Brighton Girls: Designing the Future

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Discover. Design. Deliver.


COHERENT AND FUTURE FOCUSED: A NEW VISION FOR BRIGHTON GIRLS I joined Brighton Girls as Head in January 2020, and was lucky to inherit a successful, innovative and enterprising school; a place where girls can truly learn without limits.


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

If Brighton Girls were a stick of rock, I like to think that it would have the words ‘kind and bold’ running through the middle. Our school faced COVID-19 with courage, determination and empathy, and the tremendous amount we learnt will be vital as we build our post-pandemic future. We have already taken a huge leap forward. By drawing on the characteristics already embedded in the spirit of the school, and using them to shape our approach to everything, from our decision making to the way in which we celebrate success, we have started to restate and reaffirm our school values. We have made swift progress with our digital strategy. From early years upwards, our pupils have access to iPads, ChromeBooks and virtual reality headsets. By September 2021, we will have phased in a 1:1 device policy across the Senior school, allowing us to develop digitally competent learners and create educational opportunities that combine traditional, experiential, and creative teaching. Our new uniform, introduced in September 2020, has received rave reviews. The new look creates a stronger visual link between the junior and senior years, and we look forward to the full roll-out by September 2021.

Brighton Girls has an outstanding academic record. An ISI inspection in November 2019 judged our school to be ‘excellent’ across the board, the highest rating that can be awarded in the independent sector, a testament to the dedication and hard work of all our staff and students. Our GCSE and A Level outcomes are exceptional, with 71% of grades being A*/A at A Level in 2020 and 48% awarded Grade 9/8 at GCSE. As the new Head, my vision is to take everything that is already brilliant about our school and to enhance and develop it. We have made a great start, but, the coming academic year is going to be a transformational year for Brighton Girls. I’m thrilled to announce that we have been given a multi-million pound investment from the Girls’ Day School Trust, of which Brighton Girls is a founding member. This money will enable us to reshape and re-imagine our school into a modern, future-focused, coherent educational model – a space where individuals can discover their passions and develop the confidence and self-awareness that will be so important to their future happiness and success.


“ A family of big sisters and little sisters.”

A view of the Prep school, returned to its original location in the Vicarage

This new development project, which has been designed around my vision for the school, will be complete by January 2022 and will: • Reunite Brighton Girls Prep School and the Senior School onto one campus, at our Montpelier site. • Create innovative learning, performance, social, and green spaces for our school, as well as new venues to support our local community, in everything from the Arts, to sport, to wellbeing. • Preserve and enhance the existing green sports space at the current Prep school site, allowing it to be used by the whole school and made available to the wider community. The redevelopment will make Brighton Girls unique as the only all-through, all-girls school in Brighton & Hove; a family of big sisters and little sisters, existing right at the heart of its creative, forward-thinking, dynamic community. Rosie McColl Head


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

A Prep classroom, with innovative teaching and learning spaces


COHESION AND COHERENCE Discover We’re reshaping the fabric of our school to create innovative new teaching, learning and social spaces. Our re-imagined facilities will enable our girls to discover their passions, to feel connected as part of a community, and to develop their creativity at every stage of their education.


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

Design Our vision is to: • Create the only cohesive, all-through, all-girls educational offering in the heart of the city of Brighton & Hove, and enable a seamless transition from Prep School to Senior School. • Enhance the close community feel at Brighton Girls, bringing greater opportunities for leadership and peer mentoring roles through an enhanced co-curricular programme. • Develop a common language, shaped by the principles of design thinking and by our common values of being “Kind and Bold”.

Deliver How will we get there?

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We are reuniting Brighton Girls Prep School and the Senior School onto one campus, at our Montpelier site. Our Prep School is moving back to its original location in the stunning Vicarage building, located in Temple Gardens. Our junior pupils, from Reception to Year 6, will benefit from new specialist spaces for Art, Science and Design being created on the ground floor of 68/69 Montpelier. With a dedicated early years playground, and a tree-lined lawn at the centre of the site, our junior girls will have a space to play, to discover, and to learn on a unique campus in the heart of the city. A new, innovative, space for music, located in the basement of the Temple, will serve all year groups and provide a space for musicians throughout the school to practise independently and to play together.

