Our school provides the best possible preparation for the challenges of life | Portsmouth High School

Our school provides the best possible preparation for the challenges of life

The Trust and school motto comes from Tennyson – “knowledge is now no more a fountain sealed” and reflects on a time when it wasn’t commonplace to educate girls but this Tennyson quote is perhaps more appropriate for our school today:

That which we are, we are, said Tennyson – “… strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

I see all the subject examination results in the senior school when staff have marked the papers. I look at the range of marks, whether some girls have outperformed expectation or perhaps not achieved quite as well. Progress is monitored and any steps that need to be taken to ensure outstanding progress identified. Equally I hold a celebration at break for girls who have achieved exceptionally well and for those who have made excellent progress.

We believe what our school provides is the best possible preparation for the challenges of life. Our girls are resilient, self-sufficient and confident without being arrogant. They can make themselves heard and engage in debate. They try to do their best on the sports field, in the arts and in academic work. They truly embody a holistic approach to their education.

At our school girls are the leaders – head of school, sports team captain, leader of the debating society. They find their voices, and get used to the challenges of leadership. Similarly, in the classroom they can take intellectual risks, ask questions, or make judgements. In short, our school builds risk-taking and resilience. In working life, these attributes are essential. Young women need to be brave enough to ask a question, or to disagree with the crowd view. They need to be able to handle the vagaries and unfairness of life, to try, and if necessary to try again.

Mark Twain said “You shouldn’t try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of time and it annoys the pig.” We never see any form of education as either a waste of time or annoying.

I wish you all a restful half term break.

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