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Senior School Prospectus

ot think n o d e “W

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ur daugh ters” George Dix

6-78 ncil 187 u o C l o o h on. Chair man of Edgbaston High Sc



this school has an amazing knack

of getting the best out of people

Sixth Former

“Welcome to Edgbaston High School” Welcome to Edgbaston High School for Girls. We are a purposeful and vibrant community of girls, teachers and support staff, providing a 21st century education based on traditional values. Our aim is to provide the highest quality of education for girls at every stage of their development. This is achieved through an energetic and encouraging approach to the full education and development of each individual and by wide commitment to the strong community at the School’s heart. It is supported by abundant and excellent resources which complement good teaching and a culture of learning in all areas of the School. EHS girls are very special; hardworking and industrious, they have a positive, caring approach to life which generates a convivial and welcoming atmosphere in school. Whether it is in the classroom, drama studio or science lab or on the sports field, the girls will be actively engaged in widening their knowledge and developing their own particular brand of independent learning. We are proud of our girls; they work hard and give a great deal back to the school and society in general; they value their education and their school and leave us confident in their abilities and with a good sense of who they are. We warmly invite you to visit us and see the School for yourself. I look forward to meeting you.

Dr Ruth Weeks BSc (Hons) PhD

It’s hard to define what makes a school’s atmosphere but you only have to walk in to know that you have entered a happy and caring community where individuals are nurtured and learning valued by all


ethos Founded in 1876, Edgbaston High School continues to follow the founders’ vision of providing a challenging, liberal education for girls. Academic rigour combined with the acquisition of a breadth of skills, knowledge and accomplishments is still our aim and makes us demonstrably different from other schools. EHS is a lively, happy, caring community in which every girl is valued as an individual and in which she is given full encouragement from an outstandingly united and committed Staff. Every facet of her abilities and talents is carefully considered and developed.

In a purposeful atmosphere for learning, personal and academic growth are enhanced by the richness of opportunity offered through a broad and progressive curriculum and stimulating extra-curricular programme. EHS provides the girls with an environment in which they can observe and practise the core values at the heart of our community: tolerance and respect, fairness and justice, empathy, co-operation and consideration for other people. They will then be fully prepared and equipped not just to take their place in the wider community but also to complement and enhance it.

“The positive ethos of the school promotes high standards of discipline and behaviour. Excellent behaviour is embedded throughout the school and is a result of the high expectations of staff and a clear code of conduct to which pupils adhere.� Independent Schools Inspectorate Report, October 2009

pastoral care Edgbaston High School is noted for its strong and distinctive system of pastoral care. Girls are encouraged to develop their talents in the widest sense and much emphasis is placed on raising self esteem. Form Tutors work closely with girls in order to build on their strengths and interests and progress is monitored closely. All pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and all achievements are valued. The school maintains excellent communications with parents and we ensure continuity of care as girls progress throughout the school. Great emphasis is placed on our sense of community

and younger girls are mentored by our Sixth Form pupils. All girls are encouraged to contribute to the decision-making process in school through the School Council. The School Nurse and Doctor both make important contributions to the welfare of pupils and we have excellent links with community health organisations. Pastoral care is an integral part of every aspect of school life, and works hand-in-hand with academic success. Much emphasis is placed on enthusiastic involvement in sport, music, House and other community activities. During her time at EHS each girl is provided with the skills for a successful and satisfying life.

“The school meets its aim to provide a caring pastoral system highly successfully ‌ The quality of relationships between staff and pupils is excellent, and those amongst pupils are strong and supportive. Pupils appreciate the support given by teachers and feel valued within the community.â€? Independent Schools Inspectorate Report, October 2009

everyone seems to look after each other in this school and if you’re ever feeling bad there’s always someone to turn to Year 7


key stage In Year 7, the first year of Key Stage 3, the girls study English, Mathematics, the three sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), French, Latin, History, Geography, Religious Studies, ICT, Art and Design, Music, Drama, Home Economics (Food), Design Technology (Textiles), Physical Education, including Swimming, and Learning to Learn. For Years 8 and 9, the curriculum is extended to include either German or Spanish as a second Modern Foreign Language. Subject departments set regular assessment tasks throughout the academic year. There are school examinations in the

majority of subjects which take place in the middle of the Summer Term. Results of all these are conveyed to parents via interim reports at the end of the Autumn and Spring Terms and full reports at the end of the academic year. The girls’ progress is monitored by their Form Tutor, the Head of Year and the subject Heads of Department. Alongside the academic curriculum, our programme of Personal, Health and Social Education is aimed at developing the girls’ values, as well as their knowledge and skills; concepts such as fairness and mutual respect are reinforced.

