Harrogate Ladies College: Open day and taster day for prospective pupils and parents for 2024 intake
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Harrogate Ladies’ College is a finalist in the Independent School of the Year 2023 Awards in the Outstanding New Initiative category.
The school launched WiSE@HLC (Women in Science and Engineering @Harrogate Ladies’ College), which is a bespoke programme to encourage pupils to embrace Science opportunities, develop critical thinking in Science and Technology and rewards self-motivation in Science subjects, last year.
Principal of the school, Sylvia Brett, is on a personal mission to encourage more girls to opt for Science subjects in their GCSEs, A Levels and university courses.
For over 130 years the school has been educating girls and has produced more than its fair share of scientists, engineers and physicists. But it is the women of tomorrow that the school is focussing on.
“There are still a shocking lack of female engineers, scientists and CEOs of Scientific FTSE 100 companies, and we wanted to create a programme that would help to address this. If we want to make a real change in this area, we need to start while pupils are still at school and making decisions about subjects. We want to empower the next generation of women to be themselves, be authentic and not to be restricted by gender.
“This concept allows pupils to take opportunities to showcase their appreciation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects which we hope will inspire others.”
The project helps support and empower women, and becoming a finalist in the awards demonstrates the schools relevance to today’s industry needs and girls’ aspirations.
The school, which has day pupils, full-time boarders and flexi boarding, devised the scheme to encourage girls to engage in activities around science and maths, by accrediting them with points if they take part in extra-curricular science-based activities for example.
Sixth form students are encouraged to become ambassadors for WiSE- teaching younger pupils in the school’s sister Prep school, Highfield.
It’s important that pupils see the relevance of science in the everyday world, Sylvia said.
One such example is the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Day which brings in local forensic experts to work with pupils to track down the killer in a mock murder investigation
She said it was encouraging to see the number of pupils engaged in STEM related activities, trips and lectures had increased and said recent leavers had gone on to study a wealth of Science related subjects such as Astro Physics, Chemical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and even take up an apprenticeship in Formula One Motor Racing.
The school beat dozens of other independent school around the country to win a place in the national finals which take place in London in October.
Wellness and education
Girls educated in a single sex school are more likely to study maths and physics A levels than in a co-ed school, but whilst the WiSE programme does much to encourage that, Harrogate Ladies’ College is committed to developing girls whatever their interests – and looking after their health and wellbeing is a huge part of that.
The school has set up a health and wellbeing programme – called Flourish – which has done just that, and flourished into something which is now embedded firmly into the school’s ethos.
It includes a wellbeing app for all pupils, encouragement for students to regularly record how they are feeling, education on how to recognise just having a down day or something more serious and giving coping strategies to support that.
Sylvia explained: “The underlying philosophy is we want our pupils to be happy and well-adjusted because happy and well-adjusted pupils will perform better academically.”
Find out more
Harrogate Ladies’ College is open to day pupils and boarders. As a boarding school it is open longer than most and some day pupils can find themselves having breakfast right through to supper with their fellow boarders if they wish. Flexible boarding is also an option, whereby pupils may stay at school during the week, or even just the odd night.
And to find out more about the benefits of attending an all-girls’ school click here.