St James Senior Girls’ School
圣詹姆斯女中, Earsby Street,
London W14 8SH,
Tel: 020 7348 1777. Fax: 020 7348 1717
• GIRLS, 10–18, Day
• Pupils 239, Upper sixth 16
• Termly fees £2700–£2820
• GSA, SHA
• Enquires/application to the Admissions Secretary
WHAT IT’S LIKE
Founded in 1975 by Leon MacLaren, (who also founded the School of Economic
Science which teaches philosophy and economics), it is one of the St James
Schools. These cater for children from 4 to 18, teaching boys and girls
separately. The school shares its site in Olympia with both the boys’ and girls’
junior schools (the boys’ senior school is at Twickenham). It has modernised
buildings with fine modern facilities. Although based on Christianity, with its
own school chaplain, the school does not have a spiritual or religious doctrine
of its own but introduces pupils to a variety of spiritual sources from east and
west. Meditation, while not compulsory, is practised by girls at the beginning
and end of the school day and, unusually, each lesson starts with two minutes
silence. Almost all of the academic curriculum and the extra-curricular
activities are mainstream and, for a school of this size, a good range of
options is offered. Music, art, sport, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and
community service are also offered with good standards and some success.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 10–18, 239 day girls.
Entrance: Main entry ages 10, 11, 16. Own exam for new entrants at 11;
for sixth-form entry, 5 good GCSEs (grade B in sixth-form subjects). No special
skills or religious requirements. 20% of pupils from state schools; 50% from own
junior school (telephone 020 7348 1777).
Scholarships, bursaries & extras 20 bursaries awarded each year.
Parents expected to buy sixth-form textbooks. Average extras £40.
60+% live within 30 miles; up to 10% overseas.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Laura A Hyde, appointed in 1995. Educated at Heriots
Wood County Grammar School, Queen’s College London, Battersea college of
Education and Roehampton (English & psychology). Previously Assistant
Headmistress at the school and taught at the Junior School and at Holy Trinity C
of E Primary School, Streatham. Also ISI Inspector and on ISC Community Service
Teaching staff: 25 full time, 18 part time. Annual turnover 10%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 28 pupils in fifth, of whom 82% gain at least grade C in
8+ subjects, 14% in 5–7 subjects. Average GCSE score 63 (62 over 5 years).
A-levels: 23 in upper sixth: on average, 14% pass in 4+ subjects, 69% in
3, 14% in 2 subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers
University & college entrance 95% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (30% after a gap year), 15% to Oxbridge. 5% took courses in
medicine, dentistry & veterinary science, 10% in science & engineering, 10% in
law, 40% in humanities & social sciences, 10% in art & design, 20% other
vocational courses (eg optometry, teaching, nursing, pharmaceutical studies), 5%
in other subjects. Remainder typically go into art foundation courses.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 17 GCSE subjects, 19 AS/A-level
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (usually one
contrasting), 3 at A-level; general studies not taken. 22% take science
A-levels; 43% arts/humanities; 35% both.
Vocational: Work experience available.
Special provision: English and SEN departments (as appropriate) advise on
teaching methods for specific pupils; school has SEN and EAL policies.
Languages: French compulsory from age 10, Latin from 11, Sanskrit only
for pupils from own junior, also Greek by selection; all offered to GCSE, AS and
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1–2 lessons/week Years 7–9) and
across the curriculum. 35 computers for pupil use (4 hours a day) all networked
and with internet access (no e-mail); laptops can be used in several locations.
GCSE and AS-level offered.
Music: 50+% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can
be taken. Some 7 musical groups including flute choirs, wind ensemble, string
quartet, orchestras. Some pupils in National Children’s Orchestra and Rodolphus
Drama & dance: Both offered. Guildhall exams may be taken. All pupils in
year group productions. Recent productions of Twelfth Night, As You Like It.
Art & design: On average, 10 take GCSE, 5 AS-level, 4 A-level. Recent
winners in ISA North London sculpture and painting.
Sport & activities
Sport: Compulsory sports lacrosse, athletics, rounders, gymnastics.
Optional: tennis, yoga, aerobics. Regular county and lacrosse players; county
champions U12, small schools champions.
Activities: Pupils take bronze and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Community service optional (work with local primary school children, termly
lunch club for pensioners, concerts in local nursing home); delegates to
National Community Service Conference. Approx 15 clubs, eg classical, film,
drama, judo, book club, outward bound, gym, science, dressmaking, orchestras,
Uniform: School uniform worn, except in sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head girl, heads of
houses and house prefects – appointed by the Headmistress and Head of Sixth
Religion: Compulsory attendance at religious worship.
Social: Joint musical productions, with brother school; ESU debating.
Cultural trips to France, Greece, Italy; sports tours (eg lacrosse to US,
Canada), ski trip to Europe. Pupils allowed to bring own bike to school. Meals
formal. No tobacco or alcohol allowed.
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once would be given
another opportunity to present the work; detention on a subsequent occasion.
Supply, possession or use of illegal drugs, on or off the premises, may result
in expulsion or removal from the school. Aim is to encourage the development of
disciplined and refined behaviour, conducive to the happiness and well-being of
every member of the community; and for every young person to become strong in
self-discipline in every aspect of her daily life.
Alumni association run by Martin Bloomfield, c/o the school
Former pupils Emily Watson (actress)