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The Sixth Form is moving to the top floor of the iconic Temple building, where students will have their own state-of-the-art penthouse space with views across the city, and access to modern, flexible, café-style working spaces on the ground floor.

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To enhance the sense of community, we are developing the house identity in junior years and remodelling the pastoral structure in the senior years, where a year group structure will be replaced by a vertical house-based system. Four new social spaces will enable girls from all parts of the school to come together in their own mini communities, creating student mentoring and leadership opportunities at every Key Stage.


COHESION AND COHERENCE

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Throughout the 2020/21 academic year, we will develop a coherent language around teaching and learning, allowing our students to revel in the interconnectedness of their academic subjects and their co-curricular interests.

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We will continue to reaffirm our school values around the key Brighton Girls principles of “be kind” and “be bold”, embedding them throughout the school and using them to inform decision making at every level.

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We will develop our co-curricular offering throughout the school. From early years to Sixth Form, we will create a coherent and innovative programme of clubs and activities, bringing new opportunities in sport, the arts, entrepreneurship, leadership and STEM.

Enhanced green spaces and sensory gardens around the Temple


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

Inside the re-imagined Temple building: a modern, flexible, café-style working space


FUSING CLASSROOM AND COMMUNITY Discover We’re bridging the gap between education and the workplace so that our students feel inspired today and excited for tomorrow. By immersing ourselves in the local community, we hope to solve some of the problems inherent in the current education system: how best to prepare our young people for a world that is changing at a rapid rate.

Design Our vision is to: • Involve parents, alumnae, and the wider community of Brighton & Hove in our educational vision, allowing them to enter the debate about how best to prepare our girls to lead happy and successful lives. • Develop opportunities for experiential learning, entrepreneurship and leadership. • Create an innovative community hub on campus, where the city and the school can co-exist and learn from each other.

Deliver How will we get there?

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We are launching The Hive, a network of parents, students, staff, governors, alumnae and members of the wider community of Brighton & Hove. Both a physical and conceptual space, The Hive will offer an exciting programme of events: lectures, concerts, workshops and bespoke courses will draw on the city’s creative energy to enrich our educational offering and encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas and experiences.

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We will develop the #BRIGHTFutures enrichment programme throughout the school, building on the links we have already formed with the Brighton Screen and Film School, the Feminist Bookshop and the Salvage Sister. From early years upwards, our students will have access to some exciting opportunities. Our new HSBC-funded Brighton Stargazing Project – which will begin with a STEM collaboration with St Andrew’s Primary school in Hove – will enrich both school and community.


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS


FUSING CLASSROOM AND COMMUNITY

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We have merged with the popular Pied Piper Netball Club to create the first school-based community club of its kind in Brighton. The new club, Brighton Bees, will provide opportunities for players at all levels, from Year 3 up to adults, with teams playing friendlies and competing in local leagues and tournaments. By developing the existing sports facilities at our Radinden Manor Road site, we will explore similar opportunities to support grass-roots cricket and hockey.

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We will continue to develop our Future Skills Forum, an advisory panel of parents and members of the business community, which will help us to review and refine our educational thinking.

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The ground floor of the Temple building is being modernised and restored to its former glory; the space will once again become the heart of the school, delivering an innovative space for learning and connecting. With leaders from local start-ups acting as mentors, we will found The Hive CafĂŠ, a student-led enterprise to promote healthy eating and wellness within the re-imagined Temple building and, in time, to the wider community.


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS



DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

“ To keep up with the world of 2050, you will need to do more than merely invent new ideas and products, you will need to reinvent yourself again and again.” Yuval Noah Harari


WELLBEING AND IDENTITY Discover We are creating a space where diversity is celebrated and where individuality can flourish. Exposed to a range of voices and encouraged to find their own voice, our girls will gain the confidence and self-belief to follow the path that is right for them. We are proud to be part of the only designated urban biosphere in the UK. By enhancing the green spaces around our school, making optimal use of our existing buildings, and designing creative travel solutions, we will support Brighton’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. By capitalising on the city’s creative energy, we will maximise wellbeing, develop positive mental health, and build resilience.


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

Design Our vision is to: • Create a super-curriculum to bring a range of voices to Brighton Girls. By allowing our students to hear different stories and explore different worlds, they will be alert to possibilities and excited about the paths they might follow. • Become a thought-leader in girls’ education, with particular focus on confidence, creativity and communication. • Encourage positive mental health, resilience and healthy eating, by drawing on Brighton’s green and blue spaces, by placing an emphasis on outdoor activities and sport and by developing greater provision for coaching and mentoring throughout the school.

Deliver How will we get there?

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City partnerships, experiential learning opportunities, a lecture series, and new initiatives like our bespoke ‘Laugh and Like Yourself’ course will enable students to find their voice, develop their core values, and tell their story with confidence and self-belief.

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We will continue to promote diversity through our bursaries and scholarships programme.

This year, a new Head of Research role has been created and we have our first cohort of teachers taking part in action research projects with the Expansive Education Network.

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We will place greater emphasis on leadership throughout the school, creating opportunities for students to learn to lead with kindness and confidence. Enhanced coaching and mentoring provision will support students in developing organisational skills, building self-awareness and encouraging both self-acceptance and self-belief.

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Working with landscape architects and local sports clubs, we are re-imagining our green spaces to create play areas, woodland areas, a multi-sport lawn, outdoor classroom spaces and a sensory garden with planting designed to maximise a sense of wellness. Our Field Centre in the Wye Valley will become an extension of the school’s garden space, offering a rural retreat from our city location. In collaboration with local chefs and wellness experts, we will review and redesign the school food menus to offer more healthy and diverse choices, catering for a greater range of dietary needs.


A WONDERLAND WHERE EACH OF OUR ALICES IS UNIQUE “Alice laughed: There’s no use trying, she said: one can’t believe impossible things. I daresay you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Just imagine if Lewis Carroll’s Alice had attended Brighton Girls...

Alice was part of a family of sisters; in Prep School she lacked confidence, but she was mentored by older girls whom she looked up to. By Senior School, Alice had learnt storytelling and performance skills; she had been given the space to try things; the opportunity to fail, and to discover her strengths. She developed her individuality, creativity and self-confidence, and by now she imagined at least six impossible things before breakfast.


DESIGNING THE FUTURE OF BRIGHTON GIRLS

“ It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll

With so much opportunity to play sports and spend time in green open space, Alice’s mental health and positivity flourished. She learnt the value of self care and taking time to reflect. Alice’s father, an entrepreneur, became a valued member of The Hive and the Future Skills Forum. Through these opportunities he helped to shape the school’s educational offering and bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace. His involvement in the school will continue long after Alice has left. As a Sixth Former, Alice became a mentor herself; she was well connected; she was part of a community; she enjoyed supporting the younger girls, and helping them to flourish. She used the community hub on campus to interact with local entrepreneurs and start-ups and gain

feedback on her creative ideas. Now preparing to leave Brighton Girls, Alice has discovered her passion for social entrepreneurship, and has designed a new app which helps critically ill people by capturing their stories and wishes. A leading national health charity recently invited her in to share her designs at their board meeting. She has even learnt to ride a unicycle and appeared at the Brighton Fringe.

Further information If you would like to know more about our vision please contact Rosie McColl: 01273 280280 head@brightongirls.gdst.net


Montpelier Road Brighton, East Sussex BN1 3AT 01273 280280 head@brightongirls.gdst.net

brightongirls.gdst.net