St Helen’s pupils of all ages enjoy a broad range of activities beyond those available in the classroom, and can be found every day engaging in co-curricular activities which genuinely broaden their experiences and horizons.
The co-curricular programme at St Helen’s is wide-ranging and constantly evolving, and the school day is organised to accommodate a great many co-curricular activities during lunchtimes and after school.
Pupils in EYFS and KS1 explore and play together in our well-resourced playgrounds, and take it in turns to lead their classes on a day-to-day rota. Pupils in EYFS may be asked to become an Eco Elf, while KS1 pupils may be elected to become members of the School Council or the Eco Elves group. Pupils in KS1 are encouraged to participate in lunchtime and after-school hobbies such as woodwork, board games and cooking, and may additionally take carousel music lessons where they are introduced to violin and cello in small groups.
In KS2 pupils have access to a wider range of co-curricular clubs including knitting, mindfulness and upcycling. They can play in the Prep School Orchestra, Jazz Band or a range of smaller ensembles and have the opportunity to trial for the Prep School swim squad (from Year 3), and the dance or netball squads (from Year 5), where they can compete against other schools. There are additional inclusive co-curricular sports clubs for all the pupils to enjoy, irrespective of squad selection. Prior to squad years, all these sports have co-curricular clubs which also compete against other schools.
As they enter the Senior School the co-curricular programme becomes even more varied and exciting: from the Heath Robinson Inventors’ Club and Robotics Club, to Literature in Context Society and Debating Club, to the Photography Club and the Feminist Forum and Young Enterprise, the pupils have opportunities to discover new passions and develop new interests, and have a vast array of opportunities to participate in social and elite sport, music and drama.
Our unique relationship with Merchant Taylors’ School allows our girls to enjoy joint ventures with the boys from MTS, including the Combined Cadet Force, Phab, and joint concerts and productions.
We firmly believe that educational trips and visits provide opportunities to extend our pupils’ horizons, to set the work they do in the classroom into a wider context and bring it to life, and to develop crucial skills of curiosity, leadership and cultural awareness. Participation in trips and visits is part of every girl’s experience of life at St Helen’s, and many of these augment the curriculum, by (for example) visiting Aldenham Country Park in Nursery or Chiltern Open Air Museum in Reception; learning about religions and cultures of the world by visiting Harrow Mosque in Year 4, Neasden Hindu Temple in Year 5 and enjoying a 5-day residential trip to France in Year 6; learning about history by visiting Bletchley Park in Year 8 and the WW1 battlefields at Ypres in Year 9; or practising fieldwork skills on Geography field trips. Older students are given opportunities to attend lecture days and conferences in a range of academic subjects, where experts in their fields challenge the girls to extend their learning in new directions.
We additionally offer an extensive range of overseas trips, which enable our students to develop a sense of the wider world with all its opportunities and challenges, while students with a taste for more adventurous activities can take part in expeditions in the UK and overseas as part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, participate in CCF adventure training, or join the ever-popular ski trips to Europe and the USA.
At St Helen’s, there is always a new opportunity just around the corner; a lifelong passion waiting to be discovered.