S1 Orientation to the S6 leavers’ ball, those year heads play a key role in the development of their year group.
Pupils get a new Form Tutor in S3 who works with them from S3 – S5. During S5, each selects a personal Tutor from the teaching staff, whose role it is to offer guidance, discuss references and build up an adult relationship as the pupil prepares to make the transition into life after Watson's.
During a pupil’s time at Watson’s the Guidance team works closely with pupils, conducting one-to-one interviews, advising them on a wide range of issues, developing relationships through a range of activities, and keeping them on the straight and narrow.
Our full-time matron team also co-operate closely with Guidance staff, from their base in our well-equipped medical suite.
The School attaches great value to an active partnership with parents, in dealing with any problems that may be affecting our pupils both at School and at home. We have a strong policy of encouraging parents to get in touch with us if they are concerned about their son or daughter, rather than waiting until parents' evenings.
In addition, our guidance staff deliver our Personal and Social Development (PSD) programme.
We monitor each pupil's progress throughout their time with us.
Pupils are supported in meeting the demands of each stage in their curricular progression and receive ongoing advice on how to organise and manage their studies and preparation for examinations.
Parents are kept informed through a comprehensive programme of reporting, parents' meetings and subject choice and careers events. They are encouraged to work with staff to help pupils make the appropriate course choices in S2, S4 and S5.
The Guidance team is also responsible for the provision of information and advice for pupils as they make choices of subject, level, study load and ultimate destination. Our guidance staff are the first point of contact for any parents with concerns about their child’s academic progress.
Our Careers team work to further initiative in making informed choices in preparation for work and study beyond George Watson's College, by getting pupils involved in asking questions about themselves and assessing their interests, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. This is achieved by providing information and offering advice, although ultimately the choices relating to courses and careers must be made by the pupils themselves.
The Further and Higher Education Forum takes place in the Spring Term and is aimed at S5 pupils and their parents. Representatives from all the Scottish institutions of Higher Education, some English institutions, local Further Education institutions, the Armed Forces, the Independent Schools Careers Organisation (ISCO) and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) are present at this event.
The Work Experience Scheme, operating in the Summer Term for S5 pupils, gives pupils the opportunity to organise a week’s work experience. A large majority of our leavers proceed to Further or Higher Education, but those going directly into employment are equally well supported.
Advice is readily available from pupils’ individual tutors and Careers staff and we are very proud of our reputation for providing high quality references to academic institutions and employers.
Watson's is a member of the Independent Schools Careers Organisation (ISCO), which operates under the umbrella of the Inspiring Futures Foundation. In S4, all our pupils are enrolled in the Inspiring Futures Futurewise scheme. Benefits include the Morrisby psychometric tests of ability, aptitude and personality, which provide suggestions of potential career areas to consider. Pupils have priority for enrolment on careers experience courses and have an entitlement to personal interviews with ISCO staff up to the age of 23. We feel that membership of ISCO can only enhance our service, of which we are particularly proud.