The Henrietta Barnett School

The Henrietta Barnett School



Name: Zoe

Secondary school: Henrietta Barnett School (Year 7 to Year 13)

University destination: University of Cambridge, Gonville & Caius College (History and German)


  1. What is your first memory starting your school?

Only one other girl in my class was wearing trousers – everyone else had a skirt on!


  1. What is your best memory from your school?

The mad two-week period in Year 10 during which I was on German exchange for a week, before suffering a frantic transfer immediately upon arrival back in London to a coach which would take 23 hours of straight driving to deliver us to Prague, where our music ensembles were to play concerts for another week.


  1. What is one thing you would like to change about your school?

A lot of people might expect me to say that I wish boys had been allowed in for sixth form, if not from the very start, but I have no intentions of doing so. I found the ‘all-girls’ environment incredibly supportive and intimate. However, I do wish we had engaged a little with the local boys’ schools, with which we would only periodically debate.


  1. Any fancy traditions?

I hear the alumni dinners are very fancy, but as I’m a new graduate, I haven’t had the privilege of attending one yet. I can only describe the less-fancy, but no less hallowed school tradition of Christmas Chanukah. This was a multicultural festive song composed by the ever-imitable Mr Chernick, sung annually at the carol concerts we put on for the local community in the lovely setting of St Jude’s Church.


  1. How was the academic support?

First-class. The school did everything possible to see us excel academically.


  1. Is your school a religious school?

No, but the Christmas carol concerts were always a highlight…


  1. What was your favourite co-curricular achievement while at your school?

Winning the Classics University Challenge with some of my closest friends!


  1. How much emphasis is placed on Oxbridge as a university destination?

I think I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves…do visit the school website to marvel at our routinely 25 percent-plus acceptance rate by Oxbridge!


  1. Do you keep in touch with the school, now you have left?

I am still in email contact with some of my favourite teachers, but equally, there are some teachers I’m glad to have left behind…


  1. Did you ever have a detention at your school?

No – we don’t have detentions at all!


  1. What are the pastoral support options?

There is technically a school counsellor, but such is the nature of the student body that a lot of pastoral support is successfully provided through the informal, but nonetheless highly efficacious mechanism of friendship.


  1. Bonus: If you had to summarise your school in 3 words, what would they be?

Get Into Oxbridge – just joking! I’d probably say Girls Supporting Girls.