Our innovative coaching culture benefits students even after they leave

At St Helen’s, we pride ourselves on so much more than our consistently impressive exam results. Our unique coaching culture can’t be measured like A Levels or GCSEs, but we believe it plays an equally important role in the lives of our students. 

The thinking behind our coaching culture 

Our innovative approach is based on an understanding that students will be more inclined to be brave thinkers if they are nurtured within a warm, friendly and supportive environment.  

To blossom, children need to feel respected and celebrated for who they are and for their individual traits. No two children are the same, so judging them all using the same criteria makes no sense. 

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 

 How does our coaching work?  

All class teachers and form tutors are trained in using a coaching style of tutoring. Appropriately, we call it the GROW (Goals, Reality, Obstacles, Way Forward) method. Properly applied, this framework enables every girl to flourish by focusing on and developing her individual learner habits. 

Training our students to be more self-reliant and independent, each girl is coached??ask open questions that encourage the student to think about her priorities, the things that are happening in their life that they want to aim towards, and how best to go about making that happen. 

As they work their way through the school, gradually maturing from one year to the next, each student becomes better able to self-reflect and use their well-honed independent thinking skills. This enables them to identify and pursue personal ambitions in every area of their life. That could be in the academic arena, following a co-curricular passion, such as music or sport, or even within the sphere of personal development.  

It’s all about giving the girls the framework and the questions to help them find out what do they really want, and then help them make a plan of how to get there.” Alice Lucas. Head 

How our girls benefit  

As this style of teaching is both nurturing and highly personalised, it boosts wellbeing and encourages students to take more responsibility for their own progress.  This is a skill learned at St Helen’s that will likely stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

And it’s almost magical to see how they find the answers themselves. And they’re more likely to stick to what it is they want to achieve if it comes from them rather than us dictating, you should do this, this or that.” – Lydia Louiset, Coach 

Independent thinking lasts a lifetime 

Our culture of coaching comes with a real purpose. By training them to be inquisitive and proactive, we are encouraging our students to solve problems rather than just answer questions. A skill, once developed, that will last a lifetime. 

It’s useful because it helps you realise what it is that you personally want to do, what you want to achieve, and what goals you want to set for yourself.” Katie, Senior School Student