The academic life at NHEHS is supportive, stretching and fun.
Teaching at Notting Hill & Ealing aims to give every student enthusiasm and confidence in their different subjects, both inside and outside the classroom. Public examination results are of course important for supporting future ambitions, but our teaching is about so much more: in fact, it is through teaching which encourages confidence and academic flair as an end in itself that girls do so well.
Our teachers’ individual love of subject stands out, but there are certain common features which are central to our approach. We encourage students to focus on their own progress, rather than comparing themselves with each other. We ensure that every girl learns to articulate her thoughts, with our teachers mainly using “no hands” questioning, so that everyone is drawn into discussions and finds her voice. Students know that their teachers are always ready to provide individual support, if they are not yet confident on a particular point. Above all, our teachers have excellent relationships with their students; as one recent leaver put it, “Our teachers know us and believe in us.”
Designed to provide breadth and depth, to keep avenues open to students for as long as possible, and to give students genuine choice. From Year 7, the three sciences are taught separately by specialists, and students select two of four modern languages on offer (French, German, Spanish and Mandarin). New subject opportunities emerge as they move through the school, whether Greek at GCSE, or Psychology, Economics, Politics, Italian and more in the Sixth Form.
Subject enthusiasm comes not only from time in the classroom, but in all of the different subject enrichment on offer, from academic publications written by the students, subject clubs led by older students, whether Horrible Histories, Lego Robotics or Dissection Club and collaborations with students from other schools and universities. We particularly encourage students to pursue individual research interests, from the Amazon Learning Project in the lower years up to Extended Project Qualifications in the Sixth Form.
Our Academic Partnership Programme enables students to extend their subject interests beyond the curriculum whilst rooting them in the local community through collaboration with higher education institutions and international and local schools. The partnership projects build student confidence, ambition, which ultimately makes them more successful.
Examples of our partnership work include a STEM project with Imperial College London and local state schools, political debates with our partner school in the USA and research projects with Harrow School on topics such as ‘Ancient Alexandria’ and ‘What is life?’ which culminate in presenting their work formally at The Royal Society.
Olympiads and Competitions
We really like winning, and we win a lot. This year, we have been national champions in the Stephen Spender prize, nailed the German Olympiad, and done brilliantly in the British Informatics and Linguistics Olympiads. Students are also actively prepared by expert colleagues to achieve highly in Mathematics Challenges (through the ever popular breakfast club) as well as prestigious essay prizes.
Our Academic Scholars Programme is based on inspiring each other beyond the confines of year group and subject boundaries. This year, academic scholars have enjoyed various puzzles and challenges, and a polymath trip to the Tate Modern where they interrogated the link between science and art. Students will also have an opportunity to meet scholars from other year groups at the scholars’ tea party in the summer.
Each year our students research, write, design and produce a range of magazines that take a look at a subject in depth. These include our science magazine The Franklin, Doodles – our annual Art and writing newsletter, History publication Aikin and The Edgell, the Psychology newsletter inspired by one of the school’s most influential alumnae.