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Ladies First

By July 28, 2015 March 23rd, 2016 Features-Leeds

Sylvia Brett, principal at Harrogate Ladies’ College, talks about the benefits of a girl’s only education at senior school.


As principal of a girls’ only senior school I am totally focussed on delivering the very best education possible to our girls and to providing a safe and secure environment which allows them to be the very best that they can be.


There is lots of research to suggest that girls and boys learn in different ways. As a girls’ only senior school, we understand girls and the way they learn and are able to adapt our teaching methods to suit their needs. We believe that this in turn enables our girls to learn more effectively and ultimately to achieve better results.


In a girls’ only environment there is also less gender-based pressure when it comes to subject choice. Almost a third of all our Sixth Formers for example, study Physics A-Level, a subject which nationally attracts low numbers of girls. Research from the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) actually suggests that girls are 75 per cent more likely to take Maths and two and a half times as likely to take Physics in a single sex school.


Of course academic results are only part of the reason for choosing a girls’ only senior school. Teenage life brings many pressures and uncertainties for girls, perhaps more so today than ever before. We believe that a girls’ only school can help to reduce some of these pressures. It provides the freedom for girls to be who they are; to take more risks; and to build greater confidence; they can know themselves better and develop resilience and self-awareness.


A girls’ only senior school education doesn’t mean excluding boys from all parts of life and there are, of course opportunities for social interaction with boys. We do believe, however, that girls work best and achieve more when they learn and develop alongside other girls.


At Harrogate Ladies’ College we understand just how critical senior school years are in terms of shaping long-term futures, but we believe that they should also be exciting, inspiring and stimulating – a time of building confidence, increasing independence; and of becoming comfortable with who you are.


At Harrogate Ladies’ College we focus on providing girls with an all-round education which will ensure that they have the best possible opportunities when they move on to the next stage in their lives.



Hit the Books


Allerton Grange School

For those looking for a good secondary school for their child to attend in September 2016, Allerton Grange is worth serious consideration.


The school’s motto is “Aspire, Grow, Succeed” and that’s what it wants for all of its students.


The state-of-the-art building is light, airy, has wide corridors, well-resourced specialist areas, and wonderful communal spaces such as the dining hall and performance hall.


Allerton Grange also has an excellent body of staff that inspires, supports and challenges its students.


Go along and see the school, meet the staff, and some of the students, on its open evening on 29th September from 6pm–8pm. It’s Sixth Form open evening will take place on 4th November.



Allerton High School

Allerton High School is extremely proud of its track record in enabling young people to achieve success.


In 2014 virtually all of the school’s young people achieved five GCSE passes at A* — C, almost 70 per cent of them doing so with English and Maths. Post-16 success was equally impressive with 52 per cent of A-Level grades at A*— B, and 76 per cent at A*— C; the vast majority of young people secured their place in higher education.


Allerton High is a caring school that has a genuine interest in the individual and creates a supportive environment for learning, insisting on high standards of behaviour.



Harrogate Grammar School

Delivering excellence for all through world class teaching and facilities, Harrogate Grammar School offers over 40 subjects and specialist pathways to choose from and unrivalled enrichment opportunities in music, sport and beyond.


The school welcomes a large group of post-16 students from other schools into this thriving and successful Sixth Form; one of the largest in the country and in the top four per cent of highest achieving Sixth Forms nationally (2011 – 12) according to Ofsted, with 60 per cent of grades achieved in 2014 being at A* to B and 9/10 applications to medicine securing offers.


The Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School would like to invite prospective students and families to their open evening on 19th November from 7pm – 9pm.



Harrogate Ladies’ College

Harrogate Ladies’ College was established in 1893 and is one of the UK’s leading independent day and boarding schools for girls aged 11-18 years. The school received the top A-Level results in Harrogate in 2014 and has significantly higher than average numbers of girls studying A-Level Physics and Maths.


Notably, Harrogate Ladies’ College welcomed deputy speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness Harris of Richmond, as guest of honour at their annual Speech Day recently.


The school’s Speech Day celebrated the pupils’ successes during the year and Baroness Harris gave a motivational speech about the importance of working hard to achieve goals.


Baroness Harris, who also previously chaired North Yorkshire’s Police Authority and has a long-standing relationship with Harrogate Ladies’ College, said: “It is a real honour to be involved with the wonderful school community at Harrogate Ladies’ College and to be asked to award the prizes for Speech Day. I’m so proud of these amazing young women, who have already achieved so much and have such a bright future ahead.”


Sylvia Brett, principal of Harrogate Ladies’ College, commented: “We were delighted that Baroness Harris was able to join us at Speech Day. She is such an inspiration to the girls having achieved so much in her life and we are very fortunate to have her as part of our school community.”


Harrogate Ladies’ College Speech Day is an opportunity for pupils and their family, friends and teachers to come together to celebrate of the successes of the previous year.



