Helen Jeys from Alderley Edge School for Girls and Claire Hewitt from Manchester High School for Girls joined forces this month to present about health and well-being to a global audience in Washington DC.
The duo were invited to present their expertise to over 1000 educators from 20 countries in six continents by the Girls' Schools Association (GSA) at the Girls' Global Forum II organised by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS).
The team of heads, who share a commitment to the very best education for girls, demonstrated revolutionary approaches to girls' health and well-being which involves proactively supporting and challenging girls with 'character education' in all aspects of school life – academic as well as pastoral – rather than the more traditional reactive approach. Much is made of the importance of 'character education' in schools today but, how to implement this on a daily basis is a challenge and there is no doubting its importance if girls are going to flourish into confident young women.
The Global Forum II focused on several key areas; leadership, innovation, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), global citizenship, health and wellness and equity and inclusion. The key note speaker on leadership was Lt-Col Lucy Giles, the first woman in a command leadership role at Sandhurst and a mentor for aspiring women leaders and former world number 1 tennis player, Billie Jean-King.
Helen Jeys, Headmistress at Alderley Edge School for Girls enthused, "I passionately believe in girls' education and building resilience, self-esteem and self-confidence. The forum was a fantastic opportunity for leading educators across the world to come together, share knowledge and develop relationships. Alderley Edge School for Girls adopts a holistic approach rather than trying to teach character in isolation and we want our girls to understand that there are no limits – and that they have the opportunity to dream and to aspire. Girls need a proactive approach to health and well-being and we know that girls who are happy and confident can achieve both academically and in all areas of life, during school days and beyond."
Claire Hewitt, Headmistress at Manchester High School for Girls added, "The well-being lessons and associated activities we have introduced at Manchester High continue to help our girls build confidence and character, giving them the invaluable tools to flourish in all aspects of their lives. We recognise that many schools may be implementing similar activities, however, it is the way in which we combine the range of well-being activities into a coherent programme that has a real impact on our pupils' development."