15th August 2019 — 91% of students achieved A*–B grades and 67% achieved A*–A. A third of the year group have gained places to study a variety of STEM courses at university, including a dozen who are joining medicine or veterinary medicine courses.
Headmistress Mrs Rebecca Dougall greeted results day with pride and delight, offering congratulations to all students. She said: “Sixth Form at St Helen’s is a particularly special time – we are preparing students for their futures as well as nurturing their last days at school. We are incredibly proud of the way this year’s leavers have risen to the challenges of their A-levels. Not only have they achieved fantastic academic results but their growth as bright, compassionate and ambitious young women has been a joy to follow.”
Stella Johnson is one of the many students with a full house of A*s and has secured her place to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. She is very excited to be joining the college Charles Darwin attended, Christs College. Her parents were delighted and said: “St Helen and St Katharine has been the perfect school for Stella with its academic approach. The School encourages maths and science and Stella has benefitted from the amazing labs in the new Science Centre which opened while she was studying for her GCSEs. But it’s not only the teaching that has been exceptional – the extracurricular activities have offered so many opportunities. Stella has particularly enjoyed being involved in music, including playing the drums in lots of performances and shows.”
Twins Phoebe and Rebecca Teh have also combined their academic studies with extracurricular enjoyment as accomplished gymnasts. Phoebe is now off to study Physiotherapy in Nottingham and after a gap year Rebecca will be heading to Lancaster to study Natural Sciences. Their parents were very proud of their daughters: “We’re very happy today and would like to thank the fantastic teaching team at St Helen’s.” She added: “One of the very special things about the School has been to see the girls’ support of each other.”
Mrs Dougall believes firmly in showing students that no boundaries should exist for them in what they want to do. “Young women excelling in sciences, medicine, maths, computing and engineering is a staple of life at St Helen’s and we are very proud to be sending them into the world ready and eager to make their mark on the world of STEM.”
St Helen’s has a great strength in the number of students who go on to study STEM subjects at university. Building on this, the School is launching four new subject-specific bursaries for entry in September 2020 for girls currently in a state funded school looking to study A-level Chemistry, Mathematics/Physics, Economics or Computer Science. Covering 100% of fees as well school bus transport and curriculum-related activities, these bursaries offer an opportunity to encourage a diverse group of girls to pursue STEM careers.
The School’s plans for a new Sixth Form Centre will also bring huge benefit to future students. The vision for the new building is to give a foretaste of university-style learning and social spaces, providing new classrooms, a lecture/performance space, a café and study areas.
With the elation of results over, students now head off to celebrate in a myriad of different ways. Three students, Emma, Alek and Dulcie, are particularly excited as they head to the bright lights of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where they will be performing in a production written by two St Helen’s Old Girls.