they don’t just teach you how to do things they teach how to think for yourselves

Year 9

it’s extraordinary how much trouble the school goes to to ensure that each girl gets her chosen combination of subjects



key stage In Key Stage 4, Years 10 and 11, the girls study a combination of compulsory and optional subjects for their GCSE examinations. The compulsory core comprises English, English Literature, Mathematics, separate sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics – or combined sciences – Science and Additional Science – and a modern foreign language – French, German or Spanish. All girls then select options from the wide range of subjects available to take their total number of GCSE subjects to ten. These options include Latin, Classical Greek, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Music, Art and Design, Design Technology (Textiles), Home Economics (Food), ICT, Physical Education, Dance, Theatre Studies and Drama. All girls also follow non-examined courses in Religious Studies, Physical Education and PSHE.

Consultations between girls, Form Tutors and Heads of Year continue through Key Stage 4 to set personal targets and timescales for review and a course on Study Skills is added to the curriculum. The school builds good relationships with parents from the beginning of a girl’s time with us and through Parents’ Evenings and a full annual report are kept informed of their daughter’s progress. Individual consultations are always available and staff welcome ongoing contact with parents.

music &

EHS girls contribute widely to Birmingham’s strong musical reputation through their practice and performance in School and by their involvement in the city’s many youth choirs and orchestras. In the purpose-built Music School, about a third of the girls learn a musical instrument and there are frequent opportunities for performing both as soloists and ensemble players in lunchtime and evening concerts. Music is taught up to Advanced Level and girls regularly proceed to degree courses at university or conservatoires. The Music Department has been one of the major beneficiaries of the Octagon, our performance space opened in 2005. Seating 600, it allows the School’s four choirs, four orchestras and bands to perform on a large scale. It is a resource made available to other musical groups, including the Royal School of Church Music, out of schools hours.

I used to be really shy but now I’ll have a go at anything Year 7

Drama and Theatre Arts have rightfully gained recognition and respect in educational circles for the communication and team skills which they develop and for the insight and sensitivity they encourage. At EHS the part played by Drama and Theatre Studies in the curriculum and beyond continues to grow and the Octagon has provided a new focus for rehearsal, production and training in lighting, sound and design. Clubs, workshops and major productions feature each academic year and, in addition to theatre visits, companies come into school to perform. The School has also introduced after-school Senior and Junior Youth Theatres, where girls work together across year groups and all students are given the opportunity to participate.




& p.e.

Art at EHS is integral to the strong thread of creativity which is an important part of the school’s approach to learning. With three well-equipped art studios, girls are offered a broad range of activities including ceramics, printmaking and graphic design, as well as traditional painting and drawing. The dedicated graphic design studio enables girls to learn skills and techniques that equip them to achieve great success at examination level and establish firm foundations for study at university and beyond. The Art Department places a high value on traditional drawing from observation with a structured course of study from Year 7, lunchtime activities organised by Art Scholars and life drawing classes for Sixth Formers. Annual study visits encourage an interest in the history of Art with Paris, Florence and Rome amongst recent destinations.

EHS has a reputation for excellence in sport and Physical Education has always been considered an important feature of the curriculum and of the extra-curricular programme. Health and fitness and team skills are emphasised as girls progress through the School; the provision of excellent facilities and experienced teaching results in many girls being selected to play at county, regional and national level. Within the School’s fourteen-acre site is a heated indoor swimming pool, large gymnasium, a state-of-the-art fitness suite catering for all ability levels, an all-weather surface for hockey, netball and tennis, an athletics track and cricket square. Girls are also given the opportunity to try many other sporting activities, including badminton, fencing, football, lacrosse, lifeguarding and rock climbing. Match fixtures take place after school or on Saturdays and in recent years the hockey and netball teams have toured Australia, Barbados, New Zealand and South Africa.

opport The wide range of extra-curricular activities offered at Edgbaston High School means that there is something for everyone and ensures girls can be busy at lunchtime and after school. Girls are expected to participate in pursuits which develop their talents, teach them new skills and test their initiative. These activities provide a good opportunity for younger girls to get to know the Sixth Form, many of whom run the clubs and societies or take on mentoring and advisory roles. Typically, the school has art, science, gym and dance clubs, more formal groupings for debating and public-speaking and

the Young Enterprise and Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes. Girls can also become members of the Technical Crew, where they learn audio-visual, sound and lighting techniques to assist with school productions or they can join the Gardening Club and help tend the School’s allotment. In addition, the school organises a number of residential trips, both abroad and in the UK. These include activity trips for Years 7 and 9, ski trips for Year 8, field courses and cultural visits for GCSE and A Level groups, and regular choir and sports tours.


aspirat Amanda Huggins’s passion for flying might be considered a little out of the ordinary for girls of her age but she has never let challenges that others might baulk at stand in her way. Amanda has always been an enterprising and self-motivated girl, qualities very much encouraged at EHS and ones that have enabled her to turn aspirations into reality. Having shown a precocious interest in aircraft she had her first flying lesson just after her 16th birthday and has never looked back since. After a fascinating and demanding period of instruction lasting for several months she became the youngest female pilot in the country to fly solo. Quite apart from learning the demanding technicalities of flying a helicopter, Amanda has had to learn solo navigation, meteorology, air law, instrument flying and the principles of flight. Amanda loves the freedom of flight and was recently given the chance to explore Ireland in style, spending three days in an extended helicopter tour of the country. Amanda’s hard work and commitment to her hobby have led to her acquisition of a Private Pilot’s Licence and the exciting possibility of a career in flying after university.

EHS has given me the confidence to step outside the box and do something, for me, the sky’s the limit!

Amanda Huggins - Sixth Form


Kate Williams, the respected historian, best-selling author and TV presenter, is an Old Girl of Edgbaston High School. After school, Kate read for a BA at Oxford, an MA in eighteenth century culture at Queen Mary, University of London and a DPhil at Oxford. She also took an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, where she now teaches. Kate specialises in 17th to early 20th century history; she has written books on Emma Hamilton and Queen Victoria as well as several novels. She appears regularly on radio and television, writes features and articles for various newspapers and magazines and gives lectures to societies, events and literary festivals. EHS was delighted to welcome Kate back as a very inspirational guest speaker at a recent Speech Day.


I had a great education at EHS and made friends for life. I particularly valued the support and encouragement of my teachers towards independent work and reading - both vital to my job as an author.


scholarships &bursaries In Senior School, academic, music, sport and performing arts scholarships, of up to 50% fee remission, are awarded each year. Academic: At 11+, scholarships are awarded on academic merit following the entrance test. They are valid throughout a girl’s career in the school. At 16+, scholarships are offered to girls of outstanding ability. External candidates are examined by arrangement. Arts: At 16+, the Arts Scholarship is awarded to a girl studying the visual, creative or performing arts and is assessed by consideration of a girl’s portfolio or practical audition. Applicants will also be required to be interviewed and mock examination results will be taken into account. Music: There are two Music scholarships, one at 11+ and one at 16+. They are awarded following an audition and interview with the Music Department. Sports: To be eligible for a Sports scholarship, a girl should have reached county standard or equivalent in at least one sport offered at EHS and be able to demonstrate and communicate strong leadership potential. Suitability is assessed with a practical training session and an interview. These are awarded at 16+. Bursaries are available for candidates of good ability in cases of financial need. Applications should be made to the Headmistress and are treated in the strictest confidence.

The aim of this institution ... is to afford to the girls of this important neighbourhood an education which shall be the best that this age can afford.

Miss Alice Cooper, first Headmistress of EHS, 1878

transport The School is easily accessible by public transport. Parents in different areas of the West Midlands also organise private transport by coach for pupils attending EHS. Among areas served are Barnt Green, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Solihull, Walsall, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Streetly, Kinver, Stourbridge, Hagley and Halesowen.

old girls’ association


Girls are encouraged to join the Old Girls’ Association when they leave EHS and will find it a unique source of information and provider of events designed to bring peers together for reunions, dinners and talks. The Chairman of the OGA sits on the School Council.

parents’ association

( E H S PA )

EHSPA is the Parents’ Association at EHS. It works hard to bring parents together from all parts of the School in a social context and many of their events raise significant sums to purchase ‘luxury’ items of equipment for the School. A typical academic year includes a New Parents’ Reception, New Year Ball, Quiz Night, Prep Disco and Second-hand Uniform Sales. The EHSPA presents an annual Library Award to School and joins with the OGA to fund the Initiative Award which is given to a current or former pupil who will use the funding in pursuit of a new venture, gap year experience or charity work.

Westbourne Road Edgbaston Birmingham B15 3TS 0121 454 5831

EHS Senior School Prospectus  

Edgbaston High School for Girls Senoir School Prospectus