Girls’ school heads captivate audience in Washington DC


Helen Jeys from Alderley Edge School for Girls and Claire Hewitt from Manchester High School for Girls joined forces earlier this month to present a talk on health and wellbeing to a global audience in Washington DC.

The duo were invited to present their expertise to over 1,000 educators from 20 countries in six continents by the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) at the Girls’ Global Forum II.

The event was organised by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) and is focused on several key areas: leadership, innovation, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), global citizenship, health and wellness and equity and inclusion.

The event’s key note speakers included Lt Col Lucy Giles, the first woman in a command leadership role at Sandhurst and a mentor for aspiring female leaders, and former world number one tennis player Billie Jean-King.

The team of headteachers, who share a commitment to the very best education for girls, demonstrated their schools’ revolutionary approaches to girls’ health and wellbeing.

Their method involves proactively supporting and challenging girls with ‘character education’ in all aspects of school life – including academic as well as pastoral – rather than the traditional reactive approach.

While much is made of the importance of ‘character education’ in schools today, implementing this on a daily basis can be a challenge and there is no doubting its importance if girls are to flourish into confident young women.

Helen Jeys, head at Alderley Edge School for Girls enthused: “I passionately believe in girls’ education and building resilience, self-esteem and self-confidence.

“The forum was a fantastic opportunity for leading educators across the world to come together, share knowledge and develop relationships.”

She added: “Alderley Edge School for Girls adopts a holistic approach rather than trying to teach character in isolation and we want our girls to understand that there are no limits – and that they have the opportunity to dream and to aspire.”

Claire Hewitt, head at Manchester High School for Girls added: “The wellbeing lessons and associated activities we have introduced at Manchester High continue to help our girls build confidence and character, giving them the invaluable tools to flourish in all aspects of their lives.

“We recognise that many schools may be implementing similar activities, however, it is the way in which we combine the range of well-being activities into a coherent programme that has a real impact on our pupils’ development.”

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