UK teachers share expertise in girls’ education with world-wide educators

Teachers from UK state and independent girls’ schools are leading discussion sessions and sharing their expertise with 800 educators from 20 countries in six continents at the Global Forum on Girls’ Education in Washington DC this week, June 18-20.

Head teachers from Girls’ Schools Association schools will deliver 11 separate seminars for people from countries as diverse as the US, Colombia and the Philippines. They all share a commitment to the best education for girls.

The Global Forum will include sessions on health & well-being, innovation, closing gender gaps, leveraging local and global partnerships, and leadership. The key note speaker on leadership will be Lt-Col Lucy Giles, the first woman in a command leadership role at Sandhurst, and a mentor for aspiring women leaders in both state and independent schools in a partnership between the Girls’ Schools Association, the Association of State Girls’ Schools and Bright Field Consulting.

The Global Forum is a unique partnership of international educators. Led by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools in the US, the 16 partner organisations include the Girls’ Schools Association, the Association of State Girls’ Schools and the Girls’ Day School Trust from the UK.

GSA President, Gwen Byrom, says:
The Global Forum on Girls’ Education is a tremendous opportunity for educators of girls across the world to get together, share ideas and develop projects and relationships that reach across cultural and geographic boundaries. We’re really pleased to be one of the strategic partners in this alongside our state school colleagues from the Association of State Girls’ Schools.”

Sandhurst’s first woman command leader to deliver key note on leadership

Lt-Col Lucy Giles – who is the first woman to be appointed to a command leadership role at Sandhurst – will deliver a key note speech at the Global Forum. She will share her expertise and thoughts on creating environments in which more women are able to become leaders in their field.

Lucy Giles is a mentor for aspiring women leaders in both state and independent schools in a partnership between the Girls’ Schools Association, the Association of State Girls’ Schools and Bright Field Consulting. She says:
“You have to lead yourself first, before you can lead other people. Coaching can be really insightful in helping understand yourself and in becoming more self-aware. I want to open women’s eyes, help them unlock their talents and strengths and link that to the skills they can acquire. It is all about confidence and self-belief. I am delighted to be supporting this initiative, using my experience of life as an officer in the British Army and as a mum.

Seminars led by Girls’ Schools Association Heads

The seminars to be led by Girls’ Schools Association Heads are:

Character, Character, Character – encouraging girls to flourish
Helen Jeys (Headmistress, Alderley Edge School for Girls) and Claire Hewitt (Headmistress, Manchester High School for Girls)
Much is made of the importance of character education in schools today.  How to implement this on a daily basis is a challenge but there is no doubting its importance if girls are going to flourish into confident young women.  This session explores character education; its origins and aims and how it can be developed in the context of an academic girls’ environment.  The focus will be on practical tips and strategies for implementation into other contexts.

STEAM Education: an educational model for the future
Angharad Holloway, Head at Talbot Heath School
Insight to a new educational model that aims to prepare pupils aged 3-18 for the future that awaits them. Talbot Heath School is introducing a STEAM and interdisciplinary curriculum across the school which is being delivered in conjunction with business and experts from Higher Education. It will be a pilot for academic research into a new pedagogical approach designed to prepare pupils for 2030 and beyond.

Inspiring Females
Kirsty von Malaise, Head at Norwich High School GDST
The Inspiring Females programme was born at Norwich High School GDST. It inspires young women, connecting them with professional role models, educating them as to what new movements are available in the world of careers. Our core aims are personal development, preparing young women for their futures, and supporting growth towards equality. It is a pioneering programme as it is shaped by girls, reflecting their authentic voices and desires. Find out what the ingredients of our successful programme are, and what we have learnt along the way.

Delivering a creative junior curriculum using the indoor and outdoor classroom
Heads Jo Duncan (Royal High School Bath GDST) and Jane Prescott (Portsmouth High School GDST)
The Reggio Emilia approach is a genuinely creative way to deliver the junior school curriculum and it can provide pupils with the breadth and depth required to achieve exceptional outcomes. It effectively supports the development of independent thinking, skills of enquiry and an understanding of the world, citizenship and collective responsibility and despite the title ‘Forest Schools’ you don’t need a forest to offer opportunities that use outdoor spaces to extend creative learning. Children are inspired by the risk-taking nature of the activities and develop their problem-solving skills in an innovative way.

Practical Wisdom for Girls
Charlotte Avery (Headmistress, St Mary’s School, Cambridge) with Jane Slinn of Independent Thinkers Education UK
How to educate the diverse, ethical and open-minded female leaders of the future by engaging with Aristotle’s account of the character and intellectual virtues – courage, justice and practical wisdom. Participants will be invited to respond to a hypothetical ethical dilemma.

The Value of Creative Subjects
Emma McKendrick (Head, Downe House)
Emma will explore the type of school environment which is necessary to foster creativity, including consideration of the importance of the creative subjects and the importance of the pastoral system in achieving this aim. It will consider how these can practically contribute to enabling our young women to enter the workplace prepared to be innovative and entrepreneurial, as well as equipped to contribute their own ideas and take appropriate risks without compromising on the academic standards achieved. Strategies employed successfully (and unsuccessfully!) will be shared and ideas welcomed.

Modern Boarding: How it helps girls thrive beyond school
Eve Jardine-Young (Head, Cheltenham Ladies College)
What is meant by Modern Boarding and how schools can and have adapted their boarding provision to cater for the changing market whilst still maintaining the best that boarding can offer and the supportive framework they provide for helping girls (and their families) to navigate the complexities of the teenage years. The second part of the session will explore how boarding in today’s girls’ schools equips young women with the practical and personal skills to thrive at university and within their professional lives.

Learning to Love Leading
Jenny Brown (Head, St Alban’s High School for Girls)
An honest and energetic evaluation of the fun and challenges of leadership in the 21st Century. It will cover the importance of the role model leader, what leadership for millennials means, why women should step up and what makes it fun. Lots of candid anecdotes, a splash of practical advice, a snippet of useful research and lashings of audience activity.

Dads4Daughters
Sarah Fletcher (Head, St Paul’s Girls’ School)
Dads4Daughters celebrates the role fathers can play in achieving greater gender equality in the workplace. We know that when men are spoken to as fathers they are powerfully galvanised to bring about necessary change. This energy for change has never been more relevant. St Paul’s Girls’ School is thrilled with how the initiative has taken hold in recent years. We are now collaborating with the UN’s HeForShe campaign and with other partners to bring about a positive change in work place behaviours, and to remove the barriers to success that too often limit the careers and prospects of young women.

Snowflake to Powerhouse: Helping Girls to be the Force, Not the Victim
Heads Lucy Elphinstone (St Francis Holland School, Sloane Square) and Fionnula Kennedy (Wimbledon High School GDST)
How can we help girls to find and hold onto an authentic voice of their own at a time when concerns around the development of a Snowflake Generation threaten to overwhelm young people, parents and educators alike? How can they find confidence in their own identity as young women in a fast-moving and pressured world made more difficult by the power of social media? What can we do to ensure girls are empowered to make and be the change in an unequal world?

Glittering Prize or Poisoned Chalice? Sustaining Success Beyond the School Gate
GDST Heads Jane Lunnon (Wimbledon High School), Helen Stringer (Northampton High School) and Suzie Longstaff (Putney High School) with GDST’s Director of Innovation & Learning, Kevin Stannard

How do schools set students up for success in the sprint to credentials and university, without handicapping them in the long-distance race for sustained success at work? The heads of three UK girls’ schools will discuss how they have responded to the challenge of preparing girls in particular to be not just academically successful, but also confident about career prospects and resilient in the face of setbacks. They consider ways of reconciling the risk-averse pupil excelling in set-piece situations, with the characteristics required when faced with spontaneous challenges and competitive situations. The focus will be on practical and effective strategies.

The Merits of a Mentor: Modelling for Young Women as Female School Leaders
Margaret Frazier, Head of Marymount International School (UK); plus Corinne Fogg, Director of Curriculum & Professional Development, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (USA); Eve Grimaldi, Dean of Students, Georgetown Visitation School (USA).
We all need mentors and confidants. Women, in particular, often draw strength from the ability to connect, seek advice, and partner. Women, students and school leaders alike, cull inspiration, onus, and self-actualization from their sense of connection to a greater community beyond themselves. In this session, leaders from three girls schools with faith-based missions, will speak to first their experience being mentored by a seasoned female leader, then to mentoring a colleague; each will address the way this process modelled for students how women can engage with one another in a spirit of professional or personal formation and growth.

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