Giving students an Oxbridge learning experience
- Prize Category: Innovation
- Format: Panel discussion
- Country: United Kingdom
- Languages: Streamed live in English with automated captions in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Filipino, Malay, Serbian and Hindi.
- Learn more about the Top Ten Shortlisted Schools in the Innovation category on the World’s Best School Prizes website.
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About the school
St Helen’s School, an independent all-girls school in London, United Kingdom has pioneered the use of Nudge theory in education that can be replicated anywhere in the world, at very little cost.
Located in the heart of Northwood in North West London, St Helen’s School prides itself on providing a specialist education that caters to the development of young women. The school encourages its students to take risks and celebrates the virtues of critical thinking and curiosity – best reflected in its ‘Nudge for Learning’ programme.
The school took inspiration from the works of behavioural economists such as Richard Thaler’s ‘Nudge Theory’ – a concept that links positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to influence the decision making of individuals or groups. Through that framework, an educational model based on tutorial learning was created. Every week, a small group of girls come together in a session that is primarily driven by the ideas and independent research of the students themselves.
They are set an academic paper to read where they are required to present their thoughts on the topic to their assigned supervisors. This education ‘nudge’ fosters close bonds between the mentees and mentor that helps provide more of a focus on the needs of each student and tailors to them personally. The school also provides attractive termly academic challenges for all students – from musical composition competitions to philosophy essays, there is something for everyone. Complementary pastoral care through coaching also acts to boost the confidence of its female students, nurturing their talent and helping them to become reflective and deep thinkers. Crucial to such success is working with parents to bring them on board with timely and easy access webinars so that they are part of the learning process.
Bolstered by the success of the model and taking note of the disruption caused by COVID, St Helen’s School has grown its outreach programme that sought to help marginalised students with their learning by launching STEM and Arts workshops. As St Helen’s girls have benefitted from mentoring and coaching, they are now passing on those learned skills to their peers in other schools.
Join us for an enlightening session on inclusion and mentoring.
Moderator: Glenn Bezalel
Glenn Y. Bezalel is Director of Teaching and Learning at St Helen’s School for Girls, a leading independent school in London, UK. Together with Alice Lucas, the Headmistress, Glenn launched the school’s ‘Nudge for Learning’ Programme, which incorporates innovations from behavioural economics into all aspects of school life. Glenn teaches Religion, Philosophy & Ethics and has written several scholarly and popular articles on these subjects. He is also a final year PhD student in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, where he is carrying out research into the pedagogy of conspiracy theories and controversy.
Speaker 1: Alice Lucas
Alice Lucas is Headmistress of St Helen’s, a leading independent school for girls in North West London for 3 to 18 year olds. She has many years teaching and leadership experience at senior level across both the maintained and independent sectors. This has given her an extensive knowledge and understanding of how the very best teaching fosters a deep love of learning, first-rate results and happy children. Throughout her career, she has remained true to the moral imperative of ensuring the very best for all pupils so they can go out into the world to lead interesting and fulfilling lives.
Speaker 2: Elizabeth Hennah
Head of English, Elizabeth is a specialist mentor and coach for students.
Speaker 3: Sanaz Thomas
Sanaz is a teacher of Chemistry and a specialist mentor and coach for students.