Princess Helena College

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All the knowledge in the world is meaningless if you are unsure how to use it. At PHC, our aim is to help girls find their voice, stand out from the crowd and succeed in entering top universities and rewarding careers.

Our approach is to excite each girl with the challenge and stimulation of her learning experiences, to enrich her outside of the curriculum and to empower her with a wealth of opportunity. To enable this, we ensure that at PHC every voice is heard. We treat each girl as an individual; taking time to get to know her and understand what makes her tick, then offer her bespoke learning opportunities to support her interests and capabilities.

As a small school, all girls receive individual attention from our excellent teachers and our Mentor Scheme ensures every girl has a staff member dedicated to guiding her both academically and personally to challenge herself and stretch beyond her comfort zone. This supportive framework enables girls to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’, pushing their own boundaries. They gain self-belief, self-worth, true independence and the resilience to challenge themselves and thrive academically. A PHC girl doesn’t just succeed, she exceeds, and our aim is to ensure all girls achieve qualifications that exceed their own expectations.

Girls go on to leading universities including Oxford, Cambridge, University of the Arts London and the Royal Colleges of Music. We are proud of our girls’ achievements and they are proof that our personalised approached to educational programmes works. Our record of academic success is excellent – in 2016 65% of all grades at GCSE were A*-A – but we place as much importance on pastoral care, for which we have an outstanding reputation.

Our setting, in a stunning, tranquil Hertfordshire countryside estate (yet only 30 minutes from London), inspires both the staff and girls who live and work here and provides a wonderful balance. There is no doubt our girls thrive in this dynamic environment.

Every girl at PHC is helped to find her voice by encouraging her to express her opinion, lead projects, and affect change. Girls (and women) who have a voice are confident, knowledgeable, experienced, empowered and ready for the outside world. The firm foundations of academic rigour, life skills and emotional well-being laid at PHC create women ready for the world’s creative, innovative and energised workplace.


Open Days: 23 Sept, 5 Oct, 10 Nov 2017 and 10 Mar 2018

Gifted & Talented

Our formal aim is to … provide opportunities, resources, and encouragement for the development and application of gifted behaviours, supporting girls in achieving higher grades.

Our informal aim is to … make sure our gifted and talented girls get the chance to do something fabulous.


As a mainstream school with an inclusive ethos, we are happy to consider applications from girls with special educational needs, including specific learning difficulties. We also welcome pupils with exceptional abilities, and recognise that their needs, too, may be special.

We are generally able to cater for pupils with mild to moderate learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder. We have also welcomed students with hearing and visual impairments and with physical disabilities, although some of our buildings are listed and are not, unfortunately, fully wheelchair accessible.

Bursaries & Scholarships



Scholarships are awarded to girls who we believe have potential for academic excellence or outstanding achievements in other areas.

The following scholarships are available:

  • Academic Scholarships
  • Creative Scholarships in art, drama, dance, music and sport

The academic, art, drama, music, dance and sport scholarships are awarded in Year 6 (for Years 7 to 9), Year 9 (for Years 10 and 11) and Year 11 ( for Years 12 and 13). The Headmistress may also award discretionary scholarships to girls joining the school at other times.

Scholar’s Mentors
The subject scholars (art, drama, music, dance and sport) are mentored by the relevant heads of department.

Academic scholars are mentored by Dr Nicola Norris, Head of Future Fit.

The mentoring of scholars involves:

  • Meeting girls on a regular basis
  • Aiding girls to devise a personal progression plan
  • Advising girls on how best to progress in their studies
  • Supporting girls in achieving higher grades
  • Guiding girls towards extension and extra-curricular activities – both within and outside the school
  • Recommending courses run by such bodies as the Villiers Park Educational Trust
  • Discussing issues and ideas so as to encourage higher order learning such as analysing, synthesising and evaluating
  • Enabling girls to win places at leading universities
  • Ecouraging girls to share their achievements with the rest of the college

Scholars’ Programme
Through the mentoring process, each scholar devises a fluid individual programme that caters for her particular interests, gifts and talents. However, the overall aim is that each scholar is led to realise her potential for excellence.



Sibling bursaries of 5% of fees are awarded from Year 7 onwards to the youngest daughter(s), ceasing when only one daughter remains at the school.

We offer means-tested bursaries covering up to 100% of fees, and such awards can be extended to include agreed extra charges. Parents of girls seeking bursary assistance should indicate their interest during the application process and will then be asked to complete an application form. All means-tested bursaries are reviewed annually and may be revised. It is also a condition of any award that parents advise the school of material changes in their financial circumstances that may lead to the level of their bursary being adjusted upwards or downwards.

Bursaries are also available for daughters of the clergy and members of the armed forces from Year 7 onwards.

When do parents need to apply?
When applying for a place, it is helpful if parents indicate whether they will be applying for a bursary.
Applications should be received by the end of December in the year prior to joining.

What information do parents need to supply?
Parents will need to supply details of income, assets and liabilities.
Each bursary is assessed on an individual basis and there are no general criteria.

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