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What says..

There’s a core spirit of endeavour and enthusiasm. Discipline requires a light touch. The expression of disappointment by a highly regarded teacher goes a long way here, along with a firm set of rules that mean everyone knows what’s expected of them in the first place. Bright ambitious girls. Ditto parents. About half come from local primaries and the rest from feeder preps – around 25 in total. The pacy environment – and the school really does move at a brisk speed – isn’t for everyone, but ...

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What the school says...

Founded in 1903, St Helen and St Katharine is an independent day school for girls aged 9–18 in Abingdon, six miles south of Oxford. St Helen’s is a school for bright girls with enquiring minds, a place where success is celebrated but not revered. Our aim is to ensure that every student achieves success as she defines it, so that she can believe in herself, her talents and abilities, and feel prepared and equipped for life beyond school.

Our outstanding academic record makes us one of the leading girls’ schools in the country. Stimulating and challenging teaching reaches beyond the curriculum, enabling our students to become effective and independent learners. Our broad and varied extracurricular programme of 100+ clubs and activities also plays a central role within school life. We actively encourage students to give new things a go, to explore and extend interests and to make friends across age groups.

Students are admitted to the Junior Department at either 9+ or 10+ and to the senior school at 11+, 13+ and 16+. It may be possible to admit students into other years, enquiries should be made to the Admissions Office. We offer a range of scholarships at 11+, 13+ and 16+ for academic ability, art, drama, music, sport and an all-rounder award. The School offers means tested bursaries up to 100% of fees from Year 7.
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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Girls taking Art & Design (Fine Art) at an English Independent School (GCSE Short Course)

Curricula

Cambridge Pre-U - an alternative to A levels, with all exams at the end of the two-year course.

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

Sports

Rowing

Fencing

Sailing

What The Good Schools Guide says

Head

Since 2015, Rebecca Dougall BA MA (40s), previously head of the Royal High School, Bath. Has also taught at Wycombe Abbey and Oxford High, where she was deputy head. An English literature specialist, she is chic, youthful and dynamic, as well as being passionate about single sex schools, having attended one herself.

Doesn’t teach, but not a CEO type head and is known among pupils for being personable and approachable, regularly popping into lessons and having an open-door policy. ‘She doesn’t just know our names – she knows what our interests are, often stopping us to ask us about them,’ said one pupil, with another adding that she gives ‘great thought-provoking assemblies that we genuinely look forward to’. Parents also impressed. ‘She has her finger on the pulse and you absolutely...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

10-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia
Dyslexia
Dyspraxia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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