A Place to Be Known, Challenged and Inspired
Like many schools, St. George’s has an unusual relationship with time. Our institution is built upon its history and the accumulated wisdom of the past, yet we train students in the present for futures that hold uncounted and sometimes unimaginable changes.
This tug between the past and future may be an ever-present dynamic in schools, but St. George’s manages to balance the competing pull of time especially well. We honor and embrace our history, even as we adapt and evolve traditions, facilities and programs to meet the needs of our current students. So our Christmas Festival and spirit-building Pie Race continue over generations even as we add Friday Night Lights games and courses in DNA science. New facilities and programs are created, even as the school itself abides at the edge of the changeless sea.
Within this balanced framework, you can expect to be truly known at St. George’s—not just by your name, but by your nature—who you are and what gifts you bring to the school. You can also expect to be challenged—intellectually, socially and physically—in a host of ways and in a range of arenas. Finally, we expect that you will be inspired, not just by the extraordinary beauty of our location, but by the examples and energy of your teachers, your classmates and an entire community devoted to cultivating the success of its students now and in their future service to the world.
Looking out from the campus to the broad Atlantic at our feet, students here are reminded in ways large and small that the larger world awaits not far down the road. While they are part of this school, however, in that brief span of time between past and future, between the near shore and the far horizon, great achievements and great challenges await. To find out what lies ahead in your own personal journey, come join us at St. George’s and embrace the adventure of your life.
Our teachers aren't just passionate about teaching. They're passionate about learning. With the Merck-Horton Center for Teaching and Learning, St. George's supports the exploration of research-based and innovative strategies for the 21st century.
Since 2009, the Merck-Horton Center—named in honor of educational visionary Albert B. Merck '39 and former Director of Instructional Services Beth Horton—has worked to bring the best, most up-to-date teaching and learning strategies to St. George's classrooms. The research program, a partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has attracted national attention through several publications - a rare accomplishment for a secondary school. But, as program director Tom Callahan notes, the center's mission is a commitment to student success. "If there's a better way to teach and learn,” he says, "we feel it's our responsibility to provide it."
Academics at St. George's
Built on close relationships between students and faculty, St. George’s college-preparatory program offers innovative teaching in traditional subject areas and opportunities for experiential learning.
St. George’s teachers are more than teachers. They are also dedicated advisors, dorm parents and coaches. Moreover, they are students themselves – taking advantage of professional development opportunities and the Merck-Horton Center for Teaching and Learning to grow as educators. That growth benefits them and enriches the student experience.
Average class size at St. George’s is 11 students, making it easy for students to ask questions and engage in lively classroom discussion and debate. St. George’s teachers also take advantage of the local community and environment for curriculum enrichment. History and art teachers bring classes to visit notable cultural sites in Newport, and science teachers take students down to Second Beach for a lesson on marine science. Experiential learning takes students even further afield –to sites abroad and the deck and cabins of Geronimo, St. George’s marine research vessel.
Over four years at St. George’s, students will choose from a selection of core classes and a wide range of electives, allowing them to explore their passions. They will make their choices alongside the Dean of Academics and a faculty advisor, who customize the learning experience to match each student’s aptitude, interests and goals.
St. George’s incorporates technology – requiring a laptop for every student – in the academic experience. And study spaces conducive to learning abound, including those in the Nathaniel P. Hill Library, a state-of-the-art facility that houses the school’s center for teaching and learning, five group-study rooms and two classrooms.
Course Options and Diploma Requirements
Courses at St. George’s are offered by academic departments: Art, English, History and Social Science, Latin, Mathematics, Modern Languages (Chinese, French and Spanish), Music, Religious Studies, Science and Theater. All students take five courses each semester. A year course grants one credit; a semester course grants one-half credit. Students are granted credit for courses taken previously at the high school level when it is clear that they meet the equivalent of our own curricular requirements. Students must complete their sixth-form year at St. George’s, pass all courses during their sixth-form year regardless of the total credits prior to the 12th grade, and meet our diploma requirements in order to graduate from St. George’s.
The Arts at St. George's
The arts at St. George’s are an integral part of our academic program and community life outside the classroom.
Courses that range from visual arts to music and theater teach our students the importance of self-expression, creativity and open communication through varying mediums. Events like open-mic nights, music guilds and Hunter Gallery openings allow students to experience art on their own terms in welcoming, supportive environments.
The Arts in Class
All St. George’s students are required to take two semesters in the arts, choosing from courses in the visual arts, music and theater. Talented visual artists and musicians also may choose from a range of A.P. courses, including Advanced Placement Music Theory and Advanced Placement Studio art in drawing, two-dimensional design and three-dimensional design.
Arts Beyond the Classroom
For students interested in expressing themselves creatively in venues outside the classroom, options include joining the SG Dance Troupe as an afternoon activity, singing in the Chapel Choir, and playing in the SG Orchestra or Jazz Ensemble. A high level of performance is expected of all performing music ensembles and sustained participation in certain groups, or private lessons, can help satisfy a graduation requirement in the arts.
Plays and Musicals
The Winter Musical gives budding actors and musicians the chance to shine. These large-scale productions—which have included classic Broadway musicals and modern interpretations of old favorites—require student-actors to audition for roles and attend regular rehearsals. Interested musicians can audition for the pit crew and attend scheduled rehearsals as well. Students interested in setting up lighting, making costumes and learning the ins-and-outs of putting on a big show, can join the stage crew. Each of these roles requires a considerable amount of time, commitment and effort. As a result, students can substitute a theatrical production for athletics as a part of the required afternoon activity.
At St. George’s, what we want most is for our students to grow into responsible adults capable of navigating life’s challenges and successes. For that reason, we build a community of thoughtful and dedicated faculty members with whom students can form positive relationships naturally.
St. George’s students encounter mentors all over campus. A mentor can be an upper-form friend who encourages a student to take that challenging course they’ve been curious about; a sailing coach whose athletic advice to students is matched by his knowledge in the classroom; or a college counselor whose guidance is all the more pertinent because that counselor is also the student’s dorm parent.
No matter how formal or informal mentoring relationships are, our students receive the guidance they need to make informed decisions. Those decisions, in turn, help students better themselves and their communities.
Life at St. George's
St. George’s students are happy on campus because our community gives them the space and support they need to grow into who they want to be. If students are curious about trying a new sport, club or leadership role, we encourage them. If they need advice on classes, friendships or what to wear to Winter Formal, we provide it. The result is a lively, friendly and vibrant campus atmosphere.
The Honor Code
Every academic year at St. George’s begins with the Honor Code Ceremony. Students sign their names to the Honor Book in a schoolwide pledge to create an inclusive learning environment marked by honor, trust and respect. The chapel ceremony sets the tone for life in our community.
A Day in the Life
The spirit of community permeates our classrooms where students participate in dynamic conversation and collaborative work with their peers and teachers. After class, students head to their afternoon activity, which may include athletics practice, theater rehearsal, independent projects, internships or community service. Free time to meet up with teachers, get a head start on homework, or just spend time with friends happens after dinner and before study hall.
During study hall, day students have designated study spaces, which include the library and, for upper-form students, assigned day spaces in dorms. Boarding students study in their rooms, the library, the Hamblet Campus Center, the Drury/Grosvenor Art Center or in other areas on campus. Some day students enjoy their time on campus so much that they stay until 10 p.m. on weekdays. At that time, boarding students check-in to the dorms (if they aren’t already studying there), where they finish up homework, enjoy snacks in the dorm common rooms or hang out and relax until lights out.