MHSG is a leading independent girls’ school which offers a seamless education from age 4 to 18. We have a strong sense of community and a vibrant atmosphere, in which happy girls achieve outstanding academic results. Artistic and sporting talents are nurtured, and our diverse range of extra-curricular activities is complemented by superb modern facilities. Girls are well prepared for an independent life and capable of making a positive contribution to society.
Year 10 pupil, Lola, has had her sights set on the Olympics since she started cycling at the age of 6 and she is now one step closer to realising her dream, having been asked to ‘guest’ with British Cycling’s GB Squad.
15th February 2021 — In normal times, the cycle-obsessed teenager competes in track, road and occasionally cyclo-cross, whilst riding her mountain bike just for fun, but having been spotted by British Cycling pre-Covid, she has now been given the opportunity to join GB as one of only five ‘guests’. This means access to apprentice camps (when they are allowed to happen again), support with training from British Cycling coaches and the opportunity to move onto the full apprenticeship programme if she performs.
Lola’s love of cycling began when she was very young, back in Guernsey, where she lived as a young child. She became Channel Islands Champion at the age of 8. Since then, she has gone on to win numerous competitions including Northwest Circuit Champion in 2019 and most recently she became Manchester Track League Women’s Champion. Perhaps one of her proudest moments so far was taking third place on the podium at the Youth Tour of Scotland in 2019 - a major national event where she was one of the youngest competitors.
Sadly, aside from the Manchester Track League (winter event) no races happened in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Keeping motivated to train with no racing has been a huge challenge for the 15 year old, who thrives on the competition and camaraderie at races. She said, “I have really missed the big national races which usually involve travelling to Scotland, London, Wales and the Isle of Man and I also missed out on a trip to Assen for an annual international youth race.” She continued, “I think that I have missed seeing my friends at training most and, of course, beating the boys!”
Training during the pandemic, particularly in this lockdown, has been difficult for Lola as the restriction of only riding from home has meant less variety on routes, riding on roads which are less safe in order to get out to the countryside, and fewer training partners. With the recent wintry weather, this has also meant more time on a turbo or rollers, which can be tedious.
She said, “It has been so different from my usual training schedule which would include sessions with other cyclists from the Northwest either at the velodrome, an outdoor circuit or sessions in the gym.” For now, she must be content to train with her older sister and dad!
Pre-Covid, Lola was attending the Regional School of Racing (run by British Cycling) and it was at the last one of these sessions at the velodrome that she was asked to shift across to the GB Apprentice session to train with them. GB Apprentice is the earliest GB British Cycling programme and covers the last year of youth riding (15-16 years). From here, cyclists may be asked to join the GB Junior Programme and ultimately the Podium Programme, where athletes such as Laura Trott and Jason Kenny trained. In the last twelve months, funding has been cut dramatically for the sport and now only seven girls have been chosen for full GB Apprentices as opposed to twenty in previous years.
For now, ‘guesting’ with GB is enough for Lola, but she hopes to become a full apprentice and ultimately reach her Olympic goal. In the short term, her biggest wish is to train once again with her friends.
Training as an elite athlete is challenging enough in normal circumstances but for Year 11 pupil, Evie Walker, the pandemic has thrown up many new obstacles in her Artistic Swimming training including restrictions to swimming pools!
7th January 2021 — However, the pandemic has not stopped the Manchester High School for Girls pupil overcoming adversity to train and compete as one of Britain’s top Artistic Swimmers in her age group.
In December she represented Great Britain in the International Swimming Federation’s (FINA’s) first ever virtual challenge competition with all continents of the world competing! She was delighted to be placed 7th out of 25 nations in a pioneering competition that premiered on YouTube in late December. The Artistic Swimming Virtual Challenge consisted of a 45 seconds dry land routine that was filmed using an Instagram water effect app, giving the illusion of athletes performing in the water.
Only one representative from each nation was allowed and Evie was chosen to represent GB to compete in the 13-15 female solo category. It is the latest, and one of the most interesting challenges, that Evie has been involved in since she started Artistic Swimming (formerly known as synchronised swimming) at the age of 7.
She gained her first national title in Figures at the age of 12. In 2019 Evie was selected for the England Youth Squad for 13-15 year olds, travelling to Slovakia in August of that year to compete in the first FINA Youth World Championships. On her return, she trialled for the GB Training Squad and became the only swimmer to be simultaneously selected for both the England Youth Squad and the GB Training Squad.
In more normal times, she has a rigorous training programme spending every other weekend, and school holidays, in Bristol or Aldershot training for up to 8 hours a day. Outside of the camps, Evie spends over 20 hours per week in a range of disciplines, half in the pool and the rest on land covering cardio, flexibility, core and strength work. In March 2020, her hard work and dedication to her sport paid off as she became double National Youth Champion, with golds in the Figures and the Solo event.
Lockdown cancelled the remainder of the 2020 domestic and international competition calendar for the 15 year old and training since March has looked very different as well! With the closure of swimming pools for much of the year, she has adapted her schedule to include open water swimming, lots of Zoom squad sessions and even more land based work.
Evie has more than risen to the challenges of 2020. We look forward to hearing more about her achievements in the coming months!
Manchester High girls told 'the world is your oyster' following A-level results
Today’s A-level results (15th August 2019) have proved that for students of Manchester High School for Girls, the world really is at their feet; 91% of all A-level grades secured at the School were A* to B.
15th August 2019 — Today’s A-level results (15th August 2019) have proved that for students of Manchester High School for Girls, the world really is at their feet; 91% of all A-level grades secured at the School were A* to B.
Head Mistress, Mrs Claire Hewitt, commented: “Given the current climate of political and economic uncertainty, an all-consuming digital landscape with unabated images of so-called ‘perfection’ and a gender pay gap that is far from redressed, it would be easy to believe that it’s all doom and gloom for our young women. However, these A-level results show that this group of talented, conscientious and independent girls can, and will, rise to any challenge before them.
“I applaud them for their determination and dedication and want to remind each and every one that the world is now their oyster. We say there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ Manchester High girl and this is reflected not only in the subjects the students chose to study at A-level but in the diversity of the fields they are going to pursue at a higher level. From Computer Science to Classics, History of Art to Aerospace Engineering, Music to Medicine, I am confident Manchester High girls will lead the way.”
On Cloud Nine
Nine students at Manchester’s oldest all-girls’ school secured a string of straight A* grades. Anoushka Mazumdar from Cheadle achieved four A*s in Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics and will be studying Computer Science at the University of Cambridge’s Churchill College. She said: “Cambridge may be renowned for its history but it’s always been at the forefront of innovation. I want to work in artificial intelligence in the future and I’m excited to explore this area more with Cambridge’s subject experts.
“Securing these grades was certainly hard work and I’d like to thank all my teachers at Manchester High, as well as my parents. I’ve felt supported every step of the way and that really has made all the difference.”
Connie Baxendell from Altrincham secured three A*s in Fine Art, English Literature, History and is set to study History of Art at UCL from September. She commented: “I’ve always been a creative person and painting is my number one passion. That said, I am really proud of the analytical skills I have developed during my three A-level subjects, the ability to critic, question and reason, and believe these will stand me in good stead when I make the leap to university.”
To Boldly Go…
As Manchester High’s A-level cohort look towards the future, three students have their sights firmly set on the stars. Sanaa Mughal from Heaton Mersey, Chloe Kadir from Cheadle and India Agravat from Glossop all wish to pursue careers in the space industry.
Sanaa will be studying Earth Science at St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford, India will be pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Nottingham and Chloe will be reading Physics at Imperial College London.
Chloe said: “I can’t believe I secured straight A*s in German, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics and am so excited to start at Imperial. I really hope that at some point during my degree I’ll be able to study under Fay Dowker, Professor of Theoretical Physics. She is a former Manchester High girl too and completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor Stephen Hawking. If there is one person who can help me get to grips with black holes and cosmology it’s her!”
Sanaa and India both agreed that it’s an exciting time for women in space. Sanaa commented: “Tomorrow, NASA will announce more details of the Artemis project which will put the first woman on the moon in the next five years. I’ll be following the progress of the mission very carefully while I’m at Oxford and am encouraged that the space industry values the contribution of female astronauts and scientists just as much as male ones.”
Sixth Form Applications for September
A limited number of places in the Sixth Form at Manchester High School for Girls’ Sixth Form are available for a September 2019 start.
As explained by Mrs Claire Hewitt: “On GCSE results day (22nd August 2019) there will be those students who perform better than they expected in their examinations. Every year at Manchester High we speak with girls who have a fantastic set of GCSE results and want to see what our high performing Sixth Form can offer them.
“We are available on GCSE results day and appointments can be made after that to come in and chat things through. You don’t have to commit to anything, it’s simply about exploring your options.”
For more information visit www.manchesterhigh.co.uk or call 0161 224 0447.
BBC DRAGON RETURNS TO FORMER SCHOOL TO PROMOTE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The star of BBC Dragons’ Den, Jenny Campbell, visited her former school on Tuesday 27th November to promote entrepreneurship amongst young women.
29th November 2018 — The star of BBC Dragons’ Den, Jenny Campbell, visited her former school on Tuesday 27th November to promote entrepreneurship amongst young women. In association with Young Enterprise, pupils from Manchester High School for Girls had the opportunity to pitch business ideas to Jenny and receive expert feedback on their proposals.
Jenny is an ex-career banker turned entrepreneur who sold her business, YourCash Europe, for over £50 million in 2016. After leaving Manchester High School for Girls at the age of 16, Jenny started her career counting cash in a bank branch. She worked her way up to become Operations Director of Hanco, a Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary, and led a management buyout of the company in 2010.
Kerrie Chisnall, who leads Young Enterprise at Manchester High School for Girls, said: “Pitching a business idea to one of the most successful businesswomen in the country was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our girls. The Young Enterprise scheme has been a real hit at Manchester High, partly because the girls see Jenny’s success and start to believe that they could do something similar.”
The two teams were challenged to design, create and market ethical products over the course of the last term. The results were an impressive collection of t-shirts made from bamboo and cruelty-free bath bombs made using natural ingredients. Precious Limen of Team + Aura said: “I was really quite nervous before the session started, but Jenny was very supportive of our ideas. When you have a product that you believe in it can be very difficult to think rationally about how to move forward. Jenny gave us a number of really good ideas about how we could make our marketing more focussed, which we have already started to implement!”
Young Enterprise was founded to help young people to make the connection between school and the world of work. This year-long ‘company programme’ for secondary school students aims to develop employability skills and deliver inspirational enterprise education.
Matthew Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “It’s inspirational for students to have role models such as Jenny Campbell visiting the classroom to provide their insight. Young Enterprise is all about preparing young people to reach their maximum potential in the workplace, and understand the opportunities ahead of them so many thanks to Jenny for spending her time with Young Enterprise students at Manchester High School for Girls.”
Jenny Campbell is a member of Manchester High School for Girls’ active community of alumnae. The School regularly welcomes alumnae back to MHSG to present talks on careers, wellbeing and personal development.
MHSG named The Sunday Times Northwest Independent School of the Year 2019
Manchester High School for Girls (MHSG) has been named as North West Independent Secondary School of the Year by The Sunday Times.
26th November 2018 — Manchester High School for Girls (MHSG) has been named as North West Independent Secondary School of the Year by The Sunday Times.
This award comes at the end of a hugely successful year for Manchester High School for Girls, after topping The Times’ A-level results table for independent schools in the North West. As the school which educated the Pankhurst sisters, MHSG has also played a key role in the centenary celebrations of some women gaining the right to vote.
The School was chosen ahead of over 75 independent secondary schools across the region. Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, the Sunday Times School’s Guide 2019, said: “Manchester High School for Girls has a long tradition of turning out young women who go on to make their mark upon the world.
"They are undoubtedly assisted in this by leaving with some of the best grades that it is possible to find in British schools. High academic standards coupled with a culture that instils in the girls the belief that they can achieve their wildest dreams makes for a compelling combination.
“With the best A-level results of any school in the Northwest this year, Manchester High School for Girls was the standout candidate to be Northwest Independent Secondary School of the Year.”
Head Mistress, Claire Hewitt, said; “I am absolutely thrilled with this recognition from The Sunday Times. This School has always had a pioneering approach and I would like to give thanks to the parents for believing in our vision of education that puts the individual needs and ambitions of girls at the forefront of everything we do. I truly believe the breadth of opportunities offered by MHSG empowers our girls to become confident, independent-minded and forward-thinking young women with exciting futures ahead of them.”
DR PANKHURST JOINS HER FAMILY’S FORMER SCHOOL TO CELEBRATE SUCCESS
On Tuesday 2nd October, Manchester High School for Girls (MHSG) was honoured to welcome Dr Helen Pankhurst as the guest speaker at the school’s annual Celebration and Awards evening at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
8th October 2018 — The event marked the stunning academic achievements of Manchester High pupils, their effort and contribution to life of the school community, and celebrated the centenary year of some women’s right to vote.
Dr Pankhurst is Senior Advisor for humanitarian agency CARE International, based in the UK and Ethiopia. As the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Manchester High School alumna, Sylvia Pankhurst, Dr Pankhurst carries on their legacy. She is a women’s rights activist and recently published the book Deeds, Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.
The theme of the school’s awards ceremony was ‘Representation’, and Dr Pankhurst encouraged girls to explore who they really want to be. She commented: “Rather than thinking about what to do when you grow up, the question really is what kind of characteristics and values represent you; who is the person you want to be?”
During her presentation, Dr Pankhurst urged girls to not let physical appearance define them, regardless of pressures from society and social media regularly faced by women today in this respect. As an alternative, she encouraged the whole audience to think about what the suffragettes represented, and which qualities they might want to attribute to themselves.
Dr Pankhurst concluded: “We are celebrating the centenary of when some women gained the right to vote. Some had to wait another ten years for equal franchise. What do you want to do with the ten years? Please remember, these years are yours, use them to develop yourself, to remember your values, to support each other, and also please remember this school’s individual values and collective influences.”
Mrs Claire Hewitt, Head Mistress of Manchester High School for Girls, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Pankhurst to celebrate our pupils’ stunning academic achievements, the effort and their contribution to life of our school community, and to mark the anniversary of the Representation of the People Act.
“It is clear to see how the theme of ‘Representation’ runs through the very fabric of our school and within our girls who represent MHSG in the most accomplished, dynamic and inspiring ways possible.”
“We are very proud to have educated pioneering women like the Pankhurst sisters who have changed the world. We build confidence and character, qualities that girls need today just as much as when our school was formed, and we are excited about what our current pupils will go on to achieve.”
During the evening, the audience enjoyed performances from Manchester High’s orchestra, wind band and choirs, as well as a spellbinding performance from Mia-Serracino-Inglott, the winner of the school’s prestigious Warburton music competition, which has been running since 1935.