Search

Schools guide names ‘girl done good’ headteacher of South Hampstead High School as one to watch

13:00 08 July 2014

Helen Pike, headteacher of South Hampstead High School. Picture: Polly Hancock

Helen Pike, headteacher of South Hampstead High School. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Her portable office is a world away from the luxurious inner sanctums normally inhabited by headteachers of Hampstead’s most exclusive schools.

But for Helen Pike, who has nearly completed her first year in charge of all-girls South Hampstead High School, the prospect of moving into sparkling new premises in Maresfield Gardens in October only makes her more determined to continue raising standards.

“A new building does not a good school make,” says Miss Pike, 41. “I’m already saying to the girls that it will take a little bit of time to settle in. But there’s no doubt it will make a big difference.

“We want to take the school into the wider world and bring the world into the school.

“We have been a little bit constrained by space this year but once we’ve moved back into the new school we will be throwing open the doors.”

It has been a challenging first year for the Oxford-educated headteacher, who was thrown headfirst into the school’s two-year £35million building project.

But her commitment to maintaining performance levels while housed in temporary classrooms on the site of Hampstead Cricket Club, in Lymington Road, West Hampstead, has paid dividends.

Miss Pike, who lives in Harrow-on-the-Hill, was recently named one of the top 10 heads to watch alongside Highgate School’s Adam Pettit by the national Good Schools Guide.

The role is Miss Pike’s first headship, having taught history at City of London School for Boys, in the City; St Paul’s School, Barnes, and the Royal Grammar School, Guildford.

Her first part-time teaching post at Westminster School was the first time the self-titled “girl done good” from Preston had ever set foot in an independent school.

In the short time she has led the school, Miss Pike, who has three step-children, has recruited 10 teachers, but she has been quick to reassure parents that she has not been firing members of staff.

“I invest a lot in teaching because that is really the most important thing we do,” she said. “It’s just extra 
resources, or replacing people who are leaving for promotions or travelling.

“Two of my Year 11s applied for the head of geography job and they really gave the winning candidate a run for their money! They were great and it was very entertaining.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

08:00
Liz Bingham was recognised in the New Year's Honours List

Liz Bingham OBE is managing partner of people and talent at Big Four accountancy firm Ernst and Young. The 52-year-old was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List earlier this month for promoting equality in the workplace. She has lived in West Hampstead for 18 years.

Yesterday, 13:00
Author Helen Harris signs copies of her book. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Author Helen Harris marked the release of her new book with a launch event at a bookshop in South End Green.

Yesterday, 08:00
Emma Thompson pays tribute to the life of Helen Bamber at a memorial service. Picture: David Parry

Emma Thompson was one of a handful of stars who led tributes to their close friend and advocate for victims of torture, the late Helen Bamber, at a memorial service.

Fri, 16:00
Actress and former pupil Helena Bonham Carter with headteacher Helen Pike. Picture: Polly Hancock

Actress Helena Bonham Carter returned to her old school to officially open its new building and reminisce about her time as a pupil.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder