School Life

scroll down

Our aim is to try to ensure that every pupil leaves Berkhamsted Girls with good qualifications and a range of additional achievements and skills, but also with fond memories that will last a life-time. School will always provide plenty of academic challenge, but just as important to us is that the girls enjoy their time with us. It is the moments of fun and excitement which will make ordinary days extraordinary!

Every student is different and just as we tailor our academic teaching to the individual needs of your daughter, we understand that providing a nurturing and supportive environment provides the foundations to help them to thrive and develop as confident, proactive young women. Our School values to Aim High with Integrity, Be Adventurous and Serve other are embedded within school life and we expect our pupils to live by these.

We want to make sure that your daughter has access to the best opportunities and that she leaves Berkhamsted Girls with exceptional resilience and a sense of compassion which becomes instinctive.

Wellbeing

The teenage years are a critical period for developing skills for leading a healthy life. We want all our pupils to be happy and healthy at Berkhamsted Girls. The link between health and wellbeing and positive academic performance has been well researched. Mentally healthy students are more likely to be able to concentrate and be receptive to learning.

We have a dedicated Deputy Head of Pupil Wellbeing who leads our Wellbeing Team of chaplaincy staff, nurses, counsellors and coaches. This helps to keep our pupils well, looks out for early signs of potential problems and supports those who have any pastoral difficulties.

A team of qualified counsellors is available to all pupils for confidential counselling six days a week. The school also has a full-time residential Chaplain and an Assistant Chaplain.

There is a Medical Centre at Berkhamsted Girls with fully qualified nurses providing cover during the school day.

The wellbeing of our pupils at Berkhamsted is a core part of many programmes of study and ways of working including curriculum PSHE, Chapel services and AS Tracking. Helping them to understand how to make informed and good choices is a key part of us helping them to navigate the path through the teenage years.

Pastoral Care

At Berkhamsted Girls, our aim is to maintain good discipline within a relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere and to encourage the development of responsibility and self-discipline.

We recognise that intellectual development and strong pastoral care go hand in hand, so the wellbeing of all pupils is very important to us. The pastoral care afforded by our House system is delivered by our Heads of House, House tutors and a wellbeing team comprising of counsellors, nurses and the Chaplaincy. A key facet of our pastoral system is establishing and fostering strong school parent relationships to support the girls’ development, so regular meetings, parent presentations, consultations and focus groups are all woven into the rhythms of the school year.

Our School values to Aim High with Integrity, Be Adventurous and Serve others are embedded within school life and we expect our pupils to live by theseWe work to educate them away from behaviours which will not serve them well by a combination of coaching, restorative justice, teaching and sanctions.

Each House has a Head of House, who has the primary responsibility for the academic and pastoral support and progress of each student in their House.

Alongside the House tutors, the Head of House takes responsibility for the social and academic development of each pupil. They are the main channel of communication between the student’s school and home life.

Our Houses also provide an environment for cooperation and competition, with Inter-House competitions, music, quizzes, debating and sport. Students also regularly fundraise for charity within their House.

Community Service

We are a community that understands the importance of serving others. This is emphasised in our School Values. We celebrate and encourage our students as volunteers who make a difference within the local community, and inside our school.

Last year, our Senior School students undertook over 5,000 hours of voluntary work. Charity fundraising is at the centre of many House initiatives.

Berkhamsted staff and pupils raised over £50,000 in just one year for local, national and international charitable causes.

We want our students to go on and do well, but also go on and do good. One of our aims for our Berkhamstedians is to leave school with a sense of moral purpose and compassion.

Chaplaincy

When our School was founded in 1541, its Christian foundation was a large part of school life and remains integral to our tradition today. We retain the commitment to nurturing the faith and spirituality of our students.

Our two full-time chaplaincy staff provide pastoral care to our students. We offer students many opportunities for spiritual support from the chaplaincy staff and from their student peers – from Christian Unions and lunch-time drop-in clubs to the chance to take Confirmation classes if they wish.

There is also a chapel service which all Berkhamsted students attend every week and which addresses a variety of issues and topics. These services are accessible to all students, whether they have another faith or none at all.

There are special services open to all the school community for Christmas and Easter and a memorial service on Remembrance Day.

At Berkhamsted we believe that spiritual development and social action are crucial to our students’ personal development. This pastoral support encourages our students to grow into well-rounded individuals with a strong sense of community who serve others with compassion.

We always encourage our students to stimulate debate and raise questions, which in turn allows them to reflect and contributes to their spiritual development.

The Parent Partnership

Our students’ happiness and wellbeing is reliant on a strong partnership between our students, teachers and parents.

In today’s fast-changing world, issues that students may encounter surrounding new technology and social media, can shift.

At Berkhamsted we are able to offer a Parent Talks and Courses programme. This programme strengthens the communication between home and school. It also provides you with additional opportunity to discuss the issues facing young people in today’s world with our staff members – issues which can occur in school or at home.

Strong lines of communication between home and school will enable our students to feel wholly supported through any challenges or disappointments they may face through their school years, and this care, guidance and support allows them to grow into resilient, independent and confident young adults.

Our Facilities

Berkhamsted Girls is located on our Kings Campus, with students enjoying access to superb facilities across all schools within the Berkhamsted Schools Group, especially those on Castle campus.

Pupils at Berkhamsted Girls benefit from modern dining facilities, a library, a chapel, science labs, art and design technology, drama and music facilities, plus access to extensive sporting facilities.

Kings Campus is the site of our well-equipped 500-seat Centenary Theatre, which hosts professional music and drama productions throughout the school year.

The Knox-Johnston Sports Centre on Kings Campus has a 25m heated swimming pool, sports hall and fitness suite.

Pupils at Berkhamsted Girls also have access to extensive playing fields covering over 40 acres, a 3G floodlit astroturf Lacrosse pitch, an athletics track, all-weather tennis courts, Eton Fives courts, two fitness rooms and a well-equipped strength and conditioning suite.

The Nash-Harris Building features modern classrooms and laboratories, a spacious dining hall and a second floor ‘floating’ chapel with a stained glass window that forms the focal point.

Castle Campus, where the Boys are based, is the site of our historic Old Hall, the first building of Berkhamsted School which was completed in 1544. The School Chapel on Castle is late nineteenth century and Deans’ Hall early twentieth century.

Boarding – flexi, weekly and termly options available

The accommodation at Berkhamsted Girls at our girls’ boarding house, St John’s, is of an extremely high standard. All bedrooms are en-suite.

Even if your daughter isn’t boarding, she can be collected from St John’s boarding house until 8pm. She will receive a boarder’s supper and supervised prep.

Flexible boarding is also available which is charged at a nightly fee. Our flexible boarding can be used as a regular booking throughout the term, on an ad hoc basis or even at short notice.

Both weekly and termly boarding offers four nights (usually Monday to Thursday) and are available from Year 9 and above.

We are always happy to arrange a visit to St John’s boarding house if you are interested in boarding for your daughter at Berkhamsted Girls.

Learn more

My Journey

Eloise had limited opportunities to play sport while she was living in France until the age of 13.  She joined Berkhamsted in Year 9 and tried Lacrosse for the first time. By the time she was in Year 13 she was co-captaining the 2nd XII.

Watch the video 

Life at Berkhamsted Schools Group in our news articles

We often share the exceptional achievements of our pupils, staff, alumni and events in our news feed, helping to provide an insight into life at our Schools.  Find out more in the latest articles displayed below.  To stay up-to-date with all School news on a regular basis please follow us on our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages.

@berkhamstedschools

See more