St Helen's School is committed to academic excellence and is dedicated to equipping pupils with the skills which will enable them to take their places as leaders in a rapidly changing world. The culture of our School is deeply-rooted in its fine history but is also forward-looking and innovative.
We provide a first-class academic education for able girls aged 3 to 18, developing their personal integrity while encouraging their intellectual, creative and sporting talents, and providing the supportive and nurturing pastoral care which enables every girl to achieve her full potential. Our spacious and beautiful 21-acre site is conveniently located adjacent to Northwood Underground station on the Metropolitan Line, approximately 30 minutes by Underground from Central London.
The School's development plan reflects the Headmistress's Vision for the School's journey from providing an excellent academic education to becoming exceptional in all that we do. Dr Short launched her Vision for St Helen’s in Spring 2014; this is an ambitious and exciting long-term plan for the development of the School, to fulfil our aim of being nationally recognised as north London's exceptional independent school for girls.
Since then we have been working tirelessly to turn her vision into reality. The 20-year Estates Masterplan has been completed, and we are now embarking on the most significant development to the School estate in over a decade.
As part of our ongoing development plans, a new Junior School building opened in September 2016. Our Junior School pupils are enjoying the use of a spacious assembly hall (fully-equipped with sound and lighting facilities and capable of staging concerts, plays and lectures), and are benefiting from exceptional learning in the large and light classrooms and exciting 'break-out zones'. In addition, they are carrying out independent research in the state-of-the-art Discovery Centre, and are maximising their opportunities to learn about the natural world on the vibrant and biodiverse 'living roofs' which cover the two 'arms' of the building and can be accessed from ground level.
Our Futures Programme provides cutting-edge advice on external examinations, entry to top universities, student life, the best intelligence on the quality of courses available, work experience, careers advice and mentoring, and enables our students to stand out from the crowd at interviews and at work. Teaching is rigorous and stimulating throughout, and the school and public examination results are outstanding. From the start, our girls are encouraged to take an active involvement in their learning and to question things both inside and outside the classroom. We support the aims of the National Curriculum, but offer a wider range of subjects and teach to greater depth. The staff are specialists who aim to inspire a love of their subjects.
We offer excellent specialist facilities for Science, Design and Technology, Art, Drama, Music and Computer Science, in addition to a modern Sports Complex with 25m swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium and a climbing wall; a digital multi-media language laboratory; an excellent library; and well-equipped teaching rooms.
St Helen's provides each girl with a broad and balanced education which enables her to explore her individual strengths and interests.
The girls in our pre-preparatory section, Little St Helen's, make use of the School's superb on-site facilities as well as the extensive grounds in their learning. These pupils from Nursery through to Year 2 have specialist teachers for PE, Music, Speech and Drama, Ballet and French. Our girls are taught by well-qualified primary specialists with outstanding subject expertise. Each class in Little St Helen’s enjoys the support of a full-time teaching assistant. There is also a full-time Welfare Assistant who is part of the Nursing Team.
Within our Junior School, class teachers in Years 3 and 4 each have a substantial teaching commitment with their own class, although the pupils are also introduced to some specialist teaching. By Years 5 and 6 the girls receive more specialist teaching from selected subject-based staff; they are streamed for Mathematics from Year 4 onwards. In Year 6 all girls take the entrance examination for Senior School, set by the North London Independent Schools Consortium, in order to show that they have reached an appropriate standard.
In Year 7 all girls study Art, Computer Science, Design & Technology, Drama, English, Geography, History, Latin, Mathematics, two Modern Languages from a choice of French, German, Mandarin and Spanish, Music, Physical Education, Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE), Religious Studies and Science. Science is taught separately as Biology, Chemistry and Physics from Year 8.
Music, art, drama and sport are an integral part of school life for every girl at St Helen's. Many also take extra music, ballet and speech and drama lessons, and benefit from specialist sports coaching. Social and elite sportswomen are equally welcome in our wide range of team and individual games, and will find a sport which fires their competitive spirit! Those who enjoy music and the performing arts will find a wealth of opportunities in our many orchestras, choirs and bands, plays and musicals - or can work backstage in our technical and production teams.
Lunchtime and after school clubs include art, photography, book clubs, language clubs, our famous Heath Robinson Inventors' Club and many more.
Girls are able to develop their leadership and teamwork skills through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. St Helen's is also one of the few girls' schools to offer a Combined Cadet Force, which is run jointly with Merchant Taylors' School.
Debating is a highly successful activity from Years 6 to 13, with girls competing both in school and up to national level.
St Helen's Sixth Form is a flourishing community of over 150 girls who take an active role in the life of the school. Each year we welcome new students who join us from other schools. The Sixth Form is in many ways a new beginning and often the most enjoyable and challenging time of school life. Academic examination courses are complemented by a programme of enrichment and fortnightly lectures intended to stretch students intellectually and to develop a range of skills. All students leave the Sixth Form with the St Helen's Portfolio and go on to study at Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities.
A St Helen's girl enjoys learning, has intellectual curiosity and thinks independently and creatively. Above all, our girls are exceptional. We build the girls' confidence and encourage them to fulfil their ambitions, ready to become leaders in their chosen fields, professions and communities.