Our Ethos

St Helen’s is an exciting, creative and ambitious School which has embarked upon a programme of growth and development which will carry it through to its 120th birthday in 2019 in robust health!

There are four strong and secure pillars which support everything that we do at St Helen’s.

The first and most important is to provide each and every girl with the opportunity and the means to achieve academic excellence. This is not to be measured only by results in public examinations – though these are stunning - but by the improvement and progress made by each girl over her time with us. Our curriculum is carefully constructed to provide every girl with a balanced, academically rigorous and ambitious education, and we review and evaluate it every year.

Academic results matter enormously and they provide the key to university and professional success. However, in order to achieve their potential, our pupils will also need the personal and emotional skills and the confidence which can only come through participation in a challenging, stimulating and creative co-curricular programme. Throughout the School the girls are encouraged to experiment, to take risks and to discover what really excites them, and we offer an impressive range of activities at lunchtime, after school and during the holidays. The range of activities expands as the girls grow, reflecting their widening knowledge of the world and their abilities to explore beyond their immediate experience. By the time the girls reach the Upper School they can participate in the Joint CCF with Merchant Taylors’ School, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (from Bronze to Gold Award), Public Speaking, the Model United Nations, drama and musical performances (again, often with MTS), sport, photography, the Heath Robinson Inventors’ Club and so much more.

The pastoral care provided at St Helen’s is outstanding and the girls are known, valued and respected by the staff. Through the PSHCE programme, tutor time, the care given by the Individual Needs Department and our pastoral staff, we are able to guide, support and advise the girls at each stage of their school careers.

The fourth pillar supports the school in looking outwards to the strong and vital community which surrounds it. We are fortunate to enjoy a position at the heart of Northwood, and as part of the wider Merchant Taylors’ family. We are seeking to bring this family together through the work of the Development Director and the exciting and innovative Futures Programme.  Alongside us, throughout our journey of growth and development are our dedicated and professional Governing Council, our ambitious and skilful staff, the friends of the School including former Headmistresses, alumnae and staff, and a loyal and energetic parent body.

In short, our purpose is to provide an outstanding academic education and to develop young women through the provision of excellent teaching, first class facilities, vibrant and exciting opportunities, and by embracing the enduring values of the School. By providing our pupils with choice, opportunity and the skills necessary to succeed, they will be prepared to lead and make an exceptional contribution to wider society and to become the leaders of their professions and communities.

Our aims are:

  • To provide each and every girl with the opportunity and means to achieve academic excellence by promoting intellectual curiosity, excitement and ambition
  • To provide our pupils with the personal skills, emotional resilience and the confidence to achieve their full potential through a varied, rich and challenging co-curricular programme
  • To know, value and respect all girls as individuals so as to best support them on their journey through the School
  • To ensure that the School, the girls, the staff and our parents play a full and active part in the local, national and global community