Manchester High Girls Buck National Trend to Shine in STEM Subjects

Manchester High Girls Buck National Trend to Shine in STEM Subjects

18 August 2017

There were big smiles all round today at Manchester High School for Girls (MHSG) as students celebrated fantastic A-level results in a variety of subjects. Over a quarter of pupils secured a string of straight A*s and As and 87% of all grades in the A* to B range.

Every student in the School’s Physical Education and Home Economics classes achieved either an A* or A grade and when it came to STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) the girls really shone.

While the national picture sees colleges and sixth forms struggling to encourage girls to opt for such disciplines, over three quarters of pupils in this year’s A-level cohort from MHSG chose to study a STEM subject at A-level, with many electing to continue in the area at university.

Excellence in Physics

One such pupil is Alice Song (18) from Newton Heath. Alice achieved four A*s in Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths and will now take up a place at Imperial College London to study Physics. The course also includes a year abroad at a leading European university.

Alice said: “I am so proud to have secured my place at Imperial College London which has a reputation for excellence in science and engineering. The year abroad will certainly be a test as I will be taught in the language of the host country, but it is a challenge I am ready for!”

“Alongside my lessons at Manchester High I have taken part in a number of model United Nations conferences which are authentic simulations of real UN meetings. We join with students from other schools and colleges to debate a range of issues from cybercrime and election fraud to child refugees and pollution. This has really boosted my self-confidence and over the course of my Sixth Form years, I have really found my voice. I think this certainly helped my application stand out when it came to completing my UCAS form.”

The STEM skill set

Claire Hewitt, Head Mistress of Manchester High School for Girls, commented: “There is a real drive at present to inspire girls to study and build careers using STEM subjects and here at MHSG we do buck the national trend; so much so in fact, that we have been selected by GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) to participate in their CyberFirst initiative. This is a project that aims to identify early on in their education those young people who have the aptitude to form the next generation of cyber security experts.

“Former MHSG pupils are well known for leading the way in the STEM arena; our alumnae includes the likes of Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-President of Facebook (EMEA), Kelly Moran, Lead Engineer for Boeing and Kotska Wallace, Principal Engineer at the European Space Agency.

“As a Chemistry teacher by trade I am of course thrilled that so many of our students consider further study in science and tech but I am always equally proud of the girls who go on to pursue a completely different route. The innovative ‘Futures’ programme here at MHSG encourages all pupils to explore a variety of career options and follow their true passions, whatever they may be.”

Cambridge bound

Nisa Hasan (18) from Hale Barns is one MHSG student who really will be pursuing her passion come September. Nisa is all set to undertake a degree in Economics at the University of Cambridge having secured three A*s in Chemistry, Economics and Maths and an A in Further Maths.

Nisa said: “My dream job has always been economics advisor to the government so Cambridge was the right choice for me. I love analysing and handling data and don’t think my future career path should be determined by the fact I am female. The teachers at Manchester High School for Girls really encourage you to go for what you want, whatever that may be!”

“Manchester High offers a broad range of extra-curricular activities and opportunities to get involved with the wider community and, without these extra strings to my bow, I’m not sure how successful my Cambridge application would have been. I’ve been able to get involved in everything from Young Enterprise, where we really put our entrepreneurial skills to the test, to hosting over 400 people at the northern premiere of the ‘Suffragette’ film which is the inspirational story of the women’s suffrage movement and the Pankhurst sisters who were students themselves at MHSG.”

Global Citizens

Headmistress, Claire Hewitt, concluded: “I would like to congratulate all the students and their families on their fantastic results, as well as all the members of staff who have helped and supported them. These students have not just achieved wonderful grades but have also given generously to the life of our School and the wider community. I have no doubt they will become responsible global citizens who will have a positive impact on the world.”

Applications for entry into Manchester High School for Girls (from Preparatory Department through to Sixth Form) for the 2018/19 academic year are now open. For more information, please visit The School’s next Open Events are on Thursday 28th September and Monday 9th October.


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