A touch of kindness, a smidgen of curiosity, a dollop of respect, a sprinkle of inspiration and a dusting of forgiveness: the recipe for success at one north London school.
A happy, healthy environment and an academically challenging curriculum combine at St Anthony’s School for Girls. Located at Ivy House, adjacent to Golders Hill Park, the school is a short bus ride from its sister school, St Anthony’s Boys in Hampstead. Recently buoyed by an outstanding set of 11+ results, it celebrated its first year 6 class receiving offers from some of the best academic north London schools: including Highgate, Channing, South Hampstead High, Haberdasher’s School for Girls, Francis Holland Girls, City of London, North London Collegiate and Mill Hill, and further afield Queenswood, Wycombe Abbey and St Swithun’s.
The school attributes its success to committed pupils, ambitious teachers and supportive parents, all of whom embrace the recipe for success which has been established at the school. A recipe that imbues pupils with a sense of mutual respect, an awareness of self and a determination to excel in all areas.
A touch of kindness never goes amiss at St Anthony’s, where it is seen as fundamental to a happy school experience. Adults model and engage in mutually respectful exchanges, which the children in turn role-play as best practice in their relationships. It is not unusual to observe a year 6 girl taking time out from her friends at playtime to sit with a year 1 girl who is in need
of some quiet solace.
The girls at St Anthony’s are curious: asking big questions at Talk Time assemblies leads to robust discussions on the eternal questions. Discussions on what it means to be thoughtful, why is it difficult to share and why leaves fall from the trees are the norm. In this environment of curiosity, the girls grow in courage and confidence and can verbalise complex thoughts and feelings.
Respect is witnessed at St Anthony’s in many ways, built upon the children developing a confident respect for themselves as unique, valuable individuals. All adults – from parents and teachers, to bus drivers and the chef who prepares lunch – are valued as equals in the eyes of the girls. In this way a sense of community is strengthened. And, of course, being respectful of their world and the need to be guardians for future generations, ensures that the girls are quick to respond to global and community causes: from launching an appeal to raise money for the koala bears who lost their precious habitats during last year’s devastating Australian fires, to rallying a team of litter pickers to remove the casually dropped litter from the streets surrounding St Anthony’s.
Being inspired to embrace new challenges is at the heart of the school’s teaching. Enriching activities from forest school, to specialist music and drama, and Mandarin and French, to rhythmic gymnastics, ballet and sports are interwoven into the timetable, allowing the girls to develop their imaginations. From creative teaching comes a perfect blend of original and individualised responses. The clubs schedule further embeds this, with girls choosing from languages, yoga, Magic Maths, Environmental Club, debating, philosophy, Minnie Vinnies, Robotics Gymnastics, Irish dancing, football, karate and mindfulness.
St Anthony’s Girls take responsibility for their actions, accepting praise, being willing to give compliments to others and understanding that at times, saying sorry is important. Sincerity and fairness matter hugely to the girls, allowing for happy confident relationships to develop at the school.
This recipe for success makes St Anthony’s a very special place. All of the girls are given time to prove and gradually rise. For all at the school, the icing on the cake is to see the senior girls depart, ripe and ready for secondary school, with the ingredients for a happy and successful life securely placed in their backpacks.
St Anthony’s invites you to visit and witness a school where girls are educated, enriched and empowered. Personalised tours with the Headteacher and Deputy Head are available daily. Call Maggie Vaughan on 020 3869 3070 (stanthonysgirls.co.uk)