At St Helen’s, learning has no off switch

Make no mistake, St Helen’s is an academically ambitious school, and we have the exam results to prove it. However, that is not enough for us. Much of our attention focuses on the wide range of learning opportunities that take place outside the classroom.

St Helen’s students of all ages are encouraged to participate in an extensive range of co-curricular activities. These broaden the horizons of our students and help develop the character traits that will equip them for their adult lives and enable them to thrive in an interconnected digital world.

Whichever interests each student decides to pursue, we provide whatever is needed for learning to flourish, the opportunity, the resources, the inspiration and the coaching. What’s more, if we don’t have an existing club to support a student’s special interest, then we’ll help her set one up.

We want the girls to question everything, accept nothing, to really explore and delve for the truth, and that is the case for every single child, and every teacher is up for that.” – Alice Lucas, Head

Co-Curricular learning for every age

In Prep School, our co-curricular programme is thriving, and this year we have introduced new clubs for everything from Taekwondo and Chess to Fencing and Mindfulness.

Another popular new addition has been the introduction of a Debating Club for Year 5 and 6 students. By engaging with a range of lively topics, the girls get to grips with the mechanics of debating, while also sharpening their public speaking and critical thinking skills.

Girls are also encouraged to participate in after-school clubs such as woodwork, board games and cooking. They may also take Music lessons where they can learn a variety of instruments.

In Key Stage 2, pupils have access to a wider range of clubs, such as coding and mindfulness. Students have the opportunity to play in a variety of ensembles, including the Prep School Orchestra and a Jazz Band. Some girls choose to take part in competitive swimming, dance or netball. As you would expect, sport is actively encouraged throughout the school, regardless of ability.

Any takers for the Robotics Club?

Students enter Senior School, the opportunities become even more varied and exciting. From Robotics Club and the Senior Debating Club to the Photography Club and the Feminist Forum.

The aim is to give students the opportunity to go beyond the classroom and research really interesting things and see how that fits into the bigger picture of society or science, whatever that happens to be.”  Libby, student.

Students with an even greater sense of adventure can join expeditions in the UK and overseas as part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, participate in Combined Cadet Force adventure training, or register for the ever-popular ski trips to Europe and the USA.

Not just learning for exams

Learning  beyond the classroom extends to our Highest Intellectual Potential (HIP) and our Nudge for Learning programmes. These initiatives encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills, moving beyond simply learning for exams. These programmes are designed to drive the curiosity of our students and introduce them to new study techniques.

Students are giving us wonderful feedback, and while our vision is to generate a life-long love of learning, our nudges have an inevitable side-benefit of developing core skills and learning strategies crucial to their lives beyond school. Alice Lucas, Head

At St Helen’s, there is always a new opportunity around the corner, a lifelong passion waiting to be discovered. Seeing our girls blossom in unexpected ways is as exciting for us as it is for the parents and the girls themselves.