Our future world
Today and in the future, we need to educate our pupils to be effective citizens in a digitally connected world. As our society is altered forever by Coronavirus, and shaped by continuing environmental, social and technological change, our students will be the ones who need to re-invent and reclaim our society with entirely fresh thinking. They will also need a greater understanding of how to make the most of advances in technology, neuroscience and a changing workplace. In an information-saturated world, we also recognise the enduring role which the arts and humanities will play in inspiring critical thinking, creativity and, ultimately, wisdom.
Situated in one of the world’s great work centres and in the heart of the cultural powerhouse of the Barbican, our location is one of the most inspiring and exhilarating places to educate young people and is a key part of our identity and appeal when parents are considering schools for their daughters. The building, part of the future-facing, pioneering post-war regeneration of the City was the first building completed in the Barbican. Our exciting learning space is blessed with some enviable facilities and has had a running programme of maintenance repairs, but has had no major refurbishment since its creation in 1969. Fifty years after the move into the Barbican, the infrastructure of the building needs significant investment. We want to combine regeneration of our site with using satellite space for the school in locations around us, so that we can properly honour those pioneering builders and continue to offer a world-class, academic and liberal City centre education for able pupils, from whatever financial or social background, into the 21st Century and beyond.
Over the next ten years, we will build on our reputation as one of the country’s leading girls’ schools. We want to be a school which is not only known for its outstanding education, but has real influence and reach, which it uses to further wider educational outcomes and discourse. We want our school to be fun, pioneering and properly adventurous, leading the country in scholarly exploration, pastoral development, partnerships and co-curricular engagement. What does this mean, in addition to the givens which sit in the strategic spine of any good school?
Our vision is for students, staff and the wider community to find space to pioneer. As well as the requirement to forge new physical space for the site and by being a creative, pioneering part of the post –C19 City regeneration of space, we aim to break new educational ground and claim our space, in three critical ways by reflecting, innovating and sharing.
We shall scrutinise our space, and encourage a culture of reflection in two pioneering ways
City has never been a complacent place, and a deep critical spirit courses through our veins. Inspired by BLM, but not just because of this, we have decided, together with CLS, to commission a race equality review. This will be a wholly independent and external review led by human rights barrister Elizabeth Prochaska. Our aim is to ensure that the equality and diversity that is so important to our DNA is felt by all and we will respond promptly and appropriately to the review’s findings.
The constraints of time and space in a busy and commuting school are significant. We shall establish a strong coaching culture in the school, so that all staff and pupils can gain an understanding of strategies required to reflect on their own aims and ambitions. We shall give them the space to pause and develop, equipping them with the tools to lead happier and more successful lives. They will be inculcated with a greater sense of confidence, self-awareness and taught to listen and learn from others.
We shall innovate in three distinct areas
Teaching is, of course, at the heart of all that we do, and we will continue to provide inspirational and empowering teaching for our students. Our spectacular examination results speak for themselves, but we will seek to provide so much more than this, experimenting and innovating so that we instil in our students a love of learning for its sake, equipping them with the strategies to be lifelong learners, nimble and resilient to face any challenge.
Digital Space - we shall create a whole school virtual learning environment to support the development of student as autonomous 21st century learners. This will involve improving the confidence of staff to use new and exciting digital learning technologies in the classroom. Likewise, we shall empower our students in digital literacy so that they can effectively navigate the space between classroom and online learning. In so doing, we shall develop both our reputation and future readiness, ensuring we retain our position as a centre of educational excellence fit for the post-Covid age.
Entrepreneurship - uniquely located in the heart of the City allows us to be precisely placed as powerful players in the 21st century workforce. The challenges to the City in the wake of Covid-19 present us with an opportunity. In a world where only 33% of board members are women and the pay gap is still 9%, this is our chance to properly claim our place in this great financial centre. To help address this, we will forge a world-class workplace-readiness and entrepreneurship programme to empower and equip our students, harnessing the City’s Educational Strategy and our proximity to one of the world’s great centres of work.
We understand the extraordinariness of our space and want to share it. Appreciating the difference we can make when we work with others, we will build partnerships with sustained impact on our wider communities. We will be pioneering in our collaborative work, establishing long-lasting relationships and capitalising on all our strengths:
the family of City Schools (a 9-strong group of maintained and independent schools in the City);
Forging a new and stronger bond with our brother school, CLS;
the cultural and business capital offered by our near neighbours in the Barbican and the City;
and the growing opportunities for global and digital partnerships.
Finding Space to Pioneer
By 2030, inspirational learning, pioneering partnerships and a strong culture of self-reflection, confidence and entrepreneurship will produce a new generation of ground-breaking leaders and scholars in the heart of the capital.
We will achieve our vision through continuing to be informed by the enduring aims of City.
LearningTo foster a life-long love of learning in a supportive, yet ambitious and stimulating, environment. Risk taking, creativity and instilling effective learning (study?) habits will be at the heart of our curriculum.
To provide a pioneering enrichment and co-curricular programme, taking full advantage of our location in the heart of London, inculcating in our students a confidence and sense of adventure We shall develop exciting and long lasting partnerships with other schools and the City which are local, national and international in their reach.
To continue to nurture an inclusive and kind community, which embraces the cultural and social mix in the school and the world around us, and to serve our local and wider community. Our strong coaching culture will foster respect, resourcefulness, reflection and self-knowledge.
To maintain its reputation as a caring and skilled employer, both attracting and retaining high-calibre staff and inspirational teachers. It will empower them through outstanding professional development and opportunities.
To ensure that the management of the financial and human resources, communications and estates is modern and up to date. It will be forward-looking and compliant, always inspection-ready, efficient and effective and will serves to realise the school’s educational vision.
To be known and well-understood both within our community, and beyond, influencing wider educational development and discourse. This influence will be used judiciously to increase bursary provision and recruit students of conspicuous potential to achieve a diverse and able intake.
Our values: respect, responsibility, resourcefulness
The 3 Rs of City permeate all that we do and could never be more pertinent than ever:
respect for self, others and our environment;
responsibility for our own independent learning and development, our actions and words;
resourcefulness, which includes resilience, courage, creativity and aspiration.