Manchester High School For Girls
Manchester, United Kingdom
About Manchester High School For Girls
Manchester High School for Girls is one of the leading independent girls' day schools in the country. It is a selective, academic school and last summer’s public examination results at both Advanced and GCSE level were excellent, placing the School amongst the top schools nationally.
For 144 years, Manchester High School for Girls has taken pride in giving girls an academic education of the highest quality. Founded in 1874, the School has made a pioneering contribution to the development of women’s education. All three of Mrs Pankhurst’s daughters were educated here.
The School is a non-denominational, independent day school, which has charitable status. It is also a member of the Girls’ Schools Association and of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools.
When originally founded the School's purpose was “To impart to the girls the very best education which can be given and to fit them for any future which may be before them”. Today, the school maintains these guiding principles by encouraging each individual pupil to achieve educational excellence over a broad range of subjects and to develop an awareness of her own value and a sense of responsibility towards others.
The School aims to:-
• Develop an understanding of the value of education as an end in itself and to instil a love of excellence and culture.
• Encourage the achievement of the highest academic standards and individual potential.
• Provide a broad and varied range of subjects and activities offering each girl the opportunity to develop her talents within a single sex school.
• Educate the whole person so that girls leave school with a sense of self-worth, self-discipline, and an ability to contribute with confidence in an increasingly competitive and technological world.
• Draw on the School’s social, cultural and religious mix of pupils, to enable girls to live and grow in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
• Encourage qualities of caring, kindness, honesty and loyalty and to foster high moral standards.
Since 1893, the School has provided means tested financial support for a significant number of girls. Currently, approximately 10% of girls in the Senior School are in receipt of some form of financial assistance. Admission to the Senior School is by examination and interview. Entry to the Preparatory Department is from the age of 4 and sometimes occasional vacancies are available for entry at other ages. Admission is selective by means of an assessment for infants and an entrance examination in Mathematics and English for the juniors.
The Senior School caters for girls from 11 to 18 and the Preparatory Department provides for girls from four to 11. Most girls in the Preparatory Department progress into the Senior School. Currently there are 263 girls in the Preparatory Department and 676 in the Senior School, including 182 in the Sixth Form
The Curriculum and Timetable
All girls follow an extensive, strongly academic programme of study, culminating in outstanding examination results at GCSE and A Level. In 2017, at GCSE, 85.3% of all grades were A or A* and the pass rate was 99.4%. At A level, the subject entry pass rate was 100% and 87.2% of all grades were A*, A or B.
The School offers a wide choice of subjects at 'A' level and GCSE, with over 20 subjects offered at each level. Girls take the equivalent of 9 or 10 GCSEs and, currently in the Senior Sixth 3 or 4 A level subjects. Almost all leave to pursue a degree at a university of their choice and, each year, many gain admission to Oxford or Cambridge.
Pastoral Support, Care and Guidance
The roles of the Form Tutor and Heads of Year are pivotal in student support, and the work of the pastoral team is greatly enhanced by the School Nurses and the School Counsellor. Other key staff include the Director of Sixth Form Studies, a Learning Support Co-ordinator, Well Being Co-ordinator and Head of Careers. Administrative support for the work of the Deputy Head (Pastoral Care) and the Heads of Year is provided by the Pastoral Secretaries.
There is a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, which are well supported by girls and teachers. Many take place at lunchtime but, in addition, there are numerous trips which offer the opportunity for students to develop and follow their interests and talents in music, drama, sport and academic areas.
In the last ten years, an ambitious refurbishment and development schedule has seen the classrooms, laboratories and specialist subject accommodation transformed. Modernisation of the dining room and kitchens, library, main hall, lavatories, three ICT suites, two language laboratories and greatly improved work facilities for staff have completed the upgrades. The school facilities include an impressive Sports Complex with fitness suite and climbing wall to augment the existing swimming pool, Astroturf pitch and a dance studio. A free membership scheme for staff to the Fitness Suite is available. The Preparatory Department have benefited from four additional classrooms since 2012, and a state of the art Sixth Form Centre was completed in 2014.
The Preparatory Department
The Preparatory Department has an excellent academic record and enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a caring school in which each girl is valued as an individual. The girls are educated to the highest standard by experienced, caring and committed staff; the department provides a broad, academic yet forward-looking curriculum, as well as exciting opportunities for extra-curricular activities.
It offers a friendly, happy and secure environment in which the qualities of kindness, respect, loyalty, self-discipline and self-worth are encouraged and developed. Each girl is helped to develop her self-confidence, her special talents and her academic potential.
The philosophy of both the Preparatory Department and the Senior School is that happy girls will achieve their potential. The level of pastoral care provided for the girls is, therefore, extremely high and includes 2 part time nurses (based in the Senior School, assisted by a doctor who visits one day each week), the Playground Friends and Big School Sister schemes, and specialist before and after school care.
The Preparatory Department is housed in its own accommodation which is attached to the Senior School. There are two libraries and two halls, serving the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. A computing suite, sets of laptops and iPads are available for all classes. The Preparatory Department shares with the Senior School the use of the sport facilities. There are separate play areas for both Key Stages, with an additional, attractive outdoor learning space specifically designed for the youngest children in the EYFS classes.
Inspection and Future Plans
The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) conducted a regulatory compliance inspection of Manchester High School for Girls in September 2016 and the School was found to be fully compliant with all of the regulatory requirements.
The School’s strategic planning cycle continues and work has begun on a new 2012-2017 -2022 strategic plan. The school is continuing to work to maintain a culture of continuous improvement in which learning is pre-eminent, which is professional and efficient and which is keen to undertake change in pursuit of genuine quality.
All full-time permanent members of staff are entitled to a 50% discount on school fees for their daughters and there is also a generous staff training budget with all staff encouraged to continue their professional development. A number of INSET courses are available throughout the school year. We offer an Employee Assistant Programme for staff and some immediate family members living in the same household along with a number of free well being activities and free membership scheme to the Fitness Suite. A separate staff dining room is available with an extensive and reasonably-priced choice of food and waitress service during lunchtime serving subsidised meals to all staff. Light refreshments are provided at break, lunchtime and after school including for colleagues who remain in school for evening events.
The best thing about MHSG is the wonderful girls, staff and facilities - all are the best they can be. It is a joy to teach the girls at MHSG.- Teacher
The best thing about MHSG is that staff go far beyond just teaching and are always willing to offer extra support both academically and pastorally to enable all girls to reach their full potential.- Student
[Teaching is] outstanding, and fulfils the School’s aim to develop a love of excellence and encourage the achievement of the highest academic standards and individual potential.- Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)