St Helen’s University

We are proud of going beyond ‘business as usual’ to embed ‘Futures’ thinking as early as we can with our life-shaped learning approach. We have introduced girls to careers and opportunities beyond the curriculum, with our initiative, St Helen’s University – a three-day, off-timetable programme of talks, adventures and independent study, for all girls in Years 7-9, to give them the opportunity to pursue passions and interests that they can take forward in school and in life.

This unique programme, which seeks to develop our girls’ wisdom and well-being, offers diverse sessions for girls to take risks, explore new ideas and enhance their skills. with the opportunity to explore inter-disciplinary skills and discover new opportunities. Sessions take advantage of the expertise of St Helen’s teachers, parents, leading businesses and alumnae and connect the girls to the changing world of work. From archery to Chinese paper cutting, from #trashtag to reading paintings, and from producing podcasts to pharmacology, teachers shared their specialist interests with the girls to produce an unrivalled festival of education.

This year the programme opened with a keynote speech from Nikki Yates OBE, a parent of a recent St Helen’s graduate. Nikki is Senior Vice President of the pharmaceutical division at GSK, who was made an OBE for her services to women in business and workplace equality. She spoke on the theme of “Yes, Women Can!” delivering an inspiring message on the progress women have made in the work place and on the continuing need for women to take leading positions in all areas of life in modern Britain.

We created themes for each year group so that the girls attended sessions curated for their stage of educational development:

Year 7: The Wisdom of Know How

Year 8: The Wisdom of Reflection

Year 9: The Wisdom of Team Work

Year 10: The Wisdom of Service

Year 12: The Wisdom of Leadership