We say to our girls ‘who do you want to be?’ and help them craft their school experience appropriately.
This means that as well as focusing on academic achievement, they are able to – and indeed encouraged – to pursue extra-curricular avenues so that their time at school culminates in much more than a string of excellent examination grades. The soft skills that employers are seeking, for example resourcefulness, the ability to problem-solve and to negotiate as a member of a team, are honed through a collaborative environment of working and ‘playing’ together. Girls find their individual strengths, nurture their talents, and create teams where their skills are complemented and balanced. This gives them not only self-confidence but also self-awareness about what they are good at and what they enjoy. Girls leave Malvern St James with the right mind set to embrace challenge and to forge rewarding and fulfilling careers. Importantly they are also fully prepared to step up to the plate to leadership opportunities.
In many ways, we don’t fit the typical perception of a traditional girls’ school, as along with our heritage (of which we are very proud) we look to the future with a bold and innovative vision of what education is. We encourage our girls to be creative, to be problem solvers, to see the opportunity in being challenged. Education is not just about the here and now for us; not just about securing the best grades and university places; but about securing the best jobs and the best prospects for girls when they reach the end of their formal educational journey. The School rightly enjoys a reputation for being entrepreneurial in its outlook, and encouraging the same in its girls.
Quirks and curiosities abound. The fact that we have all of our girls – from 4 year olds through to Sixth Formers – on one site, is in itself very unusual. It promotes and reflects the ‘home from home’ philosophy of the School by creating a strong sense of community and joint endeavour. The size of the School (455) ensures we are big enough to accommodate and stretch each girl’s interests and talents, whilst small enough to feel personal and inclusive. As well as Houses, girls are aligned to ‘Ships’ which encompass all age ranges, and they take part in Ship challenges and competitions; as well as enjoying whole School Assemblies, dining and Expressive Arts productions, all giving our girls a real sense of belonging.