21 September 2023
Harrogate Ladies’ College has secured a place in the final of a prestigious national competition thanks to an inspirational programme designed to encourage more girls into Science careers.
The school is a finalist in the Independent School of the Year 2023 Awards in the Outstanding New Initiative category.
The school launched WiSE@HLC (Women in Science and Engineering @Harrogate Ladies’ College), which is a bespoke programme to encourage pupils to embrace Science opportunities, develop critical thinking in Science and Technology and rewards self-motivation in Science subjects.
Principal, Sylvia Brett is on a personal mission to encourage more girls to consider Science subjects in their GCSEs, A Levels and university courses.
“There is still a shocking lack of female engineers, scientists and CEOs of Scientific FTSE 100 companies compared to men, and we wanted to capture create a programme that would help to address this. If we want to make a real change in this area, we need to start while pupils are still at school and making decisions about subjects. We want to empower the next generation of women to be themselves, be authentic and not to be restricted by gender
“This programme provides pupils with opportunities to showcase their appreciation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects which we hope will inspire others.”
Pupils receive WiSE points and rewards for engaging in extra-curricular activities to take their STEM studies further. Sixth-formers are encouraged to become WiSE ambassadors and to work with younger pupils.
The programme also actively engages with former pupils working in STEM related careers and holds special events such as a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Day which brings in local forensic experts.
As a result, the number of pupils engaged in STEM related activities, trips and lectures has increased and recent leavers have gone onto study a wealth of Science related subjects such as Astro Physics, Chemical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and even as apprenticeship in Formula One Motor Racing.
Over 50 per cent of the A* grades achieved by pupils at the school this summer were in Science, Maths, Engineering and Technology (STEM) subjects.
The school beat dozens of other independent schools around the country to win a place in the national finals which take place in London in October.