Academic excellence stands at the heart of every aspect of learning and teaching at St Helen’s, and we aim to give each student an exceptional, well-balanced education and develop her intellectual, creative and physical abilities to the full.
The curriculum at St Helen’s combines traditional academic disciplines, progressively builds on the pupils’ prior knowledge and understanding as they move from Prep School to Senior School and the Sixth Form, and offers breadth and balance as well as stretch and challenge to all our students of all ages. Programmes of study for the development of numeracy, literacy, language acquisition, ICT and scientific skills and understanding operate across the School, providing a logical and coherent framework for learning from the age of 3 to 18.
Our pupils are ambitious and enthusiastic in all that they do, and lessons are carefully structured and planned to satisfy this thirst for intellectual stimulation. At all stages the focus is very much on the learner: pupils are encouraged to think about different ways of approaching their learning and to decide upon and use the methods which work best for them. In this way they develop an independent approach to their studies as they move through the School.
Teachers know their pupils as individuals and deliver effectively differentiated learning programmes which enable them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding with the appropriate balance of support and challenge. A significant number of the pupils are able, gifted and talented in at least one and often several subject areas, and our provision nourishes and develops this potential. Many of the Academic, Music and Sports Scholarships to the Senior School are offered to Prep School pupils in a highly competitive field.
Whether the pupils are taking their first steps in imaginative story-writing or programming bug robots for the first time in EYFS, thinking through a tricky philosophical problem or discussing a challenging poem in KS2, using higher-order thinking to solve a complex problem in Mathematics or Science, or constructing a complex explanation of cause and effect in A Level History, all learning experiences are designed with the achievement of excellence in mind.
Public examination results are excellent, and our extensive Futures Programme (higher education and careers) encourages our pupils to apply for the most competitive courses at the most prestigious universities. Equally impressive is the range of careers which St Helen’s alumnae embark upon when they enter the world of work. Such successes reflect the intellectual development effected throughout their time at St Helen’s, and the way that our through-school curriculum has developed our students’ capacity to think and apply their skills, knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar situations.