Leeds Jewish Free School

Leeds Jewish Free School (LJFS) is a first-class secondary school at the heart of the community, providing unrivalled facilities for children and families not just of the Jewish faith, but of all faiths and of no faith.


Opening in response to an established community need, the school provides a warm, friendly and welcoming environment, dedicated to ensuring all students excel.


The admission number is strictly limited to just 25 pupils in each year. With the tremendous local pressure on school places, Alwoodley is lucky to have such a high quality alternative, but only for a limited few. Contact LJFS to enquire about a place for your child.



Richmond House School

Richmond House School (RHS) is an independent preparatory school in Far Headingley, Leeds, for girls and boys aged three – 11 years with a nurturing, family atmosphere, specialist teaching in a wide range of subjects and small class sizes. The school was proud to achieve the top grade of ‘excellent’ in all ISI inspection categories and consistently enjoys 100 per cent 11+ exam success.


As part of its ongoing commitment to providing exceptional quality in education, Richmond House School has invested significantly in enriching the children’s learning and environment in the last year. New facilities include; a safe and exciting adventure playground with slides, obstacles and scramble nets, an outdoor classroom in the form of a 22ft yurt and new-look wooden clad EYFS buildings.


The new resources will complement the school’s 10 acres of land, which is home to a vast range of sports facilities including a cricket square, tennis courts, rugby and football pitches, athletics course and, uniquely, a crown green bowling green.



Rossett School

Rossett School is an outstanding school with a happy, vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.


The school provides a high quality, inspirational learning experience for young people from a wide variety of backgrounds in a truly comprehensive school.


Results have continued to improve year on year but Rossett offers much more than examination success. In this inclusive school, students are expected to have the highest standards of behaviour, respect diversity, and understand global citizenship and equality of opportunity.


The school is proud of its extensive range of extracurricular activities; learning outside the classroom; raising, on average, £15-20,000 per year for national and local charities; all against a background of academic challenge and excellent examination outcomes.



Swarthmore Education Centre

Swarthmore is a Leeds adult education centre with a difference. The central Leeds location makes it easily accessible and students will enjoy the experience of studying in a Grade II listed building.


Swarthmore courses run in the daytime, evening or weekend, meaning you can fit learning around the rest of your life. Swarthmore has developed a reputation as a friendly place to learn; as well as getting first-rate good teaching, students also receive the support and encouragement they need to help them get the most out of their learning. From Sculpture to Spanish, Computing to Counselling, Psychology to Hula Hooping, there is plenty of choice to meet your interests.


New weekend courses include a Mindfulness Meditation, Movement and Posture workshop incorporating Alexander Technique and Mindfulness and Indian Head Massage. There is plenty of choice to meet your interests. Some courses lead to a certificate so you can add to your qualifications but there are also lots of opportunities to pursue study purely for the pleasure of learning.


Swarthmore’s café is open to the public for delicious homemade cakes and snacks and is very popular with students, staff and local businesses.


Swarthmore’s crèche takes children who are under five and is open daily.


There’s no parking facilities for students at Swarthmore, but Joseph’s Well car park is available free of charge after 5.30pm and at weekends.


The open day is on 10th September where visitors can enrol on a course.



The Grammar School at Leeds

The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) is a leading independent school in North Leeds. Children from nursery to Year 2 attend Rose Court in Headingley, while Year 3 to Sixth Form share a spacious campus at Alwoodley Gates.


With pupils aged between three and 18, the school can offer continuity through a child’s education, and pupils move to each new learning phase with confidence. Those joining from other schools soon feel at home thanks to the friendly welcoming atmosphere, small tutor groups and buddy system.


In Senior School the teaching operates under the ‘diamond model’, so children learn in single sex classes until GCSEs, while sharing form time and extracurricular activities. This leads to excellent academic achievement for the pupils, as well as personal development and learning that extends beyond the classroom with a wide range of creative, sporting and intellectual activities.


Joe has just taken his GCSEs. He said: “GSAL has really helped me since I joined in Year 7. I was struggling with the quantity of work and reproducing my knowledge in exams. The teachers invested a lot of time in me, which has really shown, I feel they have significantly increased my chance of going to a top university.”



The Mount

The Mount offers a truly outstanding education for girls aged two to 18 years.


Nestled in the heart of York, The Mount’s school bus routes conveniently extend from Wetherby, Tadcaster and further afield.


Renowned for excellence in pastoral care and academic results, The Mount’s genuinely caring ethos creates an atmosphere where girls feel confident enough to take risks academically; feeling safe enough to fail, they are free to explore and extend their boundaries of possibility. It is the UK’s only school to offer in the classroom PeaceJam studies, based on the lives of Nobel Peace Laureates.


A current parent said: “Personally I like everything about The Mount. My daughter always had a sunny disposition but this has magnified 10 times since she moved here. She loves everything about it and even likes getting up in the morning to go there which is amazing for a teenager!”