School Life

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Berkhamsted Girls provides a warm and nurturing environment where the girls have the support and encouragement to grow and thrive both academically and personally.

We understand that every student is different and we tailor our teaching to their needs, developing the skills of each individual and encouraging them to be adventurous and innovative learners.

At Berkhamsted Girls we also want to inspire our students to be ambitious with activities both inside and outside the classroom that foster a passion for learning.

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.

Life at Berkhamsted Girls

Explore life at the Berkhamsted family of Schools

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Adventure

We believe that getting outside and experiencing alternative methods of learning is a vital part of an education at Berkhamsted Girls.

We teach the girls to be adventurous and motivated. We do this by developing the girls’, stamina, leadership skills, self-confidence and the ability to think independently through our Adventure programmes.

When our students leave Berkhamsted Girls they will have developed a determination to succeed that sets them apart from others. The personal qualities gained through our Adventure programmes will help shape the girls into the adults they will come.

Boarding

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 at Berkhamsted Girls, 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.

Weekly boarding, available from Year 9 and above, offers four nights (usually Monday to Thursday). Termly boarding is 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.

A day at Berkhamsted Girls

Year 9 pupil – Berkhamsted Girls

“My alarm clock chirps its morning greeting and I stretch. Opening my eyes, I notice my smart black skirt and blouse hanging on my bedroom door and remember that today is the day of the St Cecilia’s Day Concert.

I eat my breakfast, put on my uniform, grab my violin and lacrosse stick and hop into the car. My journey to school is short, but I know some of my friends will already be in school from the morning netball practice.

I walk into my House room, Holme (the best house!) at 8.10am and pack my bag with books for History, English and Art, which are my first lessons this morning. My smart concert clothing hangs nicely on the rail inside my locker, ready for this evening. At 8.20am, my netballer-friends enter the locker room in their Berkhamsted kit and I sit down in the Year 9 area, waiting for them to put their uniform on. At 8.25am, we are all sitting in our comfy blue chairs, handing merit slips in to our tutor. Our Head of House tells us about the day ahead, and gives us information about this evening’s concert, in which a number of us will be performing.

At 9.00, we all head to Art. I love Art! At the moment, we are working with clay and making canopic jars with invented animal head lids! The hour passes quickly, and before I know it, I’m moving with my class to English. We’re getting our essay results back, and I put a lot of effort into mine, so I’m hoping for a good mark! But before that, we analyse ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, which is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Equipped with highlighters and fountain pens, we dissect the passage like literary vultures and soon it is time for our marks. The whole class has earned high scores – hooray!

After a few more fun lessons, the bell rings and we put our bags in our lockers before going to lunch. Today, I have a delicious jacket potato with tuna and a doughnut for pudding. Our lunches are fantastic – I always eat well!

The excitement is starting to build by 2.00pm, as we go back to our lessons, remembering that the concert is only a few hours away. 2.00pm also marks the beginning of our Chemistry lesson, and we neatly write the date in our red exercise books in preparation for a lesson full of chemical formulae and experiments. Our teacher explains the lesson to us and we assemble Bunsen burners and colourful powders ready to burn. They fizzle in a myriad of greens, blues and reds and we carefully record our results in a table.

Break follows, and we have twenty minutes for a drink and preparing our books. Maths at 3.20pm flies by, and at 4.20pm the final bell sounds, those of us performing tonight head back to our lockers to change out of our uniform and into our concert clothing. Shortly afterwards, I’m singing in the Chamber Choir’s final rehearsal, before eating the supper provided by the school (pizza and chips – yum!) and before I know it, I’m sitting next to my friend at the third desk of the first violins in the orchestra, opening the concert. The programme is full of musical delights, from singers to ukuleles, with some great numbers from Big Band. The time speeds by, with a busy evening and an electric atmosphere.

I return home at about 8.30pm, much later than my normal 4.40pm! I have no homework tonight due to the concert and I can go to bed early.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

I fall asleep, ready for whatever tomorrow will bring.”

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.

Berkhamsted Girls is composed of smaller units – Houses – where every student receives pastoral support and academic guidance.

The Houses, which are made up of girls from different year groups, are the centre of girls’ lives. Our Houses provide a sense of belonging, friendship, teamwork and school ‘family’. This all helps to encourage the girls’ self-confidence and happiness.

The Head of House, with help from House Tutors, takes responsibility for each of the girls social and academic development and is the main channel of communication between home and school.

Year 11 pupils have the opportunity to take leadership roles in their Houses, which are also an arena for competition and cooperation. Sport naturally provides many opportunities for the girls to work together in their Houses along with lots of other competitions and fundraising for charities.

Each pupil at Berkhamsted Girls is issued with a Code of Conduct and a copy of the School Rules, which are kept to a minimum and updated regularly. Everyday discipline falls within the remit of staff, supported by the Heads of Houses. Serious breaches are dealt with by the Deputy Heads or Heads in consultation with the Heads of Houses.

Wellbeing

Childhood is 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 Director 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 also Medical Centre at Berkhamsted Girls with fully qualified nurses providing cover at during the school day.

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