Schools are more than the teaching that happens within the building

Front of St Mary's School Hampstead blossom

St Mary’s School Hampstead delivered an enriching distance learning programme during lockdown - Credit: George S Blonsky

Back in March 2020, no one could have predicted the challenges that would be faced by all schools throughout the pandemic.

Immediately, I set to work with my senior leadership team to deliver an enriching distance learning programme, while still keeping the school open for children of key workers. We put plans in place to ensure that staff morale stayed high, pupils were fully supported and an exciting curriculum was delivered that fully stretched the children academically. Alongside this, we successfully prepared our Year 6 girls for their 11+ exams.

As everyone was compelled to make the transition from the physical to the virtual world, it was our forward-thinking investment in technology that enabled the entire school to immediately pivot to accessing engaging lessons remotely.

Harriet Connor-Earl, headmistress of St Mary's School Hampstead

Harriet Connor-Earl says St Mary's School Hampstead delivered a full online curriculum for pupils while pupils were working from home - Credit: George S Blonsky

Academic excellence is a key expectation of any independent school. But, it is the extra-curricular opportunities that play a crucial role in our children’s development; helping them to discover their strengths and passions.

From the first day of lockdown learning, teachers delivered a full timetable across a wide-ranging curriculum. I was delighted that music, art and sport continued to be an essential part of online school life.

Although online learning is no substitute for the classroom, the benefits for many pupils have been tangible. Not only have children increased their technological fluency, but it has also helped them to increase their independence and take more ownership of their learning journey.

Outstanding schools will always endeavour to support pupils in all areas of their lives.

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Nevertheless, schools are more than the teaching that happens within the building. A school is a community of people who come together to achieve a common goal. St Mary’s School Hampstead has continued to thrive in these challenging circumstances by virtue of our resilience and commitment to providing the very best opportunities for our pupils. St Mary’s School Hampstead provides an outstanding and inspirational Catholic education to girls from 3-11 years.

To meet headmistress Harriet Connor-Earl for a personal tour of St Mary's School Hampstead, register at or call 020 7435 1868.