Spotlight on a School: Lady Eleanor Holles School, Hampton

‘We couldn’t even think about attending another school’ say sixthformers Ava Goldin and Charlotte Dwyer

Lady Eleanor Holles pupils and a dog

When asked to describe Lady Eleanor Holles School, it’s hard to put into words the exact nature and feel of the school. People often ask what a “typical” LEH student is like, but it really is impossible to answer as there really is no “typical” student, and that’s what makes LEH so special.

The individuality and uniqueness of all the members of our community craft it into the school it is and make it such an enriching and empowering place. There are a number of stereotypical stigmas surrounding all girls schools such as there being unhealthy competition, pressures on appearance and a cliquey, toxic atmosphere.

“There are a number of stereotypical stigmas surrounding all girls schools.”

Yet, from our experience, we can say that Lady Eleanor Holles works really hard with students to defy these preconceptions. The nurturing, uplifting and inclusive environment that LEH fosters makes every day at school enriching and shapes us into the all-rounded individuals that we strive to become; this is what truly makes it such a spectacular school to go to.

As Sixth Form students, having been at LEH for the past six years, we have witnessed the constant improvement and the involvement from all teachers and pupils to better our school environment. Inclusion at LEH is of such strong importance and the school celebrates the constant creation of spaces for people to feel comfortable and valued.

The new APoC (Allies of People of Colour) Club provides a space to share and celebrate cultures with pupils of all ages, running sessions each week. The supportive atmosphere of the school was really highlighted to us in the  creation of various clubs such as Feminist Society and an Upper Sixth Committee for Social Awareness as well as  a new PSHE curriculum. Going to a girls’ school, such as LEH, creates a supportive network of people who are there for each other and the school is sure to enforce this idea.

“The supportive atmosphere of the school was highlighted with the creation of clubs such as Feminist Society.”

The strength of the Lady Eleanor Holles community was evident to us through this years’ International Women’s Day Celebrations. As “Creative Directors” we were given a great opportunity and lots of freedom to plan the celebrations; we ran an assembly in the morning, had help from the staff in organising external speakers and panels, and many more activities.

A particular favourite was the Year Seven treasure hunt and the selfie booth. Every pupil was involved in some type of activity and the week clearly showed us just how willing everyone was to take advantage of extracurricular activities, as well as honouring women and their achievements. It really highlighted to us just how lucky we are to go to such an empowering school and made us all feel very proud.

Having a positive work ethic is a common attitude among LEH students as, no matter a pupil’s specialism or interest, everyone strives to do their best and achieve what they want to. Of course, being in a highly academic climate, all of us are very hard-working and strive for our best, but we are encouraged to view mistakes positively and to understand that perfection is not possible.

“We uplift each other and enjoy seeing our peers succeed.”

Although the qualifications we attain are important, we are taught that our educational journey is equal to, if not more integral to, becoming who we want to be. The positive work ethic of LEH students is also impacted by the idea that we are not in competition, instead we uplift each other and enjoy seeing our peers succeed.

The variety of extra-curricular activities on offer is also a key feature of life at LEH and, if there is an activity a pupil wants to start, the school will often support the creation of it. This allows us to further enhance our breadth of abilities, have a release from core academics and form new friendships with people from different year groups.

This integration is a principal factor of the sense of community you can feel and see when walking around LEH, as feeling comfortable to express ourselves is dependent on our sense of acceptance within the school community and is integral for us to achieve our full potential.

“If there is an activity a pupil wants to start, the school will often support the creation of it.”

We couldn’t even think about attending another school and we are so happy that we chose LEH six years ago. It sounds clichéd, but we genuinely enjoy coming to school, going to lessons, taking part in the breadth of opportunities offered to us and simply being surrounded by so many influential people whether that be students or teachers.

Thinking about ourselves in adulthood, it is easy to say that we will fondly look back on our memories of LEH and use the valuable lessons that we have learnt here to our advantage.