Abingdon’s St Helen and St Katharine students pursue their passions with stellar A Level results

Abingdon-based independent girls school St Helen and St Katharine is celebrating the fantastic A Level results of its students and the journeys that await them.

Through all the uncertainties of Covid, St Helen’s students showed real resilience and have been rewarded with an amazing set of results, with 94% of students achieving A*–B grades and 77% achieving A*–A grades. 40% of all grades awarded were A*. Many students also gained outstanding results in their EPQ with 97% achieving A*–A.

St Helen’s has a great tradition of supporting young women to follow their academic passions and of enabling students to take confident next steps. This year has continued the success story with 89% of students securing places at their first-choice university; these include Durham, Oxford, Southampton, York, Edinburgh, Bristol, Cambridge and Bath.

The breadth of subjects the students have chosen to study at university is exciting and reflects the School’s commitment to each student defining success on her terms. Almost half of the students are pursuing a STEM-related course, with four having gained places to study medicine. Others are following their passion for languages, ancient history, geography, economics, law, fine art, architecture, literature, media, politics or sport.

sporting Activities
Sport Activities are popular in St Helen

One student has successfully secured a place at the University of Chicago for Track & Field and will soon be heading off to the USA. Marina, who has pursued her keen passion for sport throughout her time at St Helen’s alongside her academic studies and holds multiple school records in athletics, has today received a gleaming set of A Level results in Geography, History, Mathematics and Biology.

Reflecting on her time at St Helen’s, Marina said: “The teachers at St Helen’s have helped me achieve everything that I wanted along the whole way, particularly with my university application and finding areas to highlight. The PE Department has played a huge role in my journey at St Helen’s and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Another student, Sarah, is going to pursue her passion for physiotherapy at University of Birmingham. Her mother, Rachael, said about her daughter’s journey: “St Helen’s nailed the Covid online learning. St Helen’s has been the best place for her. I don’t think any other school would’ve given my daughter a better school experience.”

Rebecca Dougall Headmistress
Rebecca Dougall Headmistress (centre)

Thrilled with the achievements of this year’s cohort, Headmistress Rebecca Dougall commented: “They have done brilliantly and have earned every moment of the celebrations that will now follow. Despite the uncertainty and disruption of Covid, their spirit has shone through, and they have balanced their studies with lots of sport, music and drama, supporting each other and the school community at every step. The universities they are heading off to are very lucky to get such great all-rounders. It has been such a happy morning here and we are so proud of them.”

Outgoing Head Girl, Olivia, who has gained a place to study Media and Communications at Swansea University shared about her time at the School: “St Helen’s is like an actual family. My teachers and friends have made my journey so, so special and that is something I will always treasure. To be able to celebrate with teachers was amazing and I will forever be grateful of their hard work and faith they had in us. I wish everyone luck for the coming year!”

St Helen and St Katharine will soon be opening its new Sixth Form Centre dedicated to providing students with the space and opportunity to grow their academic and extracurricular interests in readiness for their future. With nine new classrooms, independent study spaces, a common room, a café and a flexible lecture theatre/performance hall, the building will echo the very best in higher education institutions.

For information, go to the St Helen and St Katharine website: shsk.org.uk

About St Helen and St Katharine

St Helen and St Katharine is a leading independent day school for girls – from Junior Department (Years 5–6) through to Sixth Form. Situated in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, the School is consistently rated in the top 20 girls’ schools in the UK in terms of academic results and draws students from as far afield as Henley, Witney, Banbury, Reading and Newbury. The School provides the environment, opportunity and aspiration for girls and young women to achieve academically and beyond the classroom to develop the self-belief and confidence that will equip them for life.

The School offers means-tested bursaries from 20–100% of fees from Year 7, including transformational bursaries at A Level. St Helen’s also offers a range of scholarships at 11+, 13+ and 16+ for academic ability, art, drama, music, sport and an all-rounder award.

Opening in 2022, the School’s new Sixth Form Centre will have nine classrooms, a flexible lecture/performance space, academic study areas, social spaces, a café and a higher education library. In recent years, St Helen’s has also opened a new Sports Centre, Science Centre and 3D Design Centre.

Alumnae, and leading women in their fields, include The Honourable Mrs Justice Cutts; Camilla Reid, co-founder and Editorial Director of independent children’s publisher Nosy Crow; and Jane Tranter, Executive vice-president of programming and production for BBC Worldwide productions.