St Helen's School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

St Helen's School
Eastbury Road


TypeIndependent day school
Motto"In hoc vincite velut illi crescite"
"Conquer by the cross and grow like the daisies"
(Literal: "In this [cross] we conquer and in these [daisies] grow.")
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderMay Roland Brown
Local authorityHillingdon
Department for Education URN102453 Tables
HeadmistressDr Mary Short
Age3 to 18
HousesScott, Shackleton, Bruce, Bonnington

St. Helen's School, founded in 1899, is an independent day school in Northwood, North West London England for girls aged three to eighteen. It is associated with the Merchant Taylors' Company and works in close collaboration with Merchant Taylors' School in a range of areas.


St Helen's School was founded by Miss May Rowland Brown in 1899. Having been trained as a teacher at Cambridge Training College for Women, she began to teach at Northwood College, a school which, at the time, refused to take in any students that were connected with trade. Whilst still at Northwood College, a group of local businessmen persuaded her to start another school, and at the age of 25, in January 1899, she founded Northwood High School, later named St Helen's School.


St Helen's school occupies a twenty-two acre greenfield site. The Senior school, Junior School and Little Saints occupy separate buildings within the site with their own specialised facilities for their students. The swimming pool is an important facility as many people come for lessons and tutoring after school hours or in the holidays. A new Junior School building opened in September 2016.

The Science Block, containing fourteen laboratories, supports all scientific disciplines. The June-Leader building consists of three Art rooms, three Design and Technology Labs as well as an equipped Drama Studio. The school has recently installed a Virtuoso Language Laboratory in addition to the old one. The Music Block, "Fitzwalter" or "Fitz", possesses sixteen practice rooms, where the school offers lessons for most musical instruments. The Sutherland library, run by a chartered librarian, holds a vast number of books, periodicals, newspapers and computing facilities.

St Helen's School possesses grounds for many sporting activities. With seven tennis courts, two lacrosse pitches, Dance Studio, swimming pool, gymnasium and fitness suite, the school has been able to offer an intensive physical education curriculum.

Sports Complex[edit]

In July 2004, phase I of the sports complex was completed and was opened by Steve Parry, Olympic Bronze Medalist. It consists of a 25m swimming pool and a "State of the Art" fitness suite. Phase II was finished in summer 2006. This includes the multi gym, dance studio, treatment rooms and observation areas. In 2005, the new swimming pool was used by the female celebrity competitors from The Games television programme for training.

In December 2006, the final phase II of the sports complex was also completed and was opened by Olympic Silver Medalist, Roger Black. A more recent development includes The Centre, which was opened in 2014 and provides space for Drama, Music and Gymnastics as well as a recording studio.

House system[edit]

The house system was established in 1927 with three houses named Scott, Shackleton and Bruce. Two of the houses were named after Antarctic explorers – Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, with Bruce named after the Himalayan explorer Brig. Gen. Charles Bruce. A fourth house, Bonington, also named after a Himalayan explorer, has since been added.

Each year the House Cup is awarded to the house with the most points, which can be earned through commendations, Sports Day, House Arts and other achievements.

House Name Origin Motto House Colour
Scott Sir Robert Falcon Scott "Ready Aye Ready" Red
Shackleton Sir Ernest Shackleton "Endurance" Blue
Bruce Brig. Gen. Charles Bruce "Altiora Peto" Purple
Bonington Sir Chris Bonington "Laboramus Ut Vincamus" Yellow

Junior School House System[edit]

In 1999, to mark the centenary, Junior School adopted a new house system consisting of 3 houses. The Houses, nominated by the Junior School students, were named after pioneering women in history. Later in 2012 the fourth house was added, named after the American female pilot Amelia Earhart.[1]

House Name Origin House Colour
Curie Marie Curie Orange
Keller Helen Keller Turquoise
Nightingale Florence Nightingale Magenta
Earhart Amelia Earhart Purple


Pupils in Middle School (Years 7–9) follow a broader version of the National Curriculum.[2] Upper School pupils (Years 10–11) take English Language and Literature, Mathematics, the Sciences, and at least one Modern Foreign Language and one Humanity course. Students take both GCSE and IGCSE courses, with core subjects studied at IGCSE.[3] Sixth Formers sit A Levels.[4]

St Helen's has regularly performed well in GCSE and A Levels examination league tables.[5][6] In 2009 candidates achieved a 100% pass rate, all A*-C grades.[7] In 2010 they achieved a 99% pass rate with 96% receiving all A*-B grades.[8] In 2015, the school achieved some of its best results to date with 53% of entries graded A* and 84% graded A*-A.[9] The pass rate was 99%.[10]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Notable former pupils of the school, known as "Old Girls", include:

Arts and entertainment


Journalism and media




  1. ^ Junior School – The Community
  2. ^ Curriculum – Middle School
  3. ^ Curriculum – Upper School
  4. ^ Sixth Form
  5. ^ "Borough schools' results soar in new exam league tables". Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. 22 November 2011.
  6. ^ "GCSE results produce smiles all around". Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. 23 August 2007.
  7. ^ "St Helen's girls celebrate near perfect GCSE haul". Uxbridge Gazette. 27 August 2009.
  8. ^ "Year 11 pupils at St Helen's School in Northwood achieve excellent GCSEs". Uxbridge Gazette. 24 August 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Christopher Andreae (2013). Joan Eardley. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-1-84822-114-7.
  12. ^ Oliver, Cordelia (2004). "Eardley, Joan Kathleen Harding". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40309. Retrieved 22 April 2018. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  13. ^ Butler, Sarah (25 October 2016). "John Lewis appoints Paula Nickolds as first female managing director". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 December 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°37′N 0°25′W / 51.617°N 0.417°W / 51.617; -0.417