About us Founded in the 19th century, our school has grown and flourished through more than a hundred years of change - academic, social and technological â€“ to evolve into a centre of academic excellence which successfully combines the lessons of the past with the vision of the future. We hope that this snapshot of life in our school will entice you to come and see us; to give us the opportunity to talk to you, to answer your questions, to introduce you to our girls and to our staff, and to show you this school of which we are all so proud.
Rosemary M Martin Headmistress
Whether starting out in our beautiful country house setting at the Preparatory School at Wheathampstead House or in the more independent environment of our city centre site at Townsend Avenue in St Albans, your daughter will have the space to grow and to learn, intellectually and emotionally, within a Christian framework of trust and support.
Our aims We want your daughterâ€™s time at school to be a successful, challenging and positive experience, with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of interests and extra-curricular activities. We want to give her the stimulus to develop her academic abilities to the full; to give her a sense of personal values, as well as confidence and self esteem.
We want her to be prepared for the challenges of the 21st century and in particular for work in a changing society where the role of women is still being defined.
â€˜...the young women who are educated here are well prepared for the next stage in their lives, which they enter with confidence and abiding values...â€™ ISI Inspection Report
â€˜The libraries in the Senior School are used with zeal and enthusiasm and provide much stimulus for developing independent learning.â€™ ISI Inspection Report
‘Teaching in both sections of the school and in each subject area is very well supported by a range of high quality resources, sufficient in quantity and used very effectively, to make a significant impact on pupils’ learning. Provision for ICT is excellent throughout the school and is used intelligently by the pupils to present and research their work’. ISI Inspection Report
Independence and initiative Throughout the school, we aim to provide the facilities and expertise to develop your daughter as an individual through a programme of personalised learning which encourages initiative and independence. The Curriculum is designed to support the aim of enabling each girl to achieve of her best, with a broad choice of subjects, a dedicated programme of activities for the Gifted and Talented and a structured support system for those who may feel a little less confident in some areas.
A careful system of monitoring ensures that throughout her time in school you, your daughter and her teachers know where she is in her learning, where she needs to go and what she needs to do to get there. 10
Enhancing potential We will seek to stretch your daughter beyond the confines of examination syllabuses... ...enabling her to understand the scientific issues confronting us all today. She will be taught by teachers who are specialists in their fields in purpose-built laboratories. She can learn to speak French, German and Spanish, with additional opportunities in languages such as Mandarin, Japanese and Swedish through extra-curricular clubs. A wide range of trips and exchanges, as well as the work of our Foreign Language Assistants, will support her linguistic development. 11
Classical subjects are offered throughout the school and up to Year 9, along with all girls, she will benefit from the study of Latin, as well as that of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome. The use of information technology is evident throughout the school and your daughter will become proficient in the use of ICT, both in researching and presenting her work.
â€˜The pupils achieve outstanding results in national tests and examinations, as well as in a range of other activities.â€™ ISI Inspection Report
Whether in the School Hall, at St Albans Abbey or in the Concert Hall of the Barbican, girls have ample opportunities to showcase their talent, indeed the â€˜opportunities for instrumental and choral music groups and ensembles are outstanding.â€™ ISI Inspection Report
Creativity Imagination, discovery and creativity all play a critical role in education, giving girls the opportunity to explore possibilities, develop their ideas, take risks and learn from their mistakes. Music, Art and Drama play a crucial part in encouraging your daughter to discover and pursue her own particular talents. The teaching of Art at the High School develops the skills and talents of each individual pupil, fostering creative effort and empowering the pupils to think and act for themselves.
Our renowned annual Drama productions exploit the full range of theatre skills, be they singing, dancing, acting or ensuring that the scenery, lighting and sound provide a fitting backdrop to the performances on stage.
â€˜The quality of pastoral care and the welfare, health and safety of pupils are all outstanding. The supportive and friendly atmosphere is complemented by the support staff who, in their contact with pupils, whether in the refectories, administration areas or school crossing patrols, are ever cheerful and encouraging.â€™ ISI Inspection Report
Support and care Your daughter is supported throughout her time in school by a strong pastoral team within the framework of the House System led by the Housemistresses and their team of tutors. We are only one small part of the process which is the education of your child. Most of our girls will go on to university and thence to embrace any number of possibilities which we hope to open up for them; through our teaching, through the role models that we provide for them, through our careers advice and through our belief in them as individuals. 15
Our Chaplain leads us in worship at assemblies and at services in the Abbey and is always available to guide and advise the girls in times of difficulty. A school nurse is on duty throughout the school day.
‘As a school promoting a caring Christian ethos, St Albans High School places much importance on the girls’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and is highly successful in achieving this aim. This is an outstanding feature of the school.’ ISI Inspection Report
â€˜Teams from all sections of the school compete with other independent and maintained schools in a wide range of competitions in the town, county and nationally.â€™ ISI Inspection Report
Sport A strong emphasis is placed on the importance of physical fitness and the development of team spirit in the school. The emphasis on sport and team games in particular, fosters the development of mutual support, cooperation, selflessness and fair play in pupils of all ages. Whether playing lacrosse at the field, swimming in our state of the art pool in Townsend Avenue or cheering on her team in House rounders, your daughter will stay healthy in body as well as spirit!
We have a well established programme of Community Service and girls from both the Preparatory and Senior Schools raise substantial sums of money for worthwhile charities at home and abroad. February 2004 saw the beginning of a special relationship with Mtwara Girls’ Secondary School in Mtwara, South Eastern Tanzania. Money has been raised to establish a system to make clean water available for them, as well as providing mosquito nets for every girl and teacher to help protect them from malaria. Staff from the High School visit Mtwara regularly and we have been pleased to welcome their Headmistress here in St Albans.
‘Girls in both sections of the school have an excellent understanding and awareness, in relation to their various ages, of cultural differences and show an altruistic tolerance of all cultures.’ ISI Inspection Report
’I would come back in a heartbeat.’ Maya Vaghela
A community We are a community which puts a high premium on care and consideration. We want our girls to be aware of the needs and problems of the wider society beyond the school. High School girls have taken part in trips to Iceland and Arizona; they have visited salt museums in Germany and trodden the ancient stones of Pompeii. They have worked with township children in Cape Town and helped to build schools in Peru and Tanzania. Duke of Edinburgh and World Challenge expeditions have taken them from the New Forest and North Wales to China, Chile and Nepal; they have grown saddle sore on horseback,
worn out many a mile of shoe leather and between them used almost as many bicycles as those in Beijing. No doubt they will one day travel to the moon! Our Old Girls’ Association ensures that girls stay in touch with each other long after their time in school, with regular visits from Old Girls to the school to share their experiences and offer tips for success!
Once a High School girl, always a High School girl. 20
A unique education We want as many children as possible to benefit from the unique education which we are able to offer. A number of academic and musical scholarships are available at entry in Year 7 and at various points throughout the school. We also offer Fees assistance which is means tested, for up to 100% of the school fees. Further details are available from the Registrar.
â€˜I have always found the girls who have studied at St Albans High School for Girls to be engaging, articulate and with a level of confidence beyond their years. The sort of people that an employer such as Ernst & Young is looking forâ€™.
Townsend Avenue St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3SJ Telephone: 01727 853800 Facsimile: 01727 792516 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stahs.org.uk
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David Murray, Ernst & Young